Monday, August 11, 2008

Liars and cheats

You know, I'm getting sick and tired of being lied to and cheated out of my money.  I'm so sick and tired of these corporations being allowed to lie and steal our money.  The latest issue is that my cable service of off.  It's off because the people at the cab le company are incompetent and don't know how to maintina their service.  Yes, we had some severe thunderstorms today, late afternoon and early evening.  But the service was fine until late in the evening when it went off.  I called customer servie and after waiting for 20 minutes, I was told that there was some type of outage (due to the storm was hit our area HOURS AGO) and that they didn 't know when the service would be up.  Now, I had to go to my neighbor's home to borrow their phone because we have our phone service through the cable company.  So, as I'm sitting at my neighbor's home and just chatting I had an idea.  As someone who use to be fairly high up in the management ladder, until I acquired scruples, a conscience, and integrity (which started to show and I had to give up my corporate career) I had an idea of what was actually going on.  I borrowed my neighbor's phone again, called customer service, and got into a detailed dialogue with the customer service rep.  I asked some pointed questions long with some more subtle ones.  Now this customer service rep didn't give out any details (because he is not allowed to and is required,under penalty of losing his job, to stick with a specific script that they are all given), but I pretty much came to the following conclusion. 

Essentially, all of the customer reps said the same thing -

"We are aware of the problem and we have people at the site."
"We do not have a specific time that the problem will be resolved but expect the service to be up in 2-4 hours."

OK, what is my conclusion?

1.  Yes, they are aware of the problem.  No, they do NOT have anyone at the problem site. 
How can I be sure?  Remember when I said I use to be a manager?  Well, I was once a manager of a technical service department of a large cable equipment manufacturer.  Back in the old days, before they put all of the cable and phone equipment underground, it took a pair of technicians 2 hours to replace ALL of the major cable components within a specific area.  Now, it doesn't take more then an hour to do the same.  Do you REALLY believe that as time moved forward technology moved BACKWARDS for the cable companies?  Knowing the corporate mentality, the reason that they don't have anyone at the site is because they can't get a hold of any subcontractors to come out on a Sunday night.  They are NOT going to send out their own people because they will NOT pay time and a half or double time to send one of their people out on a Sunday night.  Subcontractors cost them the same, regardless of when they go out.  So, if no contractors will answer their phone to go out on a call on a Sunday night, then the customers will have to wait for the regular technicians to show up for their Monday morning shift and the customers be damned.

2.  To support conclusion #1, all I had to do was look down the street as I walked to my neighbor's house and see another neighbor, that works as a service technician for the cable company, still at home because the cable repair van was still in the driveway.  He isn't going anywhere unless he's called because he, like many of us, does NOT work for free.  If he did, then he'd never be home because the corporate crooks would keep him on the job until he dropped dead. 

Always remember, corporations could care less about you or any product or service you are paying them for.  You are an essential inconvenience.  They want to be able to maximize the amount of money that they can charge you while minimizing the service they HAVE to provide.  They haven't quite figured out how to get your money without offering you SOMETHING.  But, trust me....they're working on it.  Why do you think the corporations have so many lobbyists?  They're good citizens and looking out for the public good?  Hell, no!  They're trying to manipulate the laws where they are not held responsible for anything nor do they pay any consequences for their actions.  The whole
Enron/Global Crossing/Tyco fiasco taught them that they have a long way to go before they have the laws written specifically for them.  The Reagan Years were just the start, the Idiot Bush's Administration just build some more.  But we're stupid because we let them do it.  We're complacent and don't gather in a group - find them and tar and feather them.  Letter writing won't help.  Your letters to the "lawmakers" can't compete against their money. 

Consumer complaints?  Don't complain too much...the corporations have gotten themselves the legal right to drop you as a customer if they "feel" you are a nuisance.  Hmmm, can the world be any more perfect for the corporations?  Win or lose....they win.  Only in a America!  The best justice and laws money can buy.

Lastly, now remember I have no phone service.  I had to go to my neighbors and borrow their phone because they don't use the cable company.  I switched over to the cable company because they said their service was better then the phone company's and cheaper.  Well, they never said that they were not capable of maintaining their service.  I'm sure that they will say that I need a backup (i.e. cell phone ,etc.).  And to get that backup service will cost ME money. Add all that together and the cost difference between the cable company and the phone company disappears!  In all of the years I was with the phone company, I never had a service outage.  I pray that someone who has the cable company's phone service end up suing them until their nose bleeds because of an emergency they had and couldn't get help because the phone service wasn't working.  But in today's society, I doubt that would happen.  The corporations would just turn on their PR machines.


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