Monday, January 18, 2010

The Trifecta of Evil

OK, to sum up, this has been my past ten days with the trifecta of evil - Verizon, Direct TV, and Best Buy.

Dear Verizon,

Since you are the bearer of most of my problems, I will start with you. Oh, sweet allure of lower-cost service and integrated discounts with satellite TV, I could resist you no longer. Your one-hour install took seven, and still isn't what I'd call blazingly fast. Also, surprise, it's not fast enough to use with Direct's on-demand service without kicking us off the internet! Don't worry, I didn't want to be online anyway; my classes aren't that important. Whose idea was it to have people say 'I'm sorry for your inconvenience, ma'am' every five seconds'? They are not sorry, because without people like me, they wouldn't have a job over there in India, and also, they're not trained enough to solve my problems, and invariably transfer me back to the States, so it's like being in the way station for hell, where the demons are politely apoligizing as they poke you in the ass with their ethernet cables. I'm convinced this is true, because the woman on your phone service is definitely the devil, keeping me in endless loops of button pushing and number reciting until, finally, fifteen minutes later, you tire of our little game and either a) hang up on me or b) let one of your lesser minions play with me via live chat for awhile before being a) disconnected or b) pushed onto yet another demon. I'm getting off the ride, and going back to cable as soon as I can get it turned back on.


Dear Direct Tv,

I understand that I'm carrying a few extra pounds, and appreciate your attempts to help me with that by mis-programming my remote so I have to get up all the time to switch between the TV and DVD. Also, you are definitely fostering family interaction by kicking me off the internet every time you start to download something from on-demand. Your incredibly slow download time, which I understand is via partnership with Verizon's 'keep India's techs employed' program, makes sure that my husband and I get up to two hours of no-internet time as you download movies at the speed of snail. I know you tried to save me that trouble by not leaving me the wireless adapter for the DVR, so I couldn't download anything. Finally, I can see that your office appreciates their quiet time, too, as the installer unplugged all of my phones to use the outlets for the TV service, so I couldn't call out or get calls in until I realized that something must be wrong, and found my phones completely drained of power. That did at least save my internet for a few days, as I played phone games with your customer service folks, who gave me all sorts of strange information (no, you don't need a wireless connector for the DVR, it's MAGIC! and (no, we have one where you can just use the outlets - it's MAGIC!) before finally getting me to someone who told me that yes, I do need a wireless adapter, and yay! It's only $90! AND, thanks to him for recommending I go back to Best Buy and get a new wireless router, because DSL isn't actually fast enough to use your service as advertised! So, thanks, Direct, for making sure my family is forced to be together by removing our ability to phone, internet, and taking all our extra cash so we can't go out. You know just what we really need!

The Family that Does Everything Together, uh, Gets Sick of Each Other

Dear Best Buy,

Hello, dear friend. You were one of my favorite stores for years, with your shiny products and helpful employees. Sadly, I think you have one store that has fallen onto, shall we say, the Party Boat to Nowhere. I don't know who these lost souls are, but they know nothing about direct TV or, apparently, wireless networking, judging from the startled look on the face of the assistant (and I use that term loosely) that was listening to me explain my need for a wireless transmitter for my DVR. Yes, Dorothy, Oz has replaced the flying monkeys with wireless internet! I know I blew your little mind, but it's true! Sadly, the employee didn't believe me, and wouldn't get online and check, so I left the store empty-handed, to order it on the phone (again with the phone). I gave the store a chance to redeem itself later, when I returned to get a better wireless router for my DSL, and picked the router advertised as being $119 on the shelf. Imagine my shock when I found it was actually $169! I might have found out earlier that it was mis-shelved, but the entire department was too busy telling jokes and laughing to wait on any of the ten or so people shopping there at that time. They also might have been able to tell me that it wouldn't work with Vista 64-bit, saving me two hours' worth of frustration, but no matter. I needed the practice in non-explosive anger management techniques, anyway. I brought back your product, and you were amazed, but I figured you seem to like jokes so much, you would want to play one again on someone else. Have fun, and take care, because you and I won't be seeing each other for quite awhile!

Fool Me Once, Shame on You, Fool Me Twice, Goodbye You!


d e v a n said...

Sorry for all your frustration, but it did keep me laughing. Only because we had a weekend dealing with Radio Shack, Walmart and Knology so I feel your pain!

creative kerfuffle said...

i have firmly come to believe that customer service as we once knew and loved it is dead. i think it has been dying for years but this suckish economy helped it along in a dr. kevorkian way. people do not care if they are really helping the customer, they do not try to listen to your actual problem and the whole india thing drives me nuts. when i was working and we had amex corp cards it always amused and frustrated me that all of their customer service calls went to india. and the credit card companies who do phone solicitation to sell you insurance--none are in the u.s.
what a goat rodeo you've been to. i hope it all turns out.

Not Your Aunt B said...

Wow. All that went over my head so I guess I can apply for a job with Verizon as a customer service rep except I don't want to relocate to India. Hope it is all better and working and whatnot.

Kelsey said...

Oh my lord that does wound terrible... you need a tech free retreat to recover from those experiences!