Mark Terry

Monday, August 04, 2008

Speaking of Violence...

August 4, 2008
So, we were balancing our checkbook (okay, Leanne was balancing the checkbook) online and we noted a $50 check from DirecTV that didn't match up to our check numbers. And we don't have DirecTV.

So I went to my credit union today to bring this to their attention. And they tell me that someone at DirecTV must have misfiled it and I needed to contact them and straighten it out.

To which I glared in disgust and amazement and said, "Let me get this straight. I have to go to a company that I have no relationship with whatsoever and get them to straighten out my banking problem because my bank says it's not their problem."

She nodded, apparently understanding that this was not a completely satisfactory response. I stomped out and went home and got on the phone with...

Wait, wait, wait. Have you tried to get through to Customer Service at DirecTV? If you don't have an account with them, how exactly do you get past their automated response system that only has a single response: "What is the 10-digit phone number for this account?"

Swearing and telling the voicemail system that you don't have a f***ing account does not seem to get anywhere. Eventually, however, they roll you over to some person in Bangalore, India who tried to listen to me, told me it must be a case of fraud and she would transfer me, but if that didn't work, I should try calling Customer Service (which is what I thought I'd been doing when she picked up the damned phone!). So I get transferred to Fraud (I don't think it's fraud, I think it's incompetence), and get put in a seemingly terminal hold pattern for 15 or 20 minutes. Periodically it tells me I can leave a voicemail message by dialing #1 (but only sometimes, not all the time, because I tried it and it didn't always click over). When I finally do that, I'm told that the Fraud guy's voicemail box is full. If I could have left a message, it would have been filled with expletives.

So I slam down the phone and curse and glower for a while, then I try again, eventually getting  yet another moron in Bangalore, India who tells me it sounds like fraud, then puts me on hold for approximately 15 minutes and tells me he doesn't know what to do about it, but he'll transfer me to Fraud.

And then transfers me to Law Enforcement, which only takes calls from law enforcement agencies. To which I curse and hang up and give up for the day. Two unpaid hours of my workday that I'll never get back. To whom do I send the bill?

Tomorrow I will go back to the credit union and tell them they are welcome to fix this problem themselves and give them the phone number to DirecTV's so-called Customer Abuse department and I'll be glad to sit and wait while they do it, but if they don't, they otherwise need to close out all our accounts with them, since this is the second time this sort of thing has happened and clearly they are incompetent by letting people steal money from my account and doing nothing about it.


Mark Terry


Blogger spyscribbler said...

Oh, man, that sucks. I spent two hours driving around to drop off my cable boxes at the cable place today. (I nixed cable in favor of Netflix.) The road I was supposed to turn right on had no street sign, and then I stood in line for an hour and change.

I admire the fact that the only lady working was so relaxed and calm and unperturbed by the long line. She took great care with everyone. She even gave people directions, chatted about the weather, and gave one lady a few recommendations for lunch.

I did not feel very zen-like today.

12:38 PM  
Anonymous Amy Nathan said...

Everytime I talk to a customer service rep in India I go into a state of panic.

There is a website out there that gives you the "secret code" to get past a automated system to a person, but in this case pushing numbers and the pound sign might be more agreeable.

Wishing you luck!

1:01 PM  
Anonymous Eric Mayer said...

Remember when businesses took your money in return for a service? Now business just acts like it is entitled to your money but if you dare ask for some service in return...well...the business is shocked. Why would you expect that was part of the deal? As if they were supposed to make some sort of deal with the likes of you! Ridiculous. Give us your money, now go away and don't annoy us. That's a nice little consumer.

3:41 PM  
Blogger lucidkim said...

I have directv and I can attest to the fact that their customer service sucks - they are usually rude with me no matter what the issue is. The only time I've ever gotten them to respond is by saying "just cancel my service" and suddenly things magically fall into place with them. At least so far. I agree that closing your bank account might be your only recourse (but really, how stupid is that??). Finding people with more than a double digit IQ and dollop of common sense is impossible.


4:57 PM  
Blogger kitty said...

I think you need to take your banking elsewhere.


7:18 PM  
Blogger Gayle Miller said...

Had the same problem with DirectTv to the tune of some $285!

I INSISTED that my bank deal with it but first I had to file a written dispute of the charge. By Federal law, they MUST accept it and investigate it and in 99% of cases, the money is refunded to you within 2-3 weeks.

Hope that helps.

6:19 AM  
Anonymous Jim said...

Hmmm, two hours spent trying to return unsolicited funds that they put in your bank account. You could write up a bill for two hours work at your standard billing rate, credit them for a fifty dollar down payment, and bill them for the rest. In fact, you could really be a nice guy and forgive them for their balance due (write it off to good will).

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