Customer Service -The Struggle of Settling for the Lesser Evil: Part 2 in our Customer Service Blog Series: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

By Nicole Hradek

dateSun, Sep 27, 2015 @ 12:00 PM

AT&T, Verizon Wireless, Time Warner Cable, Comcast - We can’t live without them, but they don’t make it easy for their customers to live with them.Wireless-Providers - We cannot live without them but, they don't make it easy to live with them!

New House. Time to get internet service.

I bought my first home at the end of March, which meant I had to make the second biggest decision of home buying - an internet provider. The only providers in the Charlotte area, that I’m aware of, are Time Warner Cable and AT&T. I have used Time Warner Cable since I moved down here five years ago. Their customer service is consistently sassy and never helpful. When you have to return equipment at a location, you better take the day off. I’d rather waste my time at the DMV. So when shopping for internet services, I did not want Time Warner, which left me with AT&T.

When I called AT&T to purchase internet servies, the salesperson told me only the slowest speed was available in my area. I didn’t think I needed super fast speed internet anyway. The price was affordable which was all that mattered to me.  

Surprise (not really). My internet service is super slow.

Well, a month after installation, I was not satisfied with their service. My internet kept dropping and I had to call their tech support line about once a week. Every tech support person I’ve spoken to was incredibly nice, and somewhat helpful, but the problem continued. One gentleman came up with the solution to send me a router/modem gateway, free of charge, to be able to identify any further issues since it was hard to tell if it was my modem or my router causing the disconnections. After installing the new equipment, my service was better, but not consistently working. 

“I am cancelling”. Then I get transferred to the “Retention Specialist”.

One evening, I lost internet service, so I called tech support. By this time, I was fed up with having to call tech support every other week and the service still not working. It was time to cancel. The tech support representative said there was something wrong outside my house and it wasn’t my modem, so we scheduled an appointment for a technician to come out the next morning. After scheduling the appointment, I told her I would like to cancel the service, so she transferred me to the infamous “Retention Specialist”. This woman asked what was wrong, so I ranted. She asked what would make me stay. I told her a faster speed, but I know it’s not available in my area.

Really? You have faster speed service in my area after all? Send the repairman.

After she did some “magic”, she was able to give me a faster speed for the same price! What???? Well, she was nice, I got what I wanted, so I guess I should be happy. I told her if it still doesn’t work, I’m going to cancel, but we’ll find out tomorrow after the technician is here.

The repairman never showed up.

The next morning, I worked from home while I waited for the technician to arrive. After waiting until the latest slot for when the technician was suppose to arrive, he never showed. So I called customer service, again, and since I told the girl the day before that I wanted to cancel my service, she canceled the appointment. OK- I probably should’ve said that I still wanted to keep my appointment since I needed internet until I found a new provider. I was upset and common sense was not available to me at the time. I would expect the representative to ask if I still wanted the appointment. The retention specialist did her job; Why not think I still needed to have my internet fixed? 

A month after that issue, I continually lose service. Almost on a daily basis. Sadly, I think I’m going to have to switch to Time Warner Cable. At least their internet works, most of the time, so hopefully I won’t have to speak to their sassy customer service as often as I do to AT&T. Choosing an internet provider has been a struggle for over six months. Do I go with the nice people but poor service, or with the better service but grouchy people? Which would you choose?

Think about how you treat your customers.

Do you make it difficult for your customers to be loyal? Do you strive to better your product and service so your clients don’t have to struggle to stay with you? What do you do continually to satisfy your customers to keep them coming back for more? I hope to inspire you to think about how you treat your customers, or at least how to not treat them.

Nicole Hradek


Photo Credit: iStock by Getty Images