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I'm sure everyone has gotten cable before. I'm sure everyone has faced a cable technician running late. Here's an interesting article about this truly disgusting enterprise. It is also funny that I can relate to this on a pretty understandable level in regards to my dispatching cable job.
http://www.theverge.com/2014/8/4/596025 … lways-late
Here's a comment I left to give people insight:
"This was an interesting read because I work as a dispatcher for a contractor that deals with a cable company. I will not state any names. To give some insight into my job: I will start out the day with an average of 15-25 technicians in a specific area. Generally you will have 80-130 jobs between those technicians. @ 130 jobs and 25 techs, that’s 5 jobs a tech. Which is pretty light, but can be considered full depending on the types of jobs. 5 triple play reconnects means a pretty full day for a tech. And that’s IF you have 25 techs.
Mostly I see 15-20. 22 on a good day. There’s a county that works with 8-16 techs per area, with the same work load. So when you get put on that board, you know your day is going to be shit. And you know why? Because we get jobs that are given to us during the day by sales reps and escalations. Generally the numbers for these kinds of jobs are between 200-300 per county. So you start at 130 jobs and end with 160-170. With 25 techs, that is doable. With 8 techs? That is murder. And that means a lot of the customers are thrown under the bus and get rescheduled. The problem is upper management at this point. We are forced to say yes to all these jobs they give us. That means upper management (from my companies to the main cable provider) are consenting to the ridiculous work load with the knowledge that a lot of customers will be shafted. To put it into perspective: Say you book an appt. that is a week away. Your appt. on that day might be pushed off to a 6-8 when it was a 2-4 because a sales rep. booked a job and that tech had to pick up. That means YOUR APPT. WAS PUSHED OFF BECAUSE OF A PERSON WHO BOOKED THERE’S THE DAY OF. Does that sound right to you? You booked your appt. a week away, should you be treated that way? It is a disgusting truth.
So to get back into it, a person working on a board that has 8 techs with 14 jobs a tech, that person gets very jaded. There’s no sympathy towards customers in this atmosphere. I love being able to make things work. Move a job to a different tech so the timeframe is not late, get the supervisor to role out there, etc. I love helping customers that way. But when every tech is behind by 3 hours with 14 jobs a piece. Every tech is on their 4th job out of 14, where can we move those jobs? No where. We can’t help customers, which is our job, and the main cable provider is willing to let that happen. So people have to keep that in mind.
I try to reason why it is like this, at least for where I work. For the most part my techs complete the daily work load with a 70-85% completion rating. Which is really good for the work load. But that’s still a lot of customers who get angry and cancel and reschedule. We take a lot of shit because the upper management lets it happen. So keep that in mind when you talk with a contractor dispatcher or a sales rep or a customer service rep. It is not our fault this kind of stuff happens. It is the fact that the conglomerates are ok with it happening."
I used to have Comcast Internet and it was down so much and I had so many other problems I finally cancelled it and switched to a service which uses a phone line instead of cable. It has been much better.
Not getting angry is easier said than done because many of have to work around our work schedule. Maybe it's not the techs fault, but unfortunately we have to complain to someone. Have you ever tried getting a hold of the upper management by telephone when you have a complaint? It might be easy for a tech to do, but we customers are never going to have that happen. At least I never have. If I ask for a manager, I either get someone who I know isn't because they have no clue what's happening or I get put on hold so long I eventually get disconnected. Sorry that the techs get to take the brunt of the anger.
I'm a cable dispatcher, so I do this stuff all day lol. The problem isn't the techs not being able to make their appointments. It's upper management forcing the techs to take too many jobs. The system is inefficient. It is like that because they use sub-contractors for majority of their work. A sub-contractor is not an employee and does not get the benefits and protections afforded to employees. However, with the downside comes the upside of being able to make a lot of money. Their pay checks are completely based off of the work they do. So a reconnect triple play job will pay 100-200 depending on what is required. That job can take the tech an hour or six. A simple box swap might get a tech 10 bucks.
Since upper management does not have to worry about employee benefits for its sub-contractors or having specific 8 hour work days (Techs work 6 days a week, 10-14 hours sometimes) they can pile in as much work as the techs are able to complete. Now, since we generally see 75-85% completion rating that is a good sign to upper management. That means we are doing very well when it comes to completing jobs. But that's 75-85% of thousands of jobs. So while most have a pleasant experience, 25% of people are not and it's a simple fix. Stop booking same day jobs. I can't tell you how many times I talk to an angry customer because they booked their appointment a week ago and our tech is running late because of a newly booked same day install (meaning the customer called in THAT day and got a time frame) that our tech is stuck on. Of course we don't tell the customer that, we just tell them when the tech will be there.
Good points. Thanks for this insight. My husband and I have to call on about a bi-monthly basis to complain that our internet speed is creeping along not much faster than the old dial-up modems.
Twice in the last year, they've "apologized" and sent us "new" modems. We subsequently found out that none of the modems are new--they are all reconditioned!! What kind of BS is that?!
But, we've been lucky, because we found out by complaining loud enough and long enough to the tech in question about service going down or crawling, (and threatening to discontinue service), we got put in touch with the corporation's "customer loyalty department," to which we now have their direct number. So, that's where we start nowadays; and if they transfer us over to the tech, we get attention. Now.
It also helps to play the 'health and well-being' card; my husband is a heart patient, with a medical reporting device hooked into the phone line (yes, we are 'bundled'). We point out that we cannot afford to have the phone line go down. That usually gets attention faster, as well.
But, even if we end up pissing and moaning at the tech person on the phone, we always make it a point to tell them we realize it isn't their fault, and to please pass the complaint along to their supervisors!
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