Thursday, August 27, 10:00pm
My area is hit with a windstorm. We lose power.
Thursday, August 27, 11:45pm
Power is restored. My satellite TV service is out in both our primary TV in the living room, and our secondary TV in the bedroom.
Friday, August 28, 10:00am
My wife calls DirecTV's 1-800 number. The soonest appointment they can make is Sunday afternoon.
Friday, August 28, 2:00pm
The field technician assigned to us calls to ask if he can come out that day around 5:00 to do the job instead of Sunday. I tell him that sounds good. My wife and I cancel our plans for the evening.
Friday, August 28, 6:00pm
The stinky technician shows up. He restores service to our secondary TV in the bedroom, but at this point he is unable to restore service to the primary TV in the living room, which is the only set on which we have DVR set up, thus, the only set on which we can record programs. The stinky technician says he needs a receiver to restore service. He says he can get it and have it out the next day. We tell him we both work until 4:00, but any time after that would be good. He says to call him when we get home from work and gives us his number.
Saturday, August 29, 1:00pm
The Detroit Lions play their third preseason game against the Colts. They win. Matthew Stafford looks impressive, completing 13 of 19 passes, including completions of 37 and 40 yards. I am unable to watch the game because I am at work. I am also unable to record the game for later viewing because I have no service in the only TV with DVR set up.
Saturday, August 29, 4:30pm
We call the stinky technician. He says he has two more stops to make and then he will be out. We stay in so we will be there when the stinky technician shows up.
Saturday, August 29, 10:00pm
The stinky technician never showed up. I go to bed.
Sunday, August 30, 10:00am
My wife calls the 1-800 number to find out why the stinky technician never showed up. They say they don't know, but that the work order was fulfilled and filed with them as having been completed. My wife informs them that our blank TV screen says differently. She stays in, hoping either the stinky technician will show up or they will send someone else out.
Sunday, August 30, 2:00pm
The local dealer (Skylink) contacts my wife. They don't know why the stinky technician never showed up and they can't get ahold of him. They set up an appointment for Monday after 6:00pm. My wife is told that the technician supervisor will be there to ensure that the work is done correctly.
Monday, August 31, 2:00pm
Lazy pervert technician shows up at my house four hours early and knocks on the door. My wife and I are both at work, so nobody answers. Lazy pervert technician elects not to call us and goes home for the day to eat Cheetos and watch porn.
Monday, August 31, 7:00pm
After another no-show, I call the 1-800 number to find out where the lazy pervert technician is. I cannot actually call Skylink because the number they call me from doesn't work for incoming calls. It simply refers you to the 1-800 number and then hangs up on you. The people at the 1-800 number contact Skylink to find out. A local representative contacts me immediately. She tells me that the lazy pervert technician decided to come out four hours early. She acknowledges that the work order specifically stated 6:00pm, so he was not doing as he was supposed to. It doesn't occur to anyone at the local office to tell him to put down the Cheetos and come fix my TV. The representative apologizes. She sets me up an appointment for Wednesday at 6:00pm. She says she will leave emails and voice mails for supervisors to get in touch with me to try and get someone out sooner. She says the supervisors take service breakdowns such as this very seriously, so I can expect a call from them either tonight or the next morning.
Tuesday, September 1, 12:00am
The Detroit Lions preseason win over the Colts is replayed on NFL network. I cannot watch because I am asleep. I also can't record the game because I still don't have service on the only TV with DVR.
Tuesday, September 1, 10:00am
I have not yet heard from anyone, supervisor or not, so I call the 1-800 number back to see if I can get the appointment moved up so I don't miss the last and final opportunity I may have to see the Detroit Lions win a football game. I am told by the operator that she will put in a request to the local office and have them call me. She also confirms that even if the appointment can't get moved up, I am still on for the appointment at 6:00pm Wednesday. I suspect the operator is either new or stupid, so I cross my fingers and hang up.
Tuesday, September 1, 1:30pm
I still haven't heard from anyone at Skylink and their number still redirects me to the 1-800 number, so I call the 1-800 number back to see wtf is going on. I tell the operator my story and he apologizes for the confusion and tells me that none of these work orders were ever put in the system. He says the only work order they are aware of was the original work order for Sunday that was done on Friday and filed as having been completed. He says he has no record of the Monday work order or the Wednesday work order, despite the fact that both work orders were confirmed to me by a different person than the one who entered it in. He quickly decides to escalate the priority on my situation by assigning me to a DirecTV case manager, who is apparently a super-efficient customer service Jedi who will take care of everything and kick a few people's asses in the process. He tells me that DirecTV takes customer issues like this very seriously.
