Not A Lot Of Support From Customer Support

, , , , , | Working | September 2, 2020

When moving to my new apartment, I am also going to change from satellite to cable TV. This means my old router does not meet my new requirements, so I decide to take advantage of a promotion and get the to-rent model of my new ISP for free, as I’m too lazy to get a newer router myself, despite being a general IT and network admin at work.

After moving, I plug in the company-provided router, connect my main computer, and set everything up, which just works fine. I take a look at the manual, which says I have to connect the cable from the socket to a three-way switch/converter; one outgoing cable connects to the phone, one cable to the router, and the last cable to the TV. Despite the cable between the switch and TV, there is a regular ethernet cable that connects the TV and the router. I install all that and check on my PC and my notebook; Wi-Fi and Internet work.

To my confusion, in the following days, the Internet randomly stops working, so I do the usual troubleshooting and figure out that I cannot even connect to the router from my wired PC, as the settings seemed to have changed. Everything starts to work again later that day.

As I can’t figure out why and can’t find anything online, I call tech support.

Support: “[Company Support], how can I help you?”

Me: “Hi. I’m having trouble with your router, which seems to randomly stops working.”

I give them detailed information about the problem, all the steps I’ve taken, and the data I’ve collected.

The employee seems to ignore all I just said.

Support: “Okay, well, let’s see… Did you check whether the router is properly plugged in and the lights are all on?”

Me: “Yes. As I said, having worked IT myself, I already did basic troubleshooting, which did not work, and then…”

I give all my taken steps and collected data again.

Support: “So, hmph, well…”

There’s a very awkward long pause.

Me: “Did you have any reports about similar issues? Or any idea as to why my network settings seem to change and even change back to the correct settings later?”

Support: “Ah, network settings? I’m sorry, sir, I can’t quite follow you?”

Me: “Well, I already checked…” 

I give my results a third time.

Support: “I’m sorry, sir. I don’t know what all that is supposed to mean. But my scheme tells me to ask you to restart the router, please.”

Me: “Okay, so do you have any deeper knowledge of network configuration and your [brand router]? If not, I would like to talk to some tech person who is able to do more than read from some paper.”

Support: “I’m very sorry, but there is no one in our call center who is qualified for much more than our standard spiel given by the company.”

Me: “I see. So, is there any way you might set me up with someone who can help me?”

Support: “Again, I’m very sorry. All I could do is to set you up with an appointment with an external service, who will send someone to your house.”

Me: “Well, I guess I have to, eh?”

I get the typical appointment which is like: sometime between rise and dawn, better take the whole week off, just to be sure.

The cable guy arrives around noon without any info or documentation, so I tell him what’s wrong.

He speaks without even looking at my setup.

Cable Guy: “You followed the instructions and connected the switch with your TV, didn’t you?”

Me: “Yes, of course. That’s why the instructions were printed?”

Cable Guy: “Well, yeah, unfortunately, the instructions in this case are wrong. See, the cable from that switch to the TV is configured in such a way that your TV is supposed to work as a second router. Therefore, your settings on the real router get overridden; for some crazy reasons, the TV’s network settings are given priority. Please don’t ask me why; it’s crazy. So, if you turn on your TV, and later on your PC the settings won’t work, if you do it the other way round you stay connected with the router and everything is fine.”

The cable guy simply pulls out the cable between the switch and the TV.

Cable Guy: “There you go. That’s it.”

Me: “Your kidding, right?”

Cable Guy: “Nope, that’s it.”

Me: “Oh, good God, and nobody on the tech support line is able to give that information?”

Cable Guy: “Seems like that, huh? That’s what happens when you try to outsource everything possible. And it happens so often, I have done this fix seven times already today.”

Me: “Well, sounds like time for a break. Come on. I know some nice and fast Italian around the corner; I’ll buy us some pizza.”

Needless to say, I canceled the contract shortly after and am already looking for my new ISP in a few months, hopefully without such utter nonsense.

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Not Really Going With the Flow (Chart)

, , , , , | Working | August 28, 2020

I rent a room and my landlady has a humorous “no soliciting” sign that is basically a flow chart for who should ring the bell: friends, family, emergency services, and children selling for fundraisers. It does not include the words “no soliciting” in big bold letters, but it does count as a “no soliciting” sign.

They are laying new cables in our neighborhood and the local telecoms are out in force trying to sign people up for new services.

