I BET BEN FRANKLIN NEVER HAD THIS PROBLEM

It’s been an odd week, but I have fluffy towels and clean, fluffy sheets. I wore soft, fluffy jeans to work… and the Colts are still headed to the Super Bowl.

There. You have the happy ending first.

The most interesting aspect of the week (after the car incident) was wondering if we were going to get our electricity cut off. We ordered our electricity, set to begin in late November at this apartment, from Company A. After a month of not receiving a bill from Company A, I consulted their website FAQ which said it may take 45-60 days to receive the first bill. I decided to give them the allotted time listed on their website.

I waited for the first bill to arrive, never thinking anything was wrong, because we had electricity. Finally, after 60 days and no bill, I called Company A.

Company A uses outsourced customer service, the worst kind I encounter.

Side note to those who opt to outsource their customer service: Outsourced customer service (OCS) is not in your best interest. Dealing with OCS is worse than having to speak in tongues to bypass the uber-annoying voice automated system many companies now use. Think about it. The people working at OCS have no vested interest in your company or its performance and therefore don’t really care if they’re giving good customer service. They also don’t always have all the facts or helpful information (see below) that a person who cares about your company might have. In fact, nearly every OCS encounter I’ve had, the male representatives have been rude and treat me like I don’t have a brain. I’ve never been left with a good impression after talking to someone involved with OCS… but I digress.

While speaking with the OCS Company A uses, I found out the following things:

1. Company A cancelled our order for electricity and never bothered to call us and tell us. “You are not a customer of Company A,” I was told.

2. Apparently, the cancellation was my fault.

Apparently, according to the exceptionally rude OCS agent, I was “slamming” them – trying to switch companies while still having service with another. If Company A had bothered to check they’d have noticed I have a different name and credit history than the previous tenant. (Note: Neither Jene’ nor I have had electric service in our name in about six years since our old apartment complex provided electricity as a part of our rent. I found out from the nice lady at the Big Company who regulates electricity in our city that companies slam each other, customers do not).

Finally, after the very rude OCS agent kept repeating that we were slamming Company A and that our order was cancelled, and given the fact he was not helpful in anyway and defnintely not resolving my issue of not knowing what carrier we did have or who’s name our electricity was in (pesky privacy laws), I handed the phone to Jene’. I don’t deal with male chauvinists very well. This man was definitely not raised by a Southern woman.

Through this experience I also learned:

1. Jene’ can be terse over the phone and still smile.

Jene didn’t like the rude, not very helpful OCS agent. I think he may still be crying because he got his superior attitude handed back to him on a silver platter and I’m sure he didn’t realize it until after she hung up. Jene’ was raised by a Southern woman.

2. Company B, with which we have electricity as of today, has their own customer service department and they are very nice, well informed, and above all, VERY HELPFUL.

3. To our knowledge, our apartment complex was not paying for our electricity. In fact, we still don’t know who was. We had a grace period when we moved in, and since we know the electricity wasn’t in our name, we thought the error may have been overlooked, but no. This apartment hasn’t been on their bill.

It’s a mystery, but at least I know we’ll be getting a bill soon, and we know our electricity will be paid… and I know whose name is on the account!

Back to my fluffy towels.

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