Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The customer [data] is always wrong

It's been some time since I've written here. I could offer excuses, but I already have those recorded for posterity on just about every page of my journal. In truth, I haven't had my schedule be so dictated to me that I couldn't take the time to write here. I think my problem is twofold: 1) I try to make these posts perfect (I write and rewrite until my grammar is flawless, at least to my limited understanding of the English language), interesting to read, and long enough to have some substance; 2) I don't want to spend that much of my free time writing blog posts.

It used to be that I wasn't busy every minute I was at work, so I could write little-by-little there. Well, that's changed. I've even been putting in overtime to finish a very important project, for which I have a large amount of responsibility. I also don't often have things in my life that qualify as "interesting to other people," and I'm not good at just discussing something on my mind; it almost has to be an external event to get me to talk about it. The project is rather interesting, and would make a perfect subject for a post -- if I were permitted to talk about it.

At risk of sounding like a whiner, I wanted to detail the trials I've had with my first major move. It's kind of funny looking back on them. Some are resolved, some still aren't, and every now and then another one pops up. I hope I've seen the last of them, but I'm not counting on it. So I present, for your amusement, the list. When I moved from Virginia to Maryland....

My apartment complex:
  • got the address wrong on my lease agreement, twice.
  • raised the rent noticeably between the time they accepted my application and moved me in.
My phone company:
  • took over a month to activate my DSL service.
  • failed to send a DSL modem with my service activation kit.
  • sent the modem later, but charged me for it when it was supposed to be free (as part of my service plan). On top of that, the charge was 50% more than the advertised fee for the modem independently.
  • charges my credit card directly, rather than sending any kind of bill or statement. So I was rather lucky that I even noticed the overcharge.
  • drops my cellular phone calls rather frequently in my new residence.
My power company:
  • wanted me to give them my SSN. I refused at first.
  • wanted to charge me in the triple-digits for a deposit, for some reason that they wouldn't tell me.
  • had to activate my service three times. This is because I had the address change twice. After the first activation, I realized that they wanted to charge me the large deposit because I had not given them my SSN, which they intended to use for a credit check.
  • eventually got my SSN out of me. (I didn't have much money at the time of the move, or else I would have gladly paid for the deposit.) But they still managed to misspell my name, and repeated attempts to correct them have gone unacknowledged. (I wrote them a very passive-agressive note about it.)
My car company:
  • associated my new car with a person from New Jersey with my first and last name in their database. They also recorded it as not being attached to any service plan, despite the thousands of dollars they charged me for one.
  • replaced this information with more incorrect information. They got my apartment number wrong, but even worse, put me in Minnesota instead of Maryland.
Meanwhile, the USPS:
  • always managed to get my bills to me, no matter how messed up address and charges were!
Is it any wonder that I'm not in a hurry to activate any other service, like a land-line phone or cable/satellite TV?