By: Donna Hale Chandler
TO SWITCH OR NOT SWITCH, THAT IS THE QUESTION
Wouldn’t it be nice if, when you have trouble with a particular company, you could pick up the phone, talk to ONE real person who actually has been trained to take care of you and do-it-right-the-first-time?!?
Some years ago, (maybe A few years ago) we made the decision to move from one TV/ telephone/internet provider to another. It didn’t seem to us to be a major undertaking but once on this road, there was no turning back. Unfortunately, it would take a novel to tell the full story of our nightmare so I’ll try to keep it short and sweet; actually, it’s not very sweet. It went something like this.
Feeling that we were paying too much for TV/phone/internet service from Company C, we called Company D. After listening to their well-rehearsed sales pitch, we agreed to switch our service. This momentous decision that was to save money was made on February 7, 2012.
The first step was to send an Inside Lineman to our home to make sure we were getting a good signal from the existing wiring. As it turns out, we were NOT. That meant an Outside Lineman had to come and see what was wrong with the line coming from the pole to our home. The line was replaced (on the second trip) and still no signal. Another Outside Lineman had to check the line from the main box to the pole behind our house.
Are you beginning to get the picture? It is now February 24 and we have, as yet, not had service. For those of you considering switching your TV/telephone/internet service to Company D, let me save you some time and tell you who you need to talk with to make the move much smoother than ours.
Call their 800 number. Be sure you have several hours to spend on hold or being transferred from person to person. Allow time for being disconnected and having to start all over again. Be prepared to have your order confused/delayed more than once and be sure to have a spare phone handy because it is unlikely that you will get through this process on one battery. You will need to talk to Rob, Vicki, Matthew, Ben, Paul, Jimmy, Brian, Ronnie, Ryan, Stephen, Jacob, Ian, Mark, Aaron, Troy, Julie, Valerie, Rosa Jena, Juliana, Cherina, Frank, Amos, and if I’ve left anyone out, I sincerely apologize. I was so silly as to believe that this would be easy and started out not bothering to write down employee names.
You know what? On second thought, if you find yourself thinking about making this kind of change, JUST SAY NO, and fix yourself a bowl of ice cream instead.
Note: In order to not sound as if Company D is a complete and total experience in incompetence. I should also list a few things that they do extremely well. Every single employee, whether on the phone, in our back yard or standing in our living room was very well trained in apologizing. The conversation would start with, “I’m so sorry you’re having a problem,” and end with, “I’m so sorry I was unable to help you.” It appears that Company D excels in training their employees to apologize. Perhaps there are even company workshops stressing this action. I may be wrong but perhaps some training in Getting It Right the First Time would be beneficial.
The second action that all employees had down pat is ‘taking your information’. Whether you talk to two or twenty employees, each one must have your complete name, phone number, address, last four of your social security number, your favorite restaurant, mother’s maiden name, how many cups of coffee you had that day and whether or not you had sex the night before. After giving your life history and promising your first born, you must start from the beginning and explain your problem to each and every person you talk with. I’m just an ordinary female with perhaps less than ordinary technical skills but it seems to me, that in this day of amazing technology, information just might be able to be stored and passed from person to person the same as passing along the phone call. Maybe not ……. That would probably be much too simple.
And on that last note, I shall retire and take my newly prescribed blood pressure medication. Hmmmm, wonder why I suddenly have high blood pressure.