It has been interesting to experience how social media gets a response from a large corporation. By contrast to dealing with live employees on the telephone, using social media gets a response. In my last post, I was frustrated by repeatedly calling, making appointments and being dropped and discarded. Blogging, posting on Facebook and tweeting got the attention of Comcast. I was upgraded to “executive” status, asked to email a special problem solving group and assigned a caseworker. Very promising.
My email was answered in short order and I was asked to call my super agent. I did, I left my message and was promised that my call would be returned. There was no reply. August 15 went by (okay, a Friday and everyone would like to have time off). Monday the 18th I tried calling again and left multiple messages. No reply. By the end of the day, I discovered that my DSL was briefly working, so I fired off an email to my “super-duper” agent and copied the “executive status” email complaining about the inactivity.
Much to my surprise my agent awoke from deep in the belly of the Comcast machine and responded. Also to my surprise the message was about refining the selection of programs that I had ordered. I had no service, I wanted no programming and I only wanted to arrange an appointment so that some cable could be strung to my house. I puzzled about the message and the next time my failing DSL appeared (I suspect that AT&T was intercepting my messages to Comcast and was trying to prevent me from dropping my barely functioning DSL service – okay, maybe that’s overly paranoid) I sent another email indicating that I was asking for something simple. A stream of emails ensued, with the gist of the matter being that my account was confused with another account. My super-duper agent would dispatch someone to scout the location to determine if an aerial cable could be installed. I had reminded super-duper that someone would have to be present to let the technician onto the property.
The technician showed and left, without ever getting onto the property! Arghhh. Back to where I started.
A phone call. An area supervisor was going to show the following morning. Could we let him on the property. With tears of joy in my eyes I said yes!
The supervisor arrived on time and quickly looked around the property. We were going to have to have a heavy cable installed and all the trees along the lines were going to make it difficult. A crew was assigned for the following morning. This gave me the chance to trim trees along the power line and make certain that there would be fewer problems for the crew. As the afternoon faded, the DSL came magically to life, working better than it had in months.
The crew appeared! After much discussion it was deemed impossible to do an aerial cable. A buried cable it would have to be. How this would be accomplished was a bit vague. The crew didn’t have the right equipment for digging. My heart sank.
Part of the crew turned their attention to the inside of the house. Obstensively they were preparing us for eventual service. The tech guys were really helpful and worked out some kinks in our wiring. Fortunately there was nothing they had to wire and that part of the installation went smoothly. I was asked to hook up my laptop and I had service! The other half of the crew figured out a route for the cable, uncoiled it, laid it on the ground, made the connection and life was good. Smiles all around and the crew, after wondering why this had taken so long and being treated to an abbreviated version of the story asked that we didn’t take it out on them when called later to take a short survey. With a Friday installation, we were promised that the line would be buried on Monday when the crew arrived with the proper equipment.
We reveled in having an internet connection. Hooking up my old Apple Time Capsule took a few minutes, but went smoothly. We have a nice wireless system with enough speed to stream video. A miracle.
Two guys appear to bury the cable. The “special” equipment is a broad, flat shovel. The soil is rock hard given that we have had no rain. I’m skeptical and I follow where the cable has been laid out. Part of the way is through some dense brush, so I work ahead and clear a path. I head back into the house to work and I’m surprised that a short time later they tell me they’re done. Great and thanks! The connection is still working.
Later in the day I go out to take a look. The cable is half buried. A huge coil is left above ground. While we rarely mow down this fence line, clearly this is going to be a problem in the future. The supervisor calls to check on the completion of the job. He is pleased that we have service. He’s surprised that the cable is not buried. He wants to schedule a time the following day, but I tell him I will be out of town. He promises to get the crew back out to finish the job late in the afternoon.
8:00pm. The crew shows. It is deep dusk and growing darker by the minute. They’re going to cut the excess wire, reconnect and finish burying the cable. I tell them it is too dark, but they say it is no problem. I return to eating my dinner, but Therese convinces me this is a bad idea. I can see the cut cable in my mind and having service permanently severed. I hurry back out and ask them what they plan on doing. I’m assured that the cut will only take a minute and they can quickly reset service. They insist they only have 10 feet of cable to bury. I point out they still have another 75 feet that has to be buried. Oops. Caught. I tell them to forget it – this can be done at another time.