Tag Archives: service

An odd day

It was kind of an odd day today, no productivity at all. I accomplished another 1000 words yesterday by setting an alarm. This bought me some time before my daughter awoke, and I had to call my parents.

The first technology complaint was the ten minute power outage during Game of Thrones last night. But wait, there’s more! It took another fifteen minutes for the entire television system to reboot. We got to see the Mormont girl with the giant, but prior to that is a loss. Probably didn’t miss much, because it was a black screen for most of the episode anyway.

One of my daughter’s tasks yesterday was to get her own telephone account. This kind of started the ball rolling on today’s topic. She was at the Verizon store for hours. This stuff is becoming as bad as buying a car. It just seems absurd to me that someone can’t just walk in and do business in a reasonable time.

To finish her project, after her number was fully transferred we had to remove her from our account. My wife had to call ATT three times today. The call kept getting dropped, then one person put her on hold for 30 minutes so she could look up our account.

It shouldn’t take half an hour to look up an account. This is what they are paid to do, and they have a computer at their desk. I think it’s kind of telling that our ATT service to the ATT billing desk kept dropping too. Great product and service there.

After that was sorted out, my wife started surfing for television providers. DirecTV is getting too damned expensive.

We opened a HULU account for the free month. They advertised one month free. Within a week they charged our card for the full amount. Idaho’s Attorney General takes bait and switch advertising very seriously, but my wife doesn’t want to to bring it to their attention. We cancelled immediately. Two weeks later we got an email about an update to our account, so she called them again. Everything went smoothly, but can you trust what they said?

Dish Network is a service we’ve had before. They were always fine, so she surfed their site. HBO isn’t listed as one of their options, so she called them. The question was a simple “yes or no” question.

She was on the phone with them for over an hour. They transferred her to different departments a couple of times. Jesus Christ, do you have HBO or not??? Even the janitor at Dish ought to know that off the top of his head.

They eventually confessed they do not offer HBO, but told her about an app she could download that would provide this service. They spent twenty minutes telling her how it was actually better. Yeah, right.

It seems like everyone out there today is a sleazy salesman. Never let them go without a purchase of some kind is an old sales tactic. I hate all of them, and it’s a miracle anyone does business with any of them. How about a simple answer to a simple question???

When my daughter wants to know what the bottom line is, why can’t they just tell her? They know their inventory, specials, and pricing. Why so God Damned cryptic? Why make her drive back to Sun Valley in the dark? She wants to give you her money!!!

I had my own issues today. My number one goal was to mark up a few chapters for a partner. My apps kept crashing. This is likely a CableOne issue. I marked up three chapters only to have it delete everything I’d done… twice. I finally gave it a few hours, and it worked just fine. Who knew Monday morning was a high traffic time for CableOne?

My issues were the minor ones. The bigger one is pervasive in our whole society. A customer wants to do business with a company, so the company treats them like dirt to try extracting every possible cent from their account. They’re only happy if you have to skip meals to pay their bill every month.

It seems sales staff doesn’t celebrate new accounts, they mourn the possibility those new accounts could have been bigger.

It’s a shame someone can’t form a think-tank of upper executives from the fast food industry to tackle this issue. Ask me if I want fries with that, no problem. They get me down the road in a matter of minutes, and they post menus with their prices so I don’t even have to ask a salesman. They even bundle things into popular meals.

Think about it, a menu at the cell phone store. Phone + cover + internet = $$$. Push the button and walk to the counter. Sign the contract and out the door.

Television service should be the same way. Open the website, add on your premium stuff with a running balance in clear view. Take stuff off it goes down, add it on the price goes up. Enter your account number and make the change instantly. New account, proceed to the next page to enter your data and schedule your service appointment.

I don’t get it. I’m almost looking forward to going to work tomorrow.


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Checking in

I’ve been pretty quiet here for the past week. (For me) It was the work week from hell, and it really had nothing to do with work. I had my critique group on Wednesday, and never got home until about 9:00. For a guy who gets up at four AM, that makes for a long day. I ate some leftovers and stayed up until they had time to settle. I don’t do well eating and going straight to bed these days.

Critique group went well. Everyone likes The Hat. They thought Lizzie was a character they could get behind, and it seems to be off to a good start. I have some written critiques to address, but I’ll get to them this weekend.

