Wednesday, October 24, 2012

It was a simple question.
I had contacted CenturyLink to ask them how I might be able to get a discount on my internet service.  I can only get the 7mbps that I am currently getting, I cannot get faster in my neighborhood.  I guess I don't really think it's worth $45 per month and have been weighing whether to dump the service altogether and get Cox Cable internet, which is, allegedly, MUCH faster.

So, I was using their online chat.  I clearly stated my question.  It was unambiguous.  The lady?  Either was acting like she didn't understand what I was asking or just didn't want to deal with someone that is an existing customer asking for a lower rate. Whatever the case, she dumped me onto a manager without my asking for one.  He stated over and over: "You were asking about new customer, promotional rates and why you don't get them?"c Yes, I repeated but he wouldn't go any further than that with it and then, disconnected the chat.

This irritated me.  If there are no discounts, just SAY so, it will help my decision making easier in regards to whether to switch or not.  Switching won't be cheap.  I will have to foot the bill for both a modem and a router. Yet, I suspect, my internet experience will be vastly superior in terms of download and upload times.

I then decided to call CL and got a Filipino incoming call center.  I didn't have to ask multiple times about wanting to speak to a U.S. agent IN the US, they just switched me.  Now, I have a lady on the phone who also - does not want to answer my question.  I wasn't being rude or had any tones, I just wanted an answer. It took 3 phone calls to this company to finally get to a real manager.  Not a supervisor, either.

I won't go into it, but that conversation did not go well.  To the point that I informed him that I would be calling corporate headquarters tomorrow to ask them to review the conversation.

This morning, I call corporate.  I won't go into the operator whose attitude stunk to high heaven.  I asked for her name, she informed me that she didn't have to give it to me.  Wow!!  Whatever.  She hung up on me, but I called back, this time I was going to attempt to use their prompt system to find someone to discuss the situation with.  The first person I tried did not answer the phone.  I called again, this time this same operator answered immediately.  YOU again, I was going to use your automated system to get through to "someone". She put me into the system with the regular incoming calls going to an 800 call center.  NOT.  I called back, this time I asked for the CEO.  He doesn't take phone calls and dumped me again.  I called again, had found yet another person, the COO.  I didn't even WANT to talk to this operator, I just wanted to try getting a hold of the person, or more likely, that person's personal secretary.

Operator answers again.  Note that the first two times, the phone rang for about 12 times before I got an answer.  I ask for the COO.  Amazingly, I find myself on the line with a lady who works for that individual.  I ask to speak to him.  Who are you, what do you want.  My name is Ben B, I want to talk to him about your company's "customer service" and a few other things.  I can take a message, she replies. By all means, please do.  When will he return my call (not actually expecting him to return my call, but perhaps it would be handed over to someone who would deal with it).  She didn't know but she would get him the message.

A few hours later I get a phone call on my cell from "unknown" caller.  I guessed it might be them, it was.  It was some sort of "specialist" that deals with this kind of problem, she had been handed my request.  We discuss at great length the manager in particular but I also brought up the operator.  She stated she would review the call and would also look into some sort of discount for me - we eventually got to the why did I call in the first place - part - and I said great.

A few hours after that?  What I got out of this lady was that that manager was going to receive "some coaching" and that she had already put an order in for me to receive the internet for 12 months at 50% off.

Done deal, thank you very much.  That's about $250 over the span of a year.  I am still not sure that I am actually going to stay with this company considering the lack of speed options, but while I am still with them, at least for the next 12 months if it goes on that long, I will have internet for a lot less than I am currently paying.

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