RCN Tech Support Keeps Customer On Hold For Seven Hours And Counting

Meredith has been on hold with RCN’s tech support line for over seven hours now. She’s put down the phone and keeps doing other things, but whenever she goes back to see if they’ve finally disconnected her, she hears their “please hold” message and music. Apparently RCN doesn’t think you need tech support over the weekend.

Meredith writes:

I live in Washington, DC, and my boyfriend (with whom I live) has had an RCN subscription in his name for over a year now, without incident. We upgraded our cable service with RCN about a month ago, to include the digital package. Part of the package included a DVR and an HD converter box (so that we can view HD channels). After a month, we finally got our schedules straightened enough to try and set up a time for a technician to come and install it. As RCN’s main number gives no option for “making an installation appointment,” at 2:20 PM, I called RCN’s tech support instead, in hopes of finding a human being to speak to. Upon calling, I entered my account code and was put on hold.

After over an hour on hold, I decided to simply put down the phone and walk away, leaving it on and connected. My reasoning went thus: If somebody picks up and I’m not there to respond, they’ll simply hang up the phone. This will cut off the call, and when I return to check, it should register the length of the call–and thus, the amount of time I’ve spent on hold.

Well, I put the phone down without disconnecting it. I took a nap, watched television, and even went out to a party. As I write this, it is 8:35, and I am still on hold, with the same music and announcements that were playing when I called six hours ago. That is six hours, without a single human answering the phone lines.

I have filed a complaint with the DC Office of Cable Television, which was forwarded to RCN. I’m leaving my phone on indefinitely until somebody picks up, and will let you know the total hold time when it’s done. I plan on using my boyfriend’s phone in the interim to make any necessary calls.

I’m not 100% positive of the legal ramifications of this–but I recently read that a New York state judge declared this practice, when used to deter customers from canceling their service, to be illegal on a number of counts. Any thoughts/advice?

Since you weren’t calling to cancel, we don’t know if it’s illegal, but it’s certainly among the worst customer service RCN could provide. We’d love to hear from RCN about this—why hasn’t someone picked up at this point? Why hasn’t the message changed to tell the customer to call back at another time? Why, if there’s no tech support over the weekend, don’t you tell your customers that in the hold message? Why do you even have this phone number if you’re just using it to waste your customers’ time?

(Photo: Getty)