Friday, January 13, 2012

For Ben B mostly

When is enough enough?

For years I have defended the customer service of Direct TV, because it has always been good or better.

Today, returning to my lair in the cold north, I found no service, so I called their eight hundred number.

Shortly after nine AM. I got a recording basically with three messages interspersed with mellow piano music.

I have gotten pretty familiar with those three messages, having now heard each of them well over ONE HUNDRED times.

It is coming up on two PM. When it has been five hours, I will disconnect and see if I win a prize for the longest hold they ever got. Even Dell at its worst was better.

I have actually managed to do quite a few things while using portable phone to listen. One was to call on a letter I got about FIOS, using a cell phone to call while listening to the recording on my home phone.

FIOS has the good grace to answer with a recording saying they are very busy, call later. A bit more honest, n'est-ce pas?

Ben, when (if) I DO reach them, I will definitely take a page from your playbook and suggest that they owe me a free month for my five hours.

My fallback position is pretty strong actually...they can lose a good customer of many years.


maggsworld said...

Good customer service appears to be a thing of the past!!! I, like you, hate the long waits. I also hate the fact most customer service centres have to out-sourced and off-shored, so there are cultural and language discrepencies once you do actually speak to someone human. See shouldn't have gotten me started on this!!

John0 Juanderlust said...

I'm thinking maybe the Ganges river flooded and the next available representative was washed downstream. Or possibly a civil war broke out in the region and the rep had to hide in the dumpster out back to avoid certain death and/or defilement.
Just trying to cut the Company some slack as if they really do care and mean well.

Lowandslow said...

I won't even try to follow JohnO. His was probably right on. With more and more of our businesses being huge multi-national conglomerates instead of small home grown neighborhood businesses, this is what you get.


BenB said...

Well, I ain't cutting the company ANY slack, at all. I have been with that company since - I believe the late 90's if I recall correctly - and have had slews of problems with it.

Fin, I would ask for the free month, yes and I would also ask for 2 sets of movies channels for free. Normally they give them to you in 3 month chunks, though if you get a high enough manager, you can get them for 6 months free as long as you make your case well. I would also ask them to remove the DVR charge that you probably don't even know they are charging you for the "privilege" of actually being able to use your DVR to record movies or shows.

Further, and having ample experience with this particular company and how to get past the particular race of people that may answer the phone and refuse to give you anything and I won't say what race that is but it is the SAME response with every one of them I have ever gotten - if you get no results from the initial person you speak to, you must ask for a supervisor. That is usually enough. If not, you can simply end the call and call back and get a different supervisor. If that doesn't work, then you call corporate. I have actually gotten the best stuff from corporate, including a $150 credit to my bill, a free DVR, 3 months worth of one of the movie channels and I think it was a free service call all from one single person on one call.

However, I went through Direct TV hell to get it. Most people are not motivated to go through what I do to get the freebies, my motivation starts when people on the other end of the line start getting rude, short or cranky with me.

If you just want to bypass that, call this number: 310-964-5000 and ask to speak to the "Office of the President". You will be transferred to their offices in Denver, Colorado and they usually will take very good care of you : )

Good luck.

BenB said...

BTW, I don't have to have an issue with Direct TV to call them and politely ask for the free movie channels. I do it every time the current channels shut off after - usually 3 months. I have had 3 sets of free movie channels going on at the same time simply for subsequent calls asking for more : )

Fin said...

Thanks for your input, Ben. I think it may have been a fluke, because when I had to call them suddenly in the evening, they answered on 2d ring and had resolved my problem within 15 minutes.

But I have definitely saved the number for use in the future. And thanks for the remark on the photo of BG and Copper. You were right both times!!

BenB said...

Indeed, I have used that number a few times. I have also ended up in the "disconnection department" or whatever they call it. They will try to help you with whatever instead of losing you as a customer, which only once has it not worked - and then they were ready to disconnect me, lol. I called corporate the next day and asked if it was worth losing a - I'm going to have to find out exactly how long I have been with them, at least a dozen years - 12 year customer over not getting some free movie channels, and they gave them to me.
Anyway, I would be willing to bet that it's VERY cold in NY right now! Nothing like it must be down south!