Very mild rant: DirecTV

This is so mild, I felt it didn’t deserve to be in the Pit…

I have now been on the phone with DirecTV for one hour. All I needed to do was activate a new programming card that was FedExed to me so that my local channels will come through correctly. When I go to NBC, for instance, I get The National Geographic Channel. I wanted that cleared up, naturally.

I kept telling my husband that the reason I have put off doing this is because I absolutely hate jumping through customer-service hoops for what usually turns out to be the better part of my afternoon spent on hold listening to a poor excuse for music.

I have very little patience in most areas of my life. Maybe I need to work on that. But when I have had to repeat the number on the access card, the receiver ID, and the receiver model number so many times, my tongue is numb, that is not the time to tell me my patience needs work. I have told this woman the model number (which is actually a string of similar-sounding letters) about 5 times in the last 2 minutes. Every time she repeats back to me the strings of letters or numbers, I can’t tell if she got it all because she has an accent. What’s worse is that one of the codes I have had to repeat ad nauseum is a combination of letters and numbers.

Operator: “Could you please verify the receiver serial number one more time?”
Me: “5…C-as-in-charlie…6…D-as-in-david…zero…zero…X-as-in-xray…F-as-in-frank…” (it goes on and on; it was a really long number)
Operator: “Let me repeat that back to you, okay?”
Me: “Okay.”
Operator: “5D6B 00FS …?”
Me: “No.” (and I go through the entire thing again)

That is how my conversation goes with this woman. Back and forth. What is the serial number of your receiver? Can you read the model number of the receiver to me? Who is the manufacturer of your receiver? What is the receiver ID number? Can you read the number off the access card? Can I verify the serial number? Let me enter your model number again.

Why wasn’t she writing these numbers down? That’s what I used to do when I worked in customer service. I would’ve been embarrassed to ask a customer for the same number over and over.

Finally, she transfers me to the “Access card team”. Isn’t that where I should’ve been in the first place? Anyway, the new rep tells me that it isn’t an access card problem (he had just encountered a similar problem within the last week). He has me insert the old card, scroll through the main menu, change “dish type” and, voila! I have my locals back in the right place.

Now, was that so hard, DirecTV? Was it really worth it to string me along for an hour only to find out that my receiver wasn’t installed correctly the first time by a representative of your company? Here’s a tip for DirecTV: the next time someone calls and says they need to activate an access card, that is a signal that they need to talk to someone who fully understands…may I have a drumroll, please?..access cards. Why don’t you just transfer them right away to the “Access Card Team” and avoid problems and unnecessary delays for customers by representatives who know nothing about the systems they are trying to repair or service?

I told you it was a mild rant.

I sympathise. I have little tolerance for inefficiency and stupidity, especially when I’m paying quite a lot for a service.

When will big companies understand that “customer service” isn’t just about a representative being polite? I don’t care how polite they are: If I were just forced to push 27 buttons and listen to an hour of “music” that included “Muscrat Love” and “Killing me Softly,” AND they were unable to solve my problem, I’d be totally pissed off. No amount of sunshine in the world is going to change that.

I so feel your pain! I spent the better part of 4 (yep, count 'em, FOUR) afternoons on the phone between my computer manufacturer and my online DSL provider only to determine neither company employs anyone with an ounce of sense or intelligence (I won’t even start on their ability to comprehend the English language).

I finally gave up, ditched DSL and went back to Cable internet service. I can’t wait to call DSL provider to tell them to cancel. This should be entertaining.

Glad you got it figured out finally!