Saturday, March 12, 2011

I can't live without my TV!

Dealing with a major American cable company, we get many many customers calling in who are days away from having their cable disconnected because they can’t pay their bills. The fact of the matter is, they can’t afford to pay the bill and really shouldn’t have the service to begin with. The following scenario isn’t just one customer I’ve had to deal with, it’s an example of an issue I deal with multiple times a day.

Me: Again, Mrs. White, the last time you called us we told you that you needed to make a minimum payment of $xxx.xx in order to avoid service interruption. You didn’t do that.

Mrs. White: but I need to make the payment arrangement. I don’t want you to turn off my service, I need it.

Me: I’m really sorry, but you haven’t made any of the previous payment arrangements. We can’t give you another one. It also shows that the representative advised you to remove some services so your monthly rate isn’t so high. I notice that you didn’t do that. You’re paying for Showtime and HBO, which is costing you an extra $23 a month. Would you like to remove them?

Mrs. White: No, I need those channels. I can’t get rid of those.

Me: Sorry Mrs. White, your services will go off tomorrow and I can’t apply an extension.

Mrs. White: *begins to cry*WHAT AM I GOING TO DO WITHOUT MY CABLE? (This is where I SHOULD have suggested she pick up a book, but again, I value my paycheck) I’m switching to(competitor)

Me: With all due respect Mrs. White, (competitor) will interrupt your service if you don’t pay your bills with them either.

In my 5 years at this call centre, I have learned one key thing. You can do absolutely anything to an American- steal from him, lie to him, even push his grandmother down the stairs- but do not shut off their cable. They cannot live without it. I found a really interesting article here about how cable should be one of the first things to go during a recession, but Americans as a whole just aren’t able to make the cut.

This video also goes into detail on how addicted to cable Americans seem to be. It’s quite sad, really.

If you read a lot of books, you're considered well-read, but if you watch a lot of TV, you're not considered well viewed.

Lily Tomlin


  1. oh my goodness! These stories on your blog are too funny. I can relate in a way with you in the sense that working with members of the public can be stressful as people can be difficult to handle. I use to work at the customer service desk at a Real Canadian Superstore, and I would shake my head at some of the comments/complaints people would tell me.

  2. This was a great story Aisling! Too funny! I've only ever done cold calling, inbound sounds much more fun and funny!

  3. You blog is so entertaining, it should be a show! this is giving you valuable experience and setting you up nicely for PR! You can't always say what you want, I'm a server and I know where your coming from. Just keep thinking of the experience you are gaining and the entertainment you are providing!

  4. Love this post. Do people even attempt to go outside anymore?? I remember being a kid and if you asked me what my favourite thing to do, it was undoubtedly playing sports outside--and I think most other people my age would say something similar. Ask the same question of my <10-year-old cousins now and the answer is invariably "video games, tv, watching movies." Ugh. I love the abundance of cable options as much as the next person, but people's attitudes towards being completely dependent on their TV is pretty scary and sure isn't doing our population any favours.