Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Rest Of the Story

 If you have been keeping up with my saga on stress I will now bring you up to date.  You may recall that I had been charged for a bill that belonged to another customer of Dish Network.   Unraveling this error turned out to be more time consuming and frustrating than I imaged it would.  After I faxed my response letter back I heard nothing more so I called them again.  This time I got an investigator who assured me that my case would stay open and get priority attention.  I don't know if he was incompetent, lazy, or just didn't give a fig, but nothing had been done.

More Stress:

After waiting for days I called customer care (?) again and got a representative that treated me like the village idiot.  I went through my long tale of woe and told her that I had been assured that the case would be reopened and put on priority by the last person I talked to.  Nothing had been done.  She told me I had to send another letter to reopen the case explaining why I did not think this was my obligation.   Tearing my hair out clump by clump I explained very patiently that they already had a letter with all that information that had been faxed to them days ago.    You could almost hear her sigh as she told me that this was the way it worked.  I had to send another letter and to expect it to take 10 to 14 days to get there.  I argued that this was completely unnecessary as it was just duplicating what they already had.  She insisted and, giving up in defeat because I was too tired to argue further I said, "All right I'll send another stupid lettter."   I asked her if I could fax it and she gave me a new fax number.  

Busy Work:

I wrote the whole scenario over once more and sent it to my friend over the Internet so he could fax it on his machine.  I wasn't thinking very clearly and after I sent it I realized that it had not been signed because it was all done in the computer.  I Emailed my friend and told him I would print a copy,  sign it, scan the signed copy and send it to him the next day.

Additional Stress:

The next morning I booted up my computer, got to the desk top, clicked on an icon and everything disappeared.  I had a major computer crash.  I booted up in 4 different options and was only able to get as far as "please wait".   This was in 'system restore' because nothing else got my desktop back.  I would be waiting until hell freezes over because that's as far as I can get.  My guru tells me my hard drive has crashed.  Do I opt for a new computer or a new hard drive?  Decisions, decisions.

Customer Care person #4.

I finally did what I should have done in the beginning.  I called and told the new girl that I wanted her to pull up my account and then connect me to a supervisor.  She wanted to know why.  By this time I had my story memorized and didn't even need to have Cliff notes written in my palm.  (I would apologize to Sarah Palin, but she doesn't deserve it.)  After I explained that I had talked to three investigators about this and gotten three different stories I wanted someone who knew what they were doing (Am I a mama grizzly?).

The Senior supervisor came on and I repeated my litany and told her that if the first investigator had bothered to look at the papers he would have noticed that the name, address, and zip code on the papers provided by Dish to prove their assertion that the charge was valid were all for a different customer.  I should not have had to go through the stress I endured if he had done his job.  

Is it fraud?

I had, at long last, reached someone who listened to me and she said it sounded like fraud to her.  She asked me to please hold (again ) while she contacted someone in the fraud department.   Eventually I was put in touch with another investigator who assured me that he could, and would, handle my case in 2 business days.  At the end of the conversation he assured me I would not have to pay late charges if the amount was not paid by my due date.   Then he worried me again by saying it would be handled in FOUR business days.  What happened to TWO?  This was Thursday.  The charge is still on my Visa statement.  Guilty until proven innocent, I guess. 

Wise Decision:

After this is resolved, if it ever is, I am going to get a new credit card number and never allow automatic charges to my account again.  During this unpleasant experience I thought, "What if I had met the grim reaper before I insisted that someone in authority look at the error?   My kids would not have known it was not my obligation and would have paid it without question.  Dish would have gotten away with their scam error.

I am probably boring you with my long saga, but if, in telling it, I can prevent someone else from making the mistakes I made it will be worth it.


Barry said...

Yikes! You are one patient woman! I felt stressed just reading your account of the events. :)

I dread ever having to deal with any sort of identity theft or fraud. We had a little one earlier this year when someone opened a PayPal account using my credit card number and made two successful charges to the US Postal Service. I am under the impression that these were test charges to see if the account worked. PayPal had already flagged them as suspicious and in no time the situation was cleared up. We canceled the card and issued a new one.

*Fingers crossed*

rummuser said...

