Sunday, August 28, 2016

Your Cable Guy and You-Things your installers wish you knew

Written by: Mikhael Sublett





     We all have a love/hate relationship with the cable companies. Like a scorned lover we complain incessantly about them. We slander the providers and hate ourselves for needing the 200+ channels of nothing to watch. God forbid we lose service while watching a ball game or the season finale of our favorite show. Even while waiting for installation, we are already contemptuous, believing the delusion that our installer only has our house to hook up.

     I often wondered what it was like to be an installer. I was pretty sure it was never easy to deal with cable subscribers. After all, we are conditioned to have such disgust with any telcom provider and I am sure that carried over to the installer. I caught up with a few cable installers and asked them about their jobs, and more importantly, what they wish we knew. Here are a few responses:


"When I arrive to do your install on a Sunday, don't act surprised that I am here on the weekend. You set the appointment." -William, TWC

"FBI Surveillance Van is not an original,or clever, wifi name. You will not freak out your neighbors with that SSID."-Andrew AT&T

"Don't be suprised that I am here on a holiday. You set the appointment. I am missing family time so you can catch Dexter on demand"-Mitchell, Cox communications

"Don't call me 'Larry'" -Angela, DTV

"Move your furniture away from the wall before I start working. I am a technician, not a moving company." -John, Charter

"Most of the remotes are the same design. From the remotes alone it really doesn't matter what company you go with." -Charles, Time Warner

" Please put your dogs away. I am sure 'they would never bite anyone' but lets not take that chance" -Justin, Dish Network

"A mu mu with nothing underneath is not appropriate attire for me to see you in. Drug use in front of me is also frowned upon."-Jacob, AT&T

"That Jim Carey movie, The Cable Guy, is not entirely accurate. Please stop asking me that.: James-WOW!

"Don't apologize for your messy house. You knew it was messy before I got here. Just make sure I'm not putting my knee in dog crap." -Daniel, Charter

"Yes, we do need training to do this job." -Cassie, Time Warner

"We already know that 'The lady on the phone who told you we would do a 5 story interior wall fish' does not exist. Please quit trying to convince us she does." Mitchell, Consolidated Communications

"When we tell you it can't be done, don't throw a fit. Don't call customer service saying I am incompetent. If I tell you it can't be done it is because it is a safety risk to me and/or a property damage risk for you." - Cody, Cox Communications

"Don't tell us how to do our jobs or freak out because "we touched your couch".- Jackson, Comcast

"Yes, we know it is 2016 and we still don't have wireless boxes" -William, Time Warner

"Your basement is finished. We can not fish a line from your basement to your interior office on the third floor. Call a magician." Carl, Comcast

"Don't expect our internet service is going to work on your windows 95 computer. Upgrade." -Jacob, Consolidated Communications

"We sometimes have to do 12 or more installs per day. Sometimes we don't have time for lunch. On the rare occasion that we get lunch, please don't interrupt it by asking me when your install is going to be. Just call customer service." -Henry, Time Warner

"If you see me in public and I am not wearing my uniform that means I am not working. Do not approach me, especially when I am having dinner with my family, and start complaining that your whole house DVR isn't recording The Walking Dead." Eric-TWC


" It's just TV, nothing to get worked up about." -Mario, COX


     So, there you have it. Your cable guy is just as human as you are. It may come as some surprise, but I bet if we keep these things in mind the experience will be positive for all of us.


   













   

30 comments:

  1. I'm a cable guy as well. Here's another one. If I am there to install/fix cable at someone elses house, or you see me in public between jobs, DO NOT APPROACH ME. FOR ANY REASON. I don't care your TV has been acting up, and there is no price you can bribe me to "run a new line" or "come take a quick look at it" because I am always overbooked anyway, and you're going to throw a fit when I say no, so just don't approach me and we can avoid that conversation. And stop asking for free cable boxes too. They don't exist.

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    1. Nice addition. I know people are always asking for free cable.

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  2. These installers have a tough job. They work in freezing cold (in the north), blistering heat. I hear stories about hoarders homes they have to bring service to. The installers aren't all perfect, but deserve more respect for what they go through every week. Most really do like their job. And when it comes to working on your home, wouldn't you prefer someone who cares?

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  3. Don't ask, "well, why didn't the last guy do that?" I have no idea and I'm not going to find out who it was to tell him he missed something. Just know, I see a problem and I'm fixing it. -Vic, Charter

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    1. Amen. I get this when I go behind people all the time. I'm not psychic and I do not have time to stop and ask the previous person.

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  4. Technology isn't perfect and neither are us techs,but many of us work 6 to 7 days a week and when we come to repair your service remember that we are the ones there to fix your services and shouldn't feel the brunt of your frustrations

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  5. Believe in the tech that comes to your house. Just because the person on the phone said "its your box the tech will swap it out" does not mean im not going to do my job and troubleshoot your problem to figure out if in fact it is the box. If i see your levels are in the dirt i bet that is the reason your not getting your channels. - Paul Charter

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  6. Just because the precall says it will take between 2 to 3 hours does not mean I will always need that full time. Don't get bent put of shape and say you have me for the full time frame. I get paid by TWC, not you. Most the time, I have other calls slapped right behind yours to cover. And for Christ sake, don't set an appointment for 5 if you won't be home until 630. You waste our time and will always get rescheduled. Especially if you are wanting multiple wall fishes.

