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Consumerist reader trinidon2k says try this number:
I don’t think I’d want to risk dialing standard toll call and being put on hold for 8 hours!
At least if I’m dialing a toll-free number I don’t have to pay for the call when “my phone call causes a glitch” in the system.
RCN Phone Installation Nightmare.
RCN has stood me up on a phone line installation three times in the course of a week. The result: a week of a disconnected number and no hope in sight. (I used Skype to make all the long calls described below.)
I decided to switch my Washington, DC Verizon phone service to the RCN bundle. (I have been satisfied with RCN Internet and cable for about eight years.) I made an appointment from 5-8 pm on Wednesday. RCN didn’t show. When I called, RCN said that the phone technician had reported back: “No one home.” Ridiculous! I was there and waiting the whole time.
I set up a new appointment for Saturday evening, also 5-8 pm. This time I called RCN at 5:00 pm to make sure that there was indeed a work order for us. “Yes, don’t worry,” they said. At 7:45, however, when no one showed. I got nervous and called again. “Don’t worry,” I was told. “Your work order is still open. The technician is running late.” When I called again at 9:00 pm, I was told that the technician could not be contacted. “It says here,” the customer assistant said, “something about bad weather.” Indeed there had been a snow flurry in the Washington area at 5:00 pm that day. But no snow stuck, and the roads were clear through the Washington metro area. The customer service assistant then said that RCN tech assistance would be calling me on my cell phone shortly.
Do you think anyone called? Of course not.
I set up a new appointment for the following Tuesday, 5-8 pm. I explained that this would now be my third attempt. I got lots of “We’re so sorry”s but no assurances that there would be any measures to make sure that a dispatcher or technician could be contacted en route.
Again at Tuesday at 5 pm I called RCN to make sure that the dispatcher had me on the list. Promises all round. At 6:45 pm, I called again and told the whole story over again and said that I would appreciate if the dispatcher could be contacted to let me know where I was on the list. No, I was told, not possible. But a supervisor would be calling me back shortly. The supervisor called shortly after 7:00 pm. She asked what the problem was. I told her the long story all over again. Then she looked at her computer. It said that the technician had been to my house and that I was not home – apparently while I was sitting AT HOME at my computer and talking to RCN!
I have a new appointment for Saturday. But I’m also clling Comcast. That’s a shame, because Comcast Internet service is slower than RCN’s. And, as I said at the top, I have had eight years of good experience with RCN. But, alas, I do need a phone line. And RCN can’t seem to get me connected.
Oh, and yes, my doorbell does work.
I work in a call center for a major telecom. Let me tell you… this is not limited to RCN. All major companies that I’ve come in contact with outsource their field work through different subcontractors in each area, as it is a logistical nightmare to in-house that much field staff spread throughout the country. I am familiar with RCN, and if memory serves they have service in several states. Chances are you called, they contacted a centralized dispatcher who got in touch with a tech, who told him/her the roads are bad and they’re running behind… eventually just noting your (ticket, work order, insert term here) as ‘bad weather.’
The other times for the ‘not home’ visits, the best thing to ask is if the installer left any kind of notes on the work order or with the dispatcher. In my company, they’re required to describe the location through their computer (our techs have small computer like handheld devices) which also tags the work order with coordinates through the built in GPS. If there is a description of your house in those notes and use of those coordinates mark that unit within a certain distance of the home, the tech isn’t held liable and our customers have to reschedule the visit, in cases where there is extreme weather and the tech provides great detail even more so. I don’t know what level of technology RCN uses, but there’s a good chance somebody noted a description to state you weren’t home… and if they didn’t, THEN you’ve got something to complain about.
I can’t get any satisfaction from RCN so I’m taking it the people. I KNOW there are many others out there equally fed up–please join my campaign. Here’s the story:A new deck in the back of our house required that the cable box and cables be repositioned. I called RCN at the time of the deck construction and informed them that the box was hanging on the fence and the cables laying on the ground along our driveway. We hoped that proper placement would fix the long-term trouble we’d had with our cable service (digital break-up that rendered all HD channels unwatchable) but were willing to deal with one problem at a time. My husband stayed home from work to accomodate their 12-hour appointment window but no technician ever arrived. We called and scheduled another date, this time a Saturday, with another 12-hour window and again, no one showed up.
