Monday, August 20, 2007

Just Another Manic Monday

Picture this. I'm having a perfect Monday. I'm milling around the house picking up toys and things left out by my girls and two of their friends that slept over last night. I was thinking about how much fun all the girls seemed to be having. I listened to them laugh. I listened to Caroline and her younger friend playing. I listened in on a conversation Logan and her older friend were having (but not for to long...I wasn't eavesdropping!). I was recalling how much pizza and ice cream we all ate on Sunday night. I was remembering how excited Caroline and her friend were when I told them they could sleep on the couch. I smiled when I picked up a picture that Caroline had drawn for her friend. It was the two of them with bright clothing, big smiles, and super huge nostrils. I laughed out loud for a minute and went about my business. I decided I needed to balance the checkbook before the girls and I took off to run errands. That's when my day took a turn.

I pay most of my bills online so that it's easier for me to keep track of. I usually pay them all at one time and get it over with. I'm still afraid of auto billing so I don't have it taken out of our account each month. I prefer to push those buttons myself :-o) Anyway, I noticed that the cable bill I paid at the end of July still had not been deducted from my checking account. After further investigation, I found that the cable company's web site didn't process the payment. Ok, no problem. I'll just chat live with a customer service rep and get it taken care of. I failed to mention that my account was showing delinquent and a late fee had been assessed. So I'm chatting live with a customer service rep that keeps telling me they can't reverse a late fee and they show no record of my attempt to make the payment. What?!!! I was a little more than ticked because I was on their web site looking at the page where I had attempted to make a payment but it was not processed. How am I responsible for their inability to process the payment? We have been with this company for over seven years, have always paid our bill, and NEVER been late. I quickly realized that I was getting no where with this rep so I thanked her and got offline. I told the hubster about the problem and he decided he'd call customer service. He does and pretty much gets the same response as I did. He gets really ticked. He always manages to keep his composure but I can tell by his posture that he's about to reach through the phone and choke the life out of someone! To make a long story short, he was on the phone for a very long time and nothing was done. Actually, the customer service rep hung up on him. Can you believe that?!!! The rep even suggested that maybe it was our fault that the system couldn't process the payment. That maybe our credit card was bad. Let me just say that we are not those kind of people! Jeff expects me to handle all of our financial stuff. From the day I married him, I knew better than to pay a bill late or letting something become delinquent. He had perfect credit and if he didn't have the money for something, he didn't buy it. He hates to charge stuff. He expects us to be good stewards of what God has blessed us with and that does not include paying late fees that are easily avoided. Here's what really gets me. We only asked for the late fee to be removed...$4.95. That's not much, right? Apparently it's easier to get blood from a turnip than to get that charge reversed. This company is willing to lose a long time customer over a $4.95 late fee. I cannot understand that. They make alot of money from us each year but are willing to give that up over $5. In the end, I just went to the local office, complained, canceled the cable portion of our service (kept the internet service since hubby has to have it for work), and paid the stinkin' $4.95 late fee. You can write it down....I will NEVER let this happen again. After I saw how upset the hubs got from talking to the customer service rep, I felt terrible for making such an oversight. I wished I had noticed this two weeks ago because I could have corrected it before the due date passed. I should also mention that I made (or thought I made) the payment a week early!

All of this was just to say that the cable company really gave me a headache today and cut into my otherwise perfect Monday! It amazes me how little companies care about their customers. I miss the days from my childhood when I spent time with my grandma. From her house, we could walk down to Roller's store and pick up all kinds of little candies for barely nothing. It was such a small community (and still is) that everybody knows everybody and their business. We always encountered a pleasant face behind the counter at the store. That always comforted me and I miss that. People were so much more personable 20 years ago. Today, things are totally opposite. Not many of us can get out and walk to a little store down the road where you know the family who runs the business. We rarely ever call a customer service center and speak to someone from this country. You can't let your children play outside unsupervised for fear of what some nut may come along and try to do. Kids who work in the fast food industry can't even count change back to you. The standards and morals in this country have declined so much that it's hard to stomach. This goes so much deeper than just being treated poorly by a cable company rep. For tonight, I'm going to put it aside and concentrate on other things that need my attention. I'm going to get back to thinking about the wonderful weekend we had, the awesome fellowship we enjoyed at a church picnic on Sunday, the wonderful time the girls had with their friends staying overnight, the many errands I was able to take care of today, and the rockin' french onion burgers I made for supper! The last thing I'll say about the cable company and their terrible treatment is that MEAN PEOPLE STINK! There, it's out and I feel much better! As soon as the opportunity presents itself to leave this company and go another route, you can bet your last dollar we'll do so!

