A Tale of Two Fuckups

Gotta get these two off of my chest.

Fuckup The First. Wherein Cox Communications Phoenix Angers an Angry Drunk:

This is a relatively straightforward one. I’m currently laying new tile in my living room; which necessitated the disconnection and removal of my television and cable box. Mind you, this is standard definition digital cable. Nothing overly complicated. Last night, I finally reached the point where I can reconnect everything and plug the cable box back in. I do so, and after the box boots I’m greeted with an error stating that “Advanced Services are Unavailable.” Heaving a great sign of weariness I figure, “well the box was unplugged for a week and a half. I wouldn’t besurprisedif it de-authorized itself. So I call tech support.

Now, a little background for those who don’t know me. I spent almost a decade in phone technical support. I was a front-line support rep for three different companies for over 4 years. I was in call center quality assurance reporting for almost 6 years. I know all the tricks; and I view every call to technical support with utter dread.

After the requisite phone tree follies and hold time I finally reach a tech. I explain the situation, hoping beyond hope that we can skip the “check all the connections” crap and jump to them sending a re-authorization signal to the box. Instead I get, “power the box on and off six times.” Really? You don’t think that the eight days that this thing sat unpowered would have cleared the NVRAM sufficiently? No matter, I perform like a good monkey, hoping that the script that the retard on the other end is reading will lead to something approaching actual troubleshooting. Of course, the voodoo fix fails.

At which point I get the verdict, “my tools show that you have a low signal on the 3 boxes you have.” Really, does that include the one running off of a separate circuit? The one that took 3 field techs to set up correctly so that I could get a good enough signal to power my cable internet. The one that I already pulled up the diagnostics for and am seeing a perfectly acceptable signal strength. “We’ll have to send a field tech to resolve this, there is nothing I can do. And let me remind you, if it turns out not be be our equipment you’ll be charged for the visit.”

Now, here is the point where someone will say, “you should have asked for a supervisor.” But, like I said, I was in this business for the better part of decade. Assuming that little miss “this call is going long and my stats need help” didn’tmanageto “accidentally” drop the call, I have no doubt that the sup. would be equally clueless. So, now I get to deal with a field tech. Who will no doubt blame my crappy internal wiring (admittedly crappy, but worked fine for 10 years prior to this). Maybe he’ll feed me their favorite chestnut about how the “signal takes time topropagatedown the wire.” Yeah, that speed of light, it’s a bitch.

Fuckup The Second, Or, It’s All About The Power Baby:

About two months ago I went out to the electrical breaker box on the back of my house to kill a circuit so I could do somemaintenance. Imagine my surprise when I notice I have a brand new electrical meter. No notice in my bill, no letter, no phone call; just a new meter. Suppressing my rage that some fuckwit trespassed onto my property to install this thing, I carry on with my work. As an aside, before someone lectures me that I have to give the power company access to my property; I checked into this, and I am only required to provide visual access to the meter.

Meanwhile, for the last two months I’ve had a note in my electric bill that my usage is “estimated” due to the fact that the meter reader cannot view the meter. “Ok,” says I, “the trees are a little wooly.” So I bust out the chainsaw on a stick and clear the line of sight. A months passes, and my bill is still “estimated.” So, again with a weary sigh and a sense of dread I make the call.

Once I reach a human I ask, “What’s the deal, I can see this meter just fine.” To this, the phone monkey answers that I must provide physical access so their snazzy new RFID readers can work. “Um, no” I reply.

Oh, but it’s simple,” the drone explains, “we give you a lock for your gate that our people can unlock any time it tickles our fancy.”

Um, no,” I reiterate. “I have pets; and, more to the point, are you going to be liable when one of your ass-hat minimum wage employees decides to supplement his final paycheck with a few thousand dollars worth of my power tools?”

Well,” the now less than happy phone-droid lectures, “If you’re going to be all unreasonable, we’ll have to schedule a service call to replace your meter with a standard one and switch you to our standard rate plan.”

Wait, what?” I ask, “I am on your standard rate plan.”

Oh, no. We switched you to one of our amazing time-saver plans.”

Let me get this straight,” I ask, “You fuck-knobs, without notice or consent, changed my rate plan, trespassed on my property to install a new meter, and are now demanding unmonitored access to my property in order to read that illegally installed meter. Am I correct here?”

Mm, well,” she sputters.

Fine, I growl, “Get your fucking field tech out here. Replace the meter. And switch me back to the plan I signed up for. And, I swear to Ahura Mazda, if I find you fools on my property uninvited again. I will unleash the hounds.”

So, that’s been my day. Who’s next? Come on water and gas, let’s go for the hat trick.