A Cable Company Customer Service Conversation

Quote of the Day:

A criminal is a person with predatory instincts who has not sufficient capital to form a corporation.”     —Howard Scott, 20th century scientist/engineer

Maybe the government can’t do anything right, I don’t know. What I DO know is private monopolistic corporations blow. But then again, their “customer service” CAN give you a laugh, once you get over the aneurysm. Here’s a summary of my calls to the cable company yesterday:

TB–Hi, this is TB. I have a new credit card number and I am trying to access my account online to change it on my automatic pay. I have my user name and password but your page won’t let me in.

CS–Yes sir, I can help you with that. You have a new email address and that will be your user name.

TB–But I don’t want a new email address. I already have like 4.

CS–Yes sir, but you don’t have one of OURS.

TB–But I don’t want one of YOURS.

CS–Well, that’s the only way to get in to your account.

TB–OK sock it to me. But I don’t want you sending me anything at that account. I will never check it.

CS–I’m sorry sir. This is the email we have on file.

TB–But I didn’t even know it existed.

CS–Yes sir. It does.

TB–OK fine.

(TB gets new email address/user name and gets online, only to find that there is no way to change my credit card number. The previous CS rep, who knew why I needed in, neglected to advise on this point. So I called back in.)

TB–Hi, this is TB. I’m on your website but can’t access a page to update my automatic payment on my credit card. I need to change it.

CS–No problem sir I’ll take care of it. (takes credit card number)

TB–I just want to be clear. It’s 4 days before the bill is due. This will go through for the current bill and my automatic payments will continue as always right?

CS–Um. I am processing your request.

TB–What does that mean?

CS–Um. (clearly TB has gone off script) It means…..it should be fine as far as I know.

TB–I don’t like the way that sounds.

CS–Yes sir.

TB–I can see right now what is going to happen. There will be a late fee and I’ll hit the roof.

CS–Yes sir. There might be. (she is clearly not comfortable being a cable company customer cheat service rep)

TB–I think you can see how that is just stupid.

CS–(going off the reservation) Yes sir. It IS stupid. I’ll make sure this is going to be ok and will call you back if there is a problem.

TB–Ok, thanks. And will you send an email confirmation. But I don’t want it at the address y’all just gave me. I want it on my regular email which is….

CS–Oh no problem sir, we have your old email on file.

(one hour later, the phone rings)

CS–TB, I got in big trouble. I have to send you a form to fill out to change your card number and your payment will not be drafted on time, so there will be a late fee. And I can’t send anything to your regular email.

TB–CS, I don’t want to yell at you. You are clearly not at fault. I want to yell at your boss. What is his name.

CS–(totally rogue now)–TB, I can’t tell you (whispers his name).

TB–Did you say *A-hole* (not his real name).

CS–Yes sir.

TB–Can you transfer me?

CS–I can’t do that sir.

TB–Can you give me A-hole’s phone number sir.

CS–No sir, however the office is on Cedars of Lebanon in Jackson.

TB–Are you telling me that’s where A-hole’s office is?

CS–Yes sir.

TB–Is it in the phone book?

CS–Yes sir.

TB–And I shouldn’t tell him where I got his name right?

CS–Yes sir. Thank you sir. Have a nice day.

(a few seconds later)

TB–I need to speak to A-hole

(after holding for 5 minutes)

AH–May I help you?

TB–AH, I want to tell you what I’ve been going through all morning and to preface it by telling you that to do the same thing with AT&T, who I hate as much as Comcast normally, it only took me 10 seconds to accomplish online. (I tell him)

AH–Um. Yes sir. But you see, people try to cheat us (oblivious of the irony) and so we need a signed authorization like the one you originally signed.

TB–I get that. I really do. But you see, I never signed an authorization. Just like I don’t with AT&T or any of the other 1000 businesses who take my credit card online all the time. So I have no intention of waiting on the mail to sign a form that I can’t get back to you until after the 10th by which time you will charge me a late fee.  And after I talked to three of your customer service reps (had to give my rogue friend some cover) I finally got your name as the man who can fix all this. So how about it?

AH–Ok. How about this. We’ll take your payment today for this month, then you sign the papers we mail you for the ongoing bill?

TB–Was the customer service rep allowed to do that for me?

AH–No sir.

TB–Sure would’ve been easier if she was.

