Sunday, July 09, 2006

Fun With Wal-Mart and Insight Cable

Last night our cable started acting up. The digital channels were completely disappearing and the analog channels looked like we needed to adjust the rabbit ears. Since our weather's been pleasant and every television in the house was acting up, I assumed it was a transmission issue.

So I called 357-4400, a number that probably rings far to familiar with most Louisvillians, and told them what was wrong. They "sent a signal" to our DVR boxes. They shuddered, blinked, flipped up and down (okay, that's not true) and then reset themselves to the familiar ugly purple promo for an on demand movie. Of course, my wife wasn't very happy because she was trying to see how the episode of "While You Were Out" ended. The signal finally came back and..... nothing.

So I called again. After going through the phone tree, entering my phone number again, and then repeating my personal information yet again, I explained my problem. The woman asked me if it was effecting all TVs. I said I didn't know, but my two digital boxes were out. She then said she would check to see when a technician could come out. She put me on hold, came back and said, "we can get someone out there on the 26th." You do the math. 17 days to have someone fix the cable.

"Unacceptable!" I said. She said she's have to check what she could do. After a lot of hold time and back and forth, she finally was able to get me an emergency appointment for the 12th, from 2:30 to 5:30. I said that was fine, and she had to disappear yet again to get a supervisor to approve it because "the supervisor is on the other side of the building." When she came back, I said I knew it wasn't her fault, but I found it ridiculous that I'm paying $5 a day and $160 a month and I have to get special permission to get someone to restore my service in less than 17 days, and that I have to take time off work to be here for the person to do the work. Insight seems to be spending a fortune on people to install cable and next to nothing on repair work. I also said that it was insane that I have to call again to get a credit on my bill. She apologized and said that if the guy was 1 minute late (in a 3 hour window, of course), that I would get a $20 credit on my bill. Big freakin' deal.

Later it was off to my favorite place to raise my blood pressure.... Wal-Mart. The shopping experience wasn't too bad, but once again, they had about 15 too few people working the registers up front. I got in the shortest line and everything was going swimmingly until the people had a 6 pack of beer on the conveyor. My cashier was only 16, so he couldn't physically pick up the beer and run it over the scanner. Obviously, the laws are there to protect him from accidentally absorbing the alcohol through the cardboard handle. I waited approximately five minutes for someone old enough to come and take the five second action. Only problem was that it took the guy who showed up another five to do it, as he explained to the cashier how long he'd been there and bitched about some other things going on. But hey, I did get 5 notebooks for 50 cents.

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