Customer service works, but not quickly


By Sue Curtis



Recently, I’ve been having some trouble with a customer service issue. The cable line to our guesthouse was accidentally severed last year. It’s kind of miraculous that it took that long. The cable had been incorrectly installed when we first got internet (about 20 years ago) and ran from the pole to the ground at a rather large angle.

At any rate, we needed it repaired. We called, explained the situation and scheduled the work. The man arrived as scheduled. Then he told us he couldn’t replace that line, as that had to be done by a “new installer.”

We sighed, but rescheduled a “new install” instead of a repair. The next person arrived two days later to put in the new line. Huzzah! Our guesthouse has internet. The bright orange cable extended above ground from the pole to the house — about 40 feet. This service person said someone ELSE had to come out to bury it and it would likely be a couple of weeks, but that he would schedule that for us.

When two weeks had passed, I called the company. We were mowing around this cable line and had to move it back and forth to cut the grass. The person on the phone with me said the dispatcher would call me between 13 and 60 minutes of my call to schedule the cable burying. Now I was confused. I thought it had been scheduled. I waited all day, well past the 13-60 minutes, but received no call back.

The next day, I called again. These calls, by the way, require a number of digital entries to confirm service area, problem, and account. By the time you get a real person on the line, it’s been many minutes. I finally got to talk to a person, who confirmed that no one had called me back yesterday. This was nice to know, though not my primary concern. Then she said that the account was marked “to be completed by June 8.” (JUNE 8??? This was unacceptable!) She informed me I would receive a call to schedule the burying within 90 minutes.

I waited 90 minutes. I waited the rest of the day. No call. The third day, I called and talked to yet another person. This person informed me that a work order had been completed on the first day I had called and it would be seven to 10 days after that when the service occurred. He also said June 8 was just “an outside date” at which time the company would contact the subcontractor if the work hadn’t been done. That would be about 10 weeks after it was supposed to be completed, so not extremely timely.

He also said if we hadn’t gotten the cable buried within the seven to 10 days, I should call back. He needn’t worry about that! I was definitely on top of this issue — just like the cable I’ve been mowing around (which, by the way, I tripped over).

Finally, on day nine, the service company showed up to bury the cable. So it appears customer service is alive and well, if not speedy.

This entire experience has made me wonder just how important internet is to me.

Email me at suecurtis9@gmail.com.

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By Sue Curtis

Sue is a retired public servant who volunteers at the Hospice store (For All Seasons) in Troy and teaches part-time at Urbana University. She keeps busy taking care of husband, house, and pets. She and her husband have an adult son who lives in Troy.

Sue is a retired public servant who volunteers at the Hospice store (For All Seasons) in Troy and teaches part-time at Urbana University. She keeps busy taking care of husband, house, and pets. She and her husband have an adult son who lives in Troy.