Tuesday, July 28, 2009

On Cable Companies (Good News + Possible News)

First, the good news. Last Friday I mentioned that I was growing frustrated with my cable provider. After my service was installed (on 6/20) the cable wire was left laying out on the ground, a safety hazard and eye-sore. I called them back the next day, asking when it would be buried. I was told no later than 7/10. Once I got home from work on 7/10 the wire was not buried, so I called again. This time I was told that the people had up to ten days from 7/10 to get it buried and to give them until the 20th, which was a month. I obliged. On 7/21 I called back and was informed that a contractor company actually buries the lines, not the cable company, and to give them 24 hrs and they would call back. No one called me back, and on 7/23 I called back. They were rude and jerk faces about it, but I nicely pointed out that I've been waiting a month for the cable to be buried, that animals could chew on the cord and be injured, and that it was in my way for doing lawn-work. I was given the same runaround, only this time the man told me that he'd be honest with me (does that mean they weren't honest with me previously?) and that the cable company had permission to leave the cords laying there, that it was legal, and that they would try to get it buried before the end of the summer, while the ground was still soft. Outraged, I asked if that meant that it was okay if my pet chewed on the wire and got electrocuted, and they said "No, but we are allowed to leave it like that." That didn't fly with me, and I told them that I'd be ending my service if it wasn't taken care of very soon. Click. Then I emailed their Customer Service and Technical Help departments, complaining and telling them my story. In my emails I said that I would use my Facebook, blog, and YouTube to discourage everybody from going with the company, furthermore, that I would tell all my friends and family what kind of crappy service to expect and to recommend a different provider.

Finally (and here's the good news), when I pulled in the driveway yesterday after work I noticed that the cable was buried. I inspected, and they did a good job, not making a mess in my yard and cleaning up after themselves. Now I'm satisfied.

I'm a nice and tactful person. I think ahead before I speak. I keep my cool. But these cable folks were starting to wear thin the calm and clear-headed barrier. Thankfully I maintained my civility, but also got my point across.

I don't understand why it took so long or why I had to go through so much crap to get one wire buried. I'm sure the contractor's aren't that busy. If I had to guess, I'd say it's poor communication. Communication problems are the bane of life's existence. There are too many people to go through to get something done, too many middle men, too many in-betweeners. I like a good, direct chain of command. Unfortunately, life is no longer like that.

On a side note, I may be going on a business trip next week. If I can get in, I'll be taking a class to learn how to use a program that will help at work. I've used it before, but not very much and it's been a while. Wish me luck there.

(To be fair to the provider, I didn't mention their name, but you could probably get smart about it and figure it out, or just ask me, if you're really curious. Also, I don't actually have cable tv, just the broadband internet service, which still requires the same stuff.)


marky said...

Good luck on your business trip!

We might all have different cultures, but it's disturbing to see that cable providers the world over are still dishing out bad service.

We've have a company called BT here. They're terrible to deal with. The last time I tried to get a phone line connected, I spent over an hour on the phone to them, only to find out that it would cost me £250 for them to press a button. There was already a line there from the previous owner, so the charge shouldn’t have applied to me. Could I get that point across to them? Six phone calls later, I gave up.

To cut a long story short, I ended up just getting a mobile broadband dongle for when I'm in my flat. Which works fine, but I miss my online gaming.

I feel your pain.

logankstewart said...

Thanks, marky. How sad it is that the cable companies of the world are all difficult. Maybe one day we'll have a world where the air smells like warm rootbeer, the towels are always fluffy, where the Shriners and the lepers can play their ukuleles all day long, anyone on the street will gladly shave your back for a nickel, and the cable companies will all be nice, cordial, and responsive. Until then, we can only dream.