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Very Few Things In Life Are Free

, , | Right | CREDIT: TechTalesMX | January 10, 2022

I work for a TV company. We get stupid questions all the time, but this dude has to be at least in the top ten.

Customer: “I was dumb enough to be paying for [Streaming Service], so I cancelled it because my TV has those apps. I’m calling to find out how to get those apps.”

Me: “Those apps are built in, but a lot of them require a subscription.”

Customer: “But my brother’s TV has [Smart TV Service]. Why does it have [Smart TV Service], then?”

It’s probably a [Smart TV Service] TV, which would only mean it’s running their operating system, not that it has free apps included. Instead of trying to explain that:

Me: “You should contact that TV manufacturer and ask them.”

Customer: “But my remote has buttons for those apps, so it’s only logical the apps should be free!”

Long story short, the call ended up with a supervisor and the dude is going to email the CEO of the company to have this situation “corrected”.

For The Love Of God, Let Me Help You!

, , , , | Right | CREDIT: Cookie_rain | December 26, 2021

A year ago, I did tech support for a TV company that also handled Internet. I was a part of something called the “advanced resolution team”, meaning I had the power of a manager (credits, extra offers, and such) without the pay but got all the angry people who continued to call in.

One day, I get a call from a customer.

Customer: “I’m not able to download a show on my TV to play it back, and my TV apps aren’t working.”

I go through all the normal questions. “Is everything else working? Is it only affecting Internet-related TV items?” So on and so forth.

I begin my flow for Internet issues and do the basic troubleshooting.

Me: “Can you please check your router and tell me what you see?”

Customer: “There are no lights on my router.”

I guide him through resetting the router. Four minutes later:

Me: “Do you see any lights on the router now?”

Customer: “No, still no lights.”

Me: “All right, sir, is anything else in your home experiencing Internet issues?”

Customer: “The Wi-Fi on my phone isn’t working, and neither is the Internet on my computer.”

I halt my troubleshooting.

Me: “I’ll have to transfer you over to our Internet department due to your Internet being down and your router not working properly.”

The man begins to laugh.

Customer: “I don’t care if anything else has Internet. I just want my TV to have Internet.”

I let out a sigh. I know this is going to be a battle.

Me: “If your router isn’t showing lights, your Internet is down. We cannot only put Internet on your TV since your Internet itself isn’t working.”

Customer: *Irritated* “You don’t want to help me. You only want to pass me off because you don’t know how to do your job!”

Me: “I can only troubleshoot TV tech issues. Because of the issue being your Internet, the Internet department needs to further assist you.”

I was so aggravated. I was yelled at for seven straight minutes about how he only needed the Internet on his TV and we controlled the Internet. My supervisor came over due to my call time being high. I explained the issue and their only resolution was to be a broken record. After ten more minutes of explaining that I couldn’t magically turn on the Internet for only his TV, I cold transferred him to the Internet department, took off my headset, and sat under my desk for the next five minutes.

The Cables Of Racism Were Laid Long Ago

, , , | Right | December 16, 2021

It is years ago, and as a university student, I have a summer job installing cable for a cable TV company. More accurately, I am the one who goes around to bury the cable after the cable company has connected the cable to the house. Houses are going up so fast that the cable TV company can’t keep up with subscription demand. In most cases, they just run cables from the street to the house above their grass. They don’t have enough workers to bury the cables, so they promise residents that they will send workers out to bury them as soon as they can.

It sometimes takes six months for the workers to get there. You can imagine homeowners are not happy.

We work in crews of three; I’m with two Hispanic men. We ring the doorbell of a home and there’s no answer. We call the home. No answer. We don’t have a cell number, so we start to bury the cable just as we have done for other houses today.

We are halfway finished when a car pulls up and comes to a sudden stop. A woman gets out and starts yelling at the foreman. He speaks English, but she berates him and insinuates that he is an illegal alien. She keeps demanding that we leave, asking him:

Customer: “Do you understand me? Do you understand me?”

I walk over.

Me: “Ma’am. I understand you. What’s going on?”

Customer: “I want to speak to your boss!”

I point her back to the man she has been berating. She didn’t expect that.

I don’t ever remember seeing racism up close like that until now. I had no idea what Latino workers dealt with on a daily basis. I am disgusted by her behavior.

We explain who we are, show her the work order from the cable company, and explain that we are there to bury the cable. We ask her if she wouldn’t mind if we completed the job.

Customer: “Don’t you move. I’m calling the police.”

And she does. We call the cable company while she is on the phone.

We take a water break. A police officer shows up. I approach carefully and explain what we are doing, showing the work order. He looks at the work order and asks the woman if the address is correct. She rips it out of my hand and looks at it.

Customer: “Yes, that’s my address.”

Officer: “Would it be okay if they completed burying the cable?”

We explain that if it is a bad time, we can come back.

Just then, another vehicle comes flying up the road, the driver slamming on the brakes as he reaches the house. A man (her husband?) jumps out and immediately starts yelling. The officer de-escalates the situation, explaining that we are contractors from the cable company.

The man keeps giving us menacing looks, but eventually, he jumps back in his vehicle and speeds off.

The homeowner eventually agrees to “allow” us to finish the job.

Customer: “But I’m warning you! I’ll be watching you!”

And she does, from inside her air-conditioned house. We see her looking out the window. The police officer leaves and my coworkers go back to work. They remain polite and professional.

We have to go through the flower bed. This is before smartphones, or we would have taken pictures before starting. We carefully dig up just enough space to bury the cable, and we replace all the wood chips. We are actually proud of our work.

