It has been a very stressful week. To explain what happened, I have to go back about 10 days.
We had an extra cable box on a TV that we were not using in a bedroom. I discussed turning it in to our cable company with Hubby. After all we were paying about $11.75 every month for it. So that was money that we might as well have been burning. He agreed it should be turned in.
So about 10 days ago I took it on the recommendation of our cable company to UPS who ships it back to the company. However, even though our current bill was made out 3 days after that, we had been billed one month in advance for the box. So I called the cable company and asked why that was. The representative advised that they did not show the box as having been turned in. I gave her all of the appropriate numbers that they needed from my receipt and she opened an investigation and gave me a case number. She said I would get a response within one week. So I marked my calendar to follow up with them if I had no answer within that period.
It was exactly 7 days into the investigation when we got an e-mail saying they had found the box and had credited our bill. At the same time, I got a telephone call from the company. I answered our landline phone and there was no one there. So I hung up. Then the phone rang again from the cable company and when I picked it up, I got a screeching sound. Having worked in the telecommunications industry, I recognized pretty quickly that our telephone line was dead and it seemed like the cable company had done it. Sure enough at the same time the telephone went dead, we got another e-mail stating that they had worked an order to disconnect our telephone. It was 6pm in the evening and we did not want to go without service through the night. We have an alarm system that is monitored via that landline.
Fortunately we have a cellphone and so I called the company on their customer service number. I explained the situation to two representatives who ended up disconnecting me while they had me on hold. I called the third time and got a man who helped me. He put me on hold for the longest time and came back and told me that the company had accidentally cut our service. Why, he did not know. But he said that he would transfer me to someone who could turn the telephone back on.
He transferred me to a woman who advised me since we had a legacy service they could not turn it back on until we migrated to their service. You see a few years ago our cable company was bought out by a larger nationwide company. Our regulatory agency made them keep the service we had had with the other company even though they had their own. So many people stayed with the legacy service because it was cheaper. Now because the company made a mistake, they had no way anymore to turn the legacy service on. Their service was going to cost us about $ 20. more than we were paying even before they credited back the box I returned. After being on the telephone for one hour with the company, when I heard that, I gave the rep to Hubby to talk to.
When he realized they couldn’t put our old service back, he told them to migrate the service to the new but he was not a happy camper especially when they told him how much it was going to cost. He just wanted the telephone back on. So the rep migrated the service. However, when they did that, the internet switched to the high speed and the cable TV switched but our DVR would not work. But most importantly, the telephone did not come back on.
That started a series of being transferred to many, many people in over 8 different states who could not figure out why the telephone didn’t come back on. The last person we talked to told us that until we signed some form that stated we accepted the companies terms and conditions, which we had never been told about or seen, he would not turn the telephone back. He told my husband with a very harsh tone that he was giving him an ULTIMATUM. Well, Hubby told him he was not happy about his choice of language or his rudeness.
But he marched on and asked the rep for a copy of these terms. The rep said I don’t have a copy. Hubby told him to find out how we could get a copy. After the rep put us on hold yet again, he came back and gave hubby the web address where he could find them. Hubby pulled them up and started to read them. Of course, it was written by a lawyer so it was not easy reading and it was very long. He told the rep to stay on the line while he read them and when he signed them, the rep could turn our service back on. The rep hung for a few minutes and then told Hubby he had to release us and hung up. The time was 12:30AM.
So there we sat after 5 and 1/2 hours on the telephone trying to get our telephone turned on with no telephone service. At this point we were very cranky and tired. Yes, we are patient and determined people. Hubby continued to read the terms and I told him lets go to bed because he was tired and I was exhausted. So off to bed we went with no telephone or monitored alarm system.
When I got up the next morning, we had two texts from the company, telling us we had to sign the terms and agreements or no service. At that point, I had had enough. The minute our state regulatory commission opened, I called and filed a complaint against the company. Well they do not do things the way we used to when I worked there. The man told me that they would send the complaint to the company but that the company had two days to respond to us. If they didn’t, to call them back and then they would investigate. UGH! Just the thought of being without telephone service for many more days was really stressing me out.
So Hubby contacted my son to see if he could find the e-mail of a higher up executive in the corporate office of the cable company. My son being a CIO has always been able to get us that information. He quickly gave us the e-mail of the top two ones. Hubby sent an e-mail explaining the situation and his displeasure.
In less than an hour we got a call from a man in the corporate offices in another state who gave us his name and telephone number. He said he had been given the complaint by the higher up and they also had the state complaint. He had me summarize all that had gone on and apologized for the poor customer service and the 5 and 1/2 hours we had been on the telephone with no results. He also told me not to worry about signing the terms and agreement. That didn’t have to be done. He told me that they were immediately going to review all of the telephone calls since they tape them which I knew. He also was not very happy with the ultimatum that Hubby was given. He also told me that they would make it a priority to get the telephone service on and that they would be investigating who had done it. He asked if the cable TV DVR had been taken care of and if the internet service was good. I advised yes. He also said that a liaison that he would assign to us would be calling us and giving us their name and telephone number.
The liaison called us around dinner time and she put our telephone service back on within a few minutes and stayed on the phone to make sure it happened. She apologized for everything. Hubby called her to make sure that he could make an outgoing call and she called him to make sure that we could receive a call and to verify that we had the same telephone number that they had disconnected. She advised us if we ever have another problem to call her directly, even if we just have a question. So her info has been put in our address book. She was intelligent and lovely to deal with. As for the rest of their staff, they need a lot of training in not only how to handle people but how to take care of an issue without shuffling people from person to person. I think they were just each trying to get rid of us to someone else because they didn’t know how to fix the telephone.
Anyhow we are so glad to have our telephone service back on. Now how did we save money? Well, at one point Hubby had them transfer us to their retention department. He explained all that had gone on and how he was not happy that we were going to have to pay $ 211. for our upgraded service. We were paying $ 191. for the original service we had and that through no fault of ours the company took away our telephone service and then wouldn’t give it back. The representative reduced our new bill down to $ 156. for all three services for one year. You better believe that at the end of that year, I will be calling them for a new deal. That is $ 35. a month under what we were paying for the old service plus the cable TV service is better with more channels and we have high speed internet which we are very happy with.
The liaison verified with us last night that that the amount we will be paying is correct and that the $ 11. 75 for the returned box was credited. I also asked her to credit us for the two days of service that we had no phone. That has also been done.
I don’t know if we will hear from the corporate office today or not. We are not happy that we had to go through of all of this, but we are happy that we now have telephone service.
Could we save a lot more money by cancelling the cable TV service? Yes, we could but since we are home more often than not it is our one pleasure. But we would still have to pay for the internet and telephone anyhow which is the majority of the bill.
So if you are faced with a problem, it may not be easy to solve. But stick with it and most of the time you are better off in the long run.