On Hold: Give Me My Money Back, You Thieves!

2 Mar
I’m in a fight with my cable company.

I had originally planned to write about how I ended up describing what a furry is to my boss at a lunch meeting in front of the whole department, but I just saw an Xfinity commercial and I’m too enraged by my cable problems to talk about such silliness right now.

About a year ago, I called my cable company because I was notified that my rates would increase.   I told them I didn’t watch T.V. and so I didn’t need their stinking service anymore and they agreed to keep me at the same rate.

It’s funny how a phone call can change things.

The key to getting your hard-earned American George Washingtons back when grimy little service companies attempt to steal them is pure determination.   For the case in point, I spent almost my entire lunch break on the phone.   Waiting, explaining, being transferred, waiting, explaining, being transferred… It’s a maze of frustration and rage.  And if you make it through to the other side, you win money.

Last night, however, I failed the maze.

I got my bill in the mail and had a 5 dollar hike on it with absolutely no explanation.  Actually, what boggles the mind more is that the only explanation included is a paper explaining that there will be a price hike beginning next month.   Um.  What?  Okay, so my bill is raised 5 dollars a month and in another  month you’ll raise it 5 more.

If I have x apples and Jenny has y apples and Jenny takes all my apples and kicks me in the groin, who do I call to get my freaking apples back?

So I dialed the 800 number listed on my bill, followed the prompts to enter my phone number and zip code, and got connected to Mikey after 15 minutes.   I, like a good customer, always pleasantly begin my conversation asking if I may provide my account number for their reference.   Mikey said it would be easier to give him my phone number, which I did.  Twice.

That didn’t seem to help.

So he asked for my account number.  I was glad he just went ahead and did it my way.    Then he told me that he couldn’t help me because I was from a different city than his branch could service.   I kindly asked him to transfer me and he said he couldn’t.  So I kindly asked for a number to dial and he said he didn’t know.  Mikey said that if I followed the prompts, I should be okay.

Mikey apparently thought I was a moron.

But I’m not a moron, and I told Mikey so.  He suggested I hang up and try again.  I insisted that there was no point in reusing an automated system that I have already proven fails and I nicely reminded him that getting through to him cost me 15 minutes of my life I wouldn’t like to lose twice.  In fact, every time I attempt to call this company, this is what happens and I’d really like to just figure out what the problem is.   Mikey told me we were in a bit of a stale mate because he couldn’t help me and I wouldn’t hang up unless I was helped.

I call an 800 number, I expect help.  After all, I’m paying a 5 dollar increase and that should be reflected in the quality of my service.

So I asked Mikey if he had a supervisor or  manager who might be able to give me the correct number to dial.   He said yes and put me on hold.

Can I just take a moment to say that I really think Enya songs should be the only acceptable waiting music for service calls?  Because when I’m really on my last nerve and have managed to make dinner and eat it in the amount of time it takes to even ask just one question about my account, “The Sounds of Upbeat Jazz” is just not the ticket to pacifying me.  Every toot of the saxophone felt like a machine gun of rage in my ear.

I then proceeded to wait.  Mikey would intermittently check in with me to assure me that the supervisor was on her way. I felt like he was trying to make me go away – it’s a tactic I’ve seen attempted in customer service when I worked in it.   So I hung on for dear life.

But after Mikey checking in three times, 25 more minutes had passed and I hadn’t even gotten on the phone with the person who could get me on the phone with the person who could answer my question.    So I hung up and proceeded to hurl curses at the walls of my apartment and swear that I would try again tomorrow.    And so I shall.

I want my apples back.

My cable company's mascot.



6 Responses to “On Hold: Give Me My Money Back, You Thieves!”

  1. Blockader March 2, 2011 at 10:07 am #

    I am going to share two secrets. I once worked for a call center for an american cable company. The cable company contracts a call center and apparently has to pay that call centre a fee for each call it recieves. We heard it was like between $40-$60 dolars a call. I suggest if you want to make your cable company spend your stolen money on you, keep calling and when you get Your representative say hi, then hang up and call again. if you get a enough customers doing this like a revolution in Egypt the cable company may be forced into rethinking how they provide customer service. Also when ever you call into cancel, it is only when the word cancel is mentioned that the representive is authorized to offer you an incentive to retain your patronage. So don’t be afraid to suggest cancelling your account.

    Finally, anytime someone tells that they ajusted your account or made a change to ur bill, demand a confirmation number so if you have to call back you have a reference to what should have been done.

    asking for a supervisor is helpful when you can get through to them, but understand the wait may be long becuse they are dealing with probably a dozen or so customers who are just as irrate as you who called in just moments before you did.

    Hope this helps make your experience a little more interesting the next time.


    • Jackie March 4, 2011 at 9:53 pm #

      Oh after the junk I’ve been through with them, canceling isn’t just an option – it’s almost a guarantee at this point. I just need to research what company I can switch to in my area. You know – plan the escape route.

      Thanks for the confirmation number note – I will definitely ask for that – didn’t realize there was such a thing to request.

      You’re a plethora of information, Block. Thanks!


  2. Cindy March 2, 2011 at 11:47 am #

    Another hint I just learned – tweet your frustration! Apparently Dell and several other companies (perhaps your cable provider?) monitor Twitter because bad news can travel soooo fast, and they may even contact you to get you to stop saying nasty things about them (this is probably more effective if you have lots of followers, or if your followers retweet….) Good luck!


    • Jackie March 4, 2011 at 9:54 pm #

      That means I’ll have to join twitter. And then get followers. Maaaaaan.


  3. Lori March 2, 2011 at 3:04 pm #

    Is this Verizon? Because their automated call system is THE WORST. I still have my cell phone number from PA but lived in Maryland. Every time I call, without fail, even when I tell the system I don’t have a home phone number, I get routed to a PA call center, who CANNOT HELP ME because I am from Maryland. It is exceedingly frustrating. I really need to make better use of my Google number for occasions like this.


    • Jackie March 4, 2011 at 9:57 pm #

      It’s stupid Comcast. That’s exactly my point! They don’t go by your account number – they go by your phone number. And since I don’t even have a landline AND I don’t get voice service from them in any way, that should not be the determining factor for how my call is routed. It’s so nonsensical.


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