J. Alfred Prufrock (freyr) wrote in bad_service,
J. Alfred Prufrock

My cable internet went out last Monday. This has happened before with some frequency, and usually it's just a temporary outage due to work on the local lines. I figured I'd give BH the benefit of the doubt, and waited until Thursday when I got off work to give them a call (I work 8-5 weekdays in a call center). This is where the lovely string of lies began...

The representative I first spoke with transferred me directly to the RoadRunner national help desk. There, someone walked me through the process of resetting my cable modem (which I knew wouldn't work since I'd already done it, but I was patient and went along with it anyway in case I'd missed a step). When that didn't work, the CSR said that it may be a local outage, and that they usually take 2 hours to 2 days to be corrected. Since it'd been out since that Monday, she told me to try calling back the next evening and checking on it.

I called back the next evening, and this time I was directly transferred to the national help desk without speaking to a local representative. This helpful person walked me through the modem reset again, just in case the lines had been fixed and my modem was still confused from the outage. This accomplished nothing, so he tried to transfer me to my local office. He had difficulty transferring me, so he left a message for the local office to call me back.

The local office called me back that evening and the representative told me that my cable was out due to the hurricane in Florida. I was sitting in Barnes & Noble talking to some people I'd just met, so I accepted the message and thought little of it. However, later, the reason stopped sitting so well with me. I called some friends and family that live within a few blocks of me. Their cable internet was still active with no problems.

I called BH again (they have 24/7 tech support). The person I spoke with told me that they could schedule a service call for Monday, and that I could call back the next day to see if a supervisor could get a technician out to my house on that day (they do some Saturday service calls) since I'd been lied to (be it by intention or ignorance). I called back the next day. No supervisor was there. The rep set me up for a service appointment on Monday evening sometime after 5:00 PM. The key thing here is that she told me THEY COULD SCHEDULE A SPECIFIC TIME.

The next day, I did my best to leave work a few minutes early and rush home. There was no "Sorry we missed you" note on the door, nor was there any voicemail on my cell from the serviceman calling it. I gave the call center another call to check the status of my order. The CSR said it was still in place and the serviceman would call me before he came over. An hour later, I gave them another call since I knew they stopped doing orders at 6:00 PM. The CSR told me that the serviceman had already been out there. Moreover, she notified me that they DO NOT DO SCHEDULED SERVICE TIMES.

I called back the next morning and managed to get a supervisor on the phone. I shared all the lies I'd been told, and she credited my account for a free month and organized the order with me to get it turned on in the afternoon. I left my apartment key with my mother, and gave the supervisor my mom's cell number as the contact number. Everything seemed to finally be in place.

I got my 3:00 PM break at work, and checked my voicemail. There were two messages from the serviceman. The first one said he called my home phone and it rang and rang with no answer, and that he was on his way out there. The second one said he couldn't wait around anymore, and that I'd need to reschedule. I immediately called my mother and asked if they had even called her. They hadn't. I gave her the account information and told her to have a go at them since I had to get back to work.

She was then told a few more lies. The technician claimed he had called her number as well as the others. However, she had the phone on the entire time waiting for her lawyer to call, and he left her no voicemail, which makes little sense since he left me two and was trying to get someone to meet him. Then she was told that they would send him back out there. I found all this out from her when I got off at 5.

I waited around until 5:45 and then I gave them a call. They told me the tech was not coming back out there. Woohoo, yet another lie. However, this CSR was extremely helpful in that she took the time to check with dispatch and a supervisor to see if they could get a standby tech to come out. When they couldn't, and after I'd told her my story, she gave me the name of the person in charge of the call center. I'm getting things straightened out with him today... yeah, right.

So, lie tally from Bright House:
1) cable out due to hurricane
2) service calls can be scheduled
3) lie on Monday saying that order was still in place to be worked that day after 5
4) (presumed) tech had already been out there when I called at 6, which seems unlikely given lack of voicemail and lack of "we missed you" placard
5) failure of tech to call phone number listed for the Tuesday appointment, when we were told he would
6) (presumed) tech's claim to have called the aforementioned number
7) tech would be coming out again that Tuesday

This is what happens when the cable provider's only competition is the local phone company's DSL, which hardly counts as competition.

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