How to Deal with the Customer Service Hotline

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Reader Comments (23)

Hmm, never had a TiVo or a DVR. So I guess I'm missing out on a joyful experience?

As a technician for a satellite communications company, I've lived the joy of tech support from both sides. It's pretty much a no win situation. Makes me want to, I don't know, travel back to medieval England or something. (Couldn't really get into the book, but I've paid for it, so will have to go back and finish it some time)

May 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMarco

Another one from both sides of tech support. The problem can be boiled down to one thing: cost.

Good tech support costs a bit more than utterly terrible tech support, and also requires you hire decent workers with some knowledge (which means you have to treat them like humans and pay them a living wage) that you trust to solve problems. Why do that when you can write a script and hire people to read it out for minimum wage in inhumane working conditions?

What's more, some users, alas, are idiots who won't follow simple instructions, which leads to the script being dumbed down, which makes the knowledgable customers more frustrated and scares away workers who have initiative and know stuff, leading to more complaints about the quality of service, leading to dumber scripts...

May 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterGDwarf

Had a DVR for a while, but then I realized that I only really watched two shows that were current: local morning news and afternoon Jeopardy!. A $30 antenna lets me get both in HD for free, forever, and Netflix lets me watch the old shows that I really like for under ten dorrah. My cable company keeps losing bits of my business, and they keep begging to have it back. I tell them, "Here's what I'm currently getting, and how much I'm paying. Are you going to give me more than that for less?" "No," they admit. "Then why are we having this conversation?" And then I go *click*...

May 9, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterkhereva

Anyone who says "There's no such thing as a stupid question" has never worked customer support.
(The last panel is hilarious, BTW.)

May 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterThe Other Mike

I thought TiVo *was* DVR... wasn't TiVo the first DVR, but nobody else can use their cutesy trademarked name, because it's not a set of initials that mean "TECHNOLOGY!" ?

Digital. Video. Recorder! (dunt dunt DUNNN)

May 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMatt

Solution: Get their services, but buy hardware from your local Best Buy. I have DSL with AT&T.. because it is cheap. They sent me a free modem. I spent two years with it, and had frequent outages, which required me to restart my modem/ router. I always thought it was just normal service hiccups. The modem eventually gave out, and I bought a new modem at Best Buy. I have literally not had a SINGLE OUTAGE since that time, which wasn't related to the entire phone service being out. Not one. -_-

Seriously, never, ever use that crap they send you for free. It's not worth it.

May 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterZee

Sounds like Scott has dialed into some alternative reality and ended up speaking to himself in another job.

May 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDork Angel

All Panels = Win!

May 10, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermohrorless

This gets close to my experience with a certain DSL provider... probably the largest DSL provider in the US. I live in a medium-sized city, so taking 3 months to hook up DSL made no sense, but that's what it took. Not only that, but we had to go through several telephone number assignments and, when DSL was hooked up, the company spent several months billing me for the working number as well as one of the numbers that they could never get working. Over the three months in trying to get DSL, calls back and forth were constant, as well as the 'you should be getting internet,' 'oh, the line is not working after all, so we'll have to send someone out,' and 'well that wasn't so good at all, we'll have to create another number.'

Once DSL was working, then came the headache of having to pay the bill. I could not just go through one screen to log in, I had to pass through four. What is worse is that, for the final screen for paying the bill, the language would switch to spanish no matter what language I used, browser I used, or whether I was logging in from home or work.

Someone said that I might have had this experience by virtue of using them only for DSL, rather than wireless and their version of TV. Perhaps, but I'm thinking they have an R&D outfit specifically for torturing at least certain customer groups. This research group is good!

Also, this triggered a family argument, since my youngest brother works for this company. He told me that I was wrong, that I had to be doing something wrong (despite staying in contact for step-by-step instructions), and that the company is the best in the industry for customer experience; JD Powers says so, so I must be wrong. JD Powers can suck it!

May 10, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermcinsand

@Matt, TiVo is a DVR, but for it to play nice with cable companies, it often requires you to go THROUGH a cable company approved cable box.

When that doesn't work, they will tell you to replace your TiVo with a proprietary cable company DVR.

May 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBobman

Meh. All of my favorite shows are already on YouTube:
Journey Quest
Shelf Life
Crash Course
Betty Bowers
Bad Lip Reading
True Facts (A Show with ZeFrank)
Top Decking
Neil's Puppet Dreams
Honest Trailers
Improv Everywhere
Andrew Goldenberg At the Movies
Aperture R&D
Kid Snippets
DBZ Abridged
Standard Action
Untitled Webseries About A Space Traveller Who Can Also Travel Through Time
The Silver Lake Badminton and Adventurers Club
Rejected Pitches
Invention with Brian Forbes
How It Should Have Ended
Does Not Compute
Riding Shotgun with Zach Anner
Space Hospital
After Hours

...and far far too many more. I just play em with my Media Player for my TV.

May 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterOldskool

@Dork Angel - just what I was thinking.

May 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterResuna

As long as I can get Duck Dynasty it's all good.

May 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHanover Fiste

I like to think that there will be a comic addressing the cable modem thing

May 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRaestloz

no cable here. netflix and high speed interwebs only

May 10, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterdeimos

Personally, I supposed that, fittingly, the person on the other end of the phone call is, in fact, none other than Scott's very own, very favorite, Angry Client.

This explains their eternal nemesis relationship, and why Scott is always selected to talk to him. It is their "thing", and nobody wants to get in the way of that.

May 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterThe Chosen One

Good thing you don't live in Canada, Scott, or that last panel would be more depressing.
Our internet here is controlled by a duopoly of companies that have a vested interested in making sure that connection speeds stay slow and monthly download caps stay low because they don't want people to stop paying for their cable and satellite TV subscriptions...
They've basically made sure that the internet CANNOT be a threat to their crummy business model by taking it over and making it crummy as well.

May 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEsn

Now wouldn't it be funny if the stuff Scott is supposed to be working on for Angry Client is the stuff that would make all of the items from the cable company work properly.

Though knowing most cable companies they are looking for stuff that works worse but they can charge more for, which is why they hired Scott's company.

May 11, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermarr

OK, this one hits a little too close to home. OK, a lot too close to home. This was my exact experience with cable until I signed up for their business service. Faster and more reliable service, great customer service, and cheaper. Yes, cheaper!

May 11, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterwrench

This sort of crap (plus the bill creeping up) is why we haven't had cable TV for the last two years. High speed internet + Netflix + Amazon Instant Video for anything you absolutely can't wait for Netflix to get is definitely the way to go (assuming you want to stay legal, of course.) And with the right setup, you can watch it on your TV, too.

May 12, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterbionelly

Found a picture of (very) young Scott, although this particular Scott-face doesn't appear in the comic above...

May 12, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterlerk

I've recently made the transition from bittorrent to cable. My family was so excited to have "real" live TV. (the kids have never experienced it). They're frustrated by commercials, not being able to watch the shows they want when they want to, missing shows, conflicting show times, and with having to adhere to arbitrary schedules. After about a month, we hopped back on the media receiver, which had gone unused. They were blown away that they'd missed EVERY SINGLE EPISODE of EVERY SINGLE SHOW they love in the past month, and the weekend was a marathon of Doctor Who, Supernatural, Warehouse 13, Gravity Falls, and Defiance.

They can't actually explain what it is they've filled their lives with this past month. It appears to mostly be crappy Disney sitcoms... reruns of stuff we already have on the 14 TeraByte media server.

May 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDrowlord

That customer service rep is surprisingly aware of the crumminess of his company's service. Most of the one's I've called just ask me to make sure my device is plugged in.

May 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCrazy Fish

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