Saturday, December 18, 2010

Not-So-Bright House

I don't like cable companies.

Truth is I despise cable companies. Okay, now I feel better. They are truly equal opportunity offenders. I recently had the "pleasure" of canceling Direct TV and REconnecting with Bright House. I guess I hadn't learned my lesson. It went from bad to worse ... To worse again.

I'm sure they all share the same call center. Here's how the conversation went:

Phone rings ... Mechanical voice lady, "Thank you for calling Bright House. Please listen carefully and pick one of the following ... Press 1 if your call is for new service, press 2 if you're calling about a bill, press 3 if you need repairs, press 4 if you are Hispanic and want to get even more confused by listening to a translation that makes no sense at all, press 5 just for the hell of it ... Or just hold for an operator."

Stupidly, I held for an operator. I had to give the machine my account number and the next hour was filled with recorded messages about how wonderful Bright House was and how sorry they were that all operators were currently assisting other customers (so how the heck did they find a way to get through?).

Finally I got an answer ... "Hello. This is Kumar. Can I have your account number?"

Me .. "You can have my whole account Kumar."

Kumar ... "Sorry, I don't understand. You have account number with Bright House?"

Me ... "Yes .. Yes I do ... Sorry I was being a smart aleck ... It's 123456789."

"Thank you Mr. Alec."

"No ... I was just BEING a smart aleck."

" I see. Well I have no one by the name of Alec with that account number ... Perhaps you want to talk to our help center ... I'll connect you"

"No ... Wait ... Kumar. Kumar!" Too late I was back in phone hell. Forty five more minutes and more of the same bad music and propaganda ....

"Hello. Service Center. Can I have your account number?"

"I gave it twice ... "

No answer.

"It's 123456789."

"Thank you .. Please hold."

I heard the sound of what was probably fake keyboard clicks ...

"Is this Mr. Mamberg?"

"No it's MOMberg."

"I see ... Did you want to correct the information we have for you?"

"If it's incorrect ... Sure."

"Please hold for the systems operator ..."

"NO ... It's okay I'll be Mamberg or WHOEVER you want me to be ..."

Too late ... Phone hell ... Another half hour. Finally ...

"Hello this is Shirley. Can I have your account number?"

"Yes .. I'll give you anything you want Shirley. Just don't leave me ... Please."

Shirley actually giggled. "I take it you have been transferred around a lot."

"Yes! Shirley ... You understand ... You are a normal person. How did I get so lucky?"

"Well ... Let's just get you the help you need. Account number?"

"123456789"

"Okay ... That's Mr. Momberg correct?"

"There is a God!"

"Now what can I do for you?"

"I want to reconnect with Bright House."

"That's great news Mr. Momberg. We are happy to have you back. I have your old account here and I merely have to check some data and set an appointment and send you on your way. Okay?"

I was dreaming. This couldn't be happening. I'm speaking to someone competent. Shirley is gonna make it happen ....

"Thank you ... Thank you Shirley!"

"Happy to be of service . Now if you would just hold for a sec ..."

Silence ... Dial tone ... Oh no ...

"Shirley? Shirley? ....... SHIRLEY?"

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Try Verizon Fios

Matty said...

The unfortunate part about companies that sell a product or service that you HAVE to have, is that they know you HAVE to have it. And as a result, they know their customer service doesn't have to be any good. If their bottom line depended on keeping you as a customer, because they knew you could just go to another company, this kind of poor customer service wouldn't happen.

Joel Momberg said...

@Matty ... How true. If the competition was a little better or if just one company got it right ... The bar would be raised for all.

Anonymous said...

Shirley you can't be serious...

Joel Momberg said...

LOL ... That was in memory of Leslie Nielsen.