Monday, 12 September 2011

Satellite, Bills, and Dumb Customer Service

Help us welcome Shaunna Wolf today. Who hasn't wanted to reach out and strangle someone? (g)

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I started out writing this about the twisted hand of fate, well, then I had to deal with a truly amazing satellite technician. So I thought I would share. We have all had to deal with flipping idiots on the other end of the phone or chat window, feel free to insert other f word for flipping. Please do.

Whatever home entertainment selection you have it costs $$$, big $$$, unless you just use Netflix or have a small channel package. We have the top package with our satellite provider with three movie channel packages. One we get for free as a customer loyalty gift for a year. So you do the math on what I pay for service. Is it too much to ask for service in return?

Six years ago when we had the dish installed, I loved their service. The guys came out the day after we moved into the house and got everything set up. I wish I had changed the way the people before us had the thing set up, but that is a different story. Having come from town and cable and all its hidden costs, the dish seemed like a gift from the gods.

Flash forward to this provider becoming more and more popular. We had a problem with the dish being blocked by a willow tree--I never expected the thing to be more than a large bush--I live in hot-as-hell- Texas after all--you know that commercial for the fancy water where everything is melting? Well that's about like it is here. Anyway, I had not used the dish mover option, so they came out to move the dish. (Note: this was in the winter so it wasn't blasting hot, the hot was for the tree, not the dish.)

The guy had tobacco juice running down his beard and smelled like he had not taken a bath in a month. I wanted to offer him use of my shower and deodorant, but then I would have had to sandblast my shower afterwards. The dish got moved, he checked that we had a signal, and he left. Thank god for air-freshener. That night: no signal. We go out and discover that he left the cables just flapping in the wind, and they had come undone from the one leading into the house. I had to anchor the cable to the eves as well.

Six months later enter the chat tech from the land of "I am so stupid it is a wonder my head doesn't implode from the 1.5 brain cells I have bouncing around in there trying to find each other." Make that 2 chat techs a level 1 and a level 2. Twiddledee and Twiddledum anyone?

Note: they send you the chat text in an e-mail. I have edited to remove info like account pin etc., but this is basically how it went.

Ivan: How can I help you today?

Shawn: I am having a problem with my remote. The RF signal for TV 2 is not working right, we have to stand right in front of the receiver for it to work. The infrared part is working fine, it turns the TV on and off and controls the volume etc. but it is like it doesn't have any range. We have replaced the batteries, I tried two different brand new sets and it didn't make a difference. I also used the online troubleshooting guide and tried the steps listed there, nothing worked. If I stand right in front of the receiver it will work sometimes.

Ivan: OK, we will fix this for you today. Can I have your phone number please?

Shawn: I give him the phone number and then he asks for the account pin and billing address. I give him all that info.

Ivan: Ok, we will fix this for you today. Can you please describe to me fully the problem you are experiencing?


Shawn: I cut and paste the stuff I put in earlier.

Ivan: Ok, we will fix this for you today. (Again: really?) So I understand you are having a problem with your remote. Can you please tell me when did you last replace the batteries?

OMG. Really? Are you kidding me? Did I not just tell this guy twice that I had replaced the batteries twice?

Shawn: I replaced the batteries, twice. I also did all the online troubleshooting steps. It is still not working right.

Ivan: (who is now in my mind Ivan-the-Stupid) Ok, we need to address your remote that is why it is not working.

Really? That is the second thing the online troubleshooting asks you to do.

Shawn: I've done that already. It didn't help.

Ivan: Ok, not to worry, we well fix this for you today. Can you please go to the system info screen and give me the number in the white box in the middle of the screen, it starts with R00.

Shawn: The remote is not working correctly, I can't get to that screen, and the TV is now stuck on the weather channel.

Ivan: The system info button is on the left side of the remote.

Are you kidding me???

