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March 6th, 2008

Phone solicitors

I'm not really sure if this falls under "bad service" or not, since it's not so much a service, as a soliciting phone call from a business, but...

Today my mom left the house and forgot to take her cell phone with her. I noticed this when I started to hear a "buzzzz buzzzz" coming from the dining room table. I left it alone since it wasn't my phone to answer, but it kept ringing and ringing something like once every fifteen minutes, so I finally answered it.

Me: Hello?
Solicitor: Hello? Hello?
Me: Yes?
Solicitor: I need to speak to [my mom's name]
Me: I'm sorry, she isn't here right now.
Solicitor: Do you know when she will be?
Me: Well, she's at work and left her phone at home by accident. She's working late tonight, so probably not until past seven. Could you do me a favour and call back then? Someone from your business has been calling her phone every fifteen minutes for the past hour or so.
Solicitor: No, we can't do that.
Me: Why not? I just told you when she will be home.
Solicitor: We are supposed to continue to call until someone answers.
Me: But I just answered.
Solicitor: You're not [name of mom]
Me: No, I'm her daughter, but she won't be home until past seven tonight. It is impossible for her to answer this phone until then. I have no way of getting the phone to her until she gets home.
Solicitor: We have to keep calling until we talk to her.
Me: Fine, then I'll be turning off the phone for the rest of the day.
Solicitor: [click]

Seriously, what was that? Why wouldn't they just accept that she wasn't home and to call back after seven when she was? And we still don't know what they wanted, either. They didn't call back after seven. Usually I can google the number and get what business it's attached to, but not this one.

And this is why cell phones need "call block" the way old land lines did.

lurker-turned-poster..

This is my first post here. *waves*

In August, my parents and I went on a little excursion to upstate, NY for my uncle's wedding. We had made reservations way way way in advance at this cute little motel with an awesome view, etc. So did my grandparents so we could stay at the same place and all that jazz. Long story short: it rained on the first night we stayed there. I woke up freezing cold and wet. Wonderful. We told the front desk about it and didn't expect to have anymore problems as long as it didn't rain anymore. But no..

The owner told us we couldn't stay in that room anymore. So now we were left with the trouble of finding somewhere else to stay for three days. this was all at 10am, so we couldn't even check in anywhere else for another few hours. We had to find another place and make new reservations all by ourselves. We stayed there 1/4 nights we were suppsed to.. the owner comped my mom 2 days and gave her a check for $25.

It just seems a little ridiculous that we had to pay for two nights, stayed one, and had to venture all around NY for three hours waiting to check in somewhere. Not to mention we were totally inconvenienced by being over 30 min. away from my grandparents [we were planning on driving them to/from the wedding cause it was dark/confusing/etc]. I'm just glad my camera/phone/nice clothes weren't ruined. I'm sure she wouldn't have cared.

*edited because I forgot to represent the familia.

Aliant...how I loathe thee...

My fiance brought this up yesterday and I thought it would be a good story for here.

So, Aliant highspeed internet...as far as I can remember, there have always been two ways you can get this hooked up. You can get a tech to come to your house with all the equipment and hook it up for you, or if you've already got phoneline access you can get them to send you the package and you can hook it up yourself. The tech charges a fee, so a lot of people will at least attempt to do it themselves.

I've chosen the "hook it up yourself" method several times now...I did it when I lived with my parents, I did it when I moved out with my best friends, I did it when I moved in with my now-fiance. There has never been an issue with it.

Until I moved to a different town for work. This isn't a major move, seriously...it's an hour's drive from where I used to live.

So I go to Aliant one day and say I want to hook up internet it my new place. She says okay, and starts filling out the forms. Midway through she asks me when I'd like my appointment for. I say, oh no, I'll just do it myself. Just send me the package.

