Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Glitches in communication

I have been having a bad time with communications companies for the past few weeks.

The latest surreal event happened just this a.m. with Charter Communications. After much back and forth for two weeks, and then in a chat on-line with a live person to re-schedule a cable hookup, I was told they wouldn't talk to me because I am NOT the account holder. I couldn't switch it to my name, and couldn't get them to scratch the order and start anew.

First off, I placed the order for a bundle package, arranged the scheduled hookups, and was going to be paying the service techs when they showed up on Aug 4th and 14th to hook up cable and then phone. I stressed to the sales rep that a tech would need a bucket truck to hook up that cable. We had problems getting cable post-Katrina and had Charter prior to K., so we knew what we were up against. The service tech, of course, showed up without a bucket truck. He told me someone would call me to re-schedule the installation. No one ever did.

I spoke to a supervisor at the cable company about the idiocy of this rule. I am Mrs. Michael and as such, I represent my family. Michael and I are ONE. I could have gotten any male around to speak into the phone, giving me permission to make changes to our accounts. The Charter supervisor knew it is bogus to not let me make changes, or in this case, just reschedule an appt to have their product installed. He apologized and said it was the FCC rules that had them take precautions. He still couldn't do anything about it.

I chatted on-line as Michael because I got nowhere fast as Janine previously, and then called to cancel the account telling them my name - Michael. The operator asked me a couple of times what my name and last 4 digits of my s.s. are. I thought she was thinking of how I don't sound like a Michael, but she said that wasn't the s.s. that matched. So, I said my own s.s. digits, and that was it.

I had the same problem over a week ago with Verizon when I called to change my plan. That sales rep wouldn't even put me on hold to get a supervisor to speak to me because I am not the account holder.

My vehement argument that I do all of the expediting, arranging, and bill-paying of all phone services fell on deaf ears. the case of changing my service plan with Verizon, I called right back and said my name is Michael. The operator asked how he could assist me and then he did so.

That got my fire up for the day. Michael should not be given the priveleges he has as account-holder. He never handles such things. This whole fiasco had me feeling like the second-class citizen of yore.

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