Tuesday, January 27, 2009

What Does a Person Have to Do to Get Cable Installed in This Joint???

Tell it to me straight, Mom.

Something happened during my birth. Was there a surprise lighting storm that hit the hospital? An electrical malfunction? A radioactive doctor?

I just want to know.

I'm the one who burns out light bulbs when I flip the switch. They explode with a spectacular zap and flash.

When I walk or drive past street lights, they shut off. Then turn back on when I'm 200 feet or so away.

And when I deal with companies that use any sort of electrical component, wires get crossed, spliced, diced and spit out at my feet.

The Gateway saga came to a surprisingly anti climatic finish last week, with the arrival of our new video card. The worst I can say is my heart started pounding at the sight of "keyboard" written on the box but nestled within lay a beautifully shiny new video card. It works and everything.

I truly had hoped that it was to be the end of poor communication with stinking big, huge and enormous companies.

Enter Shaw.

They thought otherwise. I am to be their new poster child for "Putting the Mis in Communication." I didn't realize I had applied for the job, and let me tell you, the pay sucks.

All I wanted was cable installed. Isn't that what Shaw Cable does? Installs cable TV? That's why I called the company. Asked them to please come to my humble abode and do what they do best and make Family Channel appear on our TV.

I'd wait. Sure I'd wait. I know they want my business, but I'd wait. And wait. You know what? I wanted them to come and install cable so bad, I let them schedule an evening appointment that was two weeks away. And it would still be ok when the techy guy showed up and told me he wished they would stop scheduling evening appointments to install cable, 'cause it's kinda hard for him to see in the dark and all, and I wasn't going to be watching Jack Bauer kill 18 bad guys with his bare hands and a piece of guitar wire that night.

I'd wait another 9 days. I was just sitting around waiting for that video card anyways. And while I was waiting, Shaw could phone my cell asking when I wanted to schedule an appointment to install my cable. I wouldn't lose faith in their company. No. Not yet.

But when they phone after making me wait around for 4 hours on a sunny morning and tell me they won't be coming after all, something will snap. Explode. Combust.

Because the customer service representatives don't know what the heck they are talking about.

Depending on who you talk to at Shaw, if you're exchanging your old satellite receiver and dish for a new cable box, you either have to do nothing, take off the arm of the satellite or take down the entire satellite dish.

The latest answer is to you have to take down the entire dish.

The previous night's answer was to only take down the arm of the dish.

Three weeks ago, the answer was to sit and drink a latte while the technician did everything. In the dark. Including taking the dish down himself.

We'll see what tomorrow brings. Or doesn't. Nothing will surprise me at this point.

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