I don't really know where to begin. I don't usually use my blog for crazed rants - do I? But the mere mention of my cable company is enough to get my panties in a wad and I know I am not alone in this reaction.
Once or twice a year (thanks to the ever advancing world of technology) I am subjected to my cable company sending me new AND IMPROVED equipment under the guise that it is a simple set up process.
Now before I go any further, let me mention that my cable company also provides me with Internet and home phone service. I know - I use the landline a couple of times a week so why bother? I guess I just have too much fun dodging telemarketers!
I recently hit my annual renewal anniversary. Every year my heart stops when I get that first bill with the new fee and every year I call to beg, borrow and steal my way to a lower rate. At times, I've almost considered offering sexual favors for a lower rate plan. (RELAX, I said ALMOST!) This year was no different as I stood in shock upon opening the statement revealing the new amount had now successfully crossed over the $200 mark. That's right - over $200!!!
As usual I called to inquire about getting back on a promotional rate. I spent 45 minutes on my cell trying to earn the man's sympathy. When that failed, I threatened to call another provider from my home phone (see it does come in handy!)
"That's right, I am dialing your competitor right now!!!" I exclaimed. But this guy didn't seemed fazed by my threats. Finally, I heard him sigh......
YES!!! I was wearing him down.
"I can't offer you a lower rate, but I can give you much more for only 4 cents more a month," he said.
"Okay, you have my attention. Continue."
He went on to say that he could get me on their top plan with all the paid movie channels, higher Internet speeds, and free DVR for virtually the same price.
Long story short......I agreed and for the additional one-time rate of only $9.95 they would send me my self-installation kit. Seriously? They're charging me to install the equipment myself??
"It is easy," he said.
Yeah, this guy clearly didn't know that I had been down this road before. I hooked up their equipment multiple times in the past and I am quite competent doing so. Yet there is always - ALWAYS - a glitch that requires more than one phone call to customer service. Even then a technician is required to come out to my house 9 out of 10 times after failed attempts at fixing the problem remotely. (However, the insane installation fee of $65 is waived at this point - I'm brilliant, I know!)
A couple of nights later there is a knock at the door - my self-installation kit had arrived!! I will admit, opening the large box to discover four smaller boxes inside was a bit intimidating. But I got this, I told myself.
I was so gung-ho I decided to start right away.....well, not right away......after pouring my first of what would not be my last glass of wine during this process. I carefully removed all the boxes and took stock in what lay before me. At the very bottom of the main box I found crucial instructions that stated I MUST start by installing the new modem before hooking up the cable boxes.
I will save you the gruesome details of what happened next......but two hours, two phone calls, and for simplicity's sake let's say "two" glasses of wine later my phone and Internet were up and running. I even successfully changed my WiFi network name and password. Ah, my network names......let's just say that they are not G-rated and are indicative of my feelings toward my cable company.
The next morning I decided to tackle the cable hook-ups to three televisions. However, the minute I activated the main cable box, the Internet and phone went out. And it was too early for wine!! Dare I say that nearly four hours later and three phone calls that had me speaking to various departments for over two hours (Yes, I am serious!) all services were finally functioning. Well, I mean everything except the one remaining problem that required a technician to come out the following day. What did I tell you? It never fails!
Exhausted but relieved my services were finally up and running, I returned my friend's call using my cell when my landline rings. I looked at the caller ID and knew immediately it was the cable company. WHAT DO THEY WANT NOW?? I think you will agree that up until this moment I had been very patient, right? Notice there was no yelling, no cursing, and no throwing of equipment.
I answered the phone with more than a bit of agitation in my voice and the representative starts giving me the spiel that he is calling to ensure all my services were working properly. I take a deep breath and tell him a technician was coming out the following day to fix one remaining issue. He says, "If I can just have a few minutes of your time I am sure I can fix the issue remotely."
At this point I was DONE! Overall my tally totaled 6 hours, five phone calls (NOT including this recent call) and "some" wine. How dare they call me and ask for one minute longer. I explained that I was on another call and could not waste one more minute on this. He persisted.....oh...I was not in the mood. "Sir, this is not a good time. I just spent all morning on the phone with your company and no one was able to fix the issue remotely."
"I only need 5-10 minutes of your time," he snapped back condescendingly.
"Really, are you seriously going to give me attitude after all I've been through to get the services functioning at all," I said noticing my voice escalating.
"Ma'am if you would only calm down......."
AND THERE IT IS, FOLKS!
Let's reflect on his statement, shall we? I am not sure where this man was from, but he clearly missed the memo that states telling anyone, especially ME, to "calm down" is not going to be beneficial to his health. Would you agree? The moment those words left his mouth, I heard nothing else he attempted to say.
Meanwhile, my friend was still on speaker phone and I heard her gasp out of concern for the verbal beating this man was about to take. Two days and several hours of pent up frustration with the entire process just let loose!
The conversation did not last long after that. Are you surprised? All I know is that he told me he would call me back at 6 p.m. - which started me on a whole other rant. Who the hell is he to tell me when he is going to call me back.
I ended the conversation with, "Call me back at 1:30 - understand? 1:30!"
I never heard from him again. I wonder if the poor guy turned in his notice and left work with his tail between his legs. All I know is that I doubt he will EVER tell me to calm down again!
I know I am not alone. What is your worst cable company story?
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