Saturday, September 29, 2012
Charm City Confidential: Jack Hughes!
After I read the comment from MJ, I realized it had been a week since I last posted anything and that comes as a shock because I have been writing, but mostly letters of condemnation to ADT Security Systems.
Years ago, when many of you were pimply face teenagers, except for Norma - who is still a pimply faced octogenarian, Cookie had a Brinks Home Security system install in Ville D' Cookie Columbus. All went fine and dandy until they were spun off, and renamed Broadview Home Security, and then quick as you can say Jack Frost they got snapped up by ADT.
At the time we bought our new house, I called ADT, told them when I wanted the new system, when I wanted it and what I wanted on it. I told them that Cookie's Husband would be at the new house for the install, and gave them a disconnect date in mid September on the old place in Ohio. Are you all with me. Start this Baltimore on this date and then cut off Columbus on this other date. Simple enough, eh?
"They'll be over lap sir," says the ADT Rep. I acknowledge that and say I have no problem paying both bills for a thirty day period.
So we get the new alarm installed and a couple weeks later I am getting ready to leave Columbus and I call ADT to tell them that the new owners of Ville D'Cookie would like to continue the service, but asked what they need to do to have everything transferred into their name.
"It's too late," says the ADT Employee in Customer Care - which is a dishonest term because none of the people who work in a department called Customer Care really give a damn about much of anything in their own lives, let alone my life or your life.
Customer Care then goes onto tell me that they severed the system two weeks prior when I started the new service at the new house. How could this be, you ask? WELL, when you transfer your account as a preexisting client, the shut one down and start the other up.
"How am I supposed to know this," I ask.
"Didn't you read the fine print?" says Jack Hughes, my Customer Care representative. Evidently, Jack Hughes lives to tell people that they are supposed to read the EIGHT page contract while the ADT installer is tapping their feet, getting impatient when you could just sign it so they can go, says the Husband when I tell him what Jack Hughes accused us of not doing.
SO they turn on Columbus, they