This is where it starts to get annoying. She tells me that, sorry, we have to send a tech. Okay, why? She gives me absolutely no explaination other than the computer is telling her that for my address they have to send a tech. I tell her I would understand that if I didn't have phonelines or something, but I do, so why would it be any different than any other place I've lived? Also, I know it's not a matter of a certain type of lines being run or something because I live in a duplex and the guy on the other side has highspeed internet.

I promise I wasn't being a sucky customer, but I did try very hard to reason with her. I asked if appointments are availiable on the weekends. Nope, she said, only Monday through Friday between 8 and 4 (and they're all-day appointments, meaning you aren't given a time and have to sit there and wait ALL DAY hoping someone will eventually show up). Those happen to be the exact hours I work. I explained that to her.

At this point she was starting to get snobby. She told me that I'd "just have to take a day off". Now I was starting to get pissed but I still stayed as calm as I could and told her that I'd just STARTED the job two weeks ago and there was no way they were going to give me a day off already.

"Just tell them it's an emergency."

At this point I had to storm out before I said anything I'd regret. I didn't get my internet.

But the story gets more annoying.

I waited FOUR MONTHS without internet until my fiance joined me at our new house (he'd been finishing up a course where we used to live and we agreed it was stupid for him to travel 2 hours a day). Since he wasn't working yet, we scheduled the tech to come set up our internet.

On the day the tech was to come, I came home from work to find my fiance positively FUMING. Long story short? The tech had ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA what he was doing. He had plugged in the modem and stared at my computer for almost an hour before my fiance had come over, pushed him out of the way, and set up the internet for him. The tech himself had admitted that he didn't know how to hook up wireless internet (I have a laptop) and obviously my fiance did, so he didn't know why we didn't just order the do-it-yourself package.

End of the story? I called up Aliant and politely requested they cancel my tech installation fee. When asked why I told them the tech hadn't done a damn thing and my fiance had ultimately hooked it up himself. Guess what she asked? "Why didn't you just get the do-it-yourself package?"

We did get the fee overturned, but by the end of it I was restraining myself not to go back and strangle the woman who forced me to get a tech.

Dentist in NEPA

I moved last March to a new city, and got a new job. I work a very busy schedule, 8:30-5p.m., and have next to no time to take off for doctor or dentist appointments. So when I went looking for a new dentist, I took the advice of my mother and searched for one with after 5:30 hours or weekend hours. I was so pleased to death when I found a very, very close dentist that had Saturday hours! Great! I scheduled an appointment for a check-up.

Since I am a new patient and I had honestly no idea who my last dentist was (it was that long ago... I had no insurance between then and now so I just went without), so I got new x-rays taken. Turns out I have three cavities. So I made an appointment to get two of them filled on January 26th at 8:00a.m. (Can only do one side of my mouth at a time.)

Here is where the major suck beginsCollapse )

Cable Company

Here's another one from several years ago.

When we lived in an apartment in Coralville (part of the Iowa City area,) we had digital cable. MediaCom decided to rearrange the channel lineups so that Iowa City, Coralville, and a few other very close towns had the same lineup (they had all been different.) After the realignment, our digital box still showed the old lineup in the on-screen info (current channel & show, etc.) When we tried calling, we could never get through. Their phone system was too overloaded to even put us on hold - we got a busy signal. We later found out that in the month after the reset, they got over 2 YEARS worth of customer service complaint calls. So we drove to their office across town. They sent a reset signal. When we got home, the box then worked fine, until the next time we turned it on. We went down to the office the next day, to set up an appointment for a tech to come look at it. Just before the tech was supposed to come, they called us & sent another reset, and that again fixed it - temporarily. This happened three times. We were both working overnights, which is the only reason we had so much time keep dealing with them. Finally, we told them that we wanted a tech to our apartment, regardless of a reset signal beforehand. We set the appointment up for a couple of days later, between 8 & 10 am. My wife waited until about 12:45 before going to the office again (the phones were still overloaded.) The girl at the counter looked it up, and said that our appointment never got entered into the system, then giggled. Not a single hint of apology, regret, or remorse. We were there the next morning, returning the digital box.

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