Tuesday, September 1, 1:45pm
Tyler, my assigned case manager Jedi, calls me. He listens to my saga, apologizes, and tells me he appreciates my patience, showing off those mad skillz he learned at DirecTV customer service Jedi camp. Tyler tells me that the only work order that was ever officially entered was the original order, which was then closed as having been completed. He tells me that he is going to set me up with a super technician's appointment, with an official, licensed, DirecTV Jedi technician the following day from either 8-12 or 12-4. I inform Tyler that I work until 5:00 the next three days and ask if he has anything in the evening. Tyler starts to panic as he realizes his Jedi training didn't prepare him for a customer who has a job. He says he doesn't have anything in the evening. He tells me he can get a Jedi technician out on Saturday (9 days after the service went out). He also tells me this appointment is with a super-duper ultra-qualified Jedi technician master who will definitely get it fixed and I have his DirecTV On-Time-Guarantee. I inform Tyler that that's all well and good, but that I didn't think 9 days was an appropriate time to have to wait for service and I ask him if he can get something faster.
Tyler doesn't seem to understand that we aren't talking about a routine service call. We are talking about a service call that has already been fucked up so many times that I've been passed on to a super-Jedi customer service case manager and given a special 1-800 number reserved for royal fuckups such as these. I try to explain to Tyler that getting someone out four days later doesn't sound like I've been made a priority. I tell Tyler that with all the people that have been cutting work early rather than fix my service, they should be able to get one of them to stay late or have another person work an extra day to accommodate my work schedule, which is hardly an unusual one.
Tyler says he can't guarantee anything else. He says he can put in a field-request, but that doesn't have the super-Jedi quality guarantee because it would be Skylink's technicians, rather than the DirecTV Jedi technicians. I ask him why he can't just call Skylink and have them get someone the hell out here since they failed to take care of the work order four days ago? Tyler says he has no way of contacting the local office directly. I give him the number they have called me at about 11 times. Tyler says he'll try that and see if he can get through and then he'll call me back. I ask Tyler how it is that DirecTV has literally no way of directly contacting the people who do their work for them. At this point Tyler is clearly considering using the Force, with which he isn't yet comfortable, because he realizes his Jedi training wasn't good enough to deal with reasonable questions from an intelligent customer with a job. At this point, Tyler is using a lot of long, technical words he knows I won't understand and talking so fast that I can't tell if he's trying to fix my TV or sell me Micro-Machines. Tyler tells me he will try to contact Skylink with the number I have given him and then call me back.
Tuesday, September 1, 2:00pm
Tyler calls me back and tells me he got the same redirection to the 1-800 number that I get when I call Skylink's number. I again express how unbelievable it is to me that they have no way of directly contacting their local dealers, especially when two people at the 1-800 number have already gotten me in touch with them this week in about fifteen minutes. Tyler tells me he put in a field request and that hopefully they will contact me to get someone out here sooner, but that if nothing else, I'm still on for Saturday. I tell him that's the second time I've heard that line today and the first time the appointment I had set up mysteriously vanished. He apologized for that and said that DirecTV takes customer service breakdowns such as these very seriously and that it will get resolved to everyone's satisfaction. I tell Tyler he's the third different person to tell me that in two days and yet I'm no closer than I was yesterday to being able to watch the Lions pre-season game.
Tuesday, September 1, 2:01pm
Finding Tyler's claims extremely hard to believe that the Jedi masters have no way of contacting their local dealers, I go to DirecTV's web site. 75 seconds later I find a number for the local dealer. I call the local dealer and leave a message with my name and number.
Tuesday, September 1, 4:30pm
I still haven't heard from Skylink, so I call back. This time they answer. I tell the receptionist my story, she immediately puts me in touch with the supervisor. I tell my story to the supervisor. He tells me he is going to make a couple calls and call me right back.
Tuesday, September 1, 4:32pm
The Skylink supervisor calls back to tell me the stinky technician who originally came out and left without finishing the job will be out in half an hour to fix my service and that he will call me when he's on his way.
Tuesday, September 1, 4:45pm
The stinky technician calls to tell me he is on his way.
Tuesday, September 1, 5:30pm
The stinky technician arrives. As he's walking in the door he says "Sorry about that, I was off Saturday and Monday, they should've sent someone out with the receiver It actually gets fixed. Now the only problem is that since the whole system was reset, everything we had recorded previously has been lost, and the guide information for future programming also needs to reload, which can take up to 48 hours, meaning I may very well not be able to record the Lions game tomorrow morning because my TV isn't yet recognizing it. Oh, and the time is incorrect so I have to do a reset of the system to get it to correctly recognize the time.
Tuesday, September 1, 6:30pm
I call the Jedi case managers back to tell them that thanks to my ability to spend 60 seconds looking at their own web site, I've managed to get my service restored. I inform them how piss-poor the entire situation has been handled from top to bottom and that it should be professionally embarassing to them that I was able to arrange for a quicker resolution myself than their trained customer representative case managers were when my issue alledgedly had been given "escalated priority." I told I expected a credit for the lost service, as well as the sheer amount of time I have had to spend to get service back. Frankly, I would have already expected them to offer a credit considering how poorly everything had been handled. So the guy offered me $5 off Showtime for the next three months. Yeah. Seriously. After all this.