No, you have not bored me at all. I used to be a "Customer Service" expert a long time ago, and such stories used to be part of my training material for teaching how not to do things. I am amazed that it took so long for them to figure out that it could be fraud! Shocking really. It would be a good idea for you to send links to both the posts to the company's website's contact address! I once had an issue with a big bank and I blogged about it and promptly got a response from their top honchos.

Darlene said...

*Barry - I confess I am not patient. That's why this has been stressful. Not all companies are this bad, but the bank has been most unprofessional. It's Chase Bank, by the way.

*Rummuser - Thank you for good advice. I am going to follow it. I think I am owed an apology.

Darlene said...

*Barry - Oops !!! I goofed. The Bank is Capital One.

Cowtown Pattie said...

Would make a good plot for a Hitchcock movie, Darlene!

Evil, sinister, and frightening!

Hope this resolves soon, or we'll have to overnight you some bubblewrap to make a padded room...

Darlene said...

*Cowtown Pattie - How did you see my wild eyed look? I am ready for the padded cell right now. ;-)

Kay Dennison said...

This sent my blood pressure up big time! And it reminded me why I don't do automatic payments. Yeah, it might be more convenient but the downside is so ugly that I won't.

That said, after all the trouble I've heard friends have had with Dish Nerwork, I doubt I'd ever do business with them. You just sealed that decision.

Please let us know if it's finally straightened out. And vent away --what are friends (and blogs) for anyway?


Darlene said...

*Kay Dennison - Thanks for the hug. I needed that.

Anonymous said...

Poor dear. Darlene, sometimes we are tried well beyond the limits of our patience, aren't we? I am so sorry to read your tale of woe and hope that all is resolved to your satisfaction pronto. Well...too late for pronto, but let us go for ASAP!
Cop Car

Rain said...

It's a product of our times that we are guilty until we prove we are innocent. I hope this is all resolved fairly but it's frustrating that a person has to go through what you have.

kenju said...

Darlene, I applaud your tenacity. Too many people would have given up.

I decided a long time ago to never allow automatic payments, either from my checking account or credit card. I've hard too many horror stories from people who did.

Joy Des Jardins said...

This kind of situation is one of my worst nightmares Darlene. It makes it ten times worse when you are dealing with tactless, rude and downright mean people at the other end. Many people would just give up after such a horrific experience. I really admire you for your persistence and all the patience it took. I'm very much like you when it comes to patience for these things. How is ANYONE supposed to stay calm and stress-free while going through something like this? I hope to God everything gets totally cleared up....and very soon. ~Joy

Darlene said...

*Cop Car - Thank you. I hope so too.

*Rain - The thing that really irks me is that they immediately put the charge back on my account when Dish said the charge was valid, but refuse to remove it when I prove that it isn't.

*kenju - I wish I had been as smart as you were. I am changing my ways.

*Joy - Calm, I am not!!! I don't even have time to read blogs between this and preparing for out of town company. I will get to yours today as you must have returned from cuddling that sweet baby.

Xtreme English said...

Darlene, you are one hell of a fightin' woman! This stuff on the phone can't be at all easy for you just in and of itself. You've got a CI, for cripes sake! I'm glad that, even though your need to call is a nightmare, you nevertheless can do so very well on the phone!!! You're way better than I am. I have discovered one thing that helps--I thank the people I'm talking to again and again for their supreme patience with my need to ask them to repeat everything at least twice. For some reason, they respond to that, and sometimes they've even gone out of their way to clear things up for me. But I have great admiration for your spunk and spirit!! I'm sorry it's so stressful, but all things considered, it sure as hell should be. You're to be congratulated for taking it on like that. Hang in there, kiddo!!

Darlene said...

*Xtrreme English - Thank you for your kind words, but I can't take credit for the phone hassle. I have a CapTel phone with captioning and I tell them when I first start talking that I won't answer them immediately because I have to read the captions if I don't understand them. I do understand some people easily but there are others that I can't understand at all. You know how that goes.

paula said...

This is awful, Darlene! So sorry.

Darlene said...

*Paula - Thankfully,it's all over now and the charge is no longer on my credit card. I have a new card number so this can't happen again. I Hope !!!