Sunday, June 19, 2011

Thanks, Cox

PhotobucketFor nothing. And, I mean that sincerely.  Around 10:30 a.m. last Wednesday, with a soft "click", my Cox Cable went out, along with the phone and the internet. And, I thought bundling was such a goooooooood idea! I had been watching "The View", as usual, yelling a Elizabeth for saying something dumb, as usual, when the screen went blank.

No worries, I thought. I still had my Kindle. At noon, I realized the problem was worse than I thought. So, I did what I always do when I panic.  I hollered for my son, Jay. And  he did what all men do when women say something isn't working. He tried to turn on the TV and the computer and picked up the telephone receiver. Then, he fiddled with some wires to no avail and decided to call Cox on his cell phone and report the outage.

Calling Cox is no mean feat, even though their ads proclaim "We're local."  There is an office right here in town, whose sole function seems to be collecting payments and renting out boxes so you can pay even more to get HD and all the movie channels. The thing you cannot do, locally, is call them. They have a local number, but it isn't in the phone book.  If you somehow manage to find out what it is, and call it, you will find yourself speaking to an automated entity, answering all sorts of questions and being bounced from one department to another.  In the end, if you are patient enough, you may find yourself speaking to someone in, say, Bangladesh, whose English is limited, whose comprehension skills sub-normal and whose attention span is nothing to shout about, although, shout you will.

This day, Jay lucked out. He spoke to an individual (Chuck) who appeared to be located somewhere in he United States or perhaps Canada. After a brief pause, Chuck confirmed that there had been no outages reported from this area, so, naturally, it was our fault.

So, after having Jay loosen and tighten the same wires he had already checked, Chuck said he would schedule a visit from a repairman, but he couldn't get one out here until the next Monday. Now, Jay is a very nice, polite man, ordinarily.  He said "Monday! And, today is Wednesday." Chuck said, "I can try to get someone out there sooner, and by the way, it'll cost you $30.00.  Jay was appalled.  "Let me get this straight. The problem is in your system somewhere and you have this rigged to charge ME to fix whatever is wrong in YOUR equipment.  It isn't even inside the apartment. And, we have to be without the phone, internet and cable for almost a week, to boot ."

At this, Chuck started to backpedal.  "OK", he said, "I can authorize a credit for you and I'll call you back and let you know when the repairman will be there."  Jay agreed, and said, "but you'll have to call me on my cell phone, because YOUR phone doesn't work!" After a couple of hours, Chuck called back and, surprise! The repairman would be here the next morning between 8 and 10 a.m.

And, he was, and it took all of about 3 minutes to fix the problem. In fact, he fixed it before he even let us know he was here, which I found suspicious, but that's just me.  He barely had time to get back to his truck before I got a call (automated, of course), asking if the repairman had been cheerful, helpful and efficient. Nobody inquired about Chuck.

I realize this saga isn't as bad as some we have heard about problems with Cox, but I am convinced that if Jay hadn't taken it upon himself to call them and handle the situation, I would probably still be sitting here without cable, phone or internet, and be facing the prospect of a $30 fee because companies don't think they are responsible for their own equipment,  want customers to foot the bill for repairs.

I guess I can find comfort in the knowledge that as long as there is Time Warner, Cox will never be the worst cable company on the planet.

Stay tuned.


Darlene said...

Hoo Boy, does this ever sound familiar. I have had trouble with Cox and both times I ended up paying $50 for a service call, even though the trouble was theirs (sort of on the last call). I agree that it's a mistake to bundle because I was without any means of contacting the outside world when the failure occurred. No Internet, no phone, no TV. I am thinking of buying a cell phone that I can't hear on so I can call my friends to run interference for me if every thing fails again. I shouldn't have to do that. Gah!

Margie's Musings said...

They've been trying to get me to sign up for that bundle for ages and I had already heard that story from another friend so I wasn't buying it.

Kay Dennison said...


I have AT&T for everything -- phone, internet (DSL -- not dial-up), cell. It has only gone out when the power goes out and I could still use my phones still worked. I'm wondering if wi-fi would work in an outtage (no, I'm not a techie). I don't have cable. I won't use Time-Warner.

