Documenting Isn’t Just For Business

I have learned something through my business dealings over the years that has proven to be extremely valuable in my personal life as a customer…document, document, document!!!

For some reason I tend to have challenges with companies, especially utility companies and certain doctors offices (i.e. Time Warner cable companies, National Water and Power 3rd party billing companies for utilities such as water, and Dr. Gerald Cara in Anaheim orthopedic doctors), charging me correctly, making promises and then backing out of those promises, or telling me (as the customer) that I have to prove that I don’t have their equipment that they never gave me. It gets quite frustrating.

Recently I chose to change my cable / internet provider because I became so frustrated with their horrible customer service, their inability to read the notes on my account, over charging me, telling me that I have equipment that they never gave me, shutting my service off for 24 hours – 1 week because someone ‘messed up’ my account on their end…the list could go on forever! I canceled my service earlier this month and should be receiving a credit…not a bill!! So, when I received the email today that my bill of $120 is ready for me to review / pay I about flipped my lid!! I called the company and attempted to keep my cool while explaining to the lady that they mistakenly generated a bill on my account and that we needed to get it taken care of. She was nice enough, looked over my bill, saw that I had called in and canceled my service, and let me know that I would be receiving a credit instead of a bill as soon as their system was all straightened out.

BUT…then she asked me where the second cable box was and why I didn’t turn that one in as well because, of course, they will bill me for the box and I won’t receive a credit if I don’t return it. I completely lost it. I began rattling off every person I’d spoken with at that company since May (when this all began), what reps and supervisors had told me, how many times my account had been investigated because of this obviously invisible cable box that apparently no one can find (but did find just days before I canceled my service when a supervisor promised me that it was now removed from my account), and how if they even attempt to charge me for a cable box that I’ve never even had in my possession that I will sue them. Apparently I worked because she miraculously ‘found’ the notes in her system and will ‘look into why the box is still on the account’. Yeah right. In any case, I have my documentation! I am sooo ready for them! Yes, it’s a pain in the rear, but sometimes I get to have the satisfaction of going off on incompetent people who choose to do a half-assed job at what their supposed to be doing, which I thought was to take care of the customer.

The moral of the story: make sure you document everything when you’re having issues with a company. Knowing everyone’s names, the dates and times you spoke with them, and taking detailed notes of what is going on and what is supposed to happen (and when), can prove to be extremely valuable when faced with a company whose service is extremely inadequate.

Have you had to deal with incompetent companies before? What was your experience?

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