The rep from the cable company shows up. The homeowner comes out and shows the rep:

Customer: “Look where they’ve done irreparable damage to my lawn and destroyed my flower bed!”

The rep takes a look and comments:

Rep: “They’ve actually pulled some weeds in the process of going through the flowers.”

She just keeps getting angrier and demands a discount on her cable service. The cable company rep is ready for this. He points to the contract with the cable company that said they would send out a contractor to bury the cable. He is polite but firm. There is no promise of when the cable company will send a contractor to bury the cable. He explains that with the housing boom and record subscriptions, they have not had time to bury cables. Most of her neighbors have their cables above ground, too.

We finish and the cable company rep asks if there was anything else he can do while he’s here.

Customer: “Just get them off my property.”

He waited for us to collect our tools and apologized for the behavior of the homeowner. Normally, people were happy to see us. They were tired of mowing their lawns while dodging the big cable running from the street to their house.

The rest of the day, we were offered drinks and treats when we visited other homes. This made the other customer look even worse. She made me glad I finished my education. I don’t have to deal with people like that in my job, and it reaffirmed my belief that everyone should be treated with respect, no matter how they dress for work. But the people who work with their hands in the hot sun so that I can sit in my air-conditioned home watching TV deserve a little extra respect.

Football Isn’t More Important Than A Paycheck!

, , , , , , | Working | September 30, 2021

When we moved into our house, it was December, and all the trees were bare. An engineer from [Satellite Broadcaster] installed our satellite dish for us, but it had to go on the side of the house as he could not get a signal from the back. He did say it might need raising in the summer, but we will see how things go.

It is now June, and at the time of this story, both the health crisis and a major football tournament are taking place. A rather large tree in our neighbour’s garden is in full bloom. Our satellite signal keeps cutting out and the channels are patchy at times. We know what the problem is and that we can’t do anything about the tree, so we decide to contact [Satellite Broadcaster]. I go online and find they have an appointment free that afternoon. Excellent! [Engineer #1] arrives at about 3:30 pm.

I explain what the problem is and what we would like done.

Engineer #1: “Yeah, I think I can do that.”

Due to the ongoing health crisis, I have to keep my distance from the engineer, so I let him get on with things and do a few jobs around the house. He gets several phone calls and I do hear him saying something about, “I can’t; I’m on a job,” but I don’t really pay much attention to it. After about fifteen minutes, he comes back in.

Engineer #1: “Um, I left my drill at my previous job. I’ll just need to go and get it.”

And off he goes. A couple of hours pass and it is very clear he isn’t coming back. We suspect he has bunked off to watch the football! Furious, I call [Satellite Broadcaster] and explain the situation.

Operator: “I am so sorry about this! There are no notes on the system about this. If he had to leave for a reason, he would have put something there. Can I put you on hold for a moment whilst I try and contact the engineer and see what happened?”

He comes back to the phone a few minutes later.

Operator: “I tried both the engineer and his manager and can’t get a hold of either of them. Once again, I deeply apologise.”

Me: “That’s okay; it’s not your fault.”

The operator gives us a voucher worth £14 to download some movies onto our box and then speaks to his manager to see what they can do.

Operator: “The next available appointment is not for a few days; however, we do have a team that deals with emergencies that can get to you faster. They will contact you later tonight or tomorrow morning, to book a time slot.”

Me: “Thank you! I appreciate that.”

We have also had a few problems with our broadband, also provided by [Satellite Broadcaster], which the operator notices, so he helps us with that, as well. He is a very friendly and helpful guy and I end the phone call feeling relieved that something will be done.

The next morning, I have to head to work, so my partner, who is working from home, keeps an ear out for the phone. The phone rings.

Scammer: “Hello, I am from [Satellite Broadcaster] and your broadband will be cut off within twenty-four hours…”

Partner: “…unless I download a program which allows you access? No, thanks. I am terminating this call.”

He then called [Satellite Broadcaster] to double-check and to report the call, and they were also able to sort out a new appointment for the engineer. Once again, we were in luck; a spare slot was free that afternoon. [Engineer #2] arrived.

My partner explained what we wanted done and what had happened with [Engineer #1]. [Engineer #2] was genuinely shocked at this and was able to move our dish so the tree was no longer blocking the signal. He did this with no problems at all, and whilst doing so, he made phone calls trying to see if [Engineer #1] was anyone in his team. To his relief, he wasn’t.

Our satellite signal has been absolutely fine ever since, with no more pixelly programmes. We never found out what happened to [Engineer #1], but if he did skive off to watch the football, we hope it was worth it.

But Think Of The Nostalgia Factor!

, , , | Right | CREDIT: Kriss3d | July 26, 2021

Some guy had cut a coax cable in his backyard that carried the TV to the entire neighborhood. We were dispatched to fix it.

We dug a larger hole to get proper access and spliced the cable correctly and insulated it so people could get TV again. The job wasn’t overly hard but these things take time.

At the end of the job, a quite upset elderly lady popped her head out.

Lady: “Hey! You messed up the TV I was watching!”

All right. Understandable. Losing your TV for an hour or two can be annoying. We get it. That’s why we were there. To fix it.

However, she kept yelling at us.

Lady: “My TV reception is really bad! Why the h*** did you make my show black and white?!”

Well, this is odd as a coax cable really has just the signal in one wire and that’s it. It’s not like it can possibly split up the colors and filter them. I went to look at her TV to see if I could figure out the problem.

Sure enough, the TV was indeed in black and white.

Me: “Ma’am. Your TV is showing a documentary about World War II. Of course, it’s in black and white.”