The Cable Stitch

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October 24, 2014 by phicks2012

TV-Head Gorilla-SI’ve been a Cable-TV customer for years now, and have always been happy with them. My internet is usually fast, my phone service is usually clear and reliable, and my cable reception is nearly always great. I’ve had a very few service interruptions due to technical, mechanical, or weather issues, but during the past year my supplier’s customer service — specifically in the (cross myself) “Billing Department” — has gone totally down the tubes. Their departments don’t communicate well with one another, and their “Billing Department” in particular seems to be staffed with idiots and incompetents — even those who actually speak English and can therefore understand what I’m asking or telling them.

Don’t get me wrong. I’ve had far less issues with Cable than formerly with Satellite, and I can call the “Tech Support” or “Repair” departments and can generally count upon my problem, whatever it might be, getting resolved despite the fact that their new platform is still somewhat “Buggy”. New Systems always are. However, if I have to call their “Billing Department” I feel that I am taking my life (and certainly my sanity) in my hands!!!

If a monthly bill arrives totaling more than expected, and certainly more than was quoted (sometimes WAY more), and I call to find out why this occurred — a simple inquiry, by the way — I will as often as not be connected to an out-sourced unit somewhere in Pakistan where an agent calling himself “Bobby” but barely understanding or speaking English will tell me that Premium channels have been added without my knowledge, or that charges have been added for equipment I don’t have, or for RE-activation of equipment that should never have been DE-activated. They always promise to correct the errors to the account, without changing any of my equipment or services, and then they promptly deactivate some or nearly all of my equipment– forcing me to spend DAYS on the phone being transferred, re-transferred, and repeatedly disconnected — trying desperately to get my services restored and my equipment reactivated without being charged again for services I’m already paying for, or for correcting errors that were totally the fault of the “Billing Department” in the first place.


In case you might be wondering, this has happened several times over the past year or so, and twice in the past two months, until the very IDEA of calling the “Billing Department” is enough to make me break out on a cold sweat (or hives), lose sleep, and contemplate (God Forbid) changing back to satellite that goes awry every time the weather gets bad or the wind blows the wrong way!

What I have discovered, in the course of these many frustrating and totally infuriating hours spent with a phone glued to my ear and my voice growing hoarse from repetition and volume, is that I cannot get anything except further grief if I deal with the rank-and-file customer service agent in the “Billing Department”, especially if they have a thick foreign accent. Matters will only go from bad to worse — to WORST, if I go that route. No, I have to DEMAND to speak to a Supervisor or to an Escalation Specialist to get ANY thing, even the simplest issue, resolved without having the problem made vastly worse, and sometimes I still have to go through several transfers to accomplish this, because they either do not comprehend the word “Supervisor” or just really don’t want to connect me to one.

At this writing I “think” I have finally resolved my latest “Billing Debacle”. My boxes are all working again, my internet is working, my phone is working, and I have been assured by an Escalation Specialist named Marvin (this might actually be his real name, and I have his agent ID # written down for future reference, by the way) that my monthly bill will total a specific amount (INCLUDING taxes and fees) for the next year.

It remains to be seen, of course, whether my equipment will REMAIN functional (but since it’s all still working a week later I have more confidence in that regard) or whether my November bill will be as quoted (I’ll have to wait for that one), but for now things SEEM to have been addressed, and I’ve been promised that the Escalation Specialist (Marvin) will monitor my account to make CERTAIN no other ridiculous or unwarranted charges or changes to equipment are added as a result of our most recent confrontations.

Keep your fingers crossed for me though. I may well be ranting again next month!


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