Customer service in America

As I am writing this blog, I am on hold with my cable television provider. You may recall that I mentioned in passing a week ago that the sound was cutting in and out on my cable TV.  Well, I confirmed the sound was fine on the TV, and tried resetting the unit, and when that didn’t work… they reset something on their side and 24 hours later I had sound restored to my cable.

Everything has been fine in the interim, but here we are a week later, and on every channel I get about 2 words out of every 5 minutes of dialogue.  I actually have the TV sound “on” while I’m on hold, and I could hold an entire conversation with them largely uninterrupted… if anyone ever gets on the phone.

Because I have multiple services with the cable company, I can’t call them from my home phone. This is because if they have to reset anything on the account, doing so will temporarily reset my phone service too, disconnecting the call. So I have to call them from my cell phone.

Which makes the 1.5 wasted minutes it takes to navigate their phone system really aggravating.

Now I’ve been on hold for… (peeks at phone)… 12 minutes. I have yet to get any kind of message telling me how long I should expect to wait. But I have already heard 2 commercials superimposed over their hold music, suggesting that I expand my services with them (hmm… one wonders, “Are people calling in with problems super likely to be interested in expanding their services?“).

Super. Irritating.

(Pause for unpleasant exchange with “customer service.”)

I just had the rudest woman in the entire world (1) tell me that maybe I am not using HDMI cables with my HDMI cable box (um, yes, I am, AND they were installed by their technician when the whole system was replaced less than a month ago) and (2) maybe those cables are no good (but, I explain, I had this exact problem last week and someone there helped and reset my system) and (3) that they didn’t really do anything for me last week because there’s really nothing they can do about sound problems. But, she tells me with EXTREME attitude, I am welcome to unplug my system and let it reboot, and see if that solves it.

At which point, I had been on the phone with them for more than 20 minutes, and had had all the attitude I could take. I actually hung up on her, which is really not like me.  I’m not proud of myself. But I was getting so angry that I was ready to give some attitude back, and I didn’t want to go there.

It’s also a shame, because there’s a (dis)satisfaction survey after the call. Yeah, like I so believe they actually listen to our feedback.  The cable companies have a monopoly, the local phone company provider of TV and internet service has a terrible reputation too, and I’m not going to get a dish. So we’re screwed, and they know it.

It may in fact be that rebooting the system will resolve the issue (the process incidentally takes about 15 minutes, so I won’t know for a while).  Unplugging the cable box is the television equivalent of Control-Alt-Delete on the computer; something you really shouldn’t need to do, but what the heck; sometimes it helps.

But even if rebooting the system works, I don’t need that attitude from a company I pay every month to give me (subpar) service. I especially don’t need that attitude when I am paying AGAIN for the call itself, in the form of mobile minutes.

Such is the state of customer service in America.

On the other hand, I am sure that that Very Rude Woman has had to deal with really angry customers all evening long. It’s not her fault that technology is often crap, or that the cable company has the most infuriating phone system, or that there were ridiculously long hold times. She’s probably having a lousy work day because of stuff that’s mostly out of her control.

I am so thankful I’m not in tech support any more.  It’s a suck job.

OK, so I’m no longer irritated with her any more.  I still hate my cable provider.  But don’t we all, really?


About aka gringita
Flotsam generator. Amateur photographer. Avid traveler. Christ follower.

One Response to Customer service in America

  1. Pingback: The Days of Our Lives | Budget Nomad

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