For 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.