Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Direct TV's ICU Ward

So, I'm sitting here - like 30 minutes ago - writing up a post for my other blog when the Magic Jack rings (my phone service, I always refer to it as Magic Jack). With Magic Jack, a screen appears on top of everything on your computer - you see the number that is calling.

An 800 number. I figure some sort of sales call, so I was going to let the call drop. But I decided to take the call in case it was my mortgage company. It was a representative from Direct TV's "ICU" is how she referred to it as. She asked me about my last encounter with Direct TV and was my problem satisfactorily resolved. I had to think about it - was I satisfied with the result? Yes and no. I told her the whole story, about how their company called me offering me 2 for 1 pay-per-view movies - buy one today and they would send me something in the mail to fill out and return.

The movie was supposed to start at 7:30 am on a Saturday - it never did, and of course, that started my phone calling to DirectTV. LONG story and I already wrote about it on this blog. If you are REALLY that interested, I suppose you could do a search on here and find it.

So, I'm being very nice to this lady - as always - I am nice unless a person starts getting rude and crass with me, then I dish it RIGHT back out to them - or I just hang up. She looks into all of this - and tells me she doesn't even see where I was called with such an offer. Now - this was not said in a tone that she didn't believe me, such as the woman I was speaking to at my former Title company about getting some paperwork sent from them, she was just sayin' it ain't on there.

I listened. I figured something might happen with this call that I didn't even initiate - and neither did I have ANY desire to call DirectTV. I NEVER - WANT - to call them. It takes forever to get through to anyone and then you almost always have to get to another level of customer service rep - I mean it's like hours if you really want to get anything done. Ohh, but I DO call them when trouble starts.

We're talking back and forth and she comes up with this: "I want to do something for you today to make up for what you had to go through". I now have 3 free months of Starz and Showtime, plus $5 off for 3 months as well. I was totally amazed. And yes, I checked my TV - all of those channels are on right now. I didn't know that Direct TV had such a department to call people and ask about their recent experience. My history with them usually shows they don't give a bleep, or at least certain of their customer service reps certainly don't give a rats @$$ whether you're happy with their service or not. I even had one tell me one time that I should just go ahead and cancel the service and go with a competitor! Lol.

Ummm, onto other issues. I don't even know what got me started on this, but I was writing this entry and something else happened, I got the vacuum cleaner out, vacuumed a high-traffic area of carpet and was going to put my new steam vac carpet cleaner to the test. Got the solution in the tank - already put it together - turned it on - made the noise you'd associate with a vacuum cleaner/steam cleaner running.........but...........

...........the spinning brushes? Weren't spinning. There is a switch on the thing to turn it from low to high or even off. I moved that switch back and forth several times - nothing. I turned it on and off, on and off - nothing. No suction, either, the noise it was making is warm air it aims at the already treated carpet apparently to help it dry. It's probably nice machine - if it works. I looked at the instructions again - turn the machine on, the brushes start spinning.

I dreaded this, but I called Walmart yet again - in the middle of writing this entry no less. This time, neither of the head honchos were there and I was put on hold for 8 minutes before I hung up, called back. Waited 2 and a half minutes and hung up , called back. Waited 30 seconds, hung up, called back. Waited 15 seconds (the wait was the time after the person said they were going to get a manager for me). Hung up, again. I figure this will irritate them to actually GET me a manager instead of leaving me endlessly on hold.

Yup, ole' LeeAnne got on the phone. Nice enough lady, have had one other encouter with her. Asked her if nearly 15 minutes on the phone was acceptible to get a manager, of which she responded in the negative. I then told her the story from last week about this machine and how I acquired it through the store's general manager, Anthony. She knew all about it, fortunately.

She informed me I could come down to the store and customer service would take care of it. Well, miss, I'm calling to make sure you actually have another machine available before driving there for nothing (notwithstanding the fact that I have absolutely no intention of driving there today, if they have one, they can put it aside for me and I will get it on the way home from work tomorrow).

I give her the UPC label number - she then asked me if I were the one that had complained about the seafood counter last week? Yes, ma'am, I most certainly am. Well, have you been back since the last time this happened? NO, I replied, I don't customarily subject myself to that kind of abuse repeatedly, twice was enough. That got a chuckle out of her - and then she informed me that they had actually taken my complaint and even my advice and done something about it! I had suggested that at the very least, they install a doorbell type setup - if someone needs seafood and no-one's out there, push the doorbell and kalamazoo, someone arrives out of thin air. That would be totally acceptable to me, I had explained, lots of stores do that cause' their butchers and personnel in the back are busy and they don't necessarily expect enough people to show up at that particular counter to have a full-time person servicing it.

Yes, they installed the button with the bell and she claims they have someone working that counter. I'll be in there tomorrow, presumably anyway, and I WILL test her statements. Not that I think that she's lying about the buzzer, but I seriously wonder about devoting an employee to that counter alone. It's not a huge counter and it only has seafood in it - though I have observed people approaching the counter and simply walking away when they realize there is no-one there. I imagine they are losing a lot of potential sales simply because of the fact there is usually nobody there.

So, I'm waiting for her to call back. Considering the amount of time that has passed, I assume they do not have a machine available - that or she's calling Anthony to ask him what to do since - I definitely made an issue out of the entire situation.

Of course, I will be asking for further compensation. I have now not only gone through that rather large ordeal in just GETTING this machine, but now not only did I make 4 visits to get it, wasted time, but I have now brought it home, assembled it, found it doesn't work and also wasted some of the carpet cleaning formula in finding this out. Another gift card will take care of my needs, thank you.

So, I have also thought about my visit to the nursery going out of business. Not only am I going to get more Sissoo trees, I am also going to get several more of the $1 per plant ficus trees. Well, I assume now that if I take enough of them off of their hands, they will give me an even better deal.

Actually, they had some very nice cacti there in pots that I would love to get my hands on - if the price is right. Their asking price before was ridiculously low - but I didn't want to spend that much money on that kind of thing. I would love to have a Saguaro cactus growing somewhere on the property. You grow one up to be nice and big - they are worth huge money. Well they used to be, anyway, this economy - I like to hope anyway - won't stay this rotten forever. A large Saguaro in the past could fetch as much as $8,000.00. Yup. You can't just go out into the desert and dig one up, it's against the law and I believe it's a federal law - like a HUGE fine and possible imprisonment.

Well, I'm just sorta excited about the prospect. I'll get them - and probably leave them in the pots throughout the winter until the growing season starts again. I can put them all together in one area and cover them up with the nursery grade shade screen to help protect them against frost. We DO get frost a few times a year, you know. I learned from last year that the only time I really need to cover up plants is if a deep frost is going to happen - not highly likely here, but I do remember one year where there was one particular night that the frost killed off a lot of people's plants because they didn't heed the warnings.

Lee-Anne with Walmart called back. They actually do have one machine available. I informed her I would be by tomorrow to get it, "old" one in tow.

That's probably enough for one entry.


Decatur, Alabama. Got there last night - decided I didn't have enough hours to offload - about an hour and 15 minutes on the clock, tak...