“I was one of the majority when it came to being fed up with Comcast. However, unlike most, I never had any of the customer service nightmares so often reported on consumer sites. My dissatisfaction with Comcast was purely based on what I felt was unfair pricing.
Our Comcast bill arrived in the mail on the 9th of this month and after a brief discussion, and a phone call to my father-in-law (asking him how he like his satellite service,) we decided we’d had enough. While I dialed Direct TV, my wife dialed Comcast. It would be our team effort to free ourselves from the service provider we’d loathed for so long. We were running into the arms of what we felt would be a kinder, gentler television provider.”
When I first spoke with a DTV CSR I wanted to name my father-in-law as our referral. When asked for his account number, I didn’t have it and I needed to call him. She (the CSR) told me that I could finish signing up first, then call back with his information at any time. She also told me that my installation could be done the next day. I was very excited.
The next day came, I took off work, no technician came. When I called DTV I was told that I was mistaken and a technician would be out in one week.
My next call to DTV was to follow up with my father-in-law’s account number for the referral. I was shocked to hear that what I was trying to do would not be allowed. I was told that notes would be made in my account, but my father-in-law may not receive any compensation.
On the 17th the technician arrived. His name was Chris, and he’s the best representation of Direct TV I’ve dealt with. He was prompt, professional, and I genuinely felt like he cared. He explained to me that because it was a windy day he wouldn’t be able to do the installation until a later date. I was so moved that he came out to deliver this message to me in person that I couldn’t be upset with him over this bad news. I was told to expect a call to reschedule and would most likely have TV again within the next couple days.
Today, after having not received any call to reschedule, I called to inquire. As it turns out, I have already been rescheduled without my knowledge for January 2nd. I needed the CSR to repeat the date. I simply couldn’t believe it. She told me I could call my local dispatch office but there was nothing she could do.
I called the dispatch office to find that they couldn’t do anything for me other than put my name on a “cancellation list”. I hung up the phone in disbelief. I thought about it “25 days without service” and apparently there’s nothing that anybody can do about it.
Finally, I called DTV customer service for the last time. Calmly and politely I exclaimed that I’d like to cancel my order. Then I hear nothing but silence from the other end. “are you still there?” I ask “yes, I’m still here” the CSR responds. Immediately I hear a loud tone followed by dialed numbers. I’m being re-connected elsewhere. A very chipper voice asks who she has the pleasure of speaking with, and I get to tell my story all over again. “Surely the premium service we provide will be worth the wait” she responds. I explain to her that I’ve had a taste of this “premium service” and I’d like no more. At this point I’ll beg for my DVR back from my local Comcast office. I’ll bet they’d have me hooked up in a couple of days. I go back on hold for what seems like an eternity before she returns to ask me if I’d like her to cancel my pending order. “Yes” I reply. “Will I be mailed a a confirmation of my cancellation?” “No, you’re order was simply ‘pending'” she says.
How true, and at that moment I realized that after spending this much time in anticipation of my new service, I never became more than just one of the thousands of “pending” contracts on Direct TV’s plate.
Having finished typing my story, I’m asking myself why I felt the need to send this email in the first place. I suppose I just needed to “unload” and “get it off my chest.” I feel better.
We’re glad you feel better and that you now know that large providers don’t differ from one another in any meaningful way. Comcast rapes your wallet, DirecTV seizes your calendar. It’s all the same. Time Warner and Cablevision are just as miserly, as are the telecoms. With the singleminded determination of a lusty teen, they see you only as a piece of cash.
So who deserves your business? Figure out who offers the features you want, and then haggle for the best price. To steel for a return to Comcast, pour yourself a stiff drink, read our confessions of a CSR, and prepare to tap our list of escalation numbers.