Getting Some Eight Hate

, , , , | Right | November 17, 2018

(This occurred when I first started my job and had little experience on the floor. My store’s assistant manager is among the most accommodating individuals on the retail side of the company, and is on the computer next to mine. A customer walks into the store, visibly upset.)

Me: “Good afternoon! Welcome to [Company]. My name is [My Name]. How can I help you today?”

Customer: *with a scowl* “I have a billing issue I need resolved. I was told my bill would be $108 and it’s at $111! This is unacceptable!”

Me: “I apologize about that, ma’am.”

(I pull up her account and flag my assistant manager down, since I don’t know how to adjust pricing yet at this point in time.)

Me: “My manager will be taking over, since he has more expertise on this sort of issue. We’ll get this resolved for you!”

(My assistant manager greets the customer and does his magic, lowering her monthly rate to $103.)

Assistant Manager: “Ma’am, I’m sorry for that miscommunication when you first signed up for services. I know how frustrating that is. We have you with a few better discounts on here to adjust the bill down to $103.”

Customer: *indignantly* “I was told it would be $108! I NEED IT AT $108!”

Assistant Manager: “Ma’am, we have you here on a better deal than that; we are at $103, where you will be saving $5 a month compared to what you were initially quoted.”

Customer: “You guys are a bunch of liars! Get it to $108 or I’ll find a different cable provider!”

Assistant Manager: “Absolutely.” *he shoots me a confused look* “Ma’am, it’ll be $108 as promised initially.”

(At this point, the customer nods and silently blazes out the door. To this day, over a year later, my assistant manager and I still laugh about the one lady that really wanted to drop an additional $5 per month for no reason!)

HDMI 5 Is Not Alive

, , , | Working | November 8, 2018

(There is a big thunderstorm that knocks out my cable. I try resetting my box and it gets nothing. I notice when I unplug and plug in the HDMI cable, the TV registers that there is a signal, but it doesn’t reappear. On a whim, I swap HDMI cords with my DVD player and both HDMI cables work perfectly! This is important for the story, because I have already tried it prior to calling and have told her that. At this point, we have already reset the box again and have been through checking the chords, twice. I have told her I only have HDMI 1 and 3 working about four times before this,)

Employee: “Can you go to HDMI 1.”

Me: “I am there, and I see no signal.”

Employee: “Go to HDMI 3.”

Me: “Still no signal.”

Employee: “Now HDMI 2.”

Me: *humoring her* “Nope. Nada.”

Employee: “Go to HDMI 5.”

Me: “I don’t have HDMI 5. I only have 1 and 3.”

Employee: “So, no HDMI 4?”

Me: “No. Just 1 and 3.”

Employee: “Well, check your HDMI cables again. It looks perfect on my end.”

Me: *thinking* “Yeah. The issue is your HDMI port…” *instead* “Okay. Everything looks fine.”

Employee: “And it still doesn’t work? Have you checked HDMI 1?”

(I realize this lady is not listening to me, and I predict her next steps. When she puts me on hold to “consult” with someone, I swap my HDMI cords and turn the DVD player on. I then wait for her to ask me to check.)

Employee: *returning* “Well, everything is giving a signal on my end. It must be your HDMI. Can you try making sure it is connected on both ends?”

Me: “Yeah.” *pause* “Still no signal.”

Employee: “Are you sure? Have you tried changing the inputs on your TV?”

Me: *pretends to* “Still not getting anything.”

Employee: “Have you checked all of them? Even HDMI 5?”

Me: *convinced she is punking me* “Yes. Nothing is giving a signal. But if I plug and unplug it, it is telling me that the TV senses the HDMI.”

Employee: “Hmm… It must be the HDMI cord. Are you sure you have the right HDMI?”

Me: “Yes. I only have two, ma’am. One is hooked up to the box and one to the DVD player.”

Employee: “Well, make sure you have the correct HDMI. Have you checked HDMI 5?”

Me: *fed up* “Look, it is not the HDMI cord. I have a DVD that is hooked up to HDMI 3. When I switch it to HDMI 1, the DVD player works. It is an issue with your cable box, not my HDMI cord.”

Employee: “Oh? You have a DVD player. Have you tried switching HDMI chords for the devices?”

Me: “Yes. Yes, I have.” *thinking* “Like I told you less than three seconds ago.”

Employee: “Well, that is strange… so strange… I think it is your HDMI.”

