Arrogance of Big Business, even here in Bamberg

Dear Editor,

On Thursday, April 23 I called the number in my phone book for the Local Phone Company to have telephone and Internet service connected at my new office downtown. The customer Service Representative who helped me was courteous but it took almost 45 minutes to set up an order and make an appointment for Tuesday, April 28 to connect service. In spite of the time required to complete this transaction, this has been the most efficient the local company has been to date.

The appointment was made for a time convenient to them between noon and 2:00 p.m. I was at the office at 11:30 and stayed until 2:30 waiting on the technician because I needed to talk to him, and the representative who took the order knew this (for one thing there were wires outside the office which looked to me like the phone lines, cut and hanging loose – and the internet service would require some conversation and assistance.) At 2:30 I called the local company again and asked where the technician was, and was told that my service order was complete and I should have a dial tone. I told that representative that I had no dial tone and that the internet service obviously hadn’t been connected. She checked further and informed me that the 2:00 appointment was to set up the internet connect and this couldn’t happen until phone service was working. She said that there was a work order set between 4:00 and 6:00 to install the phone service. I asked if this technician could also install the internet service, and she said that if the technician was qualified that he could – but that some technicians were not qualified. I’d have to ask the technician when he arrived.

At 5:55 PM Tues. I called the local company to make sure someone was coming out and was put on hold while this representative contacted the technician. At 6:02 I realized that I had been disconnected. I called the local company again and got a recording that their business hours ended at 6:00 p.m.

On Wednesday, April 29, I was at the office at 8:30 a.m. and called the local company again. I was again told that they showed that I had a working line, but to satisfy me a technician would come by sometime before 6:00 to check it out. I gave her my cell phone number which she assured me was immediately relayed to the technician working in Bamberg. I was to receive a call an hour before the technician was to arrive so that I wouldn’t need to sit waiting all day. Of course no-one came nor did anyone call.

On Thursday at about 9:00 a.m. I again called the local company and again was assured that a technician would arrive before 6:00 and I would get a call on my cell phone that he (or she) was on the way to my office. Does this sound to others like a monopoly business taking advantage of its customers? Our home phone, long distance and internet is with the local company, my other business location is serviced by the local company, and my sister retired from the local company after over 25 years of service in the DC area. The local company was once a fine company and employment with them considered quite an accomplishment. I wonder if this still holds true. I’m waiting on “the” phone call. It’s 11:00 a.m. Thurs.

PS: At 11:15 today (Thursday) a man working next door saw a local company truck in the neighborhood and flagged it down. The technicians had been told that my order had been completed. These two men saw that the wires leading to my office were cut outside and it took the two of them over two hours to bring lines into my office. So much for a completed work order and a working phone and internet service on the 28th of April. But I must say that these two technicians were efficient, hard working, and courteous. Those sitting behind desks and ignoring my numerous calls should have their jobs re-evaluated (or is this what we have come to expect and accept).

Mike Tomlinson, Bamberg, S.C.