The Employee of the Month

I love cable tv.

Love it. Absolutely love flipping channels with the remote trying to find something to watch. I used to be able to hit my favorite channels to see what was there...until, alas, my cable company's contract got bought out by a cut-rate company who is too cheap to even have the TV Guide channel. Thereby reducing me to flipping even more channels.

August: The buy-out happened. It went relatively smoothly at first, which should have told me something. I wasn't hassled by sales reps calling fact, I called them to make sure I had their basic cable. I did. I was happy.

September came and went and I received no communication harassment from them. Nothing. Not a bill. Not a sales flyer. Nothing. I was somewhat curious about the lack of bill...but not enough to actually hunt them down and ask.

October 7th: I get a bill from them saying I owe 60 bucks. My response? "Thanks for entering the billpaying lottery. You unfortunately did not win this month, but I'll be glad to enter you in next month's drawing." (I'm a teacher, which means I pay bills when I get paid at the first of the month...and am done paying them until the first of the next month.)

October 14th: I get ANOTHER bill that says I'm now 60 bucks past due...and now owe a total of 117.03. I was pissed. How in the hell are you going to wait TWO MONTHS to bill me...and then tell me that I am PAST DUE and need to pay up IMMEDIATELY? Communist bastards. Come and get me.

October 29th: I get a PINK statement from them. Yup, that's right. It's a disconnect notice. Since I am now 117.03 past due....they will be disconnecting my service on Monday unless I pay up right now.

Note to the people: I could have paid the Communist Bastards the first time they sent the bill. It would not have sent me to the poorhouse. It was the principle of the thing. It was also the principle of the thing that kept me from paying the second notice...and DEFINITELY kept me from kowtowing when they sent the disconnect notice. Come and get it, you punks. I deal with thugs and wannabe gangsters all day FOR A LIVING. You think a pink disconnect notice is going to make me jump?! HA!

I get home Monday evening, settle in for a few relaxing minutes with Dr. Phil...but find myself watching the Snow Channel. Or, as my roommate calls it: The Bug Races. I look at said roommate, "Did the cable get cut off?" She said, "That's what I was wondering."

This. Is. My. Moment.

I get the 3 pieces of correspondence, the cordless phone, and call the customer service number to make me a new friend.

I, through some benevolent twist of fate, am connected to the Employee of the Month. This woman, who is sitting in her cell in cubicle hell in rainyass Seattle, is looking for a fight when she answers the phone. Unfortunately for her, so am I.

I explain my situation...detailing the chain of events and giving her the opportunity to own up to her company's shoddy business practices. EoM does absolutely no such thing. In fact, she goes on the offensive.

EoM: I show that you haven't called in to check your balance. Why not?
Me, (aka Valued Customer): I didn't want to. If you want me to pay you, you need to invite me to the dance by sending me a STATEMENT.

EoM: I also show that you haven't logged in to pay your bill online. Why not?
VC: I am a normal person. Normal people do not have time to go running around hunting down shoddy-ass companies' websites so they can pay bills that they haven't been sent statements for.

I steal the ball and make a run for the basket.

VC: I have not been impressed with your company. This is quite simply bad business. How do you disconnect someone with so little notice? I have heard absolutely nothing but complaints from my neighbors...and now I know why. You folks need to realize how life works in the real world.

Apparently, Cubicle Girl has decided I am her new target. In her absolutebest pissy tone:
EoM: You have had cable since August. Did you NOT think you had to pay for it?

Holy shit. You've got to be kidding me. I am not some deadbeat who moves from one apartment complex to the next, taking advantage of movein specials to make ends meet until the rent comes due and it's time to move again. I am a teacher, dammit. I mold young minds. Who in the hell are YOU, CubicleGirl, to talk to me like that. I'd wager you don't even have a college degree. I have two, heifer. Whaddya say to that? I also know this is NOT how you speak to customers. If I spoke to my students' parents like this...while I would receive accolades from my colleagues...I would be FIRED.

My vision went tunnelly...and I heard a faint buzzing around the edges. Through the buzzing, I hear myself ask, "So, you're telling me that you've disconnected me after zero communication for two months...and now I'm going to have to pay a reconnect fee?"

EoM: Yes. You're welcome to call our Billing Department tomorrow from blah-blah Pacific time. (I live in Texas! I don't give a flying rat's ass about pacific time. Convert that crap to Central time.) I'm ready for your card number.

I peel off my debit card number, Rainman style. I'm then asked, unbelievably:
EoM: Do you want me to process the reconnect?

VC: Hell. No.

I will go without cable before I pay you people one more red cent.

I need my confirmation number.

I write it down and have the somewhat guilty pleasure of hanging up on "Thank you for being an Ygnition customer....."

Yup. That's right. My cable company (Former Cable Company, I'm glad to note.) was named Ygnition. How in the hell is a company who can't EVEN SPELL supposed to be able to handle customer correspondence AND...holy crap, here's a concept...customer service competently?!

Communist Bastards.

I'm going to go watch the Bug Races.