We’re moving. So, today I had to call DirectTV to get my feckin’ satellite moved from one part of the state to another part of the state less then an hour away. Apparently, this is so difficult that Wifesy and I would be better off launching ourselves up into the stratosphere, shaking some sense into the satellite itself, and then feckin’ in the sky on the way back down, like the bald eagles do when they make sexy time.
It would also be a lot more fun then talking to a customer service representative.
What in the feck has happened to customer service? Why does it feel like I’m on this horrible abortion of a show, every time I call a service provider to ask for something?
And this guy was nice, the customer service rep I spoke to. Yet, I still felt years of acid and rage come back up my throat while he spoke of inane charge after inane charge followed by inane rule after inane rule. It was simple, really. When we were sold the system we were told there would be no charge to move us and re-set us up, as long as we kept our 2 year contract and the service was available in our new area. So, imagine my (non) surprise when, of course, there was a $130 moving charge. Then imagine my next surprise when they can’t put it on the bill, but it has to be on a credit card. Then imagine how my love for humanity boilith over when they tell me I have to go through all of this again to get someone else to pick up the equipment.
Ay yay yay. It’s constant. It’s like getting into a fight you know you’re going to lose – every time. This experience made me recall all the other times my reflux has been called to bear witness to the horrible non-helpful practices of the modern customer service industry. I know it’s not always their fault. I know sometimes they are not given access to the proper screen, or only a supervisor can do it, or their computer freezes because it is clear that every customer service rep since the beginning of time has never been allowed a computer upgrade. They all must be working off of the world’s first operating system…BECAUSE LORD KNOWS NOT EVEN ICE FREEZES AS MUCH AS THE COMPUTER SCREEN OF A CUSTOMER SERVICE REPRESENTATIVE!!
It took me back. There was that time I had to call the Sh*tty-bank service number. Well, they don’t call themselves Sh*tty-bank, but I do. They call themselves something similar sounding that means “accepts bailout money” in Americanese. I called up Sh*tty-bank, as I wanted to deposit a check into my account and I was on the road traveling through Massachusetts. I called the dear, dear, sweet, rep and I said, “Hun, can you tell me where there’s a Sh*tty-bank in Boston?”
The rep paused for a moment and then said, very politely, “Boston, Maine?”
NO. NO. NOT, BOSTON, FECKEN’ MAINE.
Christ, I didn’t even know there was a Boston, Maine.
I explained to him – very kindly, because I know the poor soul was in Calcutta and therefore it’s not his fault – that when ANYONE from the United States calls and they say Boston, they mean Boston, Massachusetts. There was some more pausing as my nice man from Calcutta tried to find Massachusetts on the map. In the meantime, my car drove promptly right out of the Boston city limits. Things like this happen when I’m traveling on nothing, but rage. Unfortunately, now I DID have to ask him for that Maine location.
Once, at a Kinkos in New York, I wanted some copies made. The girl behind the counter was so rude that I questioned myself for a minute. I thought, Wait, I have not walked into a Kinkos at all. Clearly this was some parallel universe – for this was Mcdonalds drive through, truck stop, kind of talk. There the employees take more liberties. They think, “I can say what I want to this d-bag. I’ll never see her again, unless she’s coming up the 95 again at exactly 2pm on a Sunday.” Yes, clearly this was Whores R’ Us and not sweet, listen to the sound of the humming copiers and relax, Kinkos because I knew for sure I was being served a d*ck sandwich. Right in the face, by this rude lady, who clearly just got out of jail. And I don’t care if you just got out of jail. Hell, everyone needs to work. What you don’t need to do is spew your jail rage on me while I’m trying to make a feckin’ copy order. I don’t spew my jail rage on you – I do it where it’s appropriate – like here, on this blog.
I’ve lived all over the world. I’ve lived in Britain. Britain, a place where, when you go out to eat, you do so much work that by the end of the evening, I was asking the bartender to hand over his apron while simultaneously cajoling the other pub patrons into starting a labor union. Hell, if I was going to have to get the silverware, and the beer, and the meal out of the feckin’ kitchen, and wait a hell of a long time for it all, then I might as well make the 2 pound sterling while I wait, plus paid vacations. (Sorry, holidays!)
Yet, the very same people, the Brits, when they call you from the cable company, they’re not calling to charge you a moving fee or to tell you that your bill has gone up. They’re calling because they’ve figured out a way to SAVE you money. We actually had a cable representative call us up to LOWER our bill. Wifesy and I nearly had a stroke, as nothing of the kind would ever happen in America. That’s the upside. The downside – besides getting everything yourself in a pub – is the golden rule. In Britain, if there is a rule, it is sacrosanct. Everyone follows it until the queen calls the whole feckin’ thing off. They are sticklers about their rules. You can ask for a supervisor. It won’t feckin’ matter. So, don’t get your top hat in a tizzy.
My point – there is no utopia for the customer.
It is a battle you will lose. The only question is how long will it take until you to cave.
I called up Wifesy and said, “I need the credit card.”
“Why?” she answered.
“Because we’re going to have to pay DirectTV a moving charge.”
“What? Why? They never mentioned that when we signed up,” she said. And I swear I could hear a slight gurgling sound as the acid began its rise up her esophagus.
“I’ve already been through this, my dear. We’re going to have to pay the charge,” I sighed.
“No,” she said. “Call them back. That’s ridiculous. They should’ve said that upfront and what do you mean there’s a separate number to call and have the equipment picked up and, and, and…”
“I will not call them back, sweetheart. You can give me the credit card number or you can give them a call yourself, see if you have better luck,” I said with a cheshire grin forming at the edge of my lips.
“Yeah, give me the information. I’ll solve this. I mean, this isn’t right. I’ll get to the bottom of it.”
I gave Wifesy the information and told her to call me back after she had spoken with them. Then I poured some bubbly and kicked back to begin my countdown.
Wifesy called me back in 7 minutes to say, “I relented and paid the moving fee.”
The eagles have landed. Unfortunately, none of them got off in a good way. The only person who did get off is, of course, DirectTV. I can call them a person, now that companies in America have achieved personhood status.
Does anyone else feel like it’s OCCUPY MY GENITALS time when they call up a service rep? Just curious. Just lookin’ for some good, old fashioned Kumbayah.
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