Thursday, January 5, 2012

Dear, Dear Time Warner: Fuck You! Love, Spike


Dear Time Warner,
I am writing this note to kill some time while I am on hold with your annoying automated system. I realize now, entirely too late, that when I was asked why I was calling by the Robobitch that picked up, I made a grave mistake in revealing the truth to her robo ears. “CANCEL SERVICE!” I shouted, and I admit there was a gleeful tone to my proclamation.

Robobitch, immediately getting even, dumped me into the queue where I was informed that call volume was very high and probably I should call back later. But you know what? I’m not calling back later. I don’t care if you put me on hold for forty-seven fucking hours. I will wait. I can’t wait to tell somebody that I will no longer be using your services.

In fact, as I type this, the extremely nice Grande guys are busily installing that service. Now, mind you, I know Grande is also a big company. And I also know if I have any hope of even finding a road sign indicating that enlightenment is just fifty million light years up that path, this will involve letting go of the Internet altogether. Admittedly, I’m not there yet. And so, lesser of evils, I have selected Grande.

Truth is, I actually called AT&T first, before I called Grande. Let me tell you about that. The other week, when you sent some dude out to turn the cable off at the house because I overlooked a $57 bill? And the dude turned the cable off even though I’ve been paying y’all out the ass for sixteen years? Well I don’t know if AT&T was listening in on my phone calls or what, but within a day or two of that exchange, they had a nice special offer in my mailbox—Internet for just $14.95 per month!

Even though I actually sometimes engage in marketing work to pay my bills and so should know better, I confess I fell for this bait-and-switch offer. I called up and proceeded to get wrapped up in a labyrinth of a discussion with the rep who said well actually… and before you know it, I had agreed to sign up for Uverse at around $80 a month for the first six months and then, I think, $8000 a month after that.

I guess if I were to be totally honest, I was kind of a prime candidate for this bait-and-switch. I made that phone call on one of the last days of 2011, and knowing that 2012 is an election year I admit I have been slobbering for access to the Daily Show. I don’t want to watch it on Hulu either. If I’m going to suddenly become all Stereotypical American and start watching TV, I want to do it right. I want what I want when I want it. And I WANT IT NOW!

Actually, it’s possible that the whole TV thing won’t last more than a month. I have tried so hard over the years to become a dedicated TV watcher but without the aid of a six-pack to keep my ass in the chair, I’m must more of a pacer. I like to wander the house. Being in one place for 28 minute stretches seems like too much (unless we’re talking about real stretches, as in yoga, in which case I can do 28 minute stretches). Still, I want to try this TV thing again. I have fond if slurry memories of my last foray into TV watching, as I was recovering from my hysterectomy, stuck in bed for weeks. It did dawn on me, around week six of recovery, that I only “needed” a Vicodin at around 4, the same time that LIFETIME played one of those movies with a plot involving a recently divorced or widowed middle-aged woman and the stranger she rents a spare room out to, a guy who invariably turns out to be a killer that she ultimately must dispatch swiftly with a rusty old handgun left behind by her husband, thus sparing other unsuspecting widows and divorcees. Oh I loved getting so high, eating a pint of ice cream, and clinging to the predictable but thrilling plotline.

But there was a problem. You see, my partner Warren is a TV addict. When that thing was on, he’d watch it constantly. Until one morning, when I walked into the bedroom to find him clutching it to his groin. When he saw me, he quickly muttered, “Uh, I was just going to move this to another room.” But a friend pointed out to me a more probably truth—Warren was trying to make love to our little television set. Understandably shaken to learn this, that’s when I killed cable TV last time.

Now, though, now here I go again. I can’t help it. The thought of hearing what Jon Stewart has to say about the Republican presidential candidates is too tempting. So yeah, I agreed to get Uverse. They said they’d send a dude right out, the very next day, between 1 and 3.

