I seem to have become a magnet for customer service headaches. That, or some companies are just likely to create them due to their operational circumstances, culture, or systems. At any rate, I will once again be touching on customer service as an important business practice. Today’s customer service adventures concern the requests we agree to fulfill up front, among other things.
Wrong Data Package
When I was trying to set up my account for my new home, the sales rep also convinced me to switch my mobile phone service to Spectrum. I explained that I wanted the same plan I had with AT&T: unlimited voice, unlimited data. The unlimited voice part was taken care of, and so I figured the same had happened with data. My mistake.
A week or two after my switchover, I received a text informing me that I’d used up 80% of my data plan, a message I’d not received since my 30s, when I learned that unlimited data was the only way to support my surfing habits. I had to call to correct that and, of course, pay more for the upgraded data plan, which I thought I’d paid for originally.
Lesson learned: I should have verified the data plan when I got my first bill.
A few days after I’d been told that my access problem with watching the Smithsonian Channel, I tried to access said channel, having been assured that my subscription had been updated. This turned out not to be the case. I had to unlock the channel on Roku, get an activation code, and then go to the Spectrum site to confirm. More infuriating, my user name and password were not working, despite numerous efforts to type it carefully.
I said the right things to the automated phone call routing system (a headache that deserves its own post in the future) because instead of getting the sales department, I got technical support. This resulted in a more thorough examination of what my issues were.
It turned out that my computer and phone were using an erroneous IP address that was not the same as the IP address of the little decoder box from Spectrum. The result of this was that my TV wasn’t accepting my password as legitimate. Where that came from was never determined, but resetting the box did clear that up, and my password–correctly typed, as I’d suspected–was now working.
Lesson learned: if you’re in a large organization, customer satisfaction improves significantly if it’s easy for them to reach the right person to fix the problem.
Basic Services Not Working
The incorrect-IP-address issue was also creating another problem.
For those of you not using streaming TV services like Roku, it’s like this: You know how you can watch videos on, say, the CNN news site? Roku is akin to that, only instead of brief news segments, it allows you to access and watch entire TV shows via internet (essentially your TV becomes a web browser). It’s the same show you watched if you used a cable TV subscription–and even the same exact cable–but because of the delivery method, you usually pay less.
That said, the Spectrum application on the Roku home screen was unable to get access to basic, local channels, like the local ABC, NBC, CBS, or Fox affiliates. Fixing the IP address allowed me to get NBC working again, but not the other three. I’d love to tell you that this issue has been resolved, but after I finish writing this post, I get to call Spectrum for a sixth time to sort out issues with my TV.
Lesson learned: your customers are likely to give you poor ratings or go to another company if they encounter repeated problems with your service. Consider yourself warned, Spectrum.