High Speed to Nowhere

Never satisfied to let one post on poor customer service suffice, I must follow up on my previous post about doing business with Cox Communications, my cable TV and "high speed" Internet provider.

Once I was able to provide them with the last four digits of my wife’s Social Security Number – at first, this seemed to be the Holy Grail, but ultimately turned out to be the key to Pandora’s Box  (please forgive the mixed metaphors, but these service downfalls really upset me!), I was able to get someone to try to diagnose my cable TV and Internet outage.  Reboot this, reboot that, nothing happening, okay Mr. Dennis, we’re going to have to schedule a visit for one of our field technicians.  The first available date is Saturday, between 1 and 3 PM.  Is that okay?

Ummmm, no.  That is not OK, not when I call on Wednesday, not when my cable TV and Internet were working fine when I left for work that morning, and did not work when I returned that evening.  Not to mention having to crack the DaVinci Code with my wife’s SSN before the tech reps would even speak to me.  Now they tell me I have to wait three days before they can send someone out to fix my problem.  No, not "OK."  Far from it.

Now, is Cox woefully understaffed in field technicians, or do they have so many problems with their service that normal staffing just can’t keep up?  Pick your poison – either scenario reeks of indifference to their customers.

Now, here’s the kicker:  On Saturday, a technician finally arrives.  He looks at my cable TV box and cable modem.  Then he says he has to check something outside.  The next thing I know, he is climbing up a ladder leaning against the house across the street, so he can access the cable that goes from my house to the community cable feed.  He then makes a call on his cell phone, and comes back to my house.  He tells me that someone accidentally shut my service off, but he got them to turn it back on.

Let me repeat that.  "Someone" at Cox accidentally shut down my cable TV and Internet, and after calling them to find out what the problem was, and then having to wait three days for a field tech to diagnose the problem and request service reconnection, all I got was this lame explanation.  No apologies for the gaffe, no complementary services for a month or two for my trouble, nothing.

I was promised by the telephone rep that I would not be billed for service for the days when my service was out, and that remains to be seen.  If they do not credit me for those days on my next bill, I will be pulling a major nutty on them.  If they do credit me for those days, it is in fact the very LEAST they can do.  And that seems to be what Cox is striving for: doing the very least they can do to keep their customers. 

My lesson to you, good readers, is to strive to do more for your customers.  When loyal customers don’t get what they are paying you for, you need to remedy that problem immediately, and then you need to put a "cherry on top" to ensure that your customer knows that you know that he has been inconvenienced, and that you hope that the customer will give you another chance.  It’s not that difficult.  All it takes is a little common sense and a little humility.

   — Chuck Dennis

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