One day, my landlady answers the door.

Employee #1: “Hello, I was reading your sign. It is very funny.”

Landlady: “Yes, we think so. How can I help you?”

Employee #1: “I represent [Telecom Company] and would like to talk to you about—”

Landlady: “You do realize that is a ‘no soliciting’ sign?”

Employee #1: “Well, yes, but since we are already talking—”

My landlady closes the door in his face.

This exact conversation happens five other times with employees from the company and others, to the point that my landlady no longer opens the door and calls their companies to complain multiple times. Basically, she is told in no uncertain terms that until she signs up with one of the companies, they will keep coming by.

The next day, the doorbell rings and since I am expecting a package, I go to answer it. There is a man in a polo with the logo of [Telecom Company that hasn’t visited yet]

Employee #2: “Hello, I’m sorry. I rang the bell before I read the sign. I didn’t want to doorbell ditch you; I’ll just be leaving now. Have a good day.”

Me: “Wait, hold on. Can I get your card?”

Employee #2: “No, ma’am, you have a ‘no soliciting’ sign, and I would get in so much trouble if you called and complained. Take care.”

I’m sure you all know which company my landlady decided to sign up with.


This story is part of our Best Of August 2020 roundup!

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That Is Not Our Foreign Policy

, , , | Right | August 11, 2020

A customer calls in wanting to discuss his cable bill.

Customer: “So, next month I will have ten years of history with you guys?”

Me: “Yes! Ten years on May eleventh.”

Customer: “Okay. I am going to need ten years of credits for all the foreign-language channels you’ve been sending me for a decade.”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but our channel bundles don’t work that way. Only premium channels are a la carte. The rest are in bundles so we can’t credit for what you are asking.”

Customer: “Okay. I’ll speak to an attorney.” *Hangs up*

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Unfiltered Story #195856

, , , | Unfiltered | June 4, 2020

I was a HSI tech for a national Cable company. Usually we just troubleshot internet connections, but mostly we took calls from field techs and assisted them. Yet when the call queue got outrageous we had to help out. These are the weird tales from those times:

I received a call from a woman claiming that one of our cable techs had just pulled off the side of the road, where she was walking, and raped her. To which I asked her to immediately call 911 instead of tech support.

This was when NFL network first started showing Thursday night games. One Thursday night the NFL network was having an issue which was out of our control. I get a called stating (totally serious mind you) that it is Al Qaeda jamming the NFL signal as a form of terror attack. He then requested to speak with the president…….of the united states and not our company or the NFL.

A woman called in saying her cable was out (this was before mandatory digital receivers). I cannot find anything on this woman. Not an account, an old account, or a pending account. Nothing by her name, #, or SSN. I finally asked her when she got cable and how. A man came by her house on a BICYCLE claiming to be from us. He offered to set up her cable for $50. She gave him the money and he climbed up the pole and turned it on. So obvious to everyone, but her, it was illegal. So, it got turned off during an illegal cable audit in her neighborhood. Of course she wanted a refund from us……….

I had a very irate customer mad that his HD/DVR box wasn’t working. After troubleshooting for awhile and getting nothing he got mad and literally unplugged it from the surge protector and smashed it against the wall. Except it was the wrong piece of equipment. He pulled out his DVD player and smashed it. He had been screwing around with the cables from that instead. He then plugged in the HD/DVR box and it worked fine. I laughed for awhile on that one.

Giving A Voice To Your Career Choices

, , , | Right | December 8, 2019

(I’ve been told I have a sultry phone voice since I was seventeen. Working as a dispatcher for a cable company, I call multiple customers during the day to let them know a technician is coming to their home, or to verify that service is working again.)

Me: “Ma’am, this is [My Name] with [Company], calling to let you know the tech is ready to come out to your home.”

Customer: “Oh, no, it’s working fine now; he doesn’t need to come out.”

(As I’m closing out her trouble ticket and entering the information on her account, we make small talk. At the end of the call.)

Customer: “Can I tell you something without offending you?”

Me: “Well, there’s only one way to find out!”

Customer: “Your voice is completely wasted on this job.”

Me: *laughing* “I don’t know whether to thank you or not.”

Customer: “You should be working for one of those 900 numbers. Your voice is fantastic!”

(It should be noted that I’ve been a phone sex operator for three years now. Thanks for the career advice, ma’am!)

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