Shawn: I know where the button is. The remote is not working. That's why I called. I cannot get to the screen--or anywhere else for that matter. The receiver is on the weather channel, and I can't get it to let me change the channels!

Ivan: (you guessed it) Ok not to worry we . . . . I will look up the info I need on your account. Can I have your phone number, and the billing address, then I will need your security pin?

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh--I fell like that credit card ad where the guy keeps saying hello my name is Peggy.

Shawn: I repeat all the info I already gave him, then he says just a minute. He comes back in about three minutes.

Ivan: Good news, I have found the problem. You have voluntarily disconnected your services due to past due bills; this is why your remote will not turn on your receiver. (He then goes into how much it will cost to reconnect my service once I have paid the past due bills.)

I am feeling the burning edges of murderous rage creeping up past my eyeballs. I want to reach through the screen and throttle this guy. I want to beat him with the non-working remote.

Shawn: Say what? We have not disconnected our service, and we are not behind on our bill. We have never even had a late payment--THE DISH IS ON--WE HAVE SERVICE! IT IS THE REMOTE THAT IS NOT WORKING, NOT OUR SERVICE.

Ivan: Please check your caps lock key, I think you must have hit it. I am looking at your account, and it says your service was disconnected in 2004, voluntarily when you got behind on your bill.

WTF? OMG? I now have a headache. Does this guy not know it is 2011? Does he really think I waited from 2004 to 2011 to call and pretend I was having a problem? What about the installation in 2005? What about the dish move in 2010, what about the new remotes we have ordered over the past 6 years?

Shawn: We didn't even have your service in 2004. I am about to cancel my service right now and switch to your competitor. Please get someone who knows what they are talking about.

Ivan: I will get you a service tech 2, but I need some info before I send you to him. (And you guessed it--we go around about the R00 number, and he asks for all the account id info again.)

Another tech comes on the chat window.

Mike3: I understand you think you are having a problem with your receiver?

Ahhhhhhhh, I think my hair is on fire my head is so hot.

Shawn: I don't THINK I have a problem with my receiver, I know that I DO NOT have a problem with my receiver. I am having a problem with the remote. (I paste in the stuff from the top about the problem)

Mike3: I need the R00 number to make sure we have the right account, because I am showing you have a delinquent account.

Shawn: Ok, look. I do not have a delinquent account. Period. I didn't have your service in 2004 or even live here then. The problem is with the remote. I have said that. And since the remote is not working right, I can't get to the R00 number. I have given you our name and address. Is the name the same on the account you are looking at?

Mike3: Let me check the name on the account.

I wait a few moments then he comes back to the chat window.

Mike3: We will fix your remote problem today. Please walk up to your TV 2 and the receiver. Push the system info button and then the sat button and then record. (He's telling me how to address the remote on a remote that does not work.)

Shawn: Did you find the right account info?

Mike3: Have you followed my instructions to fix your remote?

OM freaking G! I scream fuck fuck fuck several times, so often and loud that my daughter comes out of the office just to be sure I am not going to explode all over the living room and leave a mess she will have to clean up afterwards.

Shawn: I've been through all the troubleshooting steps. I've replaced the batteries, I've tried to readdress the remote--IT DOESN'T WORK. We have equipment insurance. Did you find the correct account?

I am now more worried about them thinking I need to pay them 400 plus dollars on an account that is not mine or has nothing to do with me than my stupid remote not working.

Mike3: Since you cannot stand in front of your receiver to fix this we will have to send you a new remote, can I have your phone number and address please, and I will need your account pin for security purposes . . .

My new remote will arrive in 3 to 5 business days since it will be shipped 2 day blue express and they assured me that it was a pleasure dealing with me. Did I ever find out if they had the right account? I had to ask the guy three more times if they now had the right account. He simply said yes, no apology--nothing.

I think that by the time I get the new remote, I will have the competitor's system installed.

