Don't get me started on phone service providers. Well, okay, I am already started, so may as well continue. First, there are decent, honest, and truly concerned phone service providers that do not jam you with charges with technical names from technical jargon you will never understand so succumb to paying, that do not ignore your cries for help when you are moving and need only transfer your info and services, that do cater, smile, and provide. For example, when I moved to a temporary hovel a year ago (while I searched for the ideal, quiet, remote area to settle and write without interruption of dogs barking, criminals thieving, drug addicts interfering, or gun shots startling?), I had to call the two phone service providers I had been with for years. One had an employee who explained to me the charges of switching over my DSL, relocating services, etc. That would take days, would require a deposit (again with the deposit?one that you never seem to get back), would demand a set-up and installation fee, would necessitate a new this fee and a flip such and such switch charges, etc.
etc. This new king of phone service providers (having taken over or merged with others?etc.) sent a technician, based on SPECIFIC dates I had PURPOSELY arranged for obsessively inquiring that day I had called that the service be a smooth in transition as possible, especially since I had given the advance notice and was paying insane fees to do so (as I work online and need to satisfy clients, duh). The technician went to the new place?where I had not moved yet as I was, as immaculately scheduled, in the old place cleaning. The technician went to the new place one day early. This would have been a lovely thing, except I WAS NOT there.
Ahem. And?he left a nasty note saying I had to be there in order for him to provide me any services. No kidding. Try reading the specific, intentionally pre-arranged (by six weeks!) work order. Of my two phone service providers, number two, however, was (and always has been) the antithesis of number one (and I use "number one" for distinction of order, not status, here, by the way). This second PSP I called when I was in the new place and had phone service, as it (the second one) is my long-distance carrier.
Here's how the second interaction played out: I get a human answering the phone at the other end. I explain I need to 1) have my long distance transferred from old point to new point; and 2) change my billing address. The woman types in the new information. She then tells me to hold for a minute. She returns in a matter of seconds and says, "You know, you could be paying a lot less for your long distance, so I crunched some numbers for you. How about X (shockingly low by 3000% of what I had been paying) per minute?" When I thank her, gushing over her kindness and thoughtfulness at going above and beyond the usual, she responds that it is "her job"! Yuh.
But how many phone service providers have employees that REALIZE when you have a job, you do that job, and you do it correctly and well? I won't disclose the first of the phone service providers' name, but I will tell you that the second is good old AT&T. Rock on with your bad selves.
Dan Sherman has started an information based website to offer advice on topics similar to those discussed above. Visit him at his website by Clicking Here (or go to http://www.yourphoneservice.info).