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Sunday, February 12, 2006
Phone company wars
I have an arch rival. Major phone company (#1 & #2)

A few years ago D decided to sign up for some fancy new package plan that MPC #1 was offering. You know, one of those deals that if you sign up you can get 3 months of 1/2 price DSL. About 6 months after signing up we get a phone message from the MPC #1 saying to call them because they don't want to lose us as a customer. Not knowing exactly what they were talking about I called back. They claim that D called to cancel our phone and DSL. I actually can't remember why D did call the phone company, but it was not to cancel our service. I explained to them that we did not want to cancel. In the process of this little phone conversation the monkey at the phone company then tried to tell me that we hadn't paid our DSL bill in over 6 months. Now the DSL charges come on the phone bill so if I paid the phone bill I obviously would have paid the DSL. I looked through my statements and sure enough MPC #1 had not charged me for DSL in 6 months. I called MPC #1 back and showed them their error. I said that I would appreciate it if they would start charging me and please do not turn off my internet. The monkey assured me that our internet would not be turned off.

A few days later I tried to get onto the internet to do none other than buy hockey tickets. Lo and behold... my internet did not work. Shocking! I snatched up the phone and dialed MPC #1. I got monkey #2. I explained the situation and he assured me that there was no mistake and that we had not paid our DSL bill. Can you feel the rage building? Not only was this monkey telling me I was wrong, he was standing in my way of hockey tickets! I asked to speak to his supervisor. I was put on perma-hold. Of course to make matters worse I had phoned MPC #1 from my home phone, but had to leave to pick D and his dad up from the airport. I was so close to speaking with Middle Management Monkey #1, but I had to hang up and go.

MPC #1 was so adamant that I was wrong the never turned my DSL back on. D ended up switching our service to another provider. I wrote a nasty letter to MPC #1, copied the BBB, but never received a reply. To this day they are on my *hit list.

Fast forward about a year. My shear hate for MPC #1 grew to the point of disgust. I made the executive decision one day to switch to MPC #2. These people were fantastic. So polite on the phone. I loved them. I went as far as to recommend them to people. This proved to be a bad move. The in-laws signed up with MPC #2 also. I can't remember what happened, but they did something to piss my FIL off. And that doesn't happen very often. D definitely gets his calmness from his dad.

When D and I bought our house I went through the usual motions of switching the power, gas and phone. I called MPC #2 and stated my desire to move my service to my new residence. They informed me that it would take 6 weeks to move our service. 6 WEEKS?! How hard is it to push a few buttons and move the service. They informed me that I could get service with them faster if I cancelled my existing service, signed up with MPC #1 and then switched that service to MPC #2. Sound complicated? It was.

The first day we lived in our new home I called up MPC #2 to have my service switched back to them. They said no problem and did the deed. A month later I got a bill in the mail from MPC #2. Being the studious bill payer I can be on occasion I wrote my little check and mailed off the bill. Being the uber flake that I am, it didn't occur to me that something was amiss when another bill arrived 2 weeks later. Again, I wrote a check. Now I said I was a flake, not stupid. So when the 3rd bill arrived in a matter of a month I knew something was up. Sure enough the account numbers on bill #1 and bill #2 did not match. Bill #2 had the account number from our old phone.

I picked up the telephone and called MPC #2. I explained their mistake and they had the audacity to also tell me I was wrong. Lucky for them they were not standing between me and a hockey game. They claimed I never cancelled the old phone. I informed them of their mistake and asked to be given a credit for this bill and please cancel this account. MPC #2 monkey assured me it would be taken care of.

The next month arrives and along with it 2 bills from MPC #2. I go through the process of calling them, telling them their mistake and asking for the credit. They oblige.

The next month arrives, so does another bill. 3 months people... 3 months. I have called them, they have given me the credit, but they are really starting to annoy me.

When it happens for the 4th month... what happens? Does L turn into a raving lunatic? (the L of today would have reached through the phone and ripped off the ear of the jack ass on the other end) The L of then calmly called up MPC #2 and explained their error like they were a feakin' 2 year old! Apparently this is what it took. After that I only received one bill and better yet the next month... I got a $72 credit that they sent me in error.

Now the honest person would have sent the check back with a note stating that they sent this in error. But would I? Noooooo. I cashed that baby!

Oddly enough I remained a customer of MPC #2 for another 2 years. I didn't really have anywhere else to go. Until the holy grail of the communication system came along. Voice over IP. Why didn't I just use our cell phones and cancel our home phone all together you ask? I hate the cell phone company just as much as MPC #1 & #2.

Voice over IP is the best thing since... well since hockey. It took a while to get set up, but once we had it, golden my friends, golden. The only drawback is our phone is dependent on the internet. If we have an internet outage, we have no phone. Of course we do have cell phones and so it doesn't matter as much.

There you have it. The reason I hate Major Phone Companies so much.
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