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gail@more than a song said...

Bummer! It sorta surprises me because I thought usually they would work with people on things like times we've encountered something like that with different companies and asked for it to be taken off and they'll do it. My internet service goes off frequently and when I get it back I'll call and ask for a refund for the time I was off & they'll give it if I ask, but what gets me is that they won't just automatically do it! Usually if a company realizes you might drop them they'll do what they can to keep your business.
Sorry that put a crimp in your day!

Jenmomof4 said...

That is a bummer!! I hate talking to customer service reps!! I would write a letter or better yet just print your blog entry and mail it to the local manager of the company and copy closure the president of the company and send him one too. Who knows you might get something back?

Hope you have a better day today!!

Amberly said...

What a pain! I cannot believe they were so rude--and wouldn't refund your late fee! You're right about our society too. I read something recently that said "new and improved" don't always go together. Some things are just better the old-fashioned way!

Jill@Who Could Ask for Anything More said...

That stuff just really gets to me, too. And I deal with it all day at work. Just the other day I noticed my American Express income (from charges we make to client's cards) wasn't matching the statement AmEx merchant services sent me. When I called they told me they'd raised my merchant fee and when I asked if I could speak to someone about it they refused any kind of restitution. Sometimes asking to speak to a supervisor helps, but not always.

VAIL said...

I have had very bad encounters with the cable company and dish company in our area. Unless you are someone they are trying to get as a new customer, they treat you like dirt. Once they have you, they will not work with you at all - they hang up on me, argue with me, etc. Everytime, it is not until I call, tell them I need to talk to someone to cancel my service, speak to that person - that anything is ever offered to be done to help me. Usually by that point, I am too mad at the company to accept their offer and I cancel. I bop between cable/dish companies every few years - that way, I can get what I want at a good price.
Good luck!

LoveMyStarr said...

They were so rude. We get mad because our cable company keeps raising the bill, but when we call and tell them we're going to another company, they always find a way to give us a discount. I am surprised they would let you walk away. I think writing a letter the the president sounds like a good idea (even if you decide not to stay with the company).

Carrie! :o) said...

I am so glad y'all stood your ground and let them *have it*! We had almost the very same thing happen to us last month, but with our cell phone company. We hadn't been happy with their customer service and decided to pay the $200 per phone to cancel our contract early. We had 2 phones so this was $400. We paid it and the phones were turned off. Well, about 3 weeks later, our phones were cut back on and we got a $35 activation bill in the mail. David called and spoke to one guy, explained to him that we paid to have them cut off for good and they need to turn them back off and cancel that bill. They guy was rude and couldn't see what the problem was. Asked for his boss, got an excuse and passed off to another rep ... again, same thing. David hung up and called back 3 times and kept having the same trouble. Finally, on his last call, he got a female rep that completely understood the situation and fixed it. Canceled the phone and canceled the bill. The other guys just wanted to cancel the phone AGAIN (even after us paying $400) and still make us pay. Talk about wanting to smack a few, LOL! Like your husband, David is very calm ... I thought he was gonna go postal before all was said and done.

It's too bad these companies are so hard to deal with. Ugh!

Vader's Mom said...

That's shocking. I'm with Gail...I'm used to them seeing the loss of a customer and eating that $5, especially when you are a regular paying on time customer.

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