What Ever Happened to Real Customer Service?

Maybe I’m just old fashion, but there is still a lot to be said for “real customer service”. What companies pass along as customer service today falls well short of my expectations. Let me relay a personal experience that I’m currently dealing with.

I was a loyal customer with a large cable company I will refer to them as Company “C”. I had subscribed to cable, internet and phone service with Company “C”. My contract was about to expire, so I called them two weeks before my contract ended. I asked what could be done to lower my monthly rate. Their only solution for this loyal customer was to offer me the same package I currently had. However, new customers could get the same package for $30 less per month. I politely declined and asked for my service to be stopped on the day my contract was set to expire.

Having done that, I contacted another large Telco/data network company that I’ll refer to as Company “A”. Company “A” had recently acquired DirecTV  and was offering television programming, internet and phone for only $89 per month all inclusive except for state tax.  Having been a DirecTV customer in the past, I was aware how weather effects reception with a satellite dish. I asked about this and was told my new services would be through a fiber connection and there would be no satellite dish. I was also told my internet speed would be 25MB and I could keep my phone number which I’ve had since 1988. While I didn’t do back flips, I was very happy that I would be saving $70 per month, so I ordered the new services with Company “A”.

On March 31, Company “A” came out to complete the installation. Starting the installation, I find out that our television programming would come through a satellite dish instead of the fiber as previously stated. Having already cancelled Company “C” and having disconnected their equipment, I didn’t have many options so I allowed Company “A” to complete the installation. The DirecTV portion was completed and the second Company “A” technician arrived shortly after to install the phone and internet.

It all starts to get worse. The tech informs me that he could not finish the job. Apparently there was an issue “somewhere down the line”. A different department would have to repair the issue before they could complete my installation. Company “A” returns on April 11 to finish installation of the internet and phone.  The internet portion was completed, but in testing I find out my internet speed is only 13MB. To add to the frustration, the tech informs me that he did not have an order for phone service. Apparently the sales agent who took my order not only stretched the truth about the fiber and internet speed, but he did not complete the order properly. I had to contact Company “A”‘s customer service to get this rectified and was told by Company “A” customer service that 13MB is the best speed that they can offer at this time. They would have to place a new order to get my phone number ported from Company “C” to Company “A”.

In the meantime, I get three different bills from Company “C” with three different total amounts due. Apparently Company “C” didn’t turn off my services in their system until two weeks after my disconnect date. They wanted to bill me for those two weeks even though I had returned the equipment.

I won’t bore you with additional the details, but it is May 15 and I still don’t have the phone number I’ve had since 1988. I’ve talked to so many agents that I’ve lost count. Company “A” failed to get the transfer completed in a timely manner and now they expect me to contact Company “C” to resolve the problem. I can’t tell you how many times, I’ve heard, “No worries, we’ll get this taken care of for you” yet here I am still without my phone. Even the representatives in the Office of the President at Company “A” can’t resolve this issue.  I firmly believe neither of these companies can think “outside of the box”, get away from the corporate script and treat a customer as a human being with a problem. In reading reviews, it appears I’m not the only one that feels this way.

That’s one of the things that makes Haggard & Stocking unique. Even in today’s “internet” world, we try our best to treat each customer as someone special and give them the attention they deserve. The big companies could learn a lot if they just listened.