Me: “I promise you it is not. It is your box.”

Employee: *unconvinced* “Well… we can ship you a new box and have someone install it, but it could cost up to $75. Or you can pick up a new one.”

(Translation: “It is probably your fault and you can’t plug in a d*** HDMI cable.”)

Me: “I pick it up and install it myself, thanks. Can you please put the order in?”

Employee: *still unconvinced* “All right, but you have to tell them that it got damaged by the storm, you hear me? Tell them the storm is what damaged it.”

(And that is how it took me 30 minutes to order a new cable box, because the tech was so fixated on “HDMI 5” being the answer to all my problems. For the record, yes, it was NOT my HDMI cord that was the problem. The storm had fried the box.)

A Disconnect Between The Paperwork And The Cable Guy

, , , , , | Working | August 14, 2018

(We are going through a financial tight time. One of the ways to cut back is the cable. It’s 2005, so we still have the analog — no receiver needed — service and the digital — receiver needed — service. By talking with a sales agent, we conclude that keeping the digital service only, with one receiver, is cheaper with more channels than keeping the analog service. I do know that they will have to come and install a trap, a filter, to prevent us from cheating and using the analog signal in other rooms. I usually don’t lunch at home, but I live and work in a small village with roughly ten minutes’ walking distance between the two. My girlfriend is out of work, so today I decide to go have lunch at home. Lo and behold, that day, during lunchtime, there’s a service truck from the cable company that stops in front of the house. We’re watching the living room TV from the kitchen. The tech gets his ladder, and climbs the post in front of our house. We get disconnected. I’m thinking, “He’s installing the trap,” but then, he gets down and puts his ladder back on the truck. I get out to confront him.)

Me: “Hi. You disconnected our cable?”

Cable Guy: “Yes. That’s what I had to do.”

Me: “That’s not supposed to be so. We switched to digital only. You should install a trap for the analog signal, not cut us off.”

Cable Guy: *in an annoyed tone, taking his worksheet* “Listen. That’s not my problem. I have it right here. See? I need to dis– Oh… I have to install a trap… Sorry, I’ll get right on it.”

(I go back inside to finish my lunch. He puts his ladder against the post, climbs up, gets down, removes his ladder. We still have no signal. I run out again.)

Me: “Excuse me, but we have no signal.”

Cable Guy: “Can’t be, I just replugged you.”

Me: “I don’t know what to say. I have no signal. Can you check it out?”

(He grumbles and takes his ladder again. I go back inside and turn my forty-inch rear-projection TV towards the window. He climbs up, gets down, gets in his truck, gets back up again, and poof! We have signal. Since it is time for me to go back to work, I walk out and talk to him as he is putting his ladder back to his truck — for the third time.)

Me: “So, what was the problem?”

Cable Guy: “Oh. The center pin broke off. I had to redo the connector.”

Me: “Well, heck of a good thing I happened to be there today. And please, for your next customer, take the time to read your work order properly, and ensure the job is well done before leaving? It would have been h*** to figure out what went wrong with our cable, if I hadn’t been here. Have a good day.”

(I waved my girlfriend goodbye, showing him at the same time that she was watching him.)

When The Internet Is Internot, Part 2

, , , , , , | Working | August 13, 2018

In my mid-twenties I left my hometown — a medium-sized city — to do a four-year university program in a small town an hour and a half away. As is now the norm, my program required high-speed Internet, so I investigated what was available. There weren’t many options for a reasonable price, and I ended up opting for [Unknown Company], which contracted out installation to [Slightly Better Known — but more expensive — Company].

The afternoon before the full day I had to set aside for installation, I had cell phone trouble and wasn’t able to use my phone for a few hours. When I got back the ability to check my messages, I had one from [Unknown Company] “reminding” me — they’d never told me — that I needed to pick up a modem from their office prior to installation. They had already closed for the day when I got the message, so the next morning I was at their office five minutes before they opened, at the exact start of the potential installation window. Unfortunately, the only person working there didn’t show up until twenty minutes after they opened, and by the time I got back to my apartment, the tech had already come and gone. Apparently, they installed my Internet, just without attaching the modem. I tried the modem. It failed. I called the company. They couldn’t find my system. They told me to book off the next day to have a tech come by. I waited around for ten hours and no one showed. I called them. They booked off the next day. I again waited around for ten hours and no one showed.