AH–Yes sir.

TB–Whatever. That’s fine. But you DO see that by taking the one time payment now, and in seeing that it goes through, just like the previous FIVE years of payments on my account, you are wasting your time and mine by not just setting up the automatic payments with the new number?

AH–Yes sir I do.

TB–Just checkin.

(awkward pause)

TB–Can you send an email confirmation? Preferably to my old email address which is….

AH–No problem sir. I have it right here on file. Thank you sir.

About travellinbaen

I'm a 40 year old lawyer living in Ridgeland, Mississippi. I'm several years and a couple hundred miles removed from most of my old running buddies so I started the blog to provide an outlet for many of the observations and ideas that used to be the subjects of our late night/happy hour/halftime conversations and arguments.
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18 Responses to A Cable Company Customer Service Conversation

  1. Jessie Lou says:

    And I thought Cableone was bad – I absolutely hate the cable company. Can’t live with them and can’t live without them.

    The full moon is in complete control of the mood swings that are happening everywhere you look.

  2. quail09 says:

    i think there’s therapy for that….hormone therapy

  3. Samsmama says:

    CS–(totally rogue now)–TB, I can’t tell you (whispers his name).

    TB–Did you say *A-hole* (not his real name).

    This whole post was simply delightful but I cannot begin to tell you how hard I laughed at that part! As always, excellent!

    Happy Birthday!

  4. Adam says:

    that lady that gave you the name won’t last long. Direct TV is a great thing as it helps solve the monopoly situation you mentioned.

  5. tkh says:

    Comcast? Come on man it’s time for DirecTV.

  6. Can you get DTV without a landline phone? and is there another internet delivery system as fast as cable? These have been the two things holding me back, and I do pine for the Satellite. Hopefully we can get all TV on the net soon, including live sports, then I’ll be the first one p- laughing on the grave of the cable empire.

    Adam, I felt a pang of guilt as I called out Mr. A. As I mentioned, I attempted to give her some plausible deniability, but I fear it was to no avail.

  7. Adam says:

    Don’t feel bad. Clearly she is not cut out in her job. She will find a job where she can actually help someone and will be much happier. Clearly she really wanted to help you.

    I think you need a land line. At least you used to. I have my internet through bell south and it is plenty fast.

    So you can deal with the idiots at Bell South or the idiots at Comcast. I like the phone people better.

  8. smilyj says:

    You do not need a land line for Dtv. At least not on the coast. I would assume it’s the same elsewhere. I had it but went back to cable. Hate the cable company but was tired of tv going out when there was bad weather. You don’t even need a land line to get pay per view with Dtv. You can just use a debit or credit card over the phone. They also provide Internet. Not sure if its better than cable but it is pretty good. I liked having satellite just to stick it to the cable company (which I believe every town should have atleast 2 of for competition’s sake). However, by the time you add on every thing you need and get with cable, it is actually more expensive. And you have to put up with the bad weather thing. You will also have problems with your reciever box eventually and have to have them come out and fix it or send you a new one. You will have to wait a few days in those cases too. Although noone wants to admit it, me included, the cable company is better. Better signal, prices and convenience. Sucks but I learned that through experience.

  9. face says:

    No problems with Directv for me, and I don’t have it connected to the land line. It just makes it easier to order movies or other programming if you do. I just make orders online. I also use Bellsouth for internet service, and it has been 100% more reliable than Cableone ever was.

    As for the picture going out in storms, I really haven’t had problems with that. If its a bad storm it will go out for 30 seconds or so and then come back. Mine has never been out for long.

  10. smilyj says:


  11. sweet says:

    I’m looking into DTv but yalls conflicting reports did not help.

