Saturday, September 17, 2011

Mini Update

Squeaky Wheel 1:  Asshat Telephone and Technology 1

What does that MEAN?  My computer complaint generated a refund of $29.97 which was woefully inadequate. (I was requesting $250, remember). And the internet was not back on... So I CALLED...

The annoying trouble is, if they think you owe then money, the HING BLOODY HINGING AUTOMATED SYSYEM will only funnel you to people who are able to take your money. The man I reached was pleasant, nice, sympathetic... and had no power to do a FREAKING THING but take my money.  So he transferred me.

I waited on hold AGAIN.  And the system asked for my identification number... which I didn't have... BECAUSE IT WAS THE WRONG FREAKING PLACE!  I might have yelled at the person on the other line... they couldn't transfer me BACK which seemed totally unreasonable... Then the idiot HUNG UP ON ME!  You hear that AT&T? One of your subcontractors is REALLY RUDE!


So I called back and swore at that automated guy... If you swear at him, he says, "It sounded like you said, you wanted to talk to a customer service representative. Is this right?" *snort*  Who the HECK got stuck programming all that swearing so that was how he responded. I've experimented over the past months. Pretty much any demand as to what he can do to himself gets that response. Most often I just say 'YOU SUCK'.

And I had to wait on hold again... And I reached a nice man who was even MORE sympathetic... a very nice man with a deep soothing (I suspect black) voice, so listening was nice, too, and he had the decency to stay on the line with me to make sure I was actually connected to who he meant to connect me to...

Felicia.... Oh, Felicia... You need a few lessons in customer service.  She CLAIMED that all those repair people would have FIXED my bloody phone... Felicia, were you at my house? I told her to run our records--they could verify in ALL that time that no call lasted longer than maybe 10 seconds. On occasion we COULD connect, but then it would DROP. MOSTLY we couldn't connect. People calling US never got past 2 rings.  I went through the comedy of errors of these repair people, none of whom had the story from the LAST several people who'd been here. We only got it fixed because WE finally understood the problem well enough to walk the guy through all the things that DIDN'T work so he had a fresh starting place (a short in one of our jacks was interfering with all calls, so he had to disconnect that jack entirely from the system). Felicia also said, 'well I SEE here they've already credited you the..."

Ahem!  We were not short service for one half of ONE month. We were short five months... NOT ADEQUATE.

So she said "the only thing I can do is send you to cancellation."

Kathy, in cancellation, heard my tale and was OUTRAGED on my behalf and within five minutes had credited us another hundred dollars--enough that our account was no longer in the red (so internet was on the next morning).  She said for any MORE, I would need to write to corporate headquarters, and encouraged me to do so. She said while I was at it, I should give them an eyeful about the inefficiency of this infrastructure. The people who collect your money should be able to adjust bills RIGHT THERE... no transferring around... Sure, maybe it's a manager, but the current system puts people on hold WAY too long. (my night of calls totaled 2 hours--if I hadn't have been so determined, I may very well have given up--honestly, I think that's their goal)

So the lesson... right from the get go, if you have trouble like this, just SAY "I want to cancel" because the cancellation department is the only one with any power.



So Weight Watchers at Work fell through... not enough people in my building... but I was psychologically set to start, so I signed up online. They had a special--buy a 3 month package, get the 4th month free. Plus some discount on the sign-up, I think.  For $65, I have 4 months.

New Weight Watchers is a little different. I get quite a few more points, but foods HAVE more points too--As best as I can tell, this is an attempt to count carbs, as well as the fat, fiber and calories that have always been part of the formula. They just have it set up to encourage certain choices.

I am on day 3.  Not super hard (though a little). I LIKE the online food diary. The only trouble is I like some transparency for planning... right now, i don't know how many points something is until I plug in a specific thing, where before I had a real feel for broad categories of things "things like this are more, things like this are less". I'm not saying the old system is superior, but i think the online set-up doesn't have the 'okay, it works like this'.

