Slide to Perdition Part 2

It didn’t use to be this way. I stand by this statement, this view of the world as I continue down my exploration of our Slide to Perdition or the Red Hat Series.

I am an independent consultant and I work out of my home much of the time, this means I have an office in my home. My office has two desks so I can work effectively on either my laptop or at my desktop computers. I have bookshelves full of books focused on what I do for a living. My office is a true working office, this is where the phone system for the house is hardwired and where the internet is hardwired, my server is here along with other backup. My office is the hub, if something goes wrong in my office we are in deep doodoo.

I love my office, I picked this space because it is in the front of the house and I have a big picture window. I can see when UPS drives up and when the neighbor’s dogs are running the streets (again). I can watch the Magnolia tree up the street bloom, it is beautiful and the teenager next door make-out with her boyfriend. All this being said, it is still my office. I spend a significant portion of my time in this one single room of the house when I am not with clients at their offices. This means my office must function, telephones and cable must work all the time and for this, I pay a very pretty penny.

Now, I don’t know about where you live but where I live there isn’t a competitive market for phone and internet services. Sure, you can get your television on Satellite or Dish, and there are a few different ways to get internet services each less reliable than the next. There are also several ways to buy land line services, but if you spend any amount of time on international calls, again these services become less reliable and more costly (always read the fine print).

When we moved to the Dallas area, we hunted for the best service group we could find at the best price. We had purchased a brand spanking new house so could add connections where we wanted and needed them. We settled

All the stuff you need?

on a bundled package from the only game in town, shocking I know but at the end of the day, they were the best price and the only one who provided all the services we needed. Only one problem, they failed to do the job they were paid for properly…..did you see that coming. Of, course you did.

Fast forward, three years after the original cable was laid I called them to mark the cable so we could add a walkway without cutting the cable. They marked it, no they didn’t. Their mark was 7 inches off and we found out they hadn’t buried the cable deep enough. Needless to say, my contractor cut the cable and I was suddenly without Internet or a landline. I called the cable company, here is the conversation:

Me: My cable has been cut and I don’t have service, when can you be out to fix it?

Cable Representative: Next week, our next appointment is Tuesday between noon and 6pm

Me: That is 6 days from now; I cannot be without Internet or phone service for 6 days. I run a business from my home and this will shut me down.

Cable Representative: We don’t show this as a business account. This is a residential account. There is nothing else we can do.

Caustic and Mean
With a Script

Me: Are you kidding me? If this were a business account when would you be out here?

Cable Representative: Tomorrow

Me: And how much more would it cost me to convert my account to a business account?

Cable Representative: $78 per month + taxes

Me: So, despite that it is your fault the cable was cut the only way I get service from your company is to pay $78 + taxes per month extra. If I convert today, will you be out tomorrow?

Cable Representative: Yes

Me: Fine, convert the account to a business account, immediately.

I take full advantage of my status as a business account holder. That day though, that next day when they came out to lay new cable I had my contractor there to watch them. He made certain they buried it to the correct 6 inch depth rather than what they had done before which was barely under the surface. He made certain they stayed right there while we tested every connection in the house, wouldn’t sign off the work order until we did.

The fascinating and twisted part of this entire situation was the complete lack of concern shown by this company for their customer. There are a few reasons there was no services to the house, they are:

  1. Their contractor had originally not buried the cable to the required 6 inch depth.
  2. Their contractor had not correctly identified the location of the cable.
  3. Frankly, they contract these services and do not hold their contractors to any standard.

I stand by my view of us as a nation. We are meaner and so driven by the bottom line we fail to value people. What if I had been a housebound person,

Where in Hades is the Fire Extinguisher?

someone with a health condition whose only access to the outside world was television, internet and the phone; I would have no access for 6 days because this company did not see me as important of valuable?

Is this what we are coming to; is this who we are? Worse, is this truly who we want to be?

Comments

  1. I’m sure you realize that one can easily have an entire blog dedicated to customer service. Good post!

  2. Sometimes, it’s a matter of who you speak with. Though, yes, the bottom line is the dollar for a lot of people. You can’t even ask a favor from family these days without their hand out. Eventually, they will need the favor back but it’s like, I want my due right now.

  3. You are so right, Valentine. “Their” fault jet the customer pays. Not the way business used to be done.

    I remember a time when the customer was right; the customer was well worth pleasing and hanging onto. When did the work ethic change? As I see it, it doesn’t cost more to do the job properly the first time. That’s my rant today.

    • You are absolutely right, it doesn’t. Unfortunately in the age of monopolies apparently it doesn’t cost anything to do it wrong either.

      I am so furious right now at several things I can barely sit in my chair in my office and work without shaking.

  4. I’ve been without service before when it was “their,” fault, and got the same runaround….wait a week. Twice this happen in at my country home and one time.
    What happen with you and your walkway…they should be paying for that mistake, oh wait….that’s right, they said it was not their fault, no doubt.
    Hugs xx

  5. Brava!!! Maybe once the GOP gets corporations all the rights of a real person, we real persons might get some real service? I think not, sad to say. Remember Ned Beatty sticking his head out the window and shouting something about not taking it anymore? Let’s get a flash mob thingy going, you know, like with Anonymous and the rest of the 99%
    I wonder what results that might bring. Again, little, if any, I fear. And there would probably not be any mainstream media coverage of it either.
    Damn… it looked good on paper!!!
    glad I found your blog, Val and nice to meetcha!!!
    🙂

    PS I think your rants are quite kind…

    • Nice to meet you as well. I am only just getting started, on the rants that is. I think the Red Hat series may turn into quite the Rant and Roll. 😉

      Perhaps if enough people add their own ‘yeah, remember when…..and what about….’ we might just start a trend. Believe me, it isn’t just the big stuff, I firmly believe it is the small stuff that is actually killing our society, one piece at a time. Striping our souls and killing our basic kindness.

      I am glad you found your way here, I have been checking in on you for a little bit of time now.

      Val

  6. Not what if. Without telephone you have no 911 capability. In the event of an emergency, without a traditional telephone (most people do not own one) you would have had no way to contact anyone via telephone or in the event of an emergency.

    No contact if you had a burglar. No contact if your hubs fell down the stairs. No contact if you had been ill. Zip. Six days my ass hurts. And my Verizon favorite song: Why not pay more?

    Well, because the service I have is not free, you azzhat. I pay for it and you do not provide it.

    Ugh.
    Red.

    • How many times have we danced this dance? Sung this song? My cell gets minimal service out here which is one of the key purposes of a landline….severe Azzhats.

      Val

  7. That is the GOP way — privatization! My father used to say “I’ve got mine, how are you?” sarcastically whenever a situation like this came up. I find myself saying it all the time now. (Ahhh, I have become my father.)

    Once when we had separate telephone and internet, our phone went out, so I contacted the phone company online. Their first question: “Why didn’t you call this problem in?” My response? “No phone, Sherlock.”

    You are right that it is only getting worse.

    • Yes, it is getting worse and still worse again. That is why have named the series the Red Hat Series. It didn’t use to be this way and for those of us old enough to remember when it wasn’t this way we are more frustrated, angrier and have cause to question ‘what the hell is wrong with this world’. Our children, they barely remember so might think this is the way it has always been. They accept this shambles we are leaving them.

      I simply believe we should be demanding something better.

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