Modern Convenience - 9/19/05
An actual conversation between myself and a customer service agent at Adelphia (our cable/internet provider):

ME: Hi, I want to change the name on our account from my roommate's name to my name. He moved out.
ADELPHIA: Do you currently have Adelphia service?
ME: Uh… yeah. It's just my roommate moved out. I want to pay the bills from now on.
AD: OK, did your address change?
ME: No.
AD: Did your phone number change?
ME: No.
AD: Do you want to change your service?
ME: No, I told you, I just want to change the name on the account. My roommate moved out.
AD: OK, well I'm afraid I'm going to need your roommate's authorization.
ME: No problem, he gave me his social security number.
AD: No, I'm afraid we need to actually talk to him.
ME: Do you want me to have him call you? I'll call him on my other phone right now.
AD: No, I'm afraid he has to come down.
(A pause. I'm a little shocked.)
ME: To the store?
AD: Yes, the store in Hermosa.
ME: He lives in Hollywood! That's like 45 minutes away!
AD: I'm afraid he needs to come down.
ME: Look, all we want to do is have the bills start coming to me instead of him. Same address, same everything. Can't you just take his name off the account? It's not like he needs to say it's OK to bill him or something.
(A pause)
AD: I'm afraid he needs to come down.
ME: Can't I have him call you?
AD: No.
ME: Can't I come over and hand you my cell phone with him on the other end?
AD: No.
ME: So you're telling me there's absolutely no way to change a name on an account, over the phone?
AD: No.
ME: That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard.
(A pause. There is nothing that can be said to this, because we both know it's true)

So Sam did come down, and we went over to the Adelphia store together... where Sam promptly sat there talking to a friend on his cell phone for half an hour while I did all the dealing with the agent. He didn't need to show them a driver's license, talk to them, say his name, anything.

It's a good thing Adelphia has a monopoly on cable services in South Bay. We wouldn't want them to have to compete with anyone.

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