Friday, March 14, 2008

And, we're back

I know at least a few of you are expecting a good ranting this morning.

Not gonna happen.

Because it would be an awful lot like being an ungrateful ass, that's why.

As you may infer from my last post, and the one I had Beastly put up, I was seriously pissed at my ISP. I'm not going to apologize for that, however I'm am a bit chagrined at letting my frustration get the best of me. But what you have to understand is this: I'm this way because I was trained this way. Beastly and Janiece can back me up on this, Chiefs are trained in a particular manner and if there's one thing that defines us it's this: Chiefs don't make excuses. Period. And they don't accept them either. Warrants are the same, only more so. Our job is to get things done. When I feel like I'm getting the runaround or a bunch of excuses - I get pissed, fairly quickly.

When I made that last post I was waiting for a call back from GCI Customer Service, which, according the the guy who originally answered the phone, would be no more than two hours. Didn't happen, and as I said in the post, I'd decided then and there that come morning I was going to go looking for a new service provider.

I did get a call the next morning from Customer Service, I wasn't even remotely impressed with the customer service rep's attitude. Eventually she transferred me to Tech Support. The Tech Support rep, Tony, was a completely different story. He was helpful, cheerful, knowledgeable and willing to listen to my rant. He obviously knew his business, but there wasn't much he could do other than set me up for a service visit the next day. But, you know, I sure appreciated his attitude and willingness to listen.

Then regular commenter Jeri got involved.

Which resulted in a phone call from the Customer Service Manager, Manuel Hernandez, who as it turns out is a hell of a decent guy. I won't go into detail, but I came away from the conversation with a different attitude towards GCI.

Bright and early yesterday morning, the service crew was out front. I watched them run back and forth for an hour, trouble shooting. Then, I got a phone call from the service tech out on the pole, Jeremy, explaining that they'd found the problem. One of the recently upgraded distribution amplifiers had failed, which would square with the nonexistent signal strength I was seeing. He had to go get some additional equipment in order to replace it. Which he did. And that fixed it.

An hour after that, Mr. Hernandez called me back to make sure I was up and running.

So, here's the thing: Out of the five people that I was directly involved with at GCI, one of them gave me attitude, but four of them acted as if I was their single most valuable customer and they bent over backwards to make sure I got the service I was paying for. Once I got through to Tech Support, I got no excuses, they admitted up front that it was GCI's issue and they did everything humanly possible to fix the situation as quickly as possible.

I called Jeri to thank her personally for her efforts on my behalf. It should be fairly obvious that there's a certain amount of professional risk when you get involved in a public blog where people are bashing your employer, and I'm grateful that she was willing to take such a risk.

So, I've rethought my position as follows: I'm not at all happy with the fact that I lost service for four days - however, if Jeri, Manuel, Tony, and Jeremy are examples of the type of people employed by GCI, then I'm more than willing to give them a second chance.

So, as I said above, sorry to disappoint you, but ranting about folks who busted their collective asses to make me happy would be pretty obnoxious, even for me.


Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got a splitting headache and four days worth of work I need to get caught up on.

More later.


  1. Please note that Navy Chiefs are also trained to give credit where it's due, and admit when they're wrong.

    At least the good ones are.

    And, yeah, Jeri is the BOMB. Are you listening CGI? Jeri deserves a BIG, FAT RAISE.

  2. UCF Powers, ACTIVATE! Way to go, Jeri!

    On a similar note, my brand new cable modem service (5Mbit, thank you very much) has been performing much like a crippled monkey running floppy disks back and forth from the 'net for me.

    After several calls, fluff offs, and "I'm a friggen network administrator, don't tell me it's just the sun and will clear up soon" -- the crew discovered that the distribution amplifier down the street was in fact not there.

    The service guys were rather amused with this, because it showed itself as being there in their blueprints. It's effects, however, did not show on my cable signal.

    A new one was ordered, and my account was credited. So no rants from me either.


  3. And 'Tude Rep should be dressed down!

    Glad to see you're back. :)

  4. Yay GCI!

    And now that the husband isn't around - I always liked GCI when we had them as our provider, though I haven't had any real problems with ACS, other than I think they are little pricey.

    Jeri is kicking my butt in Scrabulous, btw.

    John finds being a union member interesting, but that's a post for my blog...

    Welcome back Jim!!

  5. Shawn's comment made me laugh, despite the fact that it makes my head hurt - sunspots, the old communications tech excuse (back in the day when we communicated via RF in the HF portion of the spectrum there was some validity to the comment, cable wise - not so much).

    Thanks guys - and yeah, Jeri should get a big fat raise.

    Unions, I'll just be quite about.

  6. TO second what MTW said, I hope that you told GCI the time of your call, and the name of the service rep. Because they do NOT need to have individuals like that in customer service.

    And no, I'm not saying that person should be fired or anything like that. I am saying that the company should place that individual in a position where they DO NOT DEAL WITH THE PUBLIC.

    Because you don't want fools to be the face (or voice) of your company.

    Also? Jeri rocks!

  7. The rep in question wasn't out and out nasty, but her attitude left something to be desired. I'm sure it'll get taken care off appropriately.

  8. of, damnit, taken care of appropriately.

    Stupid headache. Stupid fingers.

  9. Well we're all glad to have you back, but I'll admit to some disappointment at your thoroughly reasonable attitude. :D

  10. Shawn, you made me spill my soup.

    I'm stealing that phrase next.

  11. Jim, go look at today's xkcd comic. I think it was written for you.

  12. One of the first things I did when I got back online was to catch up with XKCD, Get Fuzzy, and Pearls Before Swine. Saw the XKCD last night, and yeah, I can relate.

    I'll be back to posting here this evening, and reading all of your blogs. Right now, I've got to finish a bunch of email and a couple of art pieces that are due TODAY.

  13. Jim, I'm so glad you're back online!

    And thanks to you and to the whole gang for your kind comments. I really DID NOT DO ALL THAT MUCH. I sent a three-line email to the customer service management team - Manuel and the technical crew did all the heavy lifting.

    And yes, Manuel is awesome. In addition to being a great manager, he's actually a good personal friend and has been a mentor to my boys.

    I will tell a tiny tale out of school... Manuel commented to me that Jim is "a very nice guy in person."

    Sorry to tarnish the armor, Jim. ;)

  14. It was an act - I was just trying to get free HBO...

  15. Oh, hey, something that Janiece said that I need to clarify.

    Navy Chiefs are also trained to ... admit when they're wrong

    While technically a correct statement, this is in fact a hypothetical situation in as much as a Navy Chief has never actually been wrong. Upon occasion it has appeared that the Chief was mistaken, but that turned out to be an observational error on the part of the Junior Officer, who was himself wrong...

  16. Huzzah, Jeri.

    I think it's also because the first person is the main contact manning the phones, of which few people call to say, "Hey, everything is fargin' wonderful, thanks." Attitudes can develop there. The other people are the ones who get the shit blown up, you know. They tend to be most helpful.

  17. And we're back

    All evidence to the contrary?

  18. Ahhhh, I've been a bit busy this weekend. Had to make a decision, blog or do shit that I actually have to do.

    On the other hand, while I was in the shop cursing and working on the jeep, I thought up a pretty good rant about automotive engineers...

  19. well, that and you gave Tom a more authoritative homily on why he should never, never, never do THAT again.

    Really, I knew since I was reading a post that all was well, but I was expecting bad stuff every paragraph.


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