My poor Mom. An elderly white haired woman who is vertically challenged [short]. When she moved into her little house [three bedrooms is not all that little - it is twice as big as our house!] in N.C. she called the cable company and they came and installed cable for her two television sets and put internet on her computer and gave her a land line for her phone that included 24/7 long-distance calling [family is spread out - one sister in Maryland, another in California - and us, in Saudi, with a N.C. phone number through the computer]. At the time, it was some special deal they gave her like $60. a month for ALL of that. That deal lasted for three months. Since then, the price has risen steadily and dramatically. As of last week, when she got her bill, she was being charged $179.00 a month for all of those services - the exact same services she got for $60.00 a month two and a half years ago.
Mom opened her bill and said, "Do you think $179.00 a month is too much to pay for cable, internet and telephone?" Hell yes, it is! "I really only got the cable for the boys when they come on the weekends - and for you and your DH when you come once or twice a year for a month." Nope. That is way too much for a woman on a fixed income to have to pay. Told Mom that I would go to the cable company with her to see what we could do to lower the cost. Get rid of the premium cable package, for one. No reason that she needs 200 channels for one weekend a month when my nephews - her grandsons - come or for that one month a year that we are here in the summer. If DH wants to watch a car race or football game there is a really nice sports bar not too far from Mom's house.
We went to Time Warner Cable on Thursday. We waited in line - and waited and waited and waited - because two of the three customer service people didn't have a single freakin' clue what they were doing and couldn't do a thing without asking their supervisor, first. [Oh, and by the way, Ms. Supervisor, you work in an office, not outside on a farm. Your being dressed in those way too tight jeans for your body and that red t-shirt was totally unprofessional. I don't think you should have to wear a suit, but you certainly should have to at least attempt to look somewhat business-like. Try a nice pair of slacks and a blouse.] There was some man at the far end customer-service window and I don't know what his deal was but he was trying to figure out how to lower his bill for two separate telephone lines in his house and Ms. Supervisor was getting all testy with him. The lone man customer service agent was working that window and didn't know how to respond to the man's inquiries so Ms. Supervisor was there. She was yelling at the guy! I was mortified for him. Thanks to Ms. Supervisor we all know what the guy's monthly payment is and we all know that he is three months behind in paying his bill and now his service has been shut off. Discretion? Ms. Supervisor has no idea what that word even means. Dolt? Ms. Supervisor is the dictionary definition. I can give quite a few more choice descriptions of her... [I need to get the address of the head office for Time Warner and let them know how their Clayton/Garner office is being served - or NOT being served.]
Mom and I were at the middle customer service window. We asked for a break down of the bill. Customer service [ha!] woman said, "What are the last four digits of the social security number on the account?" Mom did not know. The social security number that the account was set up under is my Dad's number - he, originally, set the whole thing up before they were going to move from New York to N.C. The bill, however, is in Mom's name. But the woman wasn't going to give us any information because of the social security number being my Dad's number and not Mom's. You have got to be kidding! Mom has been paying the bill for almost three years. It is in her name. And you are not going to give her a breakdown of her bill because she doesn't know the last four numbers of my Dad's social security number? I couldn't be nice any longer. I said, "He is dead. He is not going to be able to call you and change it into Mom's social security number. The bill is in her name and she is the one who has dutifully come here and paid it once a month for the last two and a half - almost three - years." Customer service person says, "I am going to have to ask my supervisor." Fine. We'll wait. And we did. There was no way I was going to let Mom get out of line and wait some more.
Finally Ms. Supervisor waddled over to help customer service person that couldn't do anything without her permission. Ms. Supervisor said that if Mom gave customer service person her I.D. [license] then she could help us this one time, but in the future Mom was going to have to know the last four digits of the social security number on the account. [Does anyone with a legal background read my blog? Is this allowed? How is it that a social security number has become a "national identity" number when it was originally designed for the purpose of keeping track of employment? How do illegal aliens get cable if they don't have a social security number?] Ms. Supervisor said that my Mother should change the account but that she would need her social security card to do so - along with Dad's social security number. I said something to the effect that most people don't carry their social security cards around with them and customer service person decided that she needed to argue with me, "Oh, yes. Everyone carries their social security card." No, not everyone does, you idiot! [You just want to argue because you can't stand white women and you've had an inferiority complex your entire life!] You are not supposed to. If your pocketbook or wallet gets stolen and you've got your license in it, along with a credit card or two, and your social security card, you are screwed! Brains and common sense are, obviously, not a prerequisite for becoming a customer service representative at Time Warner Cable. I'm not sure what prerequisites are required other than being the "right" color. I do know that last week 121 workers at Caterpillar in Clayton were laid off and I'd be willing to bet that you could find a worker or two in that group who would relish the opportunity to work as a customer service representative at Time Warner and who might actually bring some people skills to work with them - no matter WHAT color they are!
Anyway, after a good deal of arguing back and forth we were able to get a breakdown of what it is, exactly, that Mom is paying for. There is NO good way to do this. If you cancel the cable completely and just want phone service and internet then it is $160. a month because the price of having those two options, separately, doubles if you don't have a "package deal" that includes cable. Makes absolutely no sense at all. But with no industry competition, Time Warner Cable has you over a barrel and they can charge whatever it is they want. Competition is a good thing. How come there isn't any? If Mom "locked" into a two year contract she could have lowered her bill to $149. for all of the same services that she was paying $179. a month for. Does that make any sense? Sure it does. For the cable company but not for the cable company customers!
What Mom finally decided to do was to remove the premium cable package and get basic cable - some 24 channels, only. She was told that she needs to bring the box and clicker back to the Time Warner Office - along with her social security card - and that then they will switch her service and she'll only have to pay $113. a month. Remember. All of this took place on Thursday. So, last night, I'm getting ready to go
P.S. Anonymous - I don't know what your problem is. Are you jealous that you can't have plastic surgery? Or something? Either way I've got comment moderation on for people just like you and you are NOT going to get through. Good try though.