Last Saturday was wasted dealing with worries and snafus, including a new one – the cable part of the cable TV not working. Late Thursday evening the picture started breaking up on four channels but not on the rest. One program showed fine on the US station but not on the Canadian station doing simultaneous airing. The cable TV tech department booked an appointment for Saturday between 4 and 6 p.m. but put me on a waiting list for anything sooner.
Saturday I had to go out to deal with another house repair/replacement issue, so called the cable company and they sent someone right away. He fixed it but it took him over two hours because he couldn’t find one end of the cable in the basement (I didn’t even know a TV cable was down there as previous cable tech visits had concentrated outside or with the TV in the living room). So this clown decided he would have to drill holes in the inside wall (living room) and the outside brick wall to set up the new cable there. He got the permission form which I signed but he didn’t and got to work. After he drilled four close-together holes in the inside wall, he had another look downstairs and found the other end of the cable. He told me and when I asked about the holes he’d drilled he said he put an electric outlet cover there. He also made a mess with the foam insulation in the basement laundry room but did vacuum upstairs in the living room. I seldom fill out surveys but filled out the automatic one that comes when you phone the call centre – the comments section was where I “blasted” the technician’s work – but I kept it factual and polite (although I threw in the “senior’s card”).
The errand to deal with the other issue – replacing the defunct window air conditioner turned into a customer service mess. I had done some online research but I like to see the air conditioner up front. I had already checked out Home Depot but wanted to see what else was available before buying one. So off to Canadian Tire as they are supposed to carry one brand of vertical window air conditioners. Also there was some indication they do installations.
It was like a civilian version of Keystone cops or Keystone-like service snafus. I talked to four employees (when I found them). The first staffer said “oh we don’t do installations” and gave me the wrong aisle for air conditioners – at least none were there – the ones on sale (not vertical) were at the front and I finally found them with a note for installation to call an 800 number or speak to staff. I was there so staff it was. Canadian Tire’s customer service is both for returns and product information with one clerk handling a long line up of customers with returns. I asked a couple of other staffers who were up at the counter for other things. Both phoned the person responsible for the air conditioning section. No one arrived. Then I nagged another clerk, explained the situation and asked to speak to the manager. He looked for him, returning a couple of times with a progress report. Eighteen minutes later (he counted) he returned and said he hadn’t found the manager, this wasn’t acceptable, gave me his first name and an 800 number to complain about the manager. Of course, you can probably only get someone on weekdays. News flash. I work weekdays, albeit from home and resent any house-related problems I have to dealt with then. But I’ll call sometime this week. Guess where I won’t buy my air conditioner.
A friend said that nothing is perfect in this world. But I know there are too many screw-ups caused by too many people. And if you mess up – at least where it concerns others – you should be held accountable – one way or the other.
I certainly don’t remember my parents having to deal with all this nonsense but maybe that’s my child’s view and remembrance. I do remember for plumbing problems that Ken, a friend of dad’s from his work area (geographically), would come and fix the situation, although Mom, Dad and I had to listen to Ken sing opera. That might be why I’m not a fan of opera. But Ken recommended a carpenter to build our rec room and he did a good job. One shoddy job – after Dad died (he had been the house painter and was so good he is still the benchmark for excellence here), Mom hired a painter who did a so-so job… and spilled paint on the front lawn which killed that spot of lawn. But whenever the TV needed fixing we called in a repairman and he came in and fixed it.
One good thing – the friend mentioned above – removed all three of my old computer and printer equipment (she rolled them up the stairs; I helped her carry out the heaviest one into her van’s trunk). She hauled them away to the recycling depot.
At least the water meter installers/retrofitters can’t complain about space to get to the water meter. They better not.
Sharon A. Crawford
Only Child Writes