Note to ISPs


The other day I made a comment regarding customer service reps.  Now, I know they aren’t all bad, and some are very, very good at their jobs.  But it sure seems that most of the ones who answer the phone when I’m calling are the bad ones.  Amazingly bad.  Stultifying horrible.

Of course, everyone’s favorite is the CSR who barely speaks English, yet who introduces himself as “Tom”.  Right.  Okay.

My Internet went down.  A tragedy, yes, because I work online and without Internet access, I’m doomed.  Okay, so it went down in the evening, about 7:30, and usually by that time I’m just playing games and whatnot.  Still. 

By 6:30 a.m., it was not yet working.  I tried everything on my end: rebooting computer, modem, router, rolling back everything I could think of, tossing cookies and temp files, running diagnostics, etc., etc.  Took my son to school, came home.  Nothing.

At 9:30 a.m. I called my ISP, that-which-shall-remain-nameless.  First, of course, I had to get through the happy-yappy, hard-of-hearing recording, which kept insisting that I speak my menu choices, but absolutely refused (after my constant repetitions in a clear, rather loud voice – imagine speaking to your 92-year-old Uncle Harry) to acknowledge or understand the words, “Get bent!”

Then I was treated to yet another recording, telling me that they were indeed having “issues” but that technicians were “on the scene” and the problem should be fixed within a few hours.

Hours.  Argh.

At 10:15, my house phone rang.  Sure enough, all better, I was back online.

Except I wasn’t.  I got to call the ISP again.  Joy.

Finally, after a repeat of the above exercise in futility, a human.  She answered in a rather bored voice.  Okay, I get that.  I told her that obviously the problem was still there, on their end, because I’d ALREADY rebooted, etc., etc.

So she told me to unplug my modem.  [pause]  “Is your modem unplugged?  That’s the small, gray box that your cable is attached to – just pull out the black power cord.”  [pause]  “Did you do that?”

I responded with: yes, yes I did – five times already, before I called you.  The Internet is NOT WORKING.

She said: “Okay, now we’re going to wait 30 seconds.”  Of course, duh, at least twice that amount of time had already passed, and that’s just since she’d asked if I’d unplugged the modem.

Again, I said: I have already done this five times.

She said: “Okay, now we’re going to plug the black cord back into the gray box.  Can you do that?”

WTH??  Was she even listening??  I said, “Ma’am, if you don’t deviate from your ridiculous script for one second and listen to what I told you OVER AND OVER, we’re going to have problems.”

I promise you, it was a real person, NOT a recording, but she just kept on and on about how now WE – the royal WE, one presumes – we’re going to keep doing the same things over and over and gee, golly, maybe that would FIX THE PROBLEM. 

I hung up.

I called back.  This time I got a dude who listened AND sounded like he knew what he was doing.  The phone disconnected.  Figures.

Third time’s a charm, right?  Wrong.  I spent THIRTY minutes on the phone with this gal, she was clicking and pushing buttons on her end, insisted, nicely, that it MUST be my computer.  Finally, she put me on hold and went to talk to a supervisor; after about 5 minutes she came back.

Guess what.  It WAS THEM.  Surprise.  Took her 30 minutes to figure that out.

So she wanted to set up a service call.  Um, why?  Because they needed to check my line in the house.  11:00 a.m., and the soonest they could come out was the next AFTERNOON.  Whatever.  I hung up.

And guess what again?  It started working about two hours later.  Just like that.  Imagine.

So THIS is an example of craptastic customer service.  Well, I missed out on the second call, and the third one did try.  Sort of.  But seriously, if a customer TELLS you that they did steps A-F, BELIEVE them, and move on.  All the script does is make you sound like an idiot and wastes everyone’s time.

Of course, after this, I had to call a financial institution which shall also remain nameless, because I’d forgotten a PIN number on a card; they offered to send me – wait for it – a HINT as to my PIN number, via snailmail, which would arrive in 7-10 days.  Are you kidding?  A hint?  No options to change the darn thing, by phone or online, OR to get a flippin’ hint!

No wonder I’m crabby.

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