#79 – Having an Easy Experience with Customer Service People

Every month, like most folks, I get a bill for my cable and internet. For the purpose of this exercise, let’s call the company that provides those services “Optimum”*

After a year of a “promotional” rate, a letter arrived in the mail explaining that while the previous promotion had run out, they had already put me on a rate that (once I did the math) put me in the same price range.

Then, of course, the bill comes, and it’s about 30 dollars more. I look it over and at first, nothing shouts out to me as egregious (dollar here, ninety cents there… nothing too serious). A few scrolls down, however, and I saw it–the phone portion of the “Triple Play”* had gone from $15 to $30. On its face, that’s not a lot of money, but when you consider that we don’t even own a home phone, it’s pretty significant to double the price of something we don’t even use. The only reason we even added it in the first place was because I was told it would save us money.

So, naturally, I call “Optimum”. I was expecting the usual routine. I verify my details, explain my situation, they explain how promotions work, I explain how I don’t use the phone, they make up some nonsensical bullshit about bundling packages, I again explain how devices can’t work if you don’t even own them, they say they’re sorry to hear this, I fake-threaten to go to Verizon, they ask what they can do, I tell them they can lower my bill, they say they’ll see what they can do and then go on hold for 90-120 seconds and return with the news they knew they could deliver the whole time.

Usually, that’s how it (generally speaking) goes. It’s exhausting and annoying.

This time, I basically went from step one to the end, right away. I told the guy that I wanted to discuss my bill, verifying my information. He said, let me put you on hold and look at your account. Maybe a minute and a half later, he returned, told me he could take $15 off my bill, would that be alright? I said yes, he asked if there was anything else I needed, I said no, and we both hung up.

I stared at the phone for a good five minutes after I hung up, amazed at how painless that was. He knew what I wanted, didn’t need to hear the specifics, and skipped all the bullshit. Good on you, “Optimum” employee.

Polar Opposite of this Feeling?: God, how much time do we have? Staying on hold forever with these people, dealing with the morons they often employee, discussing this shit ad naseum with someone that acts like I’m asking for the nuclear codes and there’s simple nothing they can do to help.


*That’s just a guess, I honestly don’t know the name of the company. But, as they all basically operate in the same fashion, it doesn’t really matter.

**Again, just a guess as to what they might call a combination of phone, internet and television “bundled” together to save you money even though you do not use one of the three. At all.


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