Monday, August 01, 2011


After a busy day that was more stressful than I anticipated when it began, I just wanted to kick back and watch the Reds game tonight. OK, watching the Reds can be a stressor in its own right, but that's beside the point.

I turned on the TV, but the channel I wanted came up with a message that it was currently unavailable. I unplugged the cable box and let it reboot. Still nothing. I turned to online customer service, waited through the chat as the rep refreshed the signal going to my box, and finally could see the channel. Great!

It hadn't been ten minutes when the image froze and stayed that way. By the time I opened another chat window with customer service it had unfrozen. Then it resumed freezing and unfreezing every few minutes for the next half hour. Back I went to online support.

I was told that there was a problem with that particular channel and that it should resolve itself within the next four hours. That's all well and good except the game would be over by then and nothing would be on the channel. I asked if I could get a credit for the service disruption and was told that I could if I contacted the cable company again once the problem was resolved.

Why they couldn't (or wouldn't) give me the credit then and there wasn't stated, although it probably had as much to do with figuring I'd forget or not bother to follow up on it. I will say that it was much easier dealing with this in an online chat than over the phone. Since I was told I could request the credit via chat, I was raring to ask for it an hour later.

And what do you know? They gave it to me without any fuss. Sure, it's just $5.28, but it is in part the principle of the matter. I spent about an hour and a half trying to get this taken care of so I could watch what I wanted to watch. Was my time and aggravation worth only $5.28? Probably not, but based on other conversations with a cable company, it feels like a well earned win. And that, in this instance, is good customer service.

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