And that's probably ME. I think a lot of people prefer to learn food by food. I'm a big picture person, though... remember?  "what trees?" (which is why I married the guy who sees life for the pine needles).  But I'm smart... I will learn it. I will just need to be diligent for a while.  I've stayed on points so far... used some of my weekly floating points for Friday cocktails (will do the same for Saturday cocktails)

I LOVE that they've added fruit to the freebies... Veggies always were, but when I feel really hungry, veggies don't really do it for me. Fruit can in the short run (had a peach last night at 1am because I felt like hunger might keep me awake--that was my staying up too late, but still... it's not like that's a rarity for me)

So anyway... that's where I am.

Back to normal Monday. Hope you all have a great weekend!


mshatch said...

glad you got somewhere with the evil empire. And I do believe that they (the evil empire and all others like them) purposely make it as difficult and as annoying as possible so that customers will give up. I commend you for pursuing! Oh, and your tale of woe reminds me of something similar I heard on This American Life on NPR.

and as an afterthought, maybe you should complain to the better business bureau as well -if they still exist.

Roland D. Yeomans said...

AT&T can really be an evil empire all too often. Too big, too automated, no way to connect to complain that will do any real good so often.

My AT&T internet box goes off and on without warning, making my stay in this oven of an apartment much too long and maddening.

Makes you kinda long for the zombie apocalypse! Not really. LOL. Roland

Tonja said...

That's great you got your money back after only two hours. Very frustrating.

My daughter tried on a dress I used to be able to wear before my last pregnancy. I didn't remember exactly how small I used to be - that was very motivating to me and my husband to get off our butts and exercise. I want to wear that dress again.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Way to go, Hart! You got a real human and real results. Mostly anyway.

erica and christy said...

It's probably good that I didn't have a blog 5 years ago. Excel Energy would have been all I could blog about for weeks. I still hate them. So, so much. But if I want electricity, I need the bunch of asshats.

We had AT&T many years ago. We kept getting porn charges on our phone line and when I called to dispute (like 6 months in a row), they would insist that we probably had a child that made the calls. Really? Probably had a child THAT I NEVER NOTICED???!!! We got some of it back, but not all. Then I cancelled my phone, internet, and credit card with them. Jerks.

Caledonia Lass said...

No, the next time you have to call, ask them to patch you through the person who A) Has more common sense than a flea and B)Thinks the company sucks just as much as its customers think it sucks.

I have had many dealings with people over the phone and in this small town, apparently my name got around because they don't want me to start yelling. XD

Michael Di Gesu said...

HI Hart,

Yes, I have to check my bill EVERY month because without fail there are charges that aren't mine. They even had the nerve to charge roaming charges for text messages from Canada and for 800 numbers.

As for Weight Watchers, congratulations. I wish you all the best. I know you will do it. If it's one thing i learned about her ROYAL TARTNESS, she is a determined woman and since nakedness is a must, why not look our best. Right?

As a former puffed up person, I know how hard it is to drop those pesky pounds so if you ever need a positive word of encouragement feel free. I am always in your corner.


Old Kitty said...

Most NAKED awards go to Kathy and the guy with the soothing voice!! Yay!!!

Well done for taking on the big bad guys and winning most NAKEDly!! Yay!!!!

Bananas! That's a fruit and very filling!

Take care

Hart Johnson said...

MS-I know the better business bureau still exists... but do they DO anything? I mean I guess the complaint is registered, but it seems there ought to be a mechanism to short-sheet the CEO or something...

Roland-Our DSL has actually been amazingly reliable, but I don't credit AT&T for that. But this phone thing was a total nightmare! Yes. EVIL!

Tonja-good incentive indeed! Give a shout if you want a support system! I'm thinking I may set one up on Facebook (are we connected on FB? hart Johnson)

Alex-SO MUCH EFFORT to reach a human!!!

