Customer service goes a long way.

It’s no question that businesses really can’t afford to treat their customers like shit. It’s a known fact, businesses without customers will fail, and customers treated badly will not utilize said businesses. Getting that out of the way, I just had two drastically different customer service scenarios this morning that I’d love to share with you, and hopefully this may be useful to you if you are in need of a television services provider.

As most of you know, I’ll be moving in the next few months. Where? I don’t know. That’s a key piece of information.

So, I’m doing my brother a solid and hanging out at his place this morning waiting for the Cablevision installers to come to install his cable stuff. With a few hours on hand, I figured I’d put it to use and research TV options for myself for when I need to move. I whipped out the MiFi, fired up the laptop and went to work. First stop was DirecTV.

Their website is fairly easy to navigate, and they have their packages on display in a logical manner. Channels available will vary based on the package, but you see what you get with each one side-by-side. But then, to my surprise, a little chat box popped up and a friendly agent said hello. I thought it was a bot, so I messed with him a little bit, but I shortly found out that it was, in fact, a real person. Not only did he make some great suggestions for the package to get, he didn’t stop until all of my questions answered. I didn’t like the fact that I had to sign a 2-year contract, but he told me that cable companies can change rates spontaneously without notifying the customers, and being under contract with DirecTV would lock in my rate. Don’t know if I believe that, but that’s good to know (if it’s true.) After chatting with him for the better part of an hour, I headed over to Dish Network. This, is where I was not satisfied at all.

I’d had Dish Network previously, when I lived in Indiana, and had no problems with their service. I just wanted to chat with a rep and find out what options were available, and package pricing etc. The rep that I was connected with didn’t seem to pay much attention to what I had to say, and that I did not have an address to where I’d be moving to. After each question, she would respond with some sort of request to sign me up for installation today, right away. That’s absurd! I had no idea where I was going to be living, so how could I sign up for service?! She also did not communicate clearly, because she seemed to be cutting and pasting information from the internet that I could have found out on my own. She then continuously gave me her operator number and instructed me to go through her when it came time to set up my order. Only after trying to fend her off did she say things like “When you are ready to order.”
Someone running chat support is clearly not only talking to one person at a time, so I refuse to believe that I was really doing her any kind of inconvenience by asking questions without making a sale. With her guerilla sales tactics I’m not sure why anyone in their right mind would sign up for service that way. I’m trying to do all of my homework ahead of time so when I am ready to sign up I have a clear indication as to who I want to go with, and who will give me the most value for my money.

I like Dish’s iPhone app, supposedly you can watch TV anywhere you have internet service, DirecTV has an iPhone app that lets you control your DVR programming from anywhere which is probably going to be just fine for me. Price-wise Dish wins, coming in about $20/mo cheaper than DirecTV, but I don’t know if I want to give Dish the satisfaction of getting my business after their customer service rep butchered my experience. I still have time to decide, so I’m not going to sign up for installation JUST yet.

I have to look into Cablevision some more; I’m not super impressed with their iO service, which we currently have at my mom’s house. It’s slow and the options are limited with regards to what’s on. If the money works out better to get TV service through them as well as my internet, I’ll go with them, but I’ve had good experiences with Dish network in the past. There’s nothing wrong with having a satellite dish if it means I get to save money every month. Some people think the satellite dish is an eyesore, and they’d be right, but if it’s a big trophy I can display for saving money on my television programming, I’m totally fine with that.

Anyone have any experiences with Cablevision, DirecTV, or Dish Network that you’d like to share? Please feel free to comment on here and let me know. Thanks!

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