Sunday, July 20, 2008

Cox Sucks!

by Pa Rock

If you live in or around Phoenix, AZ, chances are you have dealt with Cox Communications. The behemoth controls most of the telephone service, high-speed Internet, and cable TV in the Valley of the Sun. They have a neat little stranglehold on communications.

When I came here I got all of my services from Cox. It was much easier than running all over the Valley trying to acquire a modern communications system in a piecemeal manner. The service was mediocre from the start, and that should have been adequate warning. Instead of sending somebody to my apartment to get things started, I had to drive several miles to pick up a cable box. The phone was switched on from somewhere else in my apartment complex, and I'm not sure how the Internet got connected. I would still be trying to get it all sorted out and connected myself if not for the help of my daughter's boyfriend who was tech-savvy enough to get the entire system working.

A friend told me that Cox has two pricing systems: one for those (usually like me) who never complain, and lower rates for those who do complain. She said to talk about deleting a service, and they would start dealing to keep me. A few months ago I decided to put her advice to the test. I called Cox and told them that I was going to cut back on some of my cable options because my bill was too high. They immediately ran through my bill and said that I could be receiving a discount because I was receiving all of my services through them. And, they could even take that discount back two months. Why, I asked innocently, could they not take it back to the time my services were installed if I had been eligible for it all along. Policy, tut tut, you know, but we can apply the discount now and save you some money.

Two weeks ago I got a notice that the cable rates were going up - again! I called and told them to cancel my movie package as well as my phone and Internet packages. The sputtering on their end was truly heart-wrenching. Why, oh why, Mr. Macy, would you want to do that? Because your rates are too high, Evildoer. Well, let's not be hasty. We could give you a different Internet package that would meet your needs and save you money. Yeah, I bet you could - why didn't you tell me that last October when I got the services?

So now I am operating off of my cell phone (not Cox), broadband Internet (not Cox), and have a very limited Cox cable package. Imagine my disgust today when I got home from the movies and found that my cable wasn't working! I called Cox and talked to a nice young man named Noel. He led me through a process and then put me on hold "for just five to seven minutes" while my cable box would power back up.

Twenty minutes later I hung up on the constant stream of Cox commercials. I called back and got a recording telling me that the office was closed and to call back tomorrow. Somehow I kept from throwing my cell phone and television out the back door and onto the golf course - and I called Cox a third time.

A lady answered who was having difficulty speaking English and dealing with me. She went through all of the routine that Noel had done, but seemed to know better than to put me on hold. After twenty minutes with her, I finally told her that I had burned up nearly an hour of cell phone minutes and we weren't getting anywhere. She said that I should call the office tomorrow morning if my signal still wasn't working, and they would send out a service representative. No, I told her, that
would not do. If she valued my business she would schedule one now. Okay, of course. I can have a service representative at you place on Tuesday between 10 a.m. and noon. No, Ma'am you don't understand. I work for a living. The representative needs to come after 5 p.m. Okay, Wednesday evening then between 5 and 7 p.m. That's the best I can do.

And you know what? Wednesday evening works great for me, because by that time I can have Dish Network set up and hand the cable box back to the "service representative." That's the best I can do!

Lots of things in life suck, but nothing sucks like Cox!

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