    Randy, TWC

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  7. Also, please understand that not all service providers use the same wiring. Some use coax, some use Ethernet lines. Please don't get bent out of shape when we tell you we have to replace wiring to give you the best possible service on our system. Also, your 20+ year old wiring will probably need replaced. There is no need to argue with us that you already have wiring. Seth, AT&T

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  10. Please schedule your appointment for a time when you are actually available. Don't schedule it for 1-3 when you won't be home until 2:45 or you have a doctors appointment at 3:15. Having to reschedule (return) jobs affects our performance numbers.

    Also, if you schedule your appointment for 1-3 and at 12:30 your phone rings and caller id says At&t (or whatever provider you use), please answer it. We may have work to do down the street before we arrive at your house. When you don't answer, we are forced to drive to your house first and make sure you are home. Then once we arrive and your home, we have to try to nicely explain why we need to leave again. Save everyone some time and just answer the phone.

    - Jay At&t

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  11. Asking questions is always good. It makes sure you are informed. But there comes a time when the amount of questions being asked just becomes obscene. The job can be completed much quicker when we aren't interrupted every 5 minutes.

    I also agree with the customer service issue. "Well, Tony on the phone said this". I'm sorry, I don't know Tony but he's not a technician and he's wrong and doesn't know what it takes to get the job done.

    Chris- Dish Network

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  12. If you call for an appointment, make sure you are home for it. If you can't be home and have to let someone else be home for you, have your phone on you to explain what you need for your service. If you can't have your phone on you, leave a note! Or something. Don't expect your technician to be psychic. No, customer service didn't explain what you wanted done or what the problem is -- they never do.

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  13. My favorite is when their tv is broken and they get really confused and upset when you tell them. "What do you mean it's broken? It was just working the other day." Yeah, that's how this works. Things work fine until they they stop working fine. At that point they are broken. But hey, in the interest of customer service I'll waste the next 30 minutes of my day proving it to you.

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  14. to add to this list.....please understand that trees do grow, sooner or later it will affect your satellite signal. just bc its worked for many+ years and that tree has been their the entire time . trees are alive.

    C at&t

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    1. ...heres a favorite. "i dont have my tvs here, the guy on the phone said that wont be a problem."

      you are aware you are asking and paying for service from a TV COMPANY right???

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  16. When we tell you it is your equipment that is failing and NOT our service don't call back in as soon as we leave for a second opinion, we get graded on repeat calls so we aren't saying that just to blow you off, we actually have to keep that return trips to a minimum or we could get written up and or fired.

    Brian, TWC/Charter

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  17. Do not EVER call in to customer service and make up stories that your technician was rude or incompetent in an attempt to get credit on your bill. Do you think that doesn't come back to us? Do you realize that you are messing with my career, my bread and butter? That is how I pay my mortgage and feed my son. I once spent 3 hours digging frozen ground, sick with a head cold, to get a new line under a sidewalk because they had cut their own line driving stakes into the lawn for their Christmas decorations. A few days later my boss calls me into the office. They didn't exaggerate a story, they completely made up a conversation that did not happen.

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  18. Please do not call in saying your Internet is not working, when 7 of your devices are all online and the only thing not is your printer. Routers do not just randomly say" hey, let's decline access to this one device"!!! If your Internet is not working, then NOTHING will be online!!!

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  19. Another installer here. If you are going to hover over me the entire time I am in your house please put a shirt on....It's creepy and weird

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  20. Please don’t try to impress or intimidate me with “I am an engineer” first of all I don’t believe you, and second if you are so smart why am I here fixing all the coax you tried to connect together with wire nuts?
    I don’t believe you are a day trader loosing 20K a day because your internet is down. If you made even 1/10th that you would have more than one internet provider just in case.
    Often times when and how a problem started is an important clue to solving it, don’t embellish and tell me it has been like that for months when you saw a cable truck on the street. When in fact the problem only started 3 days ago when you moved the modem to a new room. I am not going to work harder or any different for you because you make things sound worse than they are.
    Please don’t ask me to run more lines than you told customer service about. I am not given enough time to do the work you admitted to let alone 3 more bed rooms you forgot to mention in the hope you could get those for free.
    Please don’t ask me to run lines for free, you would not ask any other service person to do free work so why are you asking me to?
    In almost every case paying us for certified guaranteed line, using tested proven materials is less expensive than you going to Home depot buying the wrong materials and causing problems with not only your services but potentially affecting your neighbors too and that does not even factor in your time when you try to do a DIY cable run.

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  21. Also, please don't ask for free cable anymore. With the digital boxes, we don't have that power anymore. And even if we did, we weren't going to give it to you anyway!

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  22. Also, please don't ask for free cable anymore. With the digital boxes, we don't have that power anymore. And even if we did, we weren't going to give it to you anyway!

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  23. Why is it a necessity to have the cable guy there along with your movers. Get the install before(better for tech) or after(better for sub).

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  24. Shouting and screaming at litterally the only person on the planet who has the ability resolve your problem right then, is a very strange attitude to take. My service work yours don't screaming at me will only ensure you get a 8 week wait with no service for a rewire. When I could have provided a temp cable for you.

    I have up to 15 jobs a day to complete and given 31 minutes a job so asking for me to look at a difference service just as I pack up to leave is not ok. Tell me at the start and I will make sure I do it all at the same time.

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  25. If I show up and have to replace something that costs money don't get mad at me when I refuse to do it when you refuse to pay. I'm not trenching 100 feet of line for free.

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  26. If I seem a bit agitated, its probably because your service provider gave you a discount on your installation at my expense, not theirs.

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