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Jezren Darksky left Earth behind for the lure of the stars, and to escape her life on the streets. Accepted into the renowned Night Bird Warrior's Guild she never expects to find the love of her life in the form of an alien man and then lose him. After chasing three fugitives across ten worlds, and nearly losing her life in the process, Jezren returns to the Guild Home world to mark her husband's death. Lonely and guilt-ridden, Jezren makes a discovery in the arms of another non-human man that will change her life forever.


"You shouldn't have tried to touch my sword. If my hand hadn't been on it..." She poured another shot of whiskey and tossed it into the fire. The flames flared brightly, lapping up the alcohol in a quick burst.

He reached with a serpent's speed and caught her hand. "I didn't want to touch your sword..." He cleared his throat and grasped her hand tighter. "I have to touch you," he whispered.

Jezren made to pull her hand out of his. He touched his lips to the back of her hand. Very slowly, his tongue slid over her flesh, long, thin at the tip getting thicker near his lips. Like his lips, it was a lighter shade of blue than the rest of him and cat rough. Jezren sucked in a breath, quick, hard-she made a small attempt to take her hand away.

He continued to stare at her, his gaze locked with hers. His ice-blue eyes now looked tinged with purple. Whiskey fire burned through her insides and streaked into her loins when he wound his tongue around one of her fingers, not just once, but in two blue swirls. He slowly pulled it back into his mouth-sliding it off one finger before circling the next one.

Jezren shivered, sure her sudden desire would be soaking the chair seat soon. Using her free hand, she took a sip of the costly amber liquid in the small bottle. She'd already had too much, not so much she couldn't think for herself, but enough that he, with his seductive tongue, had won her will.

"Perhaps," she whispered, "I should know your name." He continued to wrap and unwrap his tongue around her fingers. He turned her arm and pushed her sleeve up so he could lick the inside of her arm.

"Names, what does a name really matter?" he asked without stopping his attention to her arm.

She gasped, aware of others in the room staring at them even though she'd closed her eyes, the heat growing between her legs hotter already than the fire in the hearth. When he stroked his nails down the now sensitive flesh of her arm, she sat up straight and stared directly at him. She reached to touch his braid-her fingers meeting with smooth strands of silkiness. He laughed in a soft way that sung on her nerves and made her squeeze her legs together in self-pleasure. She could no longer sit still.

Shifting positions, she pushed the bottle to the side and leaned toward him. "I have a room," she whispered.

Catching her by surprise, he pushed his mouth against hers. His tongue rasped across her lips, probing, but waiting for her permission. She parted her lips and let her tongue touch his. His mouth tasted sweet, overlain with the smooth touch of the whiskey. Only by pushing against his chest with her palm could she make herself move back from him.

A flash of laughter came to her, Din'arik's. Jezren had repeated an oft said thing among the humans at the academy-Din'arik resembled a demon-who knew what he might expect from a human woman or what his "thing" might be like. So many of the human women who came to the academy were such proper prudes. Among the students, there had been two groups-those who stayed with their own kind, and those who deliberately sought out other races for both friendship and partnership. Jezren had almost learned the hard way that not all races were compatible with each other-barbs being the least of it.

His musical laughter came again, and at last his deep voice, shaking, almost unsure. "Lady, you will enjoy me-I have been with human women before," he told her. His tongue went around her fingers again, promising pleasure in other places.

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Patricia said...

Your post was absolutely hilarious! Of course we've all had our clashes with service personnel and I hate it when I have to argue with someone over the phone who isn't listening to what I've already told them a gazillion times! But, I must confess, the worst was when I argued with a manager at a Big 5 Sporting Goods store and ended up yelling "F** you" before walking out. He yelled the same thing back! Needless to say after I phoned management and was referred to another branch, I got my way!

Terri Talley Venters said...

I can't stop laughing! We've all experienced more than our fair share of idiots! But as Ron White says, "You can't fix stupid."

Faith said...

