Last October/Novemberish I was approached by an amiable salesman for DirecTV who basically told me if I was still paying what I'm paying for tv/internet that I'm an idiot, and then he showed me some of the offers DirecTV had to prove my idiocy. In an attempt to be financially savvy, I went ahead and signed up for cheaper internet/more TV for less $$ and scheduled a set up date.
When Bear, a 400lb sweeatheart of a man came to install said tv/internet, before he did ANYTHING he asked me if I understood that in order for DirecTV to be installed, two holes were going to have to be drilled into these walls that I live in that I do not own. Obviously Bear is aware that the sales people out in the field do not warn potential customers of this, and he told me as much. He asked me if I wanted to call my landlord before he went ahead with the install. I hesitated. He went on to inspect how he was going to do his set up and informed that the install was going to cost ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY more dollars than I had been told it was going to cost.
Seriously guy who sold me this crap? Can't you just be up front in the first place? Because I told Bear no, I don't want holes in these walls and I don't want to pay the extra $120 for the set up. Bear was obviously used to this, which lets me know that this kind of habberdashery that goes on on the part of the people who sell this product because he let me know that he'll go ahead and cancel my contract, I wouldn't be charged for anything, and we can part in peace--all without blinking. Typical day for him.
What a terrible business model! I thought. But I didn't even know what was coming for me.
A month later I get a notice that my CenturyLink internet has been turned on, and then I get a box with a CenturyLink modem. Seriously???
I call them, and after 15 minutes of talking to an automated voice asking for my account number (which I didn't have because my account was SUPPOSEDLY cancelled) and I got to a human being, I was then passed around CenturyLink's phone lines THRICE before reaching someone who was able to give me an address to mail the modem back to and further assurances that my account had been cancelled and no more bills/products would be sent to me. And I thought, to me? TO A NON CUSTOMER? Why does that even have to be explained? I don't give people drinks they've never ordered, attempt to charge them, pass them around to other baristas, and expect them to explain that we will no longer attempt to charge them for beverages they never ordered/didn't drink/never used. My mind was boggled by the ridiculousness of it all.
Well, every month since then (last November) I have gotten a BILL for this service that was never installed and never used. Then, they sent me ANOTHER modem out of the blue in January. I mean seriously. I am not a CenturyLink or a DirecTV customer (which, btw, they are two different companies who apparently never speak, although they sell their services in a bundle. Foolish.). I made two more subsequent calls, and both times was assured that these bills I was being sent were "glitches" in the system and to ignore them, my name would be cleared sooner or later.
Congratulations company that sells the most basic of technology on having the worlds slowest computer system that doesn't know who is or isn't their customer.
Well yesterday I check the mail and dont you know it, I have a letter from a collection company that CenturyLink uses letting me know that I will be sent into collections if I don't pony up WHAT I OWE to the company I've never been a customer of. You can imagine my response. It was something like, Oh haaaaaaail no you didn't Sheniqua! How many times and in what language do I need to get the point across, I'm not your customer! I never was! And why do I even HAVE to explain that?
So today I get on the phone at 1130am to settle this once and for all.
Wanna know how long I was on the phone? I bet you don't.
ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY MINUTES.
That's right ladies and gents, after being passed around yet again to agent after agent who couldn't understand the fact that I was being sent to collections for not paying for something I never used, I finally got on the phone with an "Amanda." Amanda was the first person within this operation that seemed to be beyond a 5 year olds reading comprehension. In fact, after speaking to her for forty-five minutes I began to imagine Amanda as the kind of mom who only feeds her kids organic meat and lets her husband play golf on Sundays, but never on Saturdays during little Jimmy's tee-ball league practice. I really liked this Amanda.
Wanna know the worst part? Amanda discovered that CenturyLink had TWO delinquent accounts in my name (who opened that second one? Again, seriously?!?!) and that the second one was for three times the monetary amount the first one was. And they were only trying to charge me for the samller one. This also demonstrates the basic business faux paus that I feel they must commit at least 12 times per customer interaction.
I cannot even explain the fervor with which I felt compelled during those 150 cell phone minutes I'll never get back that I wanted to make t-shirts, signs, and posters and spread the word about the severe idiocy these two companies contain. It's a wonder they're even still open for business, although I'm sure Amanda is the glue that holds them together. She has to be. She's the only one there who has been interacting on an adult level for any meaningful amount of time.
Both accounts have finally, after six long months of battle, been cleared. And I will not be making tracts about the evils of DirecTV/CenturyLink and passing them out because A) Thad and I have decided we shouldn't be paying for cable anymore anyway, and B) if I'm gonna go door-to-door about the evil of any corporation its gonna be Planned Parenthood. Obviously.