How Much?

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What do you pay for TV, internet and phone?
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On Thursday, December 10, 2015 at 1:15:49 PM UTC-5, Eagle wrote:

That is too broad of a question. If I said $179/month, what would that tell you? If someone else said $59/month, what would that tell you?
Am I getting ripped off? Are they getting a great deal?
Don't you really need to know what we are paying and what services we are getting for that money?
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On 12/10/2015 2:35 PM, DerbyDad03 wrote:

Practically impossible to price as every one has something different and you pay extra for premium channels and rent on equipment for several TV sets.
I've never seen another company tell someone what they have to pay for the first couple of years of service with the initial offer but not tell you the price thereafter.
Would anyone buy a car if they were told that their payment would be $200 a month for 2 years but it will go up and dealer won't tell you what that will be?
I have Comcast triple play but have to constantly renegotiate cost. I also have a FIOS line to the house on a land line. FIOS constantly begs me to switch and I tell them I will if I get the initial offer for life.
My neighbor across the street just switches service and when initial offer expires and he cannot get an acceptable price, switches to the other.
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On 12/10/15 3:16 PM, Frank wrote:

Cable companies score at the bottom of the list in most all customer service satisfaction surveys. Around my way, Comcast offers a very good technology products- but their customer service and rates suck.
You negotiate a rate with them for 6, 9, 12 months or whatever, but then you only get if for a month or two and they jack your bill back up. When you call to complain, you wait on hold a long time, then an offshore CSR that barely speaks English says she has no authority to adjust rates so they dump you back on hold until you're escalated to their "Customer Care" person. She says yes, I see you called on X date but there's no notes from your conversation and we have no documentation of the rate for the period you say. However, since you're such a good and loyal customer as well as a nice person, as a one-time special accommodation, we'll lower your monthly bill a buck and a half-- or some insignificant amount.
I can understand this happening once, maybe even twice but it happens to me every damned time-- at least 7-8 repeats in the last few years.
They just jacked up my promotional rate 68 percent. When I called, they said take it or leave it...so I've been talking to ATT about their U-Verse service. Service/features are comparable-- though internet speed is slower but still fast enough-- and the promo price on a 1 year contract if pretty decent. I'll probably be switching soon.
Hopefully ATT customer service is better...
--
When you give a schoolyard bully your lunch money, he’s still going to
beat you up—- and he’s got your money.
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Wade Garrett wrote :

It sounds like the internet/TV/phone service has your number/scam and are jacking you off/kissing your booty and scamming/take it or leave it right back...or am I misreading/understanding you?
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On 12/10/2015 4:40 PM, Wade Garrett wrote:

I doubt AT&T service will be any better. And, the guy across the street that just switched back to them from Comcast had quit Verizon because they did not honor their offer after a few months.
The old telephone company mentality still exists as if they are still the only service in town. I had a tiff a few years ago with AT&T and will never do business with them.
My wife deals with Comcast.
Last time she needed assistance because Comcast wanted to know serial numbers on my DVR so I had to go down to the basement family room, back to the 2nd floor with the wrong number and back again to get the correct one.
I was being pretty profane and guy told me that he was not using profanity and I should not either.
I asked him if he would ask his 75 year old grandfather to go up and down two flights of stairs twice to get a serial number on a device that Comcast installed but had no record. I told him I was cussing because Comcast was so stupid and his grandfather would have cussed him too.
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On 12/11/2015 10:09 AM, Frank wrote:

Many companies have utter disdain for their customers! As if they are *annoyed* that they have them!
Where possible, I try to reciprocate -- by not having "suppliers"! I want to make them HAPPY with the lack of my business. Cuz I'm such a nice guy...
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On 12/11/15 12:31 PM, Don Y wrote:

Yup, you see that in lots of places-- contempt for your constituency.
Back when I was a cadet many, many years ago, I worked part time in a large psychiatric hospital.
Sitting in a ward meeting with the staff to review patient progress and treatment alternatives, we had discussed 4 or 5 particularly exasperating patients in a row when the ward psychiatrist (who spoke with a German accent) just plain lost it.
He grabbed a half dozen medical record folders off the stack we were working our way down, slammed them onto the floor, and exclaimed-- "If it wasn't for these damned patients, we could really run this ward efficiently."
True story!
--
The Clintons are the kind of people that can find a loophole in a stop sign.
- @georgewill
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On 12/11/2015 2:33 PM, Wade Garrett wrote:

If the truth be known, I suspect most people are not "enamored" with those upon whom they depend for their livelihood. Doctors grumble about patients (who won't follow their COMMON SENSE orders); teachers grumble about the lousy students (and their pushy parents); cops complain about the criminals; etc.
OTOH, I don't know of anyone who was *forced* into a particular profession. So, it's sort of disingenuous to complain about something that *you* CHOSE to do! Tired of standing in knee-deep sewage? Then I guess PLUMBING was probably not a good career choice...
What's particularly galling (to me) is folks who provide products and services that are not "essential"... i.e., their customers could STOP using those and not be significantly inconvenienced in any way. Or, "commodity products" that a customer can EASILY and EFFORTLESSLY obtain from an alternative supplier!
E.g., for a bank, gas station, grocery store, etc. to not CHERISH its customers is just plain stupid -- there's another gas station on the opposing street corner, another bank down the block and another grocer somewhere within line of sight!
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Wade Garrett posted for all of us...

Did meet Stumpy? See any other posters?
--
Tekkie

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So you are admitting that you are so stupid that you could not copy down the serial number of the DVR and you expected Comcast to keep up with it.
I think that you are lucky that Comcast did not just hang up on you when you started with the profanites.
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On 12/11/2015 10:40 AM, Ralph Mowery wrote:

+1
OTOH, it was Comcast's piece of equipment; why didn't *they* have the S/N on record? Did they even KNOW that he had a piece of their kit on the premises? Was the device unable to report it's S/N to Comcast "over the wire" -- at ANY time prior to the call?
I phoned my insurance company yesterday. After a slew of voice menu prompts (at each level, I was asked "are you a client or a broker -- did they think my answer was going to change from the prompt immediately preceding it??) I was asked to enter my ID number. Of course, there are no provisions for fixing data entry mistakes (or, if there are, they are a closely guarded SECRET). Having correctly entered my ID number, the FIRST QUESTION out of the CSR's mouth was, "can I have your ID number"?
Then, why did your machine have me enter it 15 seconds ago if you were going to ask me for it, now??
My point: I don't think many (any?) companies actually look at their customer experience from the *customer's* perspective. They design solutions that are easy for themselves (to implement) without regard for the customer's experience. E.g., I'm sure the repeated "are you a client or a broker" question was because the moron who designed the voice prompts didn't consider exploiting information that the system ALREADY HAD IN ITS POSSESSION. Instead, he looked at each interaction point in isolation: if a client, route the call THIS way; if a broker, route the call THAT way.
We were at Michael's (a craft store) the other day. Long line. REALLY long line waiting for checkout. Couple of sales staff walk into the line with little smartphone "terminals" to scan our individual orders and tie those to a generic "express checkout" card (nothing more than a credit card with a unique barcode label). "Give this to the cashier".
OK, fine. Saves the cashier from having to scan all those items and keeps the line moving -- just scan the *card* and it drags all the rest of the information in with it.
But, many people in line had single items -- myself included. So, now I have to interact with this sales person in line to scan my item and then scan the card to "bind" my item(s) to that "token". Then, continue to wait in line. When I make it to a cashier, present the card -- instead of the item that I've purchased! -- to be scanned.
How was this experience any quicker FOR ME (and the folks behind me) than it would have been in the absence of the "token"? Instead of chasing down waiting customers with "one or two things", they should have concentrated on folks waiting with carts full of items!
I.e., the folks designing the "system" were too clever by half and, as a result, just made things more confusing and less predictable.
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On 12/11/2015 11:58 AM, Don Y wrote:

I went to buy some material at Jo-Anns and the check out process if a nightmare. They only have one line for everything, so if you have material you want cut first, they do it right there are the check out. So, here are mostly ladies with buggies full of small items and multiple bolts of material that needs to be measured and cut. I was lucky since there were only 3 people in front of me, but each of those people had about 6 to 10 small bolts of material with each bolt needing a different length of material to be cut. I literally waited 45 minutes in line just to get up there so they could cut my material out for me, and then I could purchase it. Getting my material measured and cut took another 30 minutes. To top it off the lady who was measuring and cutting my material had only been there 2 weeks and took a good 3 minutes to just cut the material across the width. It's the most inefficient method of checking customers out I've EVER seen.
Normally, a fabric store will have tables on the floor where they can go to get fabric measured and cut, and then they can take all their items to the check out to be rung up. I just don't get it why this store does it this way.
--
Maggie

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On 12/11/2015 11:09 AM, Muggles wrote:

Ah, but you're defining "efficient" (inefficient) from YOUR perspective! From the store's perspective, that solution is the *most* efficient! it ensures THEIR (paid) staff are kept busy at all times 9at the customers' expense).
If they had folks on the floor cutting fabric, then those people might be sitting idle when there are no fabric customers. Or, the cashiers up front might be sitting idle when there are ALL fabric customers.
By funneling all customer interactions through a single point, it ensures that *their* resources are MOST EFFICIENTLY USED!
The same is true of places like the post office. Folks invariably complain about how INefficient the process is of conducting business at the counter: "Why don't they have more cashiers?" From the Post Office's perspective, it is more efficient to have their minimal staff utilized at 100% while YOU wait than it would be for them to have EXTRA staff that might incur idle periods (idle = lost efficiency).
The trick is not to annoy customers *too* much to impact your overall business. I.e., when folks stop going to JoAnn's in favor of some other fabric store, then the store's "efficiency" is being counterproductive. OTOH, if JoAnn's is the only game in town, then the customers have little recourse.
Now do you see how "efficient" is viewed in a perverse way BY BUSINESSES??

Ours has three or four "cutters" in the fabric department. There is frequently a 5 minute wait to get a bolt cut. If I can, I try to select a bolt that happens to have just about what I need on it so I can skip the cutting altogether. The cashiers grumble because I have no "cutting ticket" to tell them how much material I am purchasing. I smile, innocently, and say, "Can't you just measure it?" (I'm rarely buying more than a yard or two; if you can't measure out 72 inches, you probably can't operate a cash register!)
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<stuff snipped>

I've noticed in a number of places (the 5 guy hamburger chain, Chipotle's, Paneras to name a few) when the cashier isn't busy at the register she/he has a whole host of other things to do, like cleaning the windows, straightening up the chairs and tables, etc. The key to not having idle time problems is to make sure it's all absorbed doing other tasks that are not particularly time sensitive.
--
Bobby G.



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Robert Green posted for all of us...

At Chipotle's they should be cleaning out the burrito slop or it will be cleaning out you.
--
Tekkie

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On 12/11/2015 12:35 PM, Don Y wrote:

I understand. Your comment inspired me to send the corporate office and email about my recent experience at their check-out counter.
--
Maggie

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On 12/11/2015 1:09 PM, Muggles wrote:

Never heard of that. My wife goes to Jo-Anns all the time. Fabric cutting is done at the fabric station and they tag it. Checkout is done at the registers. She frequents three different stores and all are the same.
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On 12/11/2015 7:57 PM, Ed Pawlowski wrote:

It must be a local thing then. I did email the corporate offices about the problem locally. I guess I'll see if they respond in next week.
--
Maggie

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wrote:

Hmm. I was in Jo-Anns not long ago, and I just wanted to know where the clear vinyl was (I'm making a dress for my girlfriend.) and the cashier in front was far away from the possible locations, and the only other clerk was at a cutting table with 6 people ahead of me.
Now my question would only take her 10 seconds to answer, but everyone was so patient, I had the feeling I was intruding even to ask where it was.
But after a while I intruded anyhow. Then I had to wait for them to cut it, but by that time, I'd gotten used to that idea.

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