We almost didn't get internet at home on Friday. TimeWarner's technician called me before coming by and since we don't get cell phone reception too well 'round these parts, my phone didn't ring and I missed the call (even though I was outside waiting for him). Since I "wasn't home" during the scheduled installation time, TimeWarner told me we'd have to reschedule it for a whole seven days later. Ridiculous. We'd already waited eleven days. So I basically begged them to send him back because I was literally standing outside my door waiting for him. It took a little convincing, but a few hours later our connection was up and running.
The trouble with internet services these days is that it seems like there's only ever one provider available in any given area. In Ithaca, TimeWarner is it. So if they had stuck to their story that I had to wait another week, what recourse did I, as a potential paying customer, have? What could I say - never mind, I don't want the internet? Not likely. I felt so powerless.
On the other side of the customer service anxiety experience, we have Netflix. I love Netflix, and it was/is one of the very last non-essentials to go whenever we trim the budget. We've had our service on hold during this summer of moving but somehow, the service started up again automatically and charged our credit card as well as shipped a DVD to our old Tucson address. Oops.
I called Netflix, and while I was on hold, I got my indignation all ready, fully prepared to duke it out with the customer service representative. Instead, my conversation with him went something like this:
ME: [Explaining situation, quite defensively, I might add.] So could I get the credit card charge reversed?
NETFLIX: Absolutely, we will refund that charge immediately.
ME: [Taken aback that things are going so well...] OK...what about the DVD, then?
NETFLIX: Don't worry about the DVD. If you can find a way for the people at your old house to send it back, great. If not, no problem.
ME: [Absolutely dumbfounded and speechless.]
Now that's customer service.