ROFLMAO!!! As always you crack me up!

And yes, I've dealt with several idiots like that. I went through 3 months of pure hell trying to get our land line phone company (who I got rid of and went to cell phones) to understand that I needed Internet service and that we did not live at the old address, which they should know since THEY'RE the ones who updated our acct and shifted it over to this address.

Shaunna Wolf said...

An addition: once we got the new remote I could not get it to work and went through another session with another idiot tech person.

It was surreal, I'd say something then they would ask me the exact thing I had just told them I did.

I think my blood pressure rivaled Mt. St Helene's by the time I got off the phone with them.

Since then I have switched to the other provider and i am liking their service much better. We had an issue with the internet connection and when I called they actually treated me like I had a brain.

The other dish provider when i canceled my service wanted to know why I did, I told them the story and they said, we don't want to lose a valuable customer such as yourself, we will send you a new remote.

I lost it and screamed at the guy.

Anthology Authors said...

HAHAHAHAHA, Shawn. They were going to send you another remote as a way to keep you from leaving? Wow! Um, just wow! HAHAHAHA

I've had numerous encounters with stupid customer service reps. As we live in the city, we don't have to deal with Dish if we don't want to. We have a few options. It's nice to have those options.

Cassie Exline said...

Shawn, loved the post, hate that it happened to you. Of course that's why I still use an antenna. Yep, I'm a rare breed. My tech issues are usually with the phone company and my DSL high speed connection. Trust me, high speed is just two words with no meaning to those people. The last bout, I told the repairman to stay put, that I was locking up my office and coming home. We had a lovely in person face to face conversation. I love my new router and the service "So far" -- I'm not delusional -- has been great.

P.A.Brown said...

The worst one I had was with this well known VOIP phone company. For 2 years I had no problems with them. In that time I moved twice. I moved a third time and took the equipment with me, thinking it would be a snap to just set it up again on the new Internet I had.

It worked for a bout a week, then off and on for another week or so. I called the help desk (which on the rare occasion before had indeed gbeen helpful)

They ran me through a set of steps, which I did. Didn't work. Now mind you all this is via email, since HELLO, I DON'T HAVE A PHONE. I kept getting more and more frustrated. Finally they sent me a new modem.

Great I thought. Now it will work. It still didn't. Yet every time I sent an email detailing exactly what I had done I got a response outlining the steps to take -- the same steps I'd already done a dozen times.

It was like they were stuck on a carousel. They couldn't change their troubleshooting past step 1, 2 & 3. And I never got anyone higher up to suggest or try anything. They were a brick wall. I gave up on them. Which is a pity because all my long distance calls in North America were free and that was really great.
But not worth the trouble those useless a-holes put me through

Shaunna Wolf said...

Stuck on a carousel, yup that's exactly what I felt like with Dish. They drove me absolutely nuts. NO matter what you said you did each person that came on the line started from the same place, have you changed the batteries?

And then go through the whole, give me this number and then tell me to push this button on the remote even though the remote is not working.

I was about ready to smash something.

Lorie Shewbridge said...

Just so you know I am not laughing AT you I am laughing WITH you. We had such a fiasco when we had our new HD dish installed. It took 9 hours and 2 technicians along with a phone call to the company because I needed a translator.
BTW, how disgusting of the "dish moving" guy. {{{SHUDDER}}}

Big Momma said...

Ha! I'm going through something similar in ebay. I had to open up a 'case' because I returned something and didn't get my refund. The customer service bloke told me I would need to return the item before I got my refund. He even got the name of the seller wrong and I won't even go into his spelling and grammatical errors. o_O

Fiona McGier said...

This is why we don't have cable or satellite dish TV. I don't watch TV at all, and husband is content to watch whatever drivel is on the old-timey stations showing reruns from the 60s, if he's in the mood to veg. The kids are busy upstairs using their computers to find whatever they want to watch.
Too much hassle for not enough reward!