Wednesday, July 30, 2008

More rocket scientists

Apparently there are more rocket scientists around than I thought or I am one of the lucky ones who gets to interact with them. I had the pleasure yesterday and Monday of dealing with some of these at RCN, the local TV, internet, and phone provider. Basically, I paid my bill (I really did mail it July 12th), they didn't get it so they sent me a late notice. I immediately tried to log on to my account to figure out what was going on. I went to their website and realized I have no idea of my password or user name. I tried the forgot password option and got a screen that says 'enter account number' so I did. Then I got the same screen again and typed in my account number again. Then I got a screen that says enter email but has the boxes for account number. Clearly this feature is broken.

Yesterday I went to the RCN office and paid my bill. The woman there tried to get me to sign up to pay my bill automatically on a credit card. I said 'but I can't access my online account because I don't know the password' and I took her through the process of 'forgot password'. Her response was 'you should call technical support on that'. Um, maybe the problem on your website is also something that should be looked at. She didn't care.

Then I went home and called technical support. I didn't know my user name or password or what my secret questions were. The tech said she couldn't help me but would have a supervisor called me back. I said I had to leave in 20 minutes. She told me I should stay home for an hour to get a call back. (I had an appointment, I wasn't sitting around waiting for someone to call back.) I said I couldn't. She told me to stay home. I told her 'your website is broken'. She said 'I will make a note of that in the file'.

Then I actually got a call back from a supervisor. She said 'this is your password and here are your secret answers - please write them down for the future'. I explained to her about the forgot password feature again. I tried to log in and it still wouldn't let me. Then she said 'I really don't think you have an account. You should make a new one.' Huh? Didn't you just give me the password and secret answers???? How did you get those if I didn't have an account? So finally, I set up a new account and it emails me a new gobbledygook password. I said 'how do I change this password to something I might use and remember?' She said 'you can't do that. You need to talk to billing.' I said 'you know this online account business just isn't worth the hassle with you. By the way your website is broken' and hung up.

Three people in a row who a) couldn't see the big picture, b) didn't care about anything, and c) didn't concern themselves with anything but their little tiny jobs. What the results are frustrated and unhappy customers who are not satisfied and look for other providers of the products and services. If you want to put your company out of business, hire more rocket scientists like these, don't allow them to help customers nicely or to care about the big pictures, and let them pass the buck to other departments. Well, that made sure my blood pressure was nice and high for the afternoon. But my bill is paid. Their website is still broken.

Yesterday I ended up driving in to Boston. I ran out of time (partly because of my rocket scientist dealings) and energy to take the subway. I still just get really tired by the end of the day. Then I succumbed to my Chinese food craving. i haven't had Chinese food in months because of my stupid gall bladder. There is a local restaurant that has a buffet. I went and was very selective about what I ate. My gall bladder was mostly happy - it did express some discomfort but nothing unreasonable. Today I will eat better.

Today I am awake really early - don't know why but possibly because the cat came and sat on my at 430 am. (When its dark out, don't wake up the humans.) Then I am going to work and possibly to meet a friend for lunch.

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