Thursday, May 15, 2008

War on Phones Update

It’s not a day of paying the bills here at the Hacienda without a little telephonic fraud. Back in March, an internet services account arose from the dead and started sending us bills again. This account was for my stepfather’s office, and was started about a decade ago with Isla Net, a company that has not existed for years. The account we had with them has also not existed for years, since we cancelled it. Apparently, Centennial bought out Isla Net, and I guess as a housewarming present, decided to reactivate all sorts of old accounts. Like ours.

So in March, we get a bill from Centennial for $25. Not one to take this type of thing lying down, I immediately called up Centennial and cancelled the account. They assured me that they cancelled it, and that I would not be hearing from them again. But of course, this month they sent another bill.

Oh, I thought, it’s on now.

What Centennial didn't know is that I’ve fought this war before, in my Vietnam-like battle with Claro, the automated telecom servant of all that is evil and unholy. And Centennial, my friends, is no Claro, and it was simply not ready to counter the lengths to which I was willing to go to send this account back to the billing hell from whence it crawled back into our lives.

Centennial doesn't have the wall of impregnable computer menus that Claro has been able to set up to thwart anyone from actually speaking to any living being employed by them. Their computer lets you talk to an actual human being very quickly. These humans, however, are trained in the ninja arts of not solving your problems, and katana blade of their arsenal is demanding to talk only to the person whose name is on the account. And so, when I called this afternoon, I was posing as my stepfather, the doctor.

I explained to them that I’d called in March to cancel, and that I’d been given assurances that said cancellation had indeed taken effect. Immediately the customer service rep countered with “Yes, but did you write a letter?”

Just the opening I was looking for. I went for the nuclear option. Here’s how the rest of the conversation played out:

[And here et me make clear that my stepfather in no way resembles the portrayal of him here. But my version of my stepfather is out to get shit done. He knows that you have to can't make the trains run on time without breaking a few eggs. Or something.]

Doctor (actually me, in all my Method glory): “Did I write a letter? No, young lady, I did not write a letter, because I was not told that I had to write a letter. And honestly, had I been told I needed to write a letter, I would not have done so, as I consider that requirement to be burdensome and wholly unreasonable.”

Customer Service (thinking, I've got you now, sucka!): “Yes, but we need you to write a letter—“

Doctor: “You listen to me, I’m not writing any letter. Do you know how many times I’ve cancelled this account over the years? I’m a DOCTOR, right now I need to be seeing PATIENTS, not writing letters to CENTENNIAL! There’s people out in my waiting room right now that need TREATMENT and you’re sitting here asking me to write you a LETTER—“

CS: “Yes but we need you to—“

Doctor: “You know what, I’ll write you a letter, I’ll write you a letter all right, but you know what I’m going to do with that letter? I’m going to send a copy of it to the Department of Consumer Affairs, along with a note to my son-in-law, the DIRECTOR of that agency, detailing the ABUSES that you people have subjected me to—“

CS [meekly]: “Doctor, please, don’t worry, I’ll cancel the account right now, don’t worry about that letter, I’ll have our accounts staffer cancel it as soon as he gets back from lunch—“

Doctor: “Lunch? Young lady, it’s 3:30 right now. I’m not waiting for some person whom is clearly not going to return from his 3-hour lunch to take care of this. Kindly go in there and cancel it yourself right now, while I’m on the phone.”

CS: “Yes, Doctor, of course.” [Types furiously.] “OK, you’re all set.”

Doctor: “Well, thank you for all your help. You’ve been very helpful. Sorry if I seemed rude back there.”

CS: “Oh, it’s no problem. I’m just glad I was able to help, Doctor.”

Doctor (triumphantly): “Well you have a nice day now. Bye bye.”

Hells yeah. Soon I shall be ready for my Day of Reckoning with Sprint!


Adrian said...

Shocking. Maybe their records are so poor because they're all in letter form. She probably typed a letter pretending to be you pretending to be El Doctor just to get the account closed. Rubbish.

Anonymous said...

As this affects our household, I am grateful, humbly grateful to see you have understood the need for underhandedness needed TO DO WHAT IS RIGHT. Ah, lessons learned at 50 you are deftly preaching at your tender age. They will serve you well, congratulations.

Ramon said...

shut down my Verizon account in Florida a year ago, but they send me bills every month with a negative balance. And the balance keeps incrementing in negative every month. I haven't bothered to call because as long as I don't need to pay anything, I'll just dump the bill in the trash.