  12. Zeek says:

    TB, I have had the exact kind of problems with Cable One. I am so tired of dealing with idiots.
    I hate to hijack your site, but I must tell the TB community about what Little League did to my son’s Little League Junior(14 yr. old) All-Star team at the Regionals in Midland , TX. I’ll try to tell the short version and then just paste my letter to the Regional Directors.
    In our first game on Friday, we lost handily to the team who it looks like will win it all. In the top of the 7th our CF dove for a fly ball and the ball tipped his glove and hit him in the lower cheek. He was bleeding and swollen and had to come out immediately. Our coach claims the officials “reccomended” he “get looked at”, that’s it. We show up and play our second game against a team we probably would have 10-run-ruled. We were winning 9-6 in the second inn. when our runner got caught in a pickle and ran over the shortstop(who did not have the ball) and was blocking the basepath. He was called out and ejected because he raised his forearms to his chest when running into the moron standing in the basebath without the ball.(Isn’t that interfering with the runner?) This made our only available player(we went out there with only ten players) the boy who got hurt in the previous game. When one of the “OFFICIALS” noticed him entering the game he stopped play and there was a 40 minute delay before a decision was made that the player was ineligible due to lack of written medical release by a medical professional. That left us with only eight players so we had to forfeit. I went apesh*t and got thrown out and they called the cops. I can’t believe they would do that to the kids who just want to play ball. Here is the letter. Enjoy and tell me what ya’ll think. I have Jim Mashek on the case. I talked to him personally and told him the whole story. Maybe he’ll think it’s newsworthy. ]

    Dear Midland Officials:
    As a parent of one of the players on the Ocean Springs, Mississippi team that was forced to forfeit, I feel it is my duty to inform you of the great injustice that was done to our players. Our kids worked hard and the citizens of our town donated money so these boys could represent our town and state. Sacrifices were made so we could travel @ 1,000 miles for the chance to play ball, and then our players had that right stripped from them by the very adults who were supposed to prevent such occurrences. Nowhere in the rulebook does it state that a player who leaves a game with injury must have written medical clearance to play in the next game of a tournament or regular season game; only if the time between injury and reentry is more than 7 days. Page 29 and page T-16 support this. Why was there no medical personnel made available on site? Why was an ambulance not called if the player was deemed to be that badly injured by your officials? Where was the Tournament Safety Officer? Blytheville, AR and Waco, TX always have EMT’s and other medical professionals on site, why not Midland? If the officials were so concerned about the player’s safety, why didn’t a tournament official personally see to it that he received medical attention and clearance? It is YOUR tournament, you are the HOST. We are strangers in a town one thousand miles from home. An official form should have been given to our coach informing him of the required WRITTEN medical clearance (that is not in the rulebook) and this did not happen. Little League dropped the ball on this one. I was told several times during the delay not to worry, that Williamsport would not penalize the kids due to an adult’s mistake, yet that is exactly what transpired. Why was our player not ruled ineligible for the game before the first pitch of the game? The umpire, opposing coach, scorekeeper, nor any official made an inquiry about the previously injured player or his clearance when he was listed on the roster that day as a substitute. Once the first pitch was thrown, it should be a moot point, just as it is with an out of order batter or protest of rulings. By the way, if you expect the players, coaches, and parents to follow all your strict guidelines to the letter, then you should do the same. The rulebook states that the fence limit for our age is 350 ft., yet we were playing on an old Minor League field that has a 395 ft. centerfield fence, probably 375 ft. in the alleys. It also states that all dugouts shall be covered by fence or wire, etc., yet the dugouts were open-air, with nothing to stop a rogue lined foul ball. I believe our boys deserve a written formal apology from Little League admitting that a bad decision was made and they were treated unfairly. I have contacted our local newspaper and our local Board of Aldermen (who donated money for our trip) and informed them of this situation, so I am not the last person you will be hearing from regarding this matter. I do not plan on letting this go quietly into the night. This is supposed to be all about the kids. How have you people lost sight of that? I anxiously await your response.
    Chris Brown

  13. Jessie Lou says:

    Good letter Zeek. I hope you find some satisfaction at least in letting them know how you feel.

  14. face says:

    Who are you going to trust, Sweet? Me or Smily? Besides, if it doesn’t work out, you can always go back to Cableone. No harm, no foul.

  15. Zeek says:

    Also guys, if you would like to help the cause and give Little League your thoughts on our being cheated, go to http://www.swrjt.com and go to the “contact us” option where there is a comment section. Thanks

  16. Harmony says:

    You always have the best customer services stories. I have Satelite internet..it’s speed is okay but your only allotted so many downloads a month, if you go over you are put in timeout for 24 hours..punished to VERY slow internet service. And? It’s really expensive, if we could get anything else out here I definitely would take it. We also have Satelite television DishNetwork…also expensive but it works well.

  17. zeek, I moved this over to the new TB page “Freestyle” where it can generate some discussion.

  18. Mac says:

    A thing of beauty.

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