Jump to content
Washington Football Team Logo
Extremeskins

Gizmodo: Why the Cable Guy Can’t Keep an Appointment Like the Rest of the World


China

Recommended Posts

Why the Cable Guy Can’t Keep an Appointment Like the Rest of the World

Your new pad is ace. All it needs now is cable. Easy! You'll be all set in no time; just take a vacation day and wait for some dude to show up and run a line to a box. What?

This is the unfortunate reality of cable. Instead of fixed appointments, cable companies force customers into multi-hour time slots for new installations. It doesn't have to be that way. With better planning, and better technology, you wouldn't have to wait. I mean, a four hour window‽ That's enough time for eight vasectomies. Which might actually be more pleasant.

Ask any cable company executive why they need a multi-hour appointment, and they'll give you the same dumb explanation: That their techs don't know what they'll encounter when they arrive at a location.

That's a lame excuse. What could possibly be so unexpected that it can't reasonably be estimated? Boxes? A mess? Sasquatch? If after 20 or 30 or 40 years in business your employees can't survey a job site and reasonably estimate the time required to complete a job, you need to train them better.

Sure. There may be holes that need to be drilled or some wire that needs to be pulled. There may be an old TV set that needs to be hooked up to a new DVR. But most of that can, and should, be sussed out in advance. Ask the customer what he's got before you send Johnny Cablequest over to his pad. Moreover, technicians encountering problems should be equipped to report back to home base so that the company can adjust. Is this particular job going to take all day? Might be a good idea to assign that technicians queue of appointments to another cable guy. Just a suggestion!

We surveyed a host of multichannel video providers. We wanted to know what their appointment window policies were—if they used dispatchers to help manage their techs in the field, and how often they had to send techs back after a new install. Totally reasonable questions, right? Apparently not.

Getting answers was tougher than a Waffle House steak. Time Warner and Cox flat-out refused to let us know their policies. Charter didn't return our emails (despite apparently having one of the better window times now that it's moving to a dispatch system). Admittedly, nobody likes to talk about their faults. And of course this little crusade isn't exactly a basket of bubblegum and rosewater for the cable industry. But if a company is too chicken**** to make its new customer policies public, that says more than we ever could.

Click on the link for the full article

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I dunno where he gets the idea that the rest of the world keeps appointments. Obviously the author has never been to see a doctor.

No doubt, I make an appointment for my doctor so I show up early and then after waiting for 45-50 mins in the waiting room past the time of my scheduled appointment I finally get the call back, only to sit in there for another 10-15 minutes....what the heck doc?

As for cable guys I'm pretty sure that there has never been and never will be a customer who is first on the list, seriously if there was by simple chance I would have had to been it at least once by now, but NO...my 8-12 time turns into a 2pm call and the guy showing up at 6pm.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think it's as simple as the cable companies had a monopoly for so long there was no incentive to please the customer. "We'll get there when we get there. If you don't like it - **** you!"

This is the business model that is killing the cable companies now that there is dish, FIOS and internet based programing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I had Comcast give me one of those 8-8 time slot appointments. They never showed up and didn't bother to call to let me know they would not be coming. No respect that I had to take the whole day of and I was in the military at the time. Have fun explaining to your NCO why you were out for a full day and then have to be out another full day. They screwed up so bad, I kept calling to get someone, got told somone was on there way and would be there in a few minutes. Saturday I called and they said if you see someone at your building tell them to call dispatch and they will give them work order number and then do the work. Of course when I found someone, the guy refused to call dispatch. I kep calling to complain and the girl I would talk to was very helpful actually, she ended up giving a ton of free stuff, Sunday I still didn't get service and I spoke to the manager, she pretended to be helpful, then when she THOUGHT she put me on hold, the first words out of her mouth were "This guy is really getting over!" So I remained silent and listen, then she finally realized that I wasn't on hold and put me on hold. When she finally came back I told her "So I am really getting over huh?" She say "You weren't suppose to hear that" I told her, "You shouldn't have said it period! Now give me the other girl who was actually helpful." We couldn't get it solved so Monday morning I talked to her boss. He promised me he would have someone out there at 6pm to fix it. The head supervisor for the techs showed up to fix the problem, which took him less than 5 minutes to fix. He was heated that such a simple problem couldn't get fixed faster. I sent a 5 page letter with names times and dates to the President of Comcast certified mail. 4 days later the regional VP called me and apologized and gave me more free stuff and asked me if they could use my letter for training.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I just moved to a new place this past weekend and 2 weeks ago I made an appointment with Comcast to come out on Saturday, Aug 13. My appt was between 2-5pm which is horrible. So 5 oclock roll around an no tech yet. Around 5:30 I call Comcrap and they tell me he is still scheduled to arrive but is running late. At 9:30pm the tech calls me and says he can't make it and for me to call Comcrap back and reschedule. Of course they couldn't come out on Sunday or Monday because they were over booked. FML!!!! So my appt was scheduled for Tuesday between 11-2 and those ****s showed up but at 3pm. Do they not think people have **** to do instead of waiting around for their sorry ass?

