Recently my cable box stopped working. This was the second time that it had happened and it was frustrating. I’m only getting the local channels. I’m not asking for much. But it just randomly stopped working. Twice.
So I went to the local Cox Solutions store, told them my story, and they gave me another box. They assured me it would work when I got home.
Got home. Nope. Didn’t work.
So after a very long chat session later that night they decided that they would send a technician to my place on Friday (today). That conversation was an experience in and of itself that I won’t get into here.
Ok. I’ll share just one moment from that chat session.
I told them to come on Friday because my wife had the day off and could help wrangle the children and our puppy if necessary. So I told them to come anytime on Friday except for 1:00-3:00. That’s when my youngest takes a nap and my wife sleeps in preparation for her night shift.
So they responded by saying that they set up the technician to arrive between 1:00-3:00.
So I got that corrected and we set it up for the technician to come between 10:00 am and 12:00 pm. So today I prepared for the technician to come. I got the box out and I cleaned up a bit in the basement.
But no one showed up. I waited until 12:00. No one came.
The Cox customer service chat representative that I communicated with on Tuesday evening made sure to let us know that Cox has an on-time guarantee. At the time I sort of poked fun of it because it was a two hour window. Not too hard to be on time when you have two hours to be on time.
Apparently I was wrong.
So I opened up another chat with Cox to ask a few questions. Instead of describing it, I’ll just leave it here.
Thank you for choosing Cox Communications. A representative will be with you shortly.
You are now chatting with ‘Julieth C.’.
Julieth C.: Welcome to Cox Live Chat Support. My name is Julieth C., I hope you are doing great, I’ll do my best to help you with your request. Please allow me a moment to review your inquiry.
Julieth C.: how are you doing today?
Andrew Seaman: ok.
Julieth C.: Great! I am glad to assist you in this matter.
Julieth C.: Please provide me this information in order to verify the account and better assist you. 1. 10-Digit Phone Number as it is listed on the account. 2. Your full name as it is listed on the account. 3. Your complete home address where the service is located.
Andrew Seaman: [removed for this post for obvious reasons.]
Julieth C.: Thank you for all the information you have provided me. This will take me a moment while I look up your account information.
[about five minutes pass by here]
Andrew Seaman: ?
Julieth C.: Allow me a moment, please.
Julieth C.: I have here in the system that technical will be there are 11:54.
Andrew Seaman: That sentence doesn’t make sense. Can you rephrase it?
Andrew Seaman: It is currently 12:25 PM.
Julieth C.: The technical will be there at 11:54, I have this in the system.
Julieth C.: They will be calling you in the next hours.
Julieth C.: Sorry for the delay.
Andrew Seaman: They were supposed to be here between 10:00 am and 12:00 PM.
Andrew Seaman: Isn’t there a Cox on-time guarantee?
Julieth C.: I know but there was a delay with the last home that our technical get.
Andrew Seaman: Is there a Cox on-time guarantee?
Julieth C.: 1 hour.
Andrew Seaman: 1 hour what?
Andrew Seaman: And why does the appointment not show up on the cox.com service appointment page?
Julieth C.: I have it here in the system.
Julieth C.: I can reschedule it if you want.
Andrew Seaman: It is not showing up under my “my manage service appointment”
Andrew Seaman: I do not want to reschedule.
Andrew Seaman: 1 hour what? What was that in reference to?
Julieth C.: It could be 1 hours after the appointment.
Julieth C.: So it could be there at 12:54.
Andrew Seaman: So the on-time guarantee is that they can be one hour later than when they said they would be here?
Julieth C.: at 11:54.
Julieth C.: But the technical get a delay.
Andrew Seaman: What happens if they are not here by 12:54?
Julieth C.: Then you need to schedule a technical again.
Julieth C.: I apologize for the inconvenience this is causing you.
Julieth C.: If I were in your shoes I am sure I’d feel just as you do.
Julieth C.: I understand that this situation may be frustrating for you.
Andrew Seaman: So if they’re late they just reschedule. How is that a guarantee? I’m confused.
Julieth C.: Please accept my sincerest apology for the inconvenience you have encountered during this time.
Your chat session has been disconnected unexpectedly. Please feel free to chat with us again if you need further assistance.
There’s so many things that could be said about that chat session. But I’ll let it just speak for itself.
So at 12:55 I decided to call my local Cox Solutions store to explain my situation. The woman who responded was that kind of over the top bubbly personality that isn’t actually nice, just annoying when you’re trying to just get some simple information.
She said she’d give me a $20 credit on my bill because of them being over an hour late. (So I guess that fully explains the ‘1 hour’ response from Julieth C.) Then she said she’d contact the technician and ask him to contact me immediately. She said she made a note for him in the computer system and that she didn’t see any notes from him as to why he was late.
After another hour going by without a call, I decided to call the Cox Solutions store again. By this point it was about 1:55 pm.
A man named Fernando answered and I explained to him the situation. He told me he would call dispatch and figure out what is going on. Then he told me to call him back in another 10 minutes. I thought that was a bit strange. Why wouldn’t he just call me back? But whatever. It was at least progress.
So then I had lunch and ended up calling Cox back about 20 minutes later.
Another man answered and told me that Fernando was busy and would have to call me back after he was done with the customer. He took my phone number. And at about 2:30, Fernando did eventually call me back.
Fernando: “Hi Andrew, has anyone called you yet? Or has a technician showed up?”
Fernando: “Fantastic! I’m going to put you on hold now.”
Who says fantastic like that? It wasn’t sarcastic at all either. So strange.
After a few minutes of silence over the phone Fernando came back on the line and told me that he was working with his manager and that he’d give me a call personally whenever they were able to make contact with the technician.
I never did get a call from Fernando.
By this point I didn’t know how I should feel about the technician. Did he have a heart attack or something? Why haven’t they been able to reach him, and why hasn’t he shown up at my place yet? No phone call. Nothing.
I couldn’t help but think of one phrase:
and finally, this:
To alleviate my frustration and anger I was kind of rooting for a scenario in which the technician decided that he was fed up with Cox and he went rogue with a company van or something. He took a day to himself. Went crazy. Never to come back to Cox.
But eventually I heard a knock on the door. By this point it was 3:00 pm. The technician apologized for being late. Asked me if it was still ok if he helped fix my problem.
“Uh…yep. Please do.”
He mumbled some things about being late because of a project or something. I couldn’t really understand what he was saying. At this point, I really didn’t care unless it was that his grandma died or something.
He came downstairs with me, and I showed him that my box didn’t work. He went to get a new one from his truck. We hooked up the new one and it worked just fine. He said he something about wanting to check my cable hookup and went outside. He came back and said that he found some sort of filter on my cable line that was for analog and said that it potentially the problem. (Honestly, he wasn’t making much sense and he wasn’t communicating very clearly. He was determined to try and make one of the channels work on my TV that was saying “temporarily offline.” It was a channel I don’t think I get or that I even know what it is. He ended up leaving it as it was because I told him I don’t care about that channel.) The technician did tell me that sometimes it takes three or more boxes for things to work right. That’s insane to me. What other business would that ever be true for?
I never did get that call back from Fernando. But at least for now I have TV channels again. And I can watch the NFL playoffs tomorrow. Because, honestly, that’s really the only reason I cared in the first place.
Why do things have to be this hard? It must be nice to be the local monopoly of a service like cable and cable internet. You don’t really have to care about customer satisfaction. What else am I going to do? Get DSL?
Well…maybe. Just maybe.