How Not to Customer Service

Them (automated-phone-system):

“In a few words, tell me what we can help you with today.”

Me:

“Internet.”

“OK, I see that your modem requires a reset. May I send a signal to reset your modem?”

Me:

“I just did that, but OK.”

Them:

“Sending a signal now. This should take just ten minutes. We’ll call you…”

Me:

“Ten minutes? I already lost two hours of work with signal interruptions, and I just reset it myself, and ….”

Them:

“…back when your modem has been successfully reset.”

Me:

“Wait…”

Them:

Hung up.

Ten minutes later:

Me:

“Hello?”

Them:

“This is your internet service provider. We have successfully reset your modem. Did this solve your problem?

Me:

“No, there are still constant intermittent interruptions in the signal…”

Them:

“In a few words, tell me how we can help you today. You can say, cable TV, Internet, billing questions, or something else.”

Me:

“Agent.”

Them:

“You can say, cable TV, Internet, billing questions, or something else.”

Me:

“Something else.”

Them:

“OK, in a few words, tell me how we can help you today.”

Me:

“Internet.”

Them:

“We have successfully reset your modem. Thanks for being a loyal ISP customer. We appreciate your business…”

Me:

“AGENT!”

Them:

“Before we transfer you to an agent, tell me in a few words what we can help you with today.”

Me:

“Internet.”

Them:

“I see that we recently reset your modem. Did that solve the problem?”

Me:

“NO. AGENT!..AGENT AGENT AGENT AGENT!!!!”

Them:

“Before I transfer you to an agent, tell me in a few words how we can help you today. You can say internet, cable TV, billing questions, or something else.”

Me:

“SOMETHING ELSE.”

Them:

“Ok, transferring you to an agent.”

Agent:

“Hello, thank you for calling. We appreciate your business. How can I help you today?”

Me:

“My internet service keeps winking on and off and you have reset it three times after I already reset it twice and that’s not fixing it.”

Agent:

“I understand that can be frustrating. Before we get started may I confirm some details about your account?”

Me:

“Oh, alright – for heaven’s sake it’s right in front of you but alright. (confirm details.)

Agent:

“Thank you. I see that we recently reset your modem…”

Me:

“Yes I just told you it has been reset several times….”

Agent:

“OK I’m going to send a test signal…this should take under 5 minutes.”

Me:

“I’ve lost three hours of work so I expect you to prorate my bill…”

Agent:

“Of course. Sending the signal now. It’s at about 36%.”

Me:

“OK I’ll wait.”

Agent:

“The signal has been sent. It appears your modem isn’t receiving the full signal. I’ll give you the number for support for your modem brand.”

An hour later, after three signals sent from the modem brand support person and a speed test that required me to go down in the basement and connect my laptop directly to the modem with an Ethernet cable, whereupon it was discovered that I was receiving 19 mbps when it is supposed to be 200:

Modem support service person:

“It appears your modem isn’t receiving the entire signal correctly. I’m sorry.”

Me:

“But I bought it less than two years ago! How could it just fry out?”

Modem support person:

“I’m sorry, it happens sometimes. We can send a technician or we can replace it.”

Me:

“I’ll take the replacement.”

Modem support person:

“Ok, I’ll send you an email with instructions on what to do to receive your replacement.”

Two hours and $183.12 later, after making a last minute request for the day off, because I already lost half of it and will lose the rest replacing the modem, I get back home from the big box electronics store where I purchased a replacement modem, thinking the maker will reimburse me, having left the old modem at the big box store to be recycled, I read the email with instructions telling me to send the modem maker the original receipt, and ship back the old modem at my own expense to have a new one shipped to me.

Me:

Sigh.

Trudge down to the basement to install the new modem. Read instructions about activating it. Log on to ISP app. Ask the help chat to activate new modem.

Them-bot:

“I see there is a service outage in your area. We are working on the problem. Service should be restored (an hour from now). An agent will not be able to help you until service is restored.”

Me:

AUGGGGHGHH!!!!