Why can't they turn on the cable or switch it off remotely from there help desk like every other company. Is it not 2011? Why do they physically have to come out and cut/disconnect someone's line? Then they charge you like $80 just to come out and plug in a wire in their stupid box. Such losers

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Sir, we don't have to understand. We're the phone company."

k9e3dTOJi0o

(Wondering if those jokes are dating me. I wonder how many people simply aren't aware of how things were, with the phone company, back when there was only one phone company.)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Sir, we don't have to understand. We're the phone company."

(Wondering if those jokes are dating me. I wonder how many people simply aren't aware of how things were, with the phone company, back when there was only one phone company.)

Yes they are. But then remembering watching that, and remembering having one phone company I'm dating myself as well.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes they are. But then remembering watching that, and remembering having one phone company I'm dating myself as well.

Trivia: My Father was one of the (many, many) people at the FCC who helped write the Carterphone ruling, which helped break up that monopoly (kind of).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I had kind a bizarre experience last time I had the cable guy come over.

I had requested a 5-7pm time slot, and he showed up at 5:20. He was friendly and professional, and was done and on his way in about 15 minutes. True story.

unbelievable.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My response to the 4 hour window is "instruct him to call me 30 minutes before he arrives" and then I just go about my business. They usually accommodate this request.

This is true. However, on at least one occasion I've done this only to have them call me to say the technician is at your house, and if you're not there in 15 minutes he'll leave, without them ever having given me the 30 minute warning. For me this is particularly annoying because I can't get home from work in 15 minutes, and then I've got to reschedule.

As far as these windows go, I've also had them not show up at all and then when I call them to ask where they are they say they stopped by and knocked but nobody answered. Which is of course BS, being that I was home the whole time. And they of course don't have an answer as to why they didn't call me to let me know the technician was at the house.

Cable companies suck.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Obviously the guy who wrote this article has never worked in the cable/sat biz.

Not everything is as easy as it seems. all kinds of things used to screw up my install timelines back when I used to be an installer, from wrong addresses/directions, people not being home, screwed up previous installations, etc.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Obviously the guy who wrote this article has never worked in the cable/sat biz.

Not everything is as easy as it seems. all kinds of things used to screw up my install timelines back when I used to be an installer, from wrong addresses/directions, people not being home, screwed up previous installations, etc.

Not to mention most of the late times I encounter are due to the customer themselves. Say you have a 1-3 time frame, "my box isn't working", you get there and the customers box is fine, it's that they used their own radio shack wires trying to get all the rooms in service. So instead of a 15 min. job you have to rewire all their rooms taking up 2 hours (give or take). Not to mention the dreaded words "While your here". And the 4 hour time frames went away years ago (at least here). Precalls are mandatory to give the cust. a heads up. The customer gives a call ahead number, if it's called and nobody answers then we move on.

The part of the article I like is "Ask any cable company executive why they need a multi-hour appointment, and they'll give you the same dumb explanation: That their techs don't know what they'll encounter when they arrive at a location." Is this really a "lame excuse" as he calls it? It sounds like he thinks that all jobs should take no longer than 30 mins. Rushing your jobs is why people ***** about having to call over and over, do it right the first time and it should all be good. Most people shouldn't need a service visit but once every 4 years or so just to change the connecters on the ends of the wire because of rain etc..

I wonder if this guy has the same strong feelings for his doctor visits as he does for the cable guy.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Say you have a 1-3 time frame, ... And the 4 hour time frames went away years ago (at least here).

I'm in Falls Church and my cable company still gives me a 4 hour window. A 2 hour window like you're mentioning would be great. And as I mentioned in my previous post, they don't always call even when they should.

You may provide good service, unfortunately that's the exception, not the norm, otherwise this article wouldn't even have gotten written.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

WoW! your cable providers give you a 4 hour window?! That's fantastic, and I mean that from the bottom of my heart.

My last "appointment" with our local cable company was an arrival time between 7:00am and 9:30pm and the tech would try and give me a call when he was on his way, if he had time.

True Story.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm in Falls Church and my cable company still gives me a 4 hour window. A 2 hour window like you're mentioning would be great. And as I mentioned in my previous post, they don't always call even when they should.

You may provide good service, unfortunately that's the exception, not the norm, otherwise this article wouldn't even have gotten written.

Is your provider RCN? (The city of Falls Church system) ?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...