Monday, August 10, 2009

Internet & Netflix

We have internet at home now! Let us rejoice. No more writing blog stuff at home and then posting it furtively while sitting in my car late at night in the parking lot of a nearby cafe that has open wireless. Jeremy asked me if I considered using someone else's wireless to be stealing. I told him it wasn't the year 2003 anymore and if people haven't put passwords on their wireless by now, it's their own darn fault if people "steal" the signal.

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.


Susanne said...

Hooray for a GOOD customer service story! Now that's what I like to hear. Three cheers for Netflix!

I like how you share the good stuff with the bad. So many times we complain only about the bad so it's nice to read about GOOD customer-service experiences, too.

We have TWC here as well. The only other option is DSL and AT&T doesn't have enough available lines in my area so TimeWarner it is. Actually I love it except for the price keeps going up. But my internet service is probably the only monthly bill where I feel as if I truly get my money's worth.

Phones are a different story completely.

Eevi said...

I love the new background. We had Netflix for a while but we didn't use enough to get our money's worth so I canceled it few weeks ago.

That is amazing customer service. For a person who hates making phone calls, you have to make so many of them to these customer service people. I'm impressed how well you handle these situations. I still make Troy make my calls:)

Suzanne Bubnash said...

Nice to know that some companies 'get it', 'it' being fabulous customer service that pays for their trouble in the long run.

Negative consumer experiences stick in my brain and there are businesses around here I'll never patronize again.

JackJen said...

I'm surprised, but also not-so-surprised about the lack of competition with internet services. Luckily, we have three choices (verizon, comcast, RCN) the rates get driven down (a little).

+1 to Netflix, though. We really enjoyed their free trial. =)

BEN said...

YES! Ashley and I love Netflix. We find it well worth $10/month now that we have totally canceled TV and just have internet. They have a good amount of movies to watch instantly too so that is nice.

Julie said...

I love companies that have good customer service, and I am always surprised by how many do not. I had to call a company the other day (scan cafe) and was so impressed when a real person answered the phone, spoke easy-to-understand English, and took care of my problem without any hassle at all. It always makes me want to use that company again!

Liz Johnson said...

AMEN on the wireless internet thing. Seriously... the guided wireless internet installation wizard guides you through password-protecting your signal. If they can't figure that out, then I assume they generously want me to use their signal.

I go on and off Netflix... I get a queue of movies, get Netflix, watch them all, cancel for a year or so, go back on for six months, watch them all, quit... I love that they don't tie you in with a contract and that canceling and signing back up is the easiest process. Their customer service ROCKS.


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