“If you are not a human being, let me talk to a human being.”

Thembot:

“I see there is a service outage in your area. We are working on the problem. Service should be restored (an hour from now). An agent will not be able to help you until service is restored.”

Log off. Log back on and restart the chat.

Them:

“How can we assist you today?”

Me:

“Activate modem.”

Thembot:

“I see there is a service outage in your area. We are working on the problem. Service should be restored (an hour from now. An agent will not be able to help you until service is restored.”

Me:

“Billing question.”

Thembot:

“Please wait while I transfer you to an agent.”

Agent:

“Hello and thank you for being a loyal ISP customer. We appreciate your business. How may I assist you today?”

Me:

“I’m tired of being told I’m appreciated. Please just ACTIVATE MY NEW MODEM!!!”

Agent:

“I will be happy to assist you with that. First can you confirm some details for me?”

Me:

“Oh, God, alright. (confirm details.)

Agent:

“I see that there is an outage in your area…”

Me:

“Can you PLEASE just activate the new modem?”

Agent:

…But it is after the time when service should have been restored. I will activate your new modem. Please give me the model number…”

Me:

(Provide model and serial number).

Agent:

“I am sending the signal to activate your new modem. This should take only a few minutes. We are currently at 26%.”

Me:

“I have lost an entire day over this. I know this isn’t your fault and I’m sorry you have to sit there in what is probably the middle of the night wherever you are and listen to ENORMOUSLY FRUSTRATED PEOPLE LIKE ME YELL AT YOU BECAUSE YOUR EMPLOYER MAKES EVERYTHING SO DIFFICULT. You don’t have to read me your script about appreciating me just ACTIVATE MY DAMN MODEM!”

Agent:

“I understand how frustrating this can be. Just a few months ago, I had a similar problem…”

Me:

“I don’t need your life story, I just need you to ACTIVATE MY MODEM! PLEASE!”

Agent:

“Yes, Miss Anne, I am not speaking from a script, this is from my heart…”

Me:

“Please….”

Agent:

“Ok, I understand. we are at 90%. Ok, 100%. Please describe the status of the modem.”

Me:

“All the lights are on and steady. Thank you. I’m sorry I got so testy. I know it must be the middle of the night wherever you are…”

Agent:

“It’s four a.m., actually.”

Me:

“Well, I know the last thing people in the part of the world where it’s 4 a.m. right now need is someone screaming at you over something that’s not your fault.”

Agent:

“I can take it. You have to have a thick skin to do this job.”

Me:

“Well, I hope you and everyone you love are well, safe, and vaccinated.”

Agent:

“Actually we have a shortage of vaccines, so everyone is working from home.”

Me (feeling embarrassed for acting like a total privileged jerk):

“I’m so sorry. I hope that gets sorted out soon. My modem is on now. Thanks for your help.”

Agent:

“I appreciate your cooperation and we appreciate your business. Would you like to participate in a short survey at the end of this call?

Me:

“I don’t think that’s a good idea. Thanks again. Stay well. Bye.”

I just checked my signal speed. My ISP allegedly upgraded my speed for free, to somewhere between 200 and 400 Mbps.

My speed on their speed checker is 96 Mbps.

Sigh.

Preparing to tell you the saga of my new 5G phone advertised as being “on us” with the fine print so fine at the bottom of the ad you couldn’t possibly read it even if you froze the screen, I remain,

Your technically adept, frequently frustrated, gratuitously “appreciated” ISP customer who is not getting the signal speed she is supposed to get but getting speeds that are better than they used to be and who is deeply ashamed of herself for yelling at a hapless call center customer service person half a world away in an area with low vaccination rates,

Ridiculouswoman



8 thoughts on “How Not to Customer Service

  1. Oy! I recently went through a similar scenario wherein the medical billing agency insists on charging me almost two grand for stitches, completely ignoring that my health insurance has been trying to clear the bill since January. They are threatening to take me to small claims court. I almost welcome the experience so I can prove to them how stupid said third party medical billing agency is.

    Like

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