New Location Teething Problems

This past Saturday, I experienced another long phone call dealing with a customer service department. This seems to be a normal side effect of making a major change to one’s location or operations: expect teething problems as you get used to your new circumstances. And yes, there will be some customer service lessons included in this post as well.

I was on the phone with Spectrum again, this time regarding my streaming TV. I was looking to watch a fresh episode of Air Disasters on the Smithsonian Channel. I pushed the appropriate buttons on my remote, only to be told that I did not have a subscription to that channel when I darn well knew that I did…at least at my previous home. If there’s an opening “lesson” here, it’s simply this: Don’t assume things will operate exactly the same as they were at your previous location. And if it’s important that your systems operate exactly the same, verify that that is the case.

I spent the first part of what turned out to be a 58-minute call talking to two agents about the technical issue: what I thought the TV should be doing, what it was doing, and how my resolutions were being responded to when I tried to address them on my iPhone and my laptop.

It turned out not to be a technical problem but a programmatic/purchasing problem. When I set up the cable/internet account for my new home, the agent taking my call used a specific promotional package rather than duplicating the setup I had at my previous residence. That took an agent or two to clarify. Then I talked with a third agent, who told me that the changes would take hold within a few minutes. When that turned out not to be the case, I was transferred to a fourth agent (in repairs, I believe). This agent explained that, no, I wouldn’t be able to watch the Smithsonian Channel right away because it would take 24-72 hours for the changes to take hold. So much for that idea.

If there’s a lesson for the people on the customer service provider end, it’s to make certain that everyone is answering customer questions correctly. If there has been a policy or technical change that changes how long an action will take to complete, make certain that everyone knows that so there are no disappointments on the customer side.

And lastly, when you’re adjusting to your new circumstances (new home, new job, new office location), remember to exercise patience with yourself and the people helping you adjust. Change is not always easy, and the unexpected is always out there, waiting to challenge you. Neither you nor the circumstances will be perfect.

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About Bart Leahy

Freelance Technical Writer, Science Cheerleader Event & Membership Director, and an all-around nice guy. Here to help.
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