Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Cable Schmable

What IS it with cable companies???? (also insert cell phone companies, internet companies, etc, as you like)!!! We have had nothing but problems since we had the stupid cable installed, and it's only been since the beginning of May, for heaven's sake! First, it was an incorrect installation that gave us the entirely wrong channels and a broken remote. Then, it was that we couldn't get anything above channel 70 on the bedroom TV. After several calls, and customer service agents insisting that it *wasn't* that we needed a cable box for that room, surprise! It was that we needed a cable box for that room. So, we got a month of free 'preview' service for the digital package, which we were already subscribed to, so the person gave us a credit. Hmph.

The other day, I noticed that we were no longer receiving the digital package. I had a feeling that it was that the freebie period had ended and 'somehow' our account had had the information that we were already subscribers to that service before we were credited was deleted. So, today I finally got around to calling to complain. Here is our conversation:

Me: Hi, I noticed that I'm not getting anything above around channel 120. I think my digital channels are gone. Can you help me?

Her: Why don't you check what number you're not receiving above and call me back.

Me: I think it's the digital package that's gone. We were getting it for free for a month because our install went so badly, in addition to the regular trial period.

Her: No, everyone gets it free for ten days. It had nothing to do with your install. I show you had it free for 30 days, in June.

Me: Right, the 30 days were for June, but our service started in May. June was credited to us because our install went wrong. (mentally: hello, you just said yourself that we had a longer period than usual for free, duh, why are you arguing with me!!!!)

Her: No, it wasn't. Call me back when you know what channels you want.

Me: OK, never mind, it doesn't matter how the channels were or weren't there, I just want the digital package added. Those are the channels above the 120s, right?

Her: Yes. I can add them, if you'd like?

OH, HOLY HELL. What is WRONG with people?!?!?! First of all, I hate that customer service has changed from 'the customer is always right' to 'the customer is always wrong, and you should point it out repeatedly until they give up and die of frustration, which will ensure continued service without any more calls'. She said it herself, we HAD FREE SERVICE. She was just SO invested in being right that she couldn't even stop arguing when she had made herself look like an idiot by reading aloud my point from her own screen! And, seriously, even before the entire conversation took place, it was obvious which channels are missing, and obvious that I wanted them, so her response should have been, 'oops, sorry about that, let me add them back in for you.' Period. But, no. And let me add that we used to have DirectTV, which I liked just fine but refused to have installed at the new place because it takes them a month to get here, and then the last time I had the local installers out, they actually asked me 'does your husband know what you're asking us to do?' Yeah. No thank you, Cletus, I think I can take it from here.

Also, here's another little pet peeve while I'm at it - we have a mail slot in our door. We have two dogs, and Baci will happily shred the mail for me, thus saving me the time and effort of doing it myself. However, just in case the mail might contain, I dunno, a check (like THAT would ever happen - checks only flow one way at this house, and that's OUT the door), we have a huge mailbox that sits on a big post right next to the stairs. Just to clarify, the mail carrier has to WALK PAST IT to get to our porch, where the barking dogs are waiting to receive the mail from his fingers at the slot. Yet about once a week, the mail comes through the slot. I believe it's when our regular carrier is on vacation, or maybe they do a rotation in our town or something. Occasionally, I'm here when it happens, so I go outide to find the carrier and politely point the box out to him (so far it's only been men), and they always act so surprised, like it's shocking that someone with dogs has a box. Today when it happened, the guy told me that last year he had delivered to a house that had little dogs that met him every day at the door and promptly shredded everything as soon he put it through. He said it was his day's entertainment, because being a mailman is a terrible job. ??? Okey dokey, then. Sigh.

But it's the cable people that really piss me off.


LoriD said...

Our cable company (we have n choice in which one we use - it's all decided by region) promotes itself as "local and friendly". It boasts that real people answer the phones. What this translates to is that we get the new channels about 8 months after the rest of the country and when we call, the phone rings about 30 time before some overworked woman who hates her job puts you on hold. It's awesome.

Erin said...

When I recently switched to AT&T U-verse, I was trying to understand what made it "different than cable." They kept explaining that it came in through a patened (yeah, I can spell) fiberoptic cable. So it's CABLE. They were all, "NO NO NO! It's NOT CABLE." Whatev.

d e v a n said...

The cable companies SUCK. Customer service might as well be called "don't expect to only call once, it will take 13 calls and 18 different transfers before you get what you need - and then it still won't be right."

Susiewearsthepants said...

Oh Lord, don't even get me started on the cable company, I may never shut up. Especially after my recent cell phone issues. A cable company rant could send me completely over the edge.

Kristin.... said...

We have Time Warner. They're idiots. Our DVR keeps losing volume. We do have a replacement, but haven't finished watching what we recorded, so it waits to be installed. :) They haven't noticed it's still here, yet.
BUT.....Timer Warner FINALLY got digital phone here to my neck of Maine, and had it installed in about 20 minutes. I've missed it so.