On our next bill, we were charged for both technician “visits”. It took multiple phone calls, with many transfers and being on hold repeatedly for 20-minute stretches of time to get them to remove the charges (none of their customer service people seem to be empowered to do anything but put you on hold or transfer you to someone else.) but we still had the problem of the dangling cable box. I spoke to at least two customer service reps from different time zones who insisted that someone had come to our house on both occasions. They claimed they could not access the problem even though anyone could walk right up to it whether we were home or not. In October, we again went through at least two rounds of promises to see a technician and time-off work waiting for no one to show.
Last month we learned after receiving our bill that our contract had run out so our bundled package invoice (cable, internet, phone) spiked up from $187 to $300. When I called to get their retention rate” I again asked that someone come out and fix the box in the back of the house. On Monday, someone actually showed up (!) and without ringing the doorbell, walked to the back of the house with some tools. Ironic considering the number of times I was told that the technician “couldn’t access the house.” When my husband walked out and confronted him, he said that he was taking the box because that’s what was on his service order (“I’ve been just taking boxes all day,” he said). When he looked at the service order again, he realized his mistake but said he couldn’t re-wire the box without a ladder truck. He also told my husband that there was no problem with the cable he’d been seen clipping. He promised that he would come back again on Tuesday some time between 8-11 am.
He never showed. At 11:45, I walked out the front door for another appointment and saw an RCN ladder truck slowing in front of my house. To my surprise, the truck kept going, turned the corner and drove away. The cable that he cut on Monday? That was our phone line. When I called (using my cell phone) to find out if, or when, someone would come out and rectify the problem, I was told that a technician came to our house but found no one home. I guess they mean the truck that did a drive-by and saw me standing on the porch. I was again told to wait for someone on Tuesday evening and again no one showed up. We called again this morning and heard that there is a slight possibility that someone MIGHT come by between 8 am and 8 pm to restore our service ON FRIDAY.
We pay all this money every month and the only thing they provide consistently is the bill. There’s no compensation or pro-rating for service interruption. No consideration for the time off work. My favorite is someone in Alabama telling me I have to pay for work performed because her computer screen said it had been done! It’s time for a revolution.
My name is Bill and I’m a direct door to door sales/service guy who ironically people don’t seem to trust as I’m pitching MY personalized service before and after the sale at your doorstep or in a letter. My job sucks because RCN will not advertise this most expensive method of putting it’s customers on (telesales and website cheaper). So people think I’m a desperate freak resorting to scratching out a living going door to door (truth hurts actually;). I lose more business to the glossy rcn corporate junk mailings (that cost each market heavily) and the rcn website than I sign up myself. People think I’m lying when I’m giving them an estimate with free installation (and sometimes more) to them?; how about getting a dollar everytime I hear “I’ll definitely call you back if I want the service”. Right. Sure. Thanks.
Meanwhile, sometimes they’ll MIRACULOUSLY call me with problems and frustrations after giving my paycheck to the smooth telesales rep or the website robot. Thanks you gutless liars out there.
But let’s face it, we’ve heard lies from pretty much all aspects of life, mechanics, doctors, priests, politicians, and so on all lie but the only difference is that with me:
1. my paycheck depends on your satisfaction as I’m charged back up to 5 months later for cancels.
2. my job is in jeopardy if I lie to you.
3. I don’t have the time to deal with you coming down on me via my personal cell phone.
4. I’ve been at this since 10/2001.
Integrity and answering the phone is all I got helping me get to sleep.
You want a real man to answer the phone and help you with simple problems (and I’m not talking about people who don’t pay the bills and have excuses of bad service with no customer service records to back it up), then call me 617-590-6693. I am in direct contact with the install techs, dispatch, and escalations.
I’ll direct your complaints to the proper direction (rcn market you’re located in). I’m not customer service but I’ll try to help you. And for God’s sake, when the guy from RCN on your doorstep hands you his business card with a personal cell and email… try trusting HIM.
If you want a guy like me in your market, contact me or 800 RingRCN and ask for a real local rep to talk to (they will have a local cell # usually sprint nextel or verizon and will gladly appreciate your business both before and after the install as referrals are huge).
Btw, I am very familiar with Verizon FIOS and Comcast reps. FIOS usually uses contractors and the Comcast direct sales usually doesn’t have the local escalations either. RCN is TINY in comparison and all they got to offer in the local markets is personalized service. Best of luck and remember life is bliss no matter what happens with things like this… -Bill H.
It looks like this number is no longer good – pushing extension 3 sends you to a normal customer service phone tree/phone queue.
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