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Donna Hale Chandler

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Life In A Pressure Cooker/Look What's Inside
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To Switch or Not To Switch, That is the Question
By Donna Hale Chandler
Saturday, June 23, 2012

Rated "G" by the Author.

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Wouldn't it be nice if, when you have trouble with a particular company, you could pick up the phone, talk to ONE real person who actually has been trained to take care of you and do-it-right-the-first-time?!?

Making the decision to move from one TV/ telephone/internet provider to another didn’t seem to us to be a major undertaking but once on this road, there was no turning back. It would take a novel to tell the full story of our nightmare so I’ll try to keep it short and sweet; actually it’s not very sweet. It went something like this.

 Feeling that we were paying too much for TV/phone/internet service from Company C, we called Company D. After listening to their well-rehearsed sales pitch we agreed to switch our service. This momentous decision that was to save money was made on February 7, 2012.
The first step was to send an Inside Lineman to our home to make sure we were getting a good signal from the existing wiring. As it turns out, we were NOT. That meant an Outside Lineman had to come and see what was wrong with the line coming from the pole to our home. Line was replaced (on the second trip) and still no signal. Another Outside Lineman had to check the line from the main box to the pole behind our house.
Are you beginning to get the picture? It is now February 24 and we have, as yet, not had service for 36 continuous hours. For those of you considering switching your TV/telephone/internet service to Company D, let me save you some time and tell you who you need to talk with to make the move much smoother than ours.
Call their 800 number. Be sure you have several hours to spend on hold or being transferred from person to person. And allow time for being disconnected and having to start all over again. Be prepared to have your order confused/delayed more than once and be sure to have a spare phone handy because it is unlikely that you will get through this process on one battery. You will need to talk to Rob, Vicki, Matthew, Ben, Paul, Jimmy, Brian, Ronnie, Ryan, Stephen, Jacob, Ian, Mark, Aaron, Troy, Julie, Valerie, Rosa Jena, Juliana, Cherina, Frank, Amos, and if I’ve left anyone out, I sincerely apologize. I was so silly as to believe that this would be easy and started out not bothering to write down employee names.
You know what? On second thought, if you find yourself thinking about making this kind of change, JUST SAY NO, and fix yourself a bowl of ice cream instead.
Note: In order to not sound as if Company D is a complete and total experience in incompetence. I should also list a few things that they do extremely well. Every single employee, whether on the phone, in our back yard or standing in our living room was very well trained in apologizing. The conversation would start with, “I’m so sorry you’re having a problem,” and end with, “I’m so sorry I was unable to help you.” It appears that Company D excels in training their employees to apologize. Perhaps there are even company workshops stressing this action. I may be wrong but perhaps some training in Getting It Right The First Time would be beneficial.
The second action that all employees had down pat is ‘taking your information’. Whether you talk to two or twenty employees, each one must have your complete name, phone number, address, last four of your social security number, your favorite restaurant, mother’s maiden name, how many cups of coffee you had that day and whether or not you had sex the night before. After giving your life history and promising your first born, you must start from the beginning and explain your problem to each and every person you talk with. I’m just an ordinary female with perhaps less than ordinary technical skills but it seems to me, that in this day of amazing technology, information just might be able to be stored and passed from person to person the same as passing along the phone call. Maybe not ……. That would probably be much simple.
And on that last note, I shall retire and take my newly prescribed blood pressure medication.   Hmmmm, wonder why I suddenly have high blood pressure?
© copyright Donna Hale Chandler
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Reviewed by Richard King 7/28/2012
Nicely done and accurately portrayed, but very concisely. In actuality, since I lived through this with you, I know that it was much more involved than you make it sound. I know how many different technicians we had here at the house and strangely, there was only one time that we had the same guy who had been here before. You'd think that once they start a project like that, they'd have the same guy return, but no.... too simple.... each time you go through the whole damn thing again and just about the time you get him up to speed on your problem, he discovers that it's not something that comes under his area of expertise... WHAT A FIASCO!!!!
Reviewed by Laurel Lamperd 7/2/2012
I know how you feel, Donna. Good sharp piece with some sound advice at the end - if it's possible to follow. Sometimes you just have to change companies.
Reviewed by Budd Nelson 6/24/2012
Boy can we all relate to this.
Reviewed by John Domino 6/24/2012
Great right write Donna! We can communicate in space but we can't seem to communicate here on earth. Boy our county has it's priorities all backward. Hello! Anyone here?

God Bless,

Reviewed by Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado 6/23/2012
Such a true to life story; many can relate to this. And I like the ending. I can relate to that too, unfortunately .... well done, Donna!

(((HUGS))) and much love, your friend in Texas, Karen Lynn. :D
Reviewed by Mark Lichterman 6/23/2012
Donna, what a familiar story. About eight months ago I decided to switch from Time Warner to -- as they had spent millions of dollars laying in the Fios cable -- I switched from Time Warner to Verizon Fios. Now, I do run my business from my home and have Verizon for my phone because, for the past number of years my business has been on their "Super Pages" but I had Time warner for television and computer. Verizon offered a special "bundling' introductory rate, which I took advantage of. However, as it turned out, the rate was for "residential" service and as my phone was listed under "Business"... Even now, all these months later, remembering the hellish nightmare that went forward still turns my stomach... Good story, Donna, but I hated the memories it drudged up.
Reviewed by Jerry Bolton 6/23/2012
Oh boy! Have you ever got THIS right, Donna. I've been mad enough to kill on more than one occasion and would have if I could have drawn a bead on the person I was talking to. I am to the point if I need help or whatever with the phone/Internet and I call them I usually hang up immediately after they answer. Call me racist if you want, but when you are trying to solve a problem with your system it goes much smoother if the person you are speaking to understands and speaks English, so, I keep hanging up until I find one that does. This one hit a sore spot with me.

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