At a little before noon, dude calls to say he has arrived. I know it is totally a First World Problem to have a utility worker arrive EARLY, more so considering that usually they don’t show up at all, this after you cancel every single other appointment you have just to be there waiting, like the ugly girl on prom night who didn’t realize the guy who invited her was JUST KIDDING so she sits by the window til dawn, weeping into her frothy polyester dress. Any joy I had that he managed to show up at all was tempered by his early arrival and, more so, his attitude. (Aside: Hey, I wonder if ATT ever noticed those are the same first three letters in ATT-itude? Maybe that’s why their employees are so condescending?) Anyway, there I was, more annoyed than relieved that the AT&T guy wanted me to let him start work early. I had arranged my day to be there for the 1-3 slot, knowing I would have to stick around for at least 4 hours. Thus he was interrupting my schedule. When I suggested he go get some lunch and come back at the proper time, he informed me that he had lunch in a very, Look bitch, it’s now or never, kind of way.

Well, well, well can you say Mister Unpleasant? Mind you, he wasn’t a flat out raging asshole or clear-cut lunatic—this upsetting in its own right since I so enjoy pigeonholing people. But there was something annoyed and self-righteous about him, a vibe he gave off like I was so LUCKY that he deigned come by my house to do HIS JOB. Then he said I had to trim the bushes, something the woman on the phone never mentioned. I pointed out that, it being New Year’s Eve, the odds of getting a landscaper out to trim these bushes (that were so overgrown they were more like Redwood trees) were probably slim. He just stared at me like I was an idiot.

Fortunately, Warren and his troubleshooting friend came to the rescue, and offered to use a pair of nail clippers and some kindergarten safety scissors to trim the bushes. I set off on a walk with the dogs to calm my nerves. Then Warren called and said that the dude was now saying he needed access to a neighbor’s yard, and the neighbor wasn’t answering, but there was a dog in the yard, so all bets were off, he was leaving. And he left.

At that point, I was thinking two things:

Thing One: That neighbor is SUCH A BITCH. The day I came home from my hysterectomy, and Rebound busted through the back fence into her yard, I hobbled outside, literally doubled over in pain, to tell the neighbor I just had an organ removed and was sorry about the dog and would fix things as soon as I could stand up straight again. She just glared and said, “YOU NEED A NEW FENCE!” And then she watched while I attempted to nail the hole over with a board, never offering to help. And then, later when I got one, even though it divides both our properties, of course she didn’t chip in. So I knew there was no way she’ ever let the guy in, even if she was home.

Thing Two: Fuck that AT&T guy. I don’t need to put up with his shit. If he so clearly doesn’t want to do his job, then I don’t want him here giving me his shitty attitude.

Which is when I noticed that Grande—also apparently tapping my wires and listening in— had sent a special offer in the mail. Wow! How do these folks do it? So I called Grande and a human answered right away and when I told her what I wanted, she connected me to another human who also answered right away. And when I asked questions, that human knew all the answers. And then they said they’d send somebody out. And the window was from 9 til 1. And the guy got here at 9:15. And then the other guy got here. And they are here right now and they are rocking it. So there, Time Warner idiots! So there AT&T idiots!


Meanwhile, I did call AT&T to cancel the order and, again, I made the error of telling a roboemployee that I wanted to cancel, which got me dumped into the go-to-hell queue, where I spent about forty minutes of my life I will never get back until I was finally connected to a human. At least when I did connect with her, she acted sympathetic. She even said she would make a note about the shitty attitude of the guy who came out to the house. I told her please do NOT do that because, really, would you want a stranger who knows where you live to know that you got him at trouble at work? Oh no, no thank you. I insisted that she just put down a generic reason for the cancel.

Anyway, Time Warner, since I started writing this, it “only” took y’all 18 minutes to get me through to a service person to cancel my service. And the Grande guys—who were nice and smart and helpful—have already finished up! Now the only thing upsetting me is that I didn’t call them sooner. I am trying to make up for this foolishness by encouraging all of my friends to set aside the necessary time to go ahead and switch internet services, switch banks, switch away from all the businesses that do not give a shit about their customers.

Au Revoir,

1 comment:

Sue J said...

Spike, my Mom passed away last month, and my brother called Time Warner to cancel her cable.......and they OF COURSE wanted to talk to the account holder. When told she had died, they told my brother he needed to send
!) copy of the death certificate (REALLY? To cancel cable??)
2) a copy of his drivers license and
3) his social security number (WTF?)

My brother said that wasn't going to happen, cancel the cable or eat the bill, he REALLY didn't care, and then he hung up!
I love him................