Saturday, August 18, 2007

I Have a Corporate Bone to Pick
a.k.a. Ship High In Transit

Currently on the Corporate
Ship High In Transit List:




The entire time I am typing this blog, I am on hold with Sprint's customer [NON] service. It's a wonder I have any hair left. I have been a Sprint wireless customer for over 8 years now. so, you would think, in a world where it is so easy to switch cell phone providers, that they would honor a loyal customer. But, no, instead I have to sit on hold forever and ever. Last week, I went online and changed my autopay from my checking account to my business credit card. I almost only use my phone for business, so I wanted to be able to take it as a business expense.

Oh Yipeee - someone finally picked up the phone!

Ok back to the conclusion of my rant:

So, of course, they still billed my checking account instead of the Am Ex card. SO, I figure, I'm gonna' call them and ask them to switch the payment. Simple enough, right? Is everyone following me up to this point? Well, this is evidently a feat in India that rivals moving the Taj Majal one piece at a time. I spent a total of about 50 minutes (yes, five, zero) on the phone with this guy who just kept repeating the info that my payment went through on August 13th. "Yes, I know it went through on August 13th, I would like a refund to my checking account and it billed to my Am Ex card." Believe it or not, this is the short explanation. This guy just did not get it until a was screaming. And, I don't scream very often! Then, when it finally clicked for him, he's like, "Oooohhhhh, we cannot do that." WTF????? I should have got the hint when it took this guy about 10 minutes to verify my account information. So, I ask to speak to a supervisor - obviously the curse of death over at Sprint, especially to some guy who is probably sitting in his living room in India with no supervisor in sight. I get "disconnected" (a.k.a. hung up on).

I call back, and while on hold for 29 more minutes waiting to speak to a supervisor, I file the email complaint online, answer my emails, and start the rant here. I finally get to talk to a supervisor, who, hopefully has fixed it for me. For my reference, I have my case ID 4035203 here. Why does that have to take two hours of my life?

Now, before anyone gets their panties in a bunch over the India thing, I hope you understand how racially diverse of a person I am, I love all nice people, I just hate bad customer service, no matter what country you are in. : )-

Also, for anyone who is wondering, ship high in transit, is evidently the acronym for how the word got started (take the first letter of each word). Back in the day, when they used to ship manure overseas, they originally started by putting it down in the bottom of the ships (ewww) and would incur a problem when it would get too hot and expand (double ewww). So manure was then labeled "ship high in transit". Not sure how the abbreviation happened, or how it runed into a curse word, but this is just a story I heard. Makes sense, but you don't have to believe everything you read on the Internet.

Ok, now on to a long overdue bitch session about Comcast Cable. GRRRRRRRRRRR. . .

I was planing on complaining about them a while ago; for the purpose of (1.) getting things off my chest, (2.) alerting anyone else who will read to how much they suck and (3.) putting some bad press about them on the Internet. My ultimate goal would be for a Comcast executive or marketing level person to read this blog post and see what a customer has to put up with. And actually, now yet another reason: for Dani. : )
So, since I am already in rant mode about my issues with Sprint and because my friend and HR manager at my office, Dani had such an issue with trying to get her cable installed yesterday.

I'm not even sure what the outcome was yesterday, I just know that she was having a huge issue with Comcast. The installation guy was scheduled to come between 5:00 and 8:00 pm. He called her during her lunch wanting to know if he could come now because he wanted to leave work early. So, he wanted her to leave her job so that he could be done sooner. What professionalism and work ethic they possess over there at Comcast! At least Dani's work ethic is higher, so she didn't leave me hanging. : ) Then, he arrived at her house at around 5pm, and her daughter was home (we were still at work) and I hear her yelling at her daughter to tell the guy that he better install the cable! Evidently, he was trying to tell them that they can't get cable or something, even though everyone else in her apt. building has it. Dani was so mad, she left work and went home to talk to him, I wonder if he is still alive? If he made it, I am sure his ear drums did not. : )

