A rant on why I switched to AT&T, the lesser of two…
I am positive that if you had to contact the customer service departments of major corporations on a regular basis, you’d go insane real quick.
My wife and I recently moved, and switching all your services over to your new address is like putting your luggage on a plane: the odds of it arriving at your destination at the same time you do is slim. However, for all the red tape I was warned about when switching your services, the transition was smooth, and everything but my internet came with us without a hitch. Unfortunately, nowadays, your internet is almost more important than, say, water.
Using the above metaphor, if my internet service was a piece of luggage, it was that one nightmarish but most important duffle that, while you’re visiting your distant cousin in Idaho, it’s being rerouted throughout the entire Western World only to finally arrive to you three weeks later, smelling of coconuts and something else vaguely familiar and certainly unpleasant. And all the while, whenever you called the airline to inquire about your duffle, you’re told you’ll have it tomorrow. And, of course, that’s only after you related the scenario EVERY…SINGLE…CALL.
Like most situations that end in near bloodshed, this one started benignly enough.
We were set to move on a Wednesday, so I called the Thursday before (which I thought was plenty of time to simply change my address, especially since I didn’t call to change any of my other services until the Monday before we moved) to have my service transferred. The first warning sign that I was about to go down a very bad and long road was when the Comcast customer service rep asked me if the property I was moving to was a business. It was too funny of a question to raise any red flags, and after a few minutes of discussing it, the rep realized (points for him there) I was moving into a model home, so it was listed as a commercial address in their database (because the builders are Comcast customers). The rep told me it wasn’t an issue but that they had to update their records so the address reflected a residential address before they could successfully switch my service. They told me it would take a little extra time but that it would be worked out and my service would be up and running when I needed it. I was also told I’d get a callback the next day confirming the switch. Reasonable enough.
The next day came, no call.
I called Saturday to confirm for myself, explained the situation to a different rep, and was told they made note of the situation but the process was incomplete because to update their records, a certain department was needed and that department was off on Saturday. I guess they forgot it was supposed to be taken care of the day before, FRIDAY, but I let that go. I was told I’d get a callback Monday to confirm the transfer.
Monday came, no call.
I called back Tuesday morning and spoke to a rather delightful rep who seemed on top of things. He saw all the issues on his end and was even genuinely funny about the complications. I’m a little unclear about what he discovered, but it seemed like by this time they’d updated their database so my new address was now residential but were having some trouble switching my service over (this wasn’t the case, I later found out). He told me, though, that it still shouldn’t be a problem (it was already starting to be, mind you), that he’d take care of it, and providing there was already internet service to the house, all I’d have to do is transfer the service over, plug my modem in, and I’d be good to go. He said he’d call me back the next day to confirm. (To make matters worse, when my wife and I went to the walkthrough with one of the builder’s representatives of our new home later that day, I saw in the basement about a dozen cable wires with snipped ends hanging from the ceiling in the storage room. When I asked about those, the builder’s rep said none of the cable jacks in the house were hooked up. But they did have internet service when the house was still an active model and that the jack in the garage was active [the garage, because that’s where the office was]. The next day I discovered there was no jack in the garage.)
Wednesday (moving day) came, and no call from Comcast.
From here I’m going flash forward a few days and just say that I went back and forth with Comcast reps for the remainder of the week, explaining and reexplaining the situation, being told my service wasn’t switched over, that my address was still listed as my old address, asking for managers, being told I’d get more callbacks with no callbacks until the Saturday after I moved in came and I went absolutely ballistic with a supervisor who told me that they got my service transferred but they couldn’t get a technician out to my house until Monday to hook up my internet jack. Monday was too late because we were producing the June 28 edition Monday and the pages had to be sent to the printing company that day. I explained that I needed my internet up and running Sunday and was told it was impossible. Yes, techs are in the area and working, but canceling one appointment to move a tech to my house and adding my house to the tech’s schedule would only compound the problem (for them!).
I was told during this conversation that I was speaking in threatening tones, ie. yelling, and was reminded that I was being recorded and that she was going to play the recording to her administrators. Good, I told her. Play it all day long. Maybe someone there will have some sense.
In my mind, I couldn’t understand how Comcast could take almost two weeks to get my internet transferred and working, screw up as much as they had (after 11 years of being their client without one complaint), and not be able to accommodate my request. It simply drove me nuts.
Now here’s the real butt of the joke. I was assured by the supervisor that it was impossible to have a tech come out before Monday morning. But Sunday morning, I got three or four phone messages (none of which I got until it was too late, because I was out that morning) that there was a cancellation in a tech’s schedule and they could get him out that day. When I called back, I was told they filled the timeslot because they couldn’t reach me.
To credit the supervisor, she did help me try to see if there was an active jack in the house anywhere, but ultimately it was found there were none.
That day, I called AT&T and signed up for their service. And nearly two weeks later, it’s still not active.