I showed up at their office again and told the employee there that I was sitting in that d*** waiting room until I got Internet service. I was near tears, frustrated, home sick, and lacking the only connection I had with family and friends — my cell was crap. The employee made calls, but because [Slightly Better Known Company] was the one doing the installation, [Unknown Company] “couldn’t do anything.” Finally she told me that I had been booked for another service day and I gave up. My building superintendent agreed to let the tech in if they showed because I needed to actually go to classes. He mentioned then that he had looked at the splitter that the tech had installed and thought that it looked like it was backwards, but, “What do I know? I know nothing about technology.”

The next day a tech actually called me saying he was on his way, and actually showed up at the door. He took one look at the splitter, turned it around, and the problem was fixed. They did end up giving me a month of free Internet… but I still switched companies as soon as I could afford it.

Related:
When The Internet Is Internot

Murphy’s Law: Online Edition

, , , , , , | Working | June 8, 2018

(I decide to move closer to my college to make it easier to get back and forth to class. We move all our utilities over, keeping our home phone and high-speed Internet through the same company, which is one of the largest communications companies in Canada. About three months after we move and after the school year has started, my maternal grandfather passes away. Once the initial shock has passed, I go to email my professors to let them know I won’t be in classes for the remainder of the week, but I can’t get on the Internet. Being in a computer program, I check all my equipment, and am certain it isn’t my end, but I am too exhausted to deal with it, assume it is a blip, and go to bed, planning to send the email in the morning. However, in the morning it is still not working, so I root out my last bill and call the number on it.)

Customer Service Agent #1: “Thank you for calling [Internet company] tech support. My name is [Customer Service Agent #1]; how can I help you?

Me: “My Internet service has been down since at least last night. I’ve checked all my equipment, and it doesn’t appear to be my end. Is there an outage in the area?”

Customer Service Agent #1: “There are no outages that I’m aware of, but can I get your account number to take a look?”

Me: *gives account number and answers some verification questions*

Customer Service Agent #1: “I see. Your account has been shut down due to a billing issue.”

Me: “That’s not possible. I have my last bill in front of me, and according to my notes on it I paid it through my Internet banking on [date], which was well over a week before it was due. I would log into my bank to verify, but I have no Internet.”

Customer Service Agent #1: “I’m not really sure what happened, then. Let me get you over to someone in billing to get this sorted out.”

Me: “Okay, thank you.”

(After several minutes on hold, another person picks up.)

Customer Service Agent #2: “Thank you for calling [Internet company] billing. My name is [Customer Service Agent #2]; how can I help you?”

Me: “I’ve not had any Internet access since last night. I was just speaking to a tech support agent, and he said it was a billing issue and transferred me to you. Can you help me straighten this out?”

Customer Service Agent #2: “Okay, let’s take a look. Can I get your account number?”

Me: “You didn’t get it from the last agent?”

Customer Service Agent #2: “No, they blind-transferred you.”

Me: *gives account number and answers some verification questions*

Customer Service Agent #2: “Okay, apparently we don’t have your billing information on file, which is why your account was shut down. I’ll need to take either your credit card information, or your bank account information for direct withdrawal, to get the account active again.”

Me: “I’ve never given you that before, and I’ve been a customer of yours for several years. You’ve always billed me, and I’ve paid through my bank.”

Customer Service Agent #2: “No, we don’t bill people. We do direct withdrawal, either through your bank account or through a credit card.”

Me: “I have proof in my hand that says otherwise: a bill with both my home phone charges and my Internet charges. I’ve been a customer for several years, and that’s always how it’s been. All of my charges have come together on a bill and I have paid them. Why can’t that continue?”

Customer Service Agent #2: “I’m not really sure. Let me get you over to billing for [Main Company], and they may be able to tell you what’s going on. One moment.”

(I am put back on hold again before I can protest. After several minutes, another agent picks up.)

Customer Service Agent #3: “Thank you for calling [Main Company] billing. My name is [Customer Service Agent #3]; how can I help you?”

Me: “I’m sorry, but I’m really getting frustrated. I haven’t had Internet service since yesterday. I’ve spoken to tech support, and they say it’s a billing issue. I’ve spoken with [Internet company], and they’re insisting that I have to give them a credit card, which I don’t have, or my direct withdrawal banking information, which I also don’t have handy. I have always had all of my [Company] charges just billed to me, and I don’t understand why this has suddenly changed. Is there any way we can keep the current arrangement?”