Erica-Oi! you forgot about your invisible child that calls porn sites!!! yeah, I send my electric bill to 'the Crooks at DTE' so I hear you! My least favorite thing about online billing--no way to call them what they are as you pay...

Mel-Oh, I tried that... I told them who I wanted... but you can't get there. cancellation is the only department that can do CRAP.

Michael- definitely have to watch! Our bill is nearly always the same, but I scan it closely if it deviates. And THANK YOU for being so supportive on the weight loss! I hope next time I see you, I'm considerably more svelt!

Jenny-I definitely felt like the people WORKING were mostly good. It was the automated system and the structure of power that is super messed up.

Diane said...

Reminds me of the first time I signed up for the internet. I was supposed to get 3 months free from Bell Sympatico. They supposedly set my account up, but I couldn't get on the internet. Every day for 5 days I called and got a different tech each time. They all told me I was already set up to go. I told them I couldn't access the internet. Finally on the fifth day I called to cancel the whole thing. It took 3/4 of an hour to get it done, then, when she was finished, the girl said, "Thank you for choosing Bell Sympatico". Hello, what did we just finish doing? Duh! And I told her to make sure they didn't send me a bill. And what should I get in the mail a few weeks later? A bill for $4.00 and some odd cents. So, another call to get that cancelled. And don't get me started on Primus, or we'll be here until tomorrow! :-)

Glad you finally got things sorted out, Hart.


Stacy Gail said...

Now, if only they could refund you the 5 months of stress that they shaved off your life. Ugh. But at least it's done.

I know everyone is different when it comes to weight management, but the carb thing seems to work for the people in my family. And as you know, you've been adopted by the entire Shoeman tribe, so it should go gangbusters for you. Skinny jeans, here you come! :D

Jan Morrison said...

Oh arggh! The more complicated life becomes the more we have to be awake every second with everybody.
And when do you write when all this is happening? Do NOT answer this question.
As to the weighty question of the second part - I started The 17-Day Diet. I'm on my own pretty much, though there is a forum etc... but I don't want that. It is a diet I went on for six months before - basically - to rid myself of my allergies. Didn't work but I liked the weight falling off. I'm on day 13 and I've lost nine or ten pounds. Fruit on this one too - only carb there is but you can't eat it after 2 pm. Basically it is protein and vegies. I don't mind, as long as I get to my goal - then I can go on maintenance and eat what I want on weekends while being strict all week. Seems ok. What do I want - bacon, g&ts, fish and chips,....

Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy said...

Good for you! I'm glad that you persevered and got some resolution on the phone thing, and that you are getting the hang of the new WW program. I sounds as if you have been needing to do lots of problem solving and figuring out of things lately.

Hope this week is wonderful.

Kathy M.

Hart Johnson said...

Diane-I think we went through that with an internet provider or two way back when, also. I do like having DSL through the phone (though frankly think I'd like cable even better, but at the mo we have a dish, so never mind)

Stace-I'm honestly more inclined to vegetarian than low-carb, but I will see. I do know protein sticks longer--I need to buy some nuts. This though, encourages whole grains, too, so there is some 'quality of the carb' thing...

Jan-interesting that it is only before 2-- It sounds like it's going great, and for that short a time, I can see doing that. Glad it's working!

Kathy-thank you! Yes, far too many problems, and it has definitely cut into the other stuff. I am behind on my writing deadlines--need to power through though, as one of them is a hard deadline (as in my agent needs it with enough time for her to tweak before the editor gets it)

Sarah Ahiers (Falen) said...

i've worked in many a call center. The best way to get to someone who will fix things for you is to just ask immediately to speak to their supervisor. Just keep asking until you get to someone high up. They'll fix your problem 99% of the time

Hannah Kincade said...

Holy crap! That sounds awful!! I'm so sorry, but glad you finally got some funds in return for your trouble. I have the same issue with Comcast. *shakes fist at Comcast across the river* Yeah, that's right, I can see their headquarters from here. Bastards.