Whereas; Wednesday and Thursday all felt like one big day, Thursday night was great. That’s when my baseball team swept the Dodgers out of town, and I got home at a reasonable time. On the spur of the moment I decided to do a free day for The Enhanced League. It moved some copies, and did about as well as I expected it to. It was mostly in fun. This happened though:

That tells me that under these specific categories there isn’t much competition. Either that, or there isn’t much during the late summer. Either way, I’ll take it. Who knows if I checked at the peak time or not. It could have gotten higher at some point in the day. I sincerely hope those of you who grabbed a copy enjoy it.

Honestly, I may do this again if my team manages to win the wildcard game or something. It was kind of fun.

Last night was another super long day. My parents, along with my brother and his family, came through town. They flew out for Alaska today. Everyone wanted to go to dinner last night. It was great seeing everyone, but made for another long day. I think I got home at 9:00. I also couldn’t have a drink, since I had to meet everyone after work, then drive everyone back to the hotel. They didn’t stay with us this time, because we aren’t close enough to the airport.

My brother is a home brewer. He brought me a jug of apple cider, one of mead, and a beer he made. He wants me to test drive them for him, and who am I to argue.

Frankie, the alarm puppy, went of about 5:30 this morning. I’m counting it as sleeping in, because I need the positive perspective. They both wanted a lot of poodle time with Dad today, so typing was slowed down a bit.

I added new words to The Hat, but not in bragable numbers. I spent more time going back over what I have. It’s a plants and payoffs type thing. If I want something to happen in chapter nine, I have to set it up in chapter four. It’s all forward movement, but that’s where typos happen too. Cut half a sentence, add a new half, and months later when rereading it makes no sense. That’s how it works for me. Does anyone else run into that?

This morning, Lizzie got fired, crashed her car, saved one of six babies, shot one guy then tortured him later. She also destroyed the upright bass that belongs to the hat. They’re at about their lowest point, but things are about to take an upward turn for them. I need to look at it with fresh eyes and make sure their emotions are suitable.  There was a lot of action, so some reflection is appropriate for my next blast. You know, after I go over it a bunch of times.

Speaking of the upright bass, these things must have more names than any instrument in existence: Upright bass, contra bass, double bass, bass fiddle, etc.

I’m typing this at Peterson Toyota. My truck needs serviced, and they have these little work stations I can use. These folks have always treated me well, until today. There is a service representative here today that is an absolute bitch. She acted like I was interrupting her day, and I had an appointment. She made some rude and condescending remarks, and it kind of pisses me off. Just in case anyone from Peterson reads this, her name is Bobbie Jo. I will also note that my wife and I bought two very expensive cars here, I brought my father here from Nevada to buy his Tundra, and sent a co-worker here for his Toyota. My Tundra is a 2013, and I may be replacing it in a couple of years. Peterson isn’t the only dealership in town. They don’t have to kiss my ass, but some common courtesy would be nice. I can do without the eye rolls, sighs, and snotty remarks.

My wife has to work tomorrow. I have some serious editing to do on The Yak Guy Project, but I need a table to set up both iPads.  It’s our plan to assemble about a half ton of table when I get home. After that, the big flooring project of 2017 will be complete.

Hope you guys are having a great weekend so far.


Filed under Uncategorized, Writing

We Interrupt this Blog…

I intended to post about all the awesome things I accomplished today. I set an alarm for 4:00 AM so I could work on my stuff. I accomplished a lot, but it pales in comparison to this.

Consider these to be personal stories, but there could me a moral in there too. This is the tale of two corporations.

We raised three children to adulthood. Two of them are fully functioning members of society, and I’m very proud of them. One, frankly, isn’t. He’s nearly twenty seven years old, and continues to fail at jobs most would consider as “entry level”. The kind of jobs you tell your sixteen year old congratulations for taking. He quit his last job, because he got scheduled for two days off that weren’t adjacent. He would have thirty days of this, before being allowed to name his own schedule.

I’ve worked thirty days without a day off several times in my life, and think this is absurd. There was no reward except continued employment at the end.

