Thursday, May 23, 2013

I am not going to enjoy this

I found someone worse than AT & T – it’s DIRECTV.

I thought I had dealt with the telephone, internet and TV issues but no. Late yesterday afternoon I got a call from Cherise at  DIRECTV saying that they could not find any record of my social security number (?) and to prove that I had one I had to send them a copy – together with a copy of my passport.

No problem I thought – I will just send them an email with a pdf attachment. Oh no – she said – you have to fax it. FAX IT? Do people still use faxes – well DIRECTV does.

I gave this task to Cate and she actually found a fax somewhere in the bowels of Ducky Pharma – dusted it off and sent the fax.

That was the easy part.

The hard part was that I was told that after I sent the fax I had to call them to tell them I had sent it. Apparently actually getting the fax was not hard enough evidence for them. I should have included a certificate from a notary public confirming that it was indeed a fax and I had sent it.

But the harder thing was that I had to call the general DIRECTV number to do this. I envisaged that this would be nearly impossible to do - and so it proved to be.

The DIRECTV call center is impenetrable. They have built an electronic curtain around it. I imagine a call center in which there are no staff. Only empty desks with cobwebs hanging off the unused headsets. Why would you need staff when no one can get through?

There are NO circumstances under which you can speak to an operator no matter which menu choices you make – and I tried them all.

Most of them send you back to the website. Some cut you off immediately. Some fool you into thinking that you will get to talk to someone but them connect you to AT & T (Because that’s where I lodged my order).

AT & T will then connect me back to the DIRECTV phone line. Occasionally you can get part of the way through the menu and almost believe that you will get to speak to someone but after you have been on hold for 15 minutes the line drops out.

I eventually twigged to the idea that I could call the number on which Cherise called me - and after three tries I got through and they were indeed able to confirm that they had received my fax.

I have had limited experience so far but I am guessing that this total grizzly, ghastly, mind-numbing catastrophic shambles is what passes for customer service in America and that I will find this no matter who I call.

I am not going to enjoy this.


  1. Customer serve ice seems to work weLL when they think you owe them money and its overdue. I have neVer had DirecTV.

  2. Just as well you don't work full time. Must be very difficult for those that do to organise their lives. Let me know when your phone is connected next year so I can Skype you.

  3. Oh no - I hope you have supplies on hand while you wait to get through on the telephone to these places !! It sounds like a completel nightmare (even though you are awake !!)
    Have the best day possible !

  4. Customer Service here is deplorable, Esby is right they only want to talk to you if they think you owe them money. I had the same thing happen recently someone wanted a fax and Big Daddy took it to work and had to find helpers to find the fax and get it to work. BD did have a program on his computer once that was a fax, but who uses them these days? Oh yea, Direct TV. You do have a Sad Bastard chair in your house to wait for these folks don't you.

  5. It might have been worse... I presume you weren't talking to a Pakistani, Indian or Filipino call centre somewhere. Did they have trouble understanding your Aussie accent or have you lost that? Good luck.

  6. esb: Well I had better not ruin my credit record before I have one.

    KP: This is a full time job - I have time for nothing else.

    Me: I have oodles of coffee to keep me going and I also also watch TV.

    fmcgmccllc: Unfortunately I do not have a SB chair - but I can sit on the stairs.

    Sandy: They can only just understand me. I try to be as American as I can.

  7. Badger: If you're already running into customer service problems in the USA concerning everyday stuff such as the telephone, Internet and TV, I foresee inevitable problems when you get around to future vacations (travel, accommodation, etc). I highly recommend a splendid agency I've just encountered. Click here to see a great video that shows how they operate. I'm convinced you'll be more than satisfied with their service.

  8. William; Thanks - that's just the kind of customer service I like. I shall send the video to AT & T.

  9. I was afraid DIRECTV has Google alert: Now they've capped the cable AND hijacked the Wi-Fi connection! *waaa*