Customer Service Agent #3: “Can I get your account number, please?”

Me: “You don’t have it already?”

Customer Service Agent #3: “Nope, you were blind-transferred.”

Me: *tries not to be overly testy as I give my account number and answer some verification questions*

Customer Service Agent #3: “Yes, you did have it on billing, but [Internet service] normally needs to do direct payment, either through your bank account or through a credit card. If you can give me either of those, I can reinstate your Internet service right away.”

Me: “I just told you I don’t have any of that information at the moment. Why the sudden change? I’ve been a customer of [Company] for four or five years now, and it’s never been a problem before. I even used to get my [Satellite Service] charges on the same bill, but I had to cancel that since I’m now a student and not working full-time. I’ve always paid my bill on time, so it’s not that I’m a delinquent customer, so I don’t understand why I can’t pay as I always have.”

Customer Service Agent #3: “The only way I can get the Internet back up for you is to get direct payment information from you now.”

Me: *feeling defeated* “I just need to send an email to my professors to let them know that I won’t be in class for the next few days because my grandfather passed away, before I go and spend time with my grieving family. You’re absolutely sure that there’s nothing you can do to help me out here?”

Customer Service Agent #3: “I’m sorry, but no.”

Me: “Can I speak to a supervisor, please?”

Customer Service Agent #3: “I don’t think that a supervisor will be able to help.”

Me: “Just let me speak to a supervisor.”

(Suddenly back to hold music. I have now been on the phone for almost an hour and I am genuinely upset at this point, and the hold music seems to go on forever. It is also now past time that I should normally be in a lab, and I wanted to email my professors before classes began, so I am especially unhappy.)

Customer Service Agent #4: *in a somewhat surprised tone* “Thank you for calling [Main Company]. My name is [Customer Service Agent #4]; how can I help you?”

Me: “Are you a supervisor with [Company]?”

Customer Service Agent #4: “Yes, I am. What can I help you with?”

Me: *fighting to not cry on the phone* “You are now the fourth person I have spoken to with regard to what should be a very simple issue. My Internet service was cut off at some point yesterday due to [Internet Company] not having my direct withdrawal information or credit card information on file. I have never put that information on file, as [Company] has always billed me for the charges for both my Internet and home phone service directly. I am not sure why this has changed; the timing is incredibly poor, as my grandfather passed away yesterday, and I need to email my professors to let them know why I will not be in class. I just want to be billed as I have been for the last four or five years. Can you please help me with this?”

Customer Service Agent #4: *still sounding somewhat surprised* “So, all you’re after is bundling all your services onto one bill, correct?”

Me: “Yes, that and reactivating my Internet service.”

Customer Service Agent #4: “Of all the… Yes, I should be able to get that done for you. Can I get your account number, please?”

Me: “The last agent didn’t supply that information?”

Customer Service Agent #4: *in an exasperated tone* “No, I’m afraid you were transferred to me blind. I was not given anything.”

Me: “I take it from your tone that this is not normal operating procedure?”

Customer Service Agent #4: “No, it is not.”

Me: *supplies account number and answers verification questions*

Customer Service Agent #4: “Okay, Ms. [My Name], it does look like there was some sort of technical glitch that got your billing switched around to the more standard prepay for [Internet Company]. Give me a minute, and let me get it switched back for you.”

Me: *relieved* “Thank you so much.”

Customer Service Agent #4: *can hear her working in the background* “It always seems that these things happen at the worst possible time, doesn’t it?”

Me: “Murphy’s Law, I guess.”

Customer Service Agent #4: “I know, and I’m sorry. Okay… There. I have it reset back to post-pay, and since your payments are up to date — thank you for that, by the way — your Internet should be back on shortly. It won’t be instantaneous, but it shouldn’t take more than 15 to 20 minutes. Is there anything else I can help you with today?”

Me: “No, but thank you. You’ve been wonderful.”

Customer Service Agent #4: “I’m glad I could help, and let me extend my condolences to you and your family. I don’t think I’d be as calm as you have been if this happened after I had just lost a loved one.”

Me: “Thank you again. Goodbye.”

(True to her word, about ten minutes later I was able to connect to the Internet. I sent the email out to my professors, and left to go support my mother and her sisters. Fortunately, I never had to call their customer service again!)

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