So now on to my Comcast Horror Story. . . Over the years, I had quite a few issues with Comcast's technical service - not their actual cable service or their high speed internet access (which is actually quite good and fast). The problem always arrises when you need a technician to come out for something. AND, I use the word "technician" very lightly. A couple years ago we got a new cable box with the DVR in it and that was the beginning of the end of Comcast cable in our house. The issues started then, with the installation guys (we had several because no one could install it properly) not hooking it up right.
Q:Umm, isn't that the sole purpose of their job?
I also remember them bringing in a cable box that was not working properly - probably had something to do with the rings of coffee stains on top of the box - just a hunch?!? After that was resolved and I spent a long time on hold getting them to remove the "installation" charges from my account since Myke had to go down to the Comcast store and switch out the box and install the damn thing himself. He should be on their payroll, because he has done more cable work than all of their employees put together.

So, that incident blows over until January 2006. I bought Myke a new HD TV for Christmas 2005 and by the time it was delivered in January, I scheduled Comcast to come out and switch us to a hi def cable box and DVR. Well, they didn't do it right and pretty much screwed up everything again. I don't even remember the details at this point. I think it has something to do with memory loss associated with post traumatic stress. Eventually, we got everything ironed out with our living room TV and the whole frustration of the event cause by Comcast employees' eneptness completely overshadowed the joy my husband would have had over finally getting a big screen HD TV.

When we put in the new TV in the living room, we moved our 35 inch TV into the bedroom. It shared the cable connection with the hi def TV, and the reception was pretty bad. I watch a lot of TV in the bedroom since I record a lot of reality tv that Myke hates to see. Late last year, fed up with the bad signal, I called Comcast to put in a second cable DVR box. I had also complained about some issues we were having with the DVR recording repeats of shows, even though we select "new shows only", etc. And they told me to talk to the "technician" that comes out to install the box. So, the guy comes to install the box and says that the reason why I was getting such a lousy signal was because the last guy who hooked it up did not use the right type of cable. OMG! Grrrrr! I am glad that my head didn't explode by now! So, I end up getting the new cable box anyways, because I was using our very old Tivo which only could record a few hours. And I ask the guy to help me with the recording issues I am having and his response to me, I quote, "They don't pay me enough, so I can't afford that at home so I don't know how to use it." If you could only imagine my blank stare response. ????? Whatever! Maybe television was invented by the devil??? If I didn't love watching it so much, I wouldn't have to worry about this crap. Since the last issue, Myke has been bugging me about switching to satellite, which I don't really want to do, because I am happy with the Comcast channels and reception in general, we are almost never down.

So now fast forward to a few months ago. I see that Comcast has finally come out with their phone service and it is only $33 per month with a special that reduces both the cable and the internet bill too, so I am wanting to get this service even though I probably shouldn't be since their tech installers suck so bad. But, I almost never use our house phone - I don't really talk on any phone much at all other than for work stuff, so I am wasting the $50 per month on Bellsouth and it is going to save me an additional $50/month by reducing the Internet and cable bill too. So, the "technician" comes out to install the cable phone service, I take the day off work to let him in. He moves our phone with the answring machine into our office where the cable connection is, plugs the phone into the new cable modem he brought and says, ok its done. I say ok. Then, Myke comes home and first, is upset because why should the phone with our answering machine have to be all the way in the office? It's inconvenient in there. I say I don't know and I figured you would look at it and be able to move it. (Myke is so handy!) But, he can't move it and he checks the other regular phone in our bedroom that is plugged into the phone jack in the wall and it doesn't work.