L.J. Diva said...

Wow! I yell at Elisabeth and Joy too, anyhoo, had similar problems myself. The house across the road gets repairs on their lines and mine goes out. No phone, not internet.

So I ring up on the mobile and tell them, they send someone out and it gets fixed and then the neighbours have problems.

Turns out, everytime someone does something they do it wrong. So for every person who fixes, something else is different.

They can never do it right and always blame the workman before them.

Pft! Phone companies!

marlu said...

And people used to complain when we only had one phone company - back in the 1960's - nobody liked AT&T. But I think it was more efficient than what we have now.

savannah said...

never bundle, sugar! xoxoxox

Golden To Silver Val said...

A while back, a resident came into my work (I work at the twp. offices) extremely distraught. Seems as though the same thing that happened to you, happened to him and he was totally isolated since he had "bundled". No phone, no internet, no cable and he was supposed to download his sugar readings, etc. etc. We made the service call for him. This was through Comcast and it seems his whole subdivision was out. So....NO NO NO...never ever bundle. (I never did it because I couldn't stand the thought of my cable company having so much control...flick of a switch and I'm isolated). One thing about Comcast though....they got it fixed that day. (Probably because it was a whole subdivision....passing out pitchforks and torches. LOL)

Peruby said...

It is my belief that service repairmen do not fix things correctly to establish job security for themselves and overtime hours. They can really pad their paychecks if you think about it.

I work in the schools and many, many times I have had the phone guys out to repair faulty T1 lines and rarely did it come down to one trip to fix the problem. It was always two trips (or more).

One repairman was arrogant enough to tell me that he had hit his 40 hours and everything from there on out to the end of the week would be gravy (overtime). This was on a Wednesday.

Arkansas Patti said...

It is amazing what an angry male voice can accomplish. I always wondered about bundling. Now I will no longer consider it. Glad you are back functioning and thanks for the heads up.

Looking to the Stars said...

Sorry about your outage. I often wondered about bundling, thank god you shared about this. I won't touch bundling now!

Glad all is fixed and yes, isn't it wonderful what they can do with a flip of a switch, sometimes without even coming to your door. Our phone company (qwest) just got sold to centurylink. My internet is with them and they have screwed it up royally. I hate getting on my computer now!

take care

Olga said...

I was considering the bundle and now I know better. Thanks.

Meryl Baer said...

Is there a cable/internet service anywhere anyone would recommend? We have Comcast. They can be helpful if you are lucky enough to get a real live person on the line before other life events interfere and you have to hang up before actually talking to anyone. The waiting time is taken up listening to promos for additional services.

NitWit1 said...

I do partial bundles. I have phone, DSL Internet, free long distance (limit on minutes, but enough I've never exceeded it) with my local independent telephone Co. I have TV with a franchised company named Suddenlink who succeeded Cox, and do have phone service, too.

With my telephone company if I always have at least one POT which means plain old telephone wired in to the wall I have a working phone if electricity fails. I do. Telephones with wireless signals don't work, just wired in to the wall.

I am connected with a service that has the "TV" service phone. No electricity--no phone.

I sacrifice a little Internet speed for a small savings bundle with the telephone service and always have a phone. (Cable Internet is always faster.)

Further the cable service would offer an economy speed and rate, and then go up, change it, or discontinue it. You never knew what was going to happen if the 6 months, or whatever, time expired.

My telephone bill has never signficantly changed in the last 10years,except for the crazy things the government allows them to add, like ice storm clean up fee. That was 3 years ago and we are still paying it. Cable has same fee as does electrical co.

Joy Des Jardins said...

Boy...this just frosts my cookies. The nerve of these companies trying to get away with this stuff. Thank God Jay was on top of things. I would have been in the same boat as you Betty....probably paying that extra money and waiting forever for someone to come and fix it. They take advantage wherever they can. I have Comcast for my TV and phone is AT&T. I've been pretty happy with Comcast so far...but then again, I haven't had anythng major happen.

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