We’ve helped all of our kids, and I don’t mind that. This one is no exception, and we’ve co-signed for cars where Mom & Dad had to make a payment or two. The last time he was unemployed, grandma paid the car off for him. He did not visit during my father’s eightieth birthday, or call, or send a card. I think you get the picture. The stage is set.

We got a letter from Sprint today. Our son hasn’t been paying his phone bill. Guess who co-signed so he could get this phone. Hint: It’s my wife.

My wife called the number on the bill to turn off the phone service. Her intent was to pay what was owed, and be done. That was not Sprint’s intention.

The first call began with an automated system that eventually led to a human. My wife needed her PIN number. We don’t have one, so she answered the personal question and provided the account number of the bill. This confused the Sprint employee, who put us on hold to look for a supervisor. Twenty minutes later, the employee could not help and only a supervisor could do that. She asked for a supervisor. About a half hour on hold, and the call was disconnected.

The second call was a repeat of the first. My wife said she was disconnected the first time. The new Sprint employee said, “No problem, we’ll call you right back.”

My wife said, “But I’m not calling from the Sprint telephone–

Cue the hold music. Forty five minutes later the call disconnected.

Third telephone call. My wife said, “I want to disconnect a telephone, I don’t have a PIN number, my answer to the personal question is XXX. I am not calling from the Sprint telephone number, so you can’t call me back. I need a supervisor so I can cancel a service. I’ve been hung up on twice, and I’m getting a bit upset about it.”

“Hold please.”

It took a long time for the supervisor, George, to show up, but he did. My wife explained that it isn’t our phone, and we are willing to pay, but do not want to continue the service.

George apparently misunderstood and tried to sell her a new and upgraded plan. She explained all of what she wanted to accomplish once more. George told her about the severe cancellation fee that comes with canceling a contract.

She explained that this phone hasn’t been under contract for two years. George seems to have some kind of impairment that doesn’t allow him to read his own fucking computer screen.

He generously offered to turn off the phone nearly a month from now and the bill would be $300+. My wife said we are not paying for future service for a cancelled contract, and in fact Sprint bills a month ahead and we were donating a portion of the bill back to Sprint. She was willing to pay the late bill, but that was it. This was her last attempt, and then Sprint could send the account to collections and receive nothing.

George finally gave up and my wife paid about half the amount that was requested. George said the phone is disconnected immediately, and accepted the payment my wife offered. He assured her this was finished. She asked for his name and he said, “Just George.” I doubt he’s the only George that works at Sprint. I’m sure we’ll get another bill next month.

Now I’m old enough to know this is all some bullshit game. The phone can be disconnected at any time with a few simple keystrokes. The hold and disconnect is part of the game. If we give up, they enter another billing cycle and it’s our fault.

We don’t know if we succeeded or not. Neither of us has any faith in George. My wife spent two and a half hours on the phone with Sprint to handle a five minute process. Here’s the credit card – turn off the phone. By my account, they owe her $40 for her time.


I don’t want this to be a complete downer, so here’s a happy story. It was New Years about eighteen or nineteen months ago. I decided to get a new vehicle. This is something I do every fifteen years or so, and it was time. I bought a new Toyota Tundra. I had them install stainless steel running boards as part of the purchase.

I love this truck. It runs flawlessly, and it gets 18 MPG.

My running boards are starting to rust. There is quite a lot of rust, so I had Peterson Toyota take pictures the last time I had it serviced. They called me today. Toyota will replace my running boards for free, no questions asked. The service department already placed the order and they will call me when they get here next week.

My father decided he wants a new truck and asked me to help him. I mentioned early on that he’s 80 years old. He really likes my Tundra and asked me to look some things up on that newfangled internet thingy.

He’s picked out a specific Tundra that’s on the lot at Peterson, placed a deposit to hold it, and I’m going to take time off Thursday and Friday to help him trade his old truck and chauffeur him to get the new one. This is a good product and Peterson has been very fair with me. I believe in saying something about good products and services.

That’s how I roll. If someone treats me well, I’m willing to tell others about it. I’m willing to go back, and my wife has her eye on a new Toyota SUV in a couple of years. I even referred my father to the same salesman who sold me mine.

I may also have something to say if my parents ever want to change telephone providers. It was a long post, but now I’ve told all of you too.


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