So, I start this long three week process of trying to get Comcast customer [non] service on the phone. For a communications company, they are not very good at communicating, that's for sure. When I would finally get through to somebody in tech support, they would tell me they had to transfer me to the phone department and I would get disconnected. Several times, Myke or I called and kept getting disconnected. We would call back and wait on hold, finally get someone, and say, "please call me back if we get disconnected", because I keep calling, waiting on hold, finally getting somebody, explaining the problem and getting cut off. They would say, "Oh, I know, the phones are overloaded and randomly hanging up on people but we cannot call anyone back." Huh? Does anyone there care about their job or the company at all? Obviously not! One night, after not being able to get through, I go online to see if I can email them, I see they have online chat. Myke took over the chat after I got so fed up with the guy who was very nice, but very unhelpful. I was ready to reach my hand right through the computer and choke him. The total time we spent in online chat was about an hour and half, trying to get this guy to have someone at customer service call us so that we could set up an appointment for someone else to come out to fix the problem. He kept saying, we have to call in ourselves and he could not schedule it or have someone call us. Ughhh. the epitomy of frustration!

After about two weeks of futile trying, I finally got through to someone on the phone after midnight. At this point, I was so fed up, I ended up having them, not come and fix the phone service, but cancelled the whole thing, because after everything, they would not refund me the set up costs and the charge for [not] installing a new jack in the first place, they would not take into consideration that I now had to take another day off of work to be home for someone to show up during the "window" of time they give you instead of an actual appointment, etc.

Not only did we cancel the phone service, we now have Dish Satellite TV too. We ended up having to go down to the Comcast store in person, turn in the modem and turn in the cable boxes. Now the lady at the Comcast store was very nice and apologetic, but it was already too late for anyone to fix anything, satellite was already up and installed. She was kind enough to tell me that since we are keeping the Internet service, if we reduced down to basic cable, it would end up less than if we discontinued it all, so that's what I did. She told me that someone would be out to the house to adjust the box outside and downgrade the service to basic cable. She assured me that we did not have to be home or anything. Fine, right?

Wrong! As if all this that already happened was not enough, yet another brilliant "technician" shows up one morning a couple weeks later just as we are about to leave for work. He doesn't speak any English! OMG! He doesn't even speak Spanish, because then I could get by; unfortunately though, those are the two languages that I could tell this guy to take his cable and shove it up his culo. I answer the door and tell him he is supposed to downgrade the cable outside and I am not supposed to even be here, I have to leave or I will be late for work. He is shoving papers in my face and saying "box". I tell him we already turned in the box, he doesn't understand me. I slam the front door in his face. (BTW, I am not a morning person on top of everything else!) So, he knocks on the door again, this time, I answer it and he shoves his cell phone at me, because he had to call someone to translate. At least he got the message and we went to work. The next month, I see the bill to be even further enraged (if possible) that they charged my $13.00 for this visit. Luckily for Comcast, they removed this charge and it only took me one phone call. >: )

So, that is my long, sordid Comcast tale. If you have made it this far, you deserve a cookie!

You Deserve a Cookie!

And now, on to PepBoys . . .

I will make it very short:

They don't know what they are doing at PepBoys.

Do not take your car to PepBoys, or you will suffer.

They only escape a full rant because they did replace the bad air compressor they originally installed with one that has actually worked for a little over a month now, so I will end it here, for now anyway.


Tammie said...

OMG!!! Shari you are way too funny girl!! Personally, I would have gone through the phone lines the first time.

Patience is a virtue. I was born without that one.

BTW, don't feel bad. At least you don't have Advanced Cable Communications. They make the techs at Comcast look brilliant. Yup. You heard me right. Brilliant. Does that tell you what I have to deal with!?

Bill said...

Actually, the story about shipping high in transit is indeed not only suspicious, but plain ol' wrong. The story that shit came from an acronym is an urban myth, about as believable as those "we'll-get-rich-together" emails from Nigerian princes. Golf by the way, didn't start as an acronym either (supposedly short for Gentleman Only, Ladies Forbidden). The true story is a bit long, and I blather about it rather snarkily over at my web site, specifically this page: where I point out that "If the resulting word makes you blush, snicker or belch, the acronym-based etymology is false."