Monday, March 29, 2010

The CRTC, Hell and Call Centers

Hello everyone,

This week the CRTC announced that Canadians can afford a price increase in our TV services and we should have one within the next year to support local TV. Although I certainly can afford a price increase, I have a few questions.
Am I overpaying for my services presently... Yes.
Am I receiving a level of service that is under valued... NO.
And finally will my service be improving in any way... No.
So the CRTC is completely right, I can afford to pay more for my cable, but I won't. I will reduce my services by the same level as the price increase. I will put that money towards another service, one that will deliver more for that extra money.
Here in Canada we have a predominate TV service provider, and in the north they are the only service provider. To avoid legal ramifications I'll call them Hell in this example, since it rhymes with their name. I have had service with Hell for the last twenty years. For the last year and half however I have only been able to receive half of the services I've been paying for, all the channels handled by even number transponders have been impossible to receive. As I've written in a previous post, I've called in to report this problem in the past and I intend to review them again here, because tonight I am celebrating, tonight I have every TV channel I'm paying for and Hell tells me its not possible.
Hell has some of the worst customer service I have ever experienced, and I'd go into more details but you probably won't believe me if I told you. In the last 18 months I have spent between 40-60 hours on the phone with their call center in some mid eastern country, and I have taken three full days off work to dedicate myself to the sole purpose of fixing their problem and getting a resolution. My New Years resolution this year was to ensure I got the services I was paying for. So the calls started again, I did the checkswitch test for the hundredth time (and why they believe this test is the official word of God I will never understand). And I began to stop listening to them and start telling them how we were going to actually fix the problem. I told them to send me a new dish to fix the problem. They 'agreed' and two months later when it had not shown up I called them about it. They explained to me that the order had been cancelled as their tech department assured them it was impossible that the transponder problem was dish related. I assured them that in my opinion the dish was the problem and they should send it, and they refused. I regrouped, I could not cancel service as having a 7 year old stuck in the house in the dead of winter with outside temps at -35 left me concerned for both my wife's and my own mental health. I tried a new tact; I want Hi-def I explained, they told me I'd need a new dish and receiver. I was closing in on my target and I could smell blood. They told me I needed a new receiver to get Hi-Def, fine I agreed as the moment overtook me, "put it in the mail with the dish, I don't care about the cost, just send it",.... here it comes... wait for it... They can send me the dish but they can't send me a receiver, though, but they would hold one for me at the local Hell center and I could run down there and get it and THEN they would send the dish. I explained to them my local Hell center was a 42 hour straight return trip and I would not be making it in the near future. They explained to me that they would not be sending the new dish without my first having a new receiver and for some reason it was beyond the realm of physical possibly for them to ship it themselves.
I decided I only had one recourse, when you're stuck in a hole that you can't get out of you call your Mommy, and I did just that. I called Hell back and told them to ship me a dish, my mother was going to purchase a new receiver and send it to me. They told me it was as good as in the mail that day. My mother paid the $569.00 and sent my new receiver after confirming at the local Hell center twice on two separate occasion that the dish was already sent and on its way. Two weeks later I had my new receiver and I waited, for another 10 days before I called the Hell call center.
"where's my dish?" I asked.
"On its way" they explained but before I could inquire further I had to serve a customer so I had to hang up.
I called back "where's my dish? " I asked again.
This time it was explained to me that the dish would not be sent until I activated my new receiver. I calmly explained that I did that 2 weeks ago, and after being on hold for 5 minutes he assured me that in the notes on my file did show I had indeed activated my new receiver.
"So....where's my dish?" I queried again.
"So everything is good then?" he asked.
" No" as I explained that I still was not receiving any of the even number transponders.
"Oh, I'll just connect you to the tech support department" he responded. He further explained that this particular problem must be the receiver and not the dish. I replied that he was wrong and there was no way all three of my receivers could be broken in the same way.
I assured him that if he did not send the dish I would buy a ticket to India and personally kick his ass all the way to the Taj Mahal. "Just send me a damn Dish"
He relented and said he would send the dish, and I am here to announce that as of today I am still waiting for the dish. I have, however, found someone else in town to whom they did sent a dish, and since a new dish was unrelated to his problem, he didn't need it. Tonight I installed the dish to the exact directions that Hell gave me (when set to this direction it was apparently supposed to receive signals from my BBQ as that was all it was pointed at). I spent a hour eyeballing it and I'm happy to report my TV service is now perfect despite Hell's best intentions.
Yeah, I can afford higher fees but I'll be damned if I'm going to give them to Hell until they give a damn about serving their customers. The total cost to me to repair this problem because Hell didn't have a clue was in the neighborhood of $2400.00 in work hours, lost services and in purchasing a new reciever that had nothing to do with the problem.
Take Care
P.S. I've been watching TV for the last hour and a half and there is still nothing on even with the new channels, figures.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Hunting the wolves

Hello everyone,
They built a wonderful new road this week up the Red River 45 km's but as a elder explained to me today this means the wolves will be coming to town very soon. Seems that wolves like roads, makes it easy to get around and they always seem to come out at the end of them. Sure enough we drove down the river and we found at least half a dozen had taken down a moose about 40 km's out of town and were heading towards us (nothing like travelling with a elder to know which way the wind is blowing, as they say). Its still a little awe inspiring when your cruising along at 40 km and he tells you a moose went by three days ago, I respond "do you want to stop and see the tracks?", "Naw, it was three days ago, lets pull over yesterday at the earliest, We already know where they was, lets find out where they is."
Fifteen km's later he announces the moose was killed by half a dozen wolves, no need to pull over. Once I had been made aware of what to look for it was obvious that the moose was tracked by a large group of wolves for many km's. I couldn't see the moose tracks, or tell the difference but I could see all the following and tracking tracks, but its still really cool, we never slowed down, he knew what had happened and where and when. The only time he wanted to stop was to see what happened today, So he knew where they would be tomorrow. Apparently I have to go out tomorrow at sundown, with my rifle, around 8:30 pm and the wolves will be running the road towards town, and I have no doubt that if I'm there at that time, I'll find his wolves. Lets see a satellite do that. In this picture you can see part of the story, but without knowing what your looking for, you'll spend the rest of your life seeing nothing. In the photo you can see where the kill occurred, where the wolves went after, and where they will be next, that is if your a 76 year old man who was born and will die on this land.

Take Care,

P.S. Tim, don't even try. This is a world you don't understand. The camera is capable, the eye is not. The kill site is buried by the wolves and the tracks might as well be invisible. You'll notice the valley is in shadow, therefore the tracks might as well be a white ball, on a white sheet of paper, on a white background while your snow blind. Next time your wife visits, you could come along and I could send you on the land with a person who could teach you how to see things and live in ways you haven't imagined. And when he tells you his story about crawling into a bear den for warmth, without his rifle and the bear waking up, you'll crap yourself with what happens next.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Ice road

  Hello everyone,
     Just a couple of shots from tonights adventure up the red river Ice road.