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Over the Edge

I've spent the last three days dealing with the intricacies of moving into a 103-year-old house. I'm so tired I can barely see, but I need to get the story of Tuesday off my chest. I went into the task of switching my cable service to the new address with the intention of keeping my temper. I made a valiant effort, but did not succeed.

Last Thursday, I called the cable company and told them what I wanted. In specific detail. I had the rep read it all back to me. I explained that I wouldn't get the new house keys until Friday night. She said she'd call me back in a few minutes when they scheduled an install. She never called back.

Friday, a cable guy shows up at my OLD home, ready to install cable. I've had cable at that address for 15 years. I explain what's what, and he leaves, saying they will call me when they set up another appointment. Nobody calls.

Monday, I call the cable company and tell them I have access to the new house, and can they set an appointment. Oh yes, she says, they are already scheduled to be at the new address between 8AM and 5PM Tuesday. Hmm, it's a good thing I called to inquire, because otherwise I would never have known. I asked them to call before they came, and gave them my cell number (again). Late Monday night, they gave me an automated "reminder" on my old house phone (which I told them not to use, please use my cell number). But I didn't get the message until Tuesday morning.

So Tuesday I load up the car with the coffee maker and plenty of stuff that needed to be sorted and stowed at the new house... ya know, to keep me busy while I waited. I got all that done in two hours. The gas company came, about ten minutes after I contacted them. Nice. I cleaned all the transoms, wainscoting, and gingerbread. You have to be bored as hell to do that. About 1:30 I called the cable company just to make sure they didn't go to the old address (again). No, the proper address is on the work list today. The kids walked over after school, but with no TV, pets, or refrigerator, they got bored quickly.

At ten minutes before 5, I called the cable company to see if we could go home now. No, we are still on the list, and the guys work late to get all their scheduled appointments done, even if it goes to 6:30. OK, I said, but can I run and get something to eat? The kids are hungry, but they will be here on the porch waiting. She said sure, I could come and go, because they agreed to call me before they came. Oh no, I told her, you were supposed to call me back Thursday and didn't. You were supposed to call me back Friday and didn't. There's no reason at all to believe the service guy will call me. But I was calm and polite.

I returned with the food, and the kids tell me a cable truck came by while I was gone. They jumped up and down and waved, but the truck left. They even made sure the company name was right. It parked two blocks down. I cruised by, but they were working inside someone else's house. We kept an eye on it, but it left by the other direction a half-hour later. So we waited. My oldest asked me, "Do you think they didn't stop because we're not white?" No, I told her, they just don't want to do the work.

At 6:30 I called again (every call went to a different rep) and was told that I'm still on the appointment list and they will come tonight. At this point, I've already waited over ten hours, and I have to have Internet access to make a living. I wouldn't put up with this if it were just TV. But I was still calm and polite.

At 8PM, I called again. Every time I call, I'm first asked the phone number on the account. I tell them, and immediately add that I am NOT at that address and cannot receive phone calls at that number. Then I give them the cell number. This rep says she doesn't understand why the guys haven't been here yet, and she will call and tell them to come over and hook up my cable. Twelve hours now, I've been waiting, mostly on the porch watching it rain. But now it's dark, and getting cold. I'm still polite on the phone.

eruption.jpgAt 8:50, I call again and get a male rep for the first time. He looks up my account, and tells me that the service appointment has been rescheduled for Thursday. That's when I lost it. I screamed, I cried, I yelled. Thirteen hours will do that to you. I told him about every call that I had made (and how they had never called me, except for the automated "reminder" call at the incorrect number). I called them a bunch of liars. He said "Ma'am, I haven't lied to you." I said I realize that, because there hasn't been enough time for the things you say to NOT happen yet. I accused them of stringing me along all day for kicks. I asked him how late they were planning to let me wait before telling me the appointment was canceled, but didn't bother to wait for an answer because we all know they would have let me sit there until dawn and longer if I hadn't called every hour. I mentioned what my kid said about being passed by because they aren't white. Then I started telling him about how I have no choice but to bend over and let the cable company screw me because I work via the internet. The only alternative was the phone company, and their service sucks even worse. Now I've lost a whole day of not only paid work, but also a day of doing the hundred things you need to do to move into a new home. And I'll miss another on Thursday. And now I have to go back to the old place and work late tonight to make up some of that.

That's when he told me they'd already cut off service to the old address. They FOUND the time to do that.

So I lost it again, and just started blubbering. I'd been raking this guy over the coals for about 15 minutes, and I was spent. I whimpered a goodbye. OK, we'll try this again Thursday. Get in the car, kids, we're going home.

Less than ten minutes later, as we pulled out of the driveway in the rain and the darkness, we saw... a cable truck! I asked him if he was going to install cable in this house. He said yes! He seemed a little bewildered -probably wondering why he was ordered out on an "emergency cable install" at 9:15PM. "We have to run a new line out here. It'll take two or three hours. You want us to do it tonight?" Yes, I do. "We could reschedule it." But I need the internet to work, and they've already turned it off at the old place. "We could turn it back on for you. Whatever you want to do." I want you to install cable TV and internet service at this house. I want three outlets, in the living room, office, and master bedroom. He said OK, probably because he was told to get out here and give me anything I want. I should've demanded HBO. No, I shouldn't.

My kids were already in awe at how their mother talked to the last phone rep. I hate that, since I've tried to teach them to be civil. Now they've learned that being nice gets you squat from the cable company, but a psychotic episode brings results. I also told them to be very nice to the cable guys if and when they show up. Be rude to an installer, and they can mess you up big time. Once the guys were resigned to really having to do the job, they got the whole thing done and working in less than an hour. I helped, because I already knew where all the existing coax was and where the rooms were from the basement perspective.

So I have cable. And probably a red flag on my account. I was so tired after they left that I did nothing but sleep. I hauled the computer and desk up here today, but spent most of the afternoon dealing with a chimney that had never been swept, but that's another story.

Looking back, I really shouldn't have been surprised. I took an entire week off of one job because I couldn't count on continuous internet access (plus being super busy). I knew they would push, but didn't know how far. Looks like the answer is... until you snap.

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23 Comments

I have many smart-ass comments I could make, but even I have a heart. Unlike your cable company.

Sorry for your ordeal. Usually this type of life lesson is saved for someone who deserves it. Unless you have a dark side we are not aware of, there was no lesson to be learned here. It's a shame it had to be played out in front of your children. Once the dust has settled, that's probably what I would have trouble accepting.

Rest assured, the UNNA will have something to say about this ...

said Tim on August 28, 2008 12:20 AM.

That's terrible, Miss C. There just isn't enough honorable behavior in the world these days.

Whatever happened to people actually doing what they say they're going to do?

said markjamesmurphy on August 28, 2008 1:07 AM.

Things will be different under Obama, you know it's true :)

(waits for Dave.......)

said Scaramouch on August 28, 2008 1:57 AM.

I rarely comment on stories I get led to through places like mental floss. They are interesting to read and that is it. But this story made me mad for you and sad for you and determined to comment.

I'm glad that they came to fix your cable and I'm impressed that you stayed so calm so long. I hope the rest of the move goes more smoothly and that you get to truly enjoy your new home.

May the saddest day of your future be no worse
Than the happiest day of your past.
May the roof above us never fall in.
And may the friends gathered below it never fall out.

said kate on August 28, 2008 7:41 AM.

Miss C - Reading what you'd went through hit really close to home. I was so pissed, I called the cable company and cussed them out for good measure. "Debbie" sure got an earfull this morning. I even insulted her, and every branch on her family tree. After she tearfully quit her job (can you believe that, right there on the phone with me!!), her pissy little supervisor jumped on the line and threatened to find me, press charges... yada yada yada... I'm sorry, but enough is enough. Bad customer service is just wrong, and as Vice President of UNNA, I know for a fact that Dave will make things right for you.

[I hate to cut this short, but something really cool must be going on outside right now. I see cop cars, helicopters, and news crews! How cool! I can't wait to see what idiot is gonna be on the news tonight!]

Good luck with your move!

CLC_08

said ConservaLiberCrat_08 on August 28, 2008 9:03 AM.

Thanks, y'all. Two days later, I'm feeling much better about it... because it's over. Kate, that's a really cool blessing I'll have to file to use sometime!

I haven't been able to keep up with the discussions here lately, so please tell me what UNNA stands for.

said Miss Cellania on August 28, 2008 9:27 AM.

Miss C. I completely understand you.
I had problems with the cell phone companies here. I had a contracted line, so I moved to another state, and could stay in the same company, just changing numbers and buying a new sim-chip.
When I moved back to the state I previously lived, It was a surprise I couldn't do the same arrangement. After weeks trying to change it, I decided to cancel that contract and start one with another company.
So far, so good. Until I had the need to move to another state again.
Three months trying to cancel my line. Three whole fucking months calling the company about four times per day!!
"Our network is down", "The main system is down", and shit like that.
Once I asked the rep to raise my account. Instead of the 60 minutes plan, I'd like to change to the 120 minutes plan. "Ok, Mr. Leonardo, we're changing it, just say OK and it's done" and I said "Oh no, I've changed my mind, could you cancel my contract please", "In a moment" he said, and then "Sorry sir, the system is down, can you call us back in a few hours"...

That just drove me mad, killer instinct. If I could just send my fist through the phone and hit his face, I would. With pleasure. Just when I called the telephony regulator agency for 10 times or so, they told my company to cancel my line.

Now I just use non contracted cell phone lines. The taxes are higher, but I can drop their sim chip in the thrash and move to another anytime I want to change/cancel.

I hate those telemarketing reps. Oh, God knows how much!

But don't worry Miss C., we're gonna track all the reps that caused you trouble and they'll be propped into a corner. One by one.

said Leonardo Carvalho on August 28, 2008 9:29 AM.

UNNA is The United Nations of New America.

It's a new worldwide nation that will start when Dave wins the race for president of the USA, with CLC as his vice-president.

I'm the South American (Brazil) arm of the organization, with the title of War Lord, weapon dealer and thugs contractor.

As Dave wisely said, we are tough, but we are fair.

For our friends, we stand until the end, but for those who mess with us and our pals, there are consequences.
They can be propped into a corner (see the Angel guy who was stuffed to stand on his own wake) or they can have a 2-in-1-out fight on the octagon ring in the White House. Freestyle fight. And we have some facilities to keep the captives busy. No lazy prisoners sunbathing, all of them have to work their asses off.

Dave can explain you better what are the UNNA plans. He and CLC are working in the new Constitution.

The other members are all around here. We have Tim, E, etantao, Jeni Gump, sarcastic one, our new ally, Angie, from Canada, and we're trying to bring hobonirvana to the UNNA main team. I may have forgot someone, sorry if I did.

The YBNBY staff is into our team too. Even not knowing, you are already one of us. Echo is Dave's first lady. But this is a subject that Dave can discuss better than me.

Last, but not least, the cable company will soon receive a visit from some of my SWAT guys who are managing the UNNA members security. They'll put those fuckers working properly.

If you want to see our flag (we already have one): http://picasaweb.google.com.br/leo.mdc

said Leonardo Carvalho on August 28, 2008 9:54 AM.

Scaramouche you fricken British Douche! The only thing that Obama will f..

Just kidding buddy. I'm actually feeling mellow today. I sure love Obama and the Queen.

Miss C,
I'm sorry about the cable company. Just yesterday I had Dish guys scheduled to come out to the ranch to replace my Dish's (Hail Storm/Tornado knocked them out) and the Cables (believe it or not a damn Beaver from the creek behind my house chewed through a cable that was supposed to be buried) So I've been stuck watching the only two channels I can get out on the Ranch. Yeah, scheduled repair was yesterday, no repairman.
Which leads me to another subject, where the hell did all of these Brits come from? Last night on my two channels, all there was were Britts. I watched some dumb damn show called America's got talent, Had Ozzy's Wife , some other "Bloke", and Hasslehoff. That's a dandy group to judge talent. So I swap to my only other channel and it's some damn British lady who tells a couple of degenerate parents how to raise their kids, calls herself the "Super Nanny".
I just don't Know where we are all going. I guess if the British had a little tougher accent, I would'nt have such a problem, its just such a feminine accent.
Damn.
Now I'm all mad again.

said Dave on August 28, 2008 10:10 AM.

Dave - have a ruffie man... did your package arrive from Brazil yet?

said ConservaLiberCrat_08 on August 28, 2008 10:34 AM.

Thanks, Leonardo! Pretty neat flag... "Because we said so" I can relate to that!

said Miss Cellania on August 28, 2008 10:36 AM.

The saying in the flag talks for us...

You just need to check with CLC and Dave what is the govmnt area you're responsible for. I think that according to your latest experience with tha cable company, you you help ups on the regulation of these services. Cable, gas, satellite, phone. You know, they need an iron hand in their necks to keep the wheel rolling.

said Leonardo Carvalho on August 28, 2008 10:43 AM.

Damn... what's wrong with my hands?

should read: "I think that according to your latest experience with the cable company, you will help us a lot on the regulation of these services."

said Leonardo Carvalho on August 28, 2008 10:52 AM.

Number 1:I've gotta say I think my rufinol tolerance is getting so strong that it really takes a lot to knock me out.
I did get my package from Brazil and I don't know who that damn Leo is using to ship my goods but this time, it was this little Fat Bald Brazillian Midget. I let that little bastard out of his cage and he just kept chasing me around yelling "Me' Gusta la Verga!" and "Yo So es Maricone". I didn't know what the hell he was saying, but damn, I'm not scared of much but I am scared of Midgets.
At one point and time he bit my dog. Luckily I tricked him and locked him in the barn. I don't know what to do with that little bastard?
Leo, dammit quit shipping through Argentenian Air!

Any ways, so what happened with the cops outside of your office?

said Dave on August 28, 2008 11:03 AM.

Much sympathy for you here Miss C...we've had so many terrible experiences with our cable provider that they are now known as "Crapcast."
Hope you never have to go through that again. However, I think it's a universal experience.

said plainjane on August 28, 2008 11:05 AM.

Shit. Give the ruffie to the midget then.

Leo - What the hell man... Send Cindy McCain some more Vicodin and get one of her jets to charter Dave's package.

Cops are still out there. For some reason they want me to come out. I'm not stupid. It's dangerous out there! There's a fruitloop loose, and until they're apprehended, I'm staying indoors where it's safe. I figure I'll let them keep knocking until they get the picture. It's the same way with the Jehovah's Witnesses too. People are so rude sometimes. I can't understand it.

said ConservaLiberCrat_08 on August 28, 2008 11:14 AM.

Dave, I'm amazed man. I have sent you the girls I told I was going to, and that's what arrive? A bald fat midget?
There is some man in the middle making the changes. I've sent my personal jet to charter the girls.

I think that some Argentinian guys may have infiltrated in my office, because according to what you told the midget was saying, it's Spanish. Not Brazilian Portuguese. If he was Brazilian he would say "Eu gosto de vara!" and "Eu sou boiola!". You can use midget as bear bait. Place him in the trap.

I'm running a thorough check into the staff right now. In the afternoon I'll have it solved, promise.

To avoid more misdirections, I'm calling the USA HQ and ordering to you the girls who are there.

In the evening you'll have the guys at your door. Their punishment is on your hands. You know better than me what you've been going through with these mistakes, so you are the right person to punish them.

said Leonardo Carvalho on August 28, 2008 11:27 AM.

At times like that I throw in Cop Killer and crank my ghetto blaster to 10.
Cops.
I hate em.

said Dave on August 28, 2008 11:28 AM.

you guys have wierd problems with cable down there

said Angie on August 28, 2008 11:40 AM.

Too bad I hate Ice T more than I hate the cops, or else I'd be blasting that song right now. Ice T makes me want to peel my face off with a spork. You did however, get me to thinking about a suitable song for our brave men in blue. As such, I'm getting ready to dig my N.W.A. tape out of the closet and queue "Fuck Tha Police"...as soon as I finish splicing it with scotch tape. I snagged it by accident...

Leo. Good plan. I swear, as soon as we find out who is responsible for these shipping errors - I'm going to develop a very special tortu...er um... PUNISHMENT for the offender.

said ConservaLiberCrat_08 on August 28, 2008 11:41 AM.

Miss C, can I have the coordinates of your cable company? I will go there now to drop my daily dump on them.

said Jeni Gump on August 28, 2008 12:03 PM.

CLC, we have to punish them hard, as an example of what happens to betrayers.

Are my guys providing you protection enough while all this situation is going out there? If you need more thugs, just call the HQ on the radio and ask for backups.

said Leonardo Carvalho on August 28, 2008 12:15 PM.

Send them a turd-letter, Jeni.

said Leonardo Carvalho on August 28, 2008 12:17 PM.
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