Saturday, July 11, 2009

The phone company

I made this post just over a year ago about dealing with some customer service issues I was having at the time. I was fighting with my bank and my insurance company about a missing payment. That problem was never resolved.

I was also arguing with the phone company. A year (and several dozen phone calls) later, I may have just won the argument. The service technician that I've been asking for since February of 2008 has finally actually made it out to the building and discovered that Holy Cow! The phone service was never hooked up! Actually, I'm fairly certain that this is not the same installer or repairman who didn't come in Feb of '08. They've probably hired and fired a half dozen different guys since then. It's been 17 months after all. And the guy who came wasn't even the business-lines installer or repairman or whoever. He's supposed to do the residential service. He was actually covering for someone else.

But the exciting (excruciating?) part is that this guy told us that not only was our service never properly hooked up to the box on the outside of our building, the line coming in from the pole isn't even active. The box that splits our line from the main bus is defective.

What does this mean? And why do I care? Well, it means that in theory I can get a copy of his official report and have proof that we were never provided with phone service. And I care because I had refused to pay for my non-existant service and now I have this black mark on my credit saying I don't pay my bills. I didn't pay the bill. But I didn't pay because they didn't do the work. I'm not in the habit of donating money to large corporations just for the hell of it. I actually want something for my money.

I know you guys don't care about this. I'm trying to make myself stop. But honestly, this was the most frustrating process. I tried for months to get phone service and they kept telling me it was on already. On but not actually connected via a wire, apparently. And I gave up trying to get the service for almost a year. We needed it because Scott was trying to start a business, but then he was offered a teaching job. When the teaching job ended, he wanted to start his business back up again and needed the phone. So I started calling them back up and trying to get service. They are the only company that provides new service in our area, so I had to go through them. And this time around it was even more frustrating. I couldn't get new service until I'd paid for the old (never functional) service. I couldn't get a service call for the old service because it had been cut off for non-payment. I basically couldn't do anything unless I coughed up $300 for services which were never rendered. Finally, I asked someone to look up the record of their last service call. If they could show me where their own tech ever said it was functional I would just pay the $300. I waited on hold for 3 hours while she looked. She kept coming back and saying that she could just call me back. I said that I'd fallen for that line before and was not hanging up. So she finally found the old service record which said that someone had come out (but didn't say it was functional) and was of course followed by a phone call the very next day from us saying that it still wasn't working. And she couldn't find any record of anyone ever coming back out to fix it despite the dozens of calls we made requesting repair. So she set up the new line for me. I had to make a $100 deposit but that's supposed to be applied to the new service, not go towards the old line that never got hooked up. We'll see.

Anyhow, I may yet have a phone line down at Scott's office. Maybe. I think.


Tara said...

I feel your frustration. I really really do. That is why we now have 23 digital channels via an antenna, lol. I hope it all works out like it should with your credit. Keep us posted.

She said...

That is so, so frustrating. I hate when customer service people's "what to say and when" book gets in the way of common sense! I hope you get the phone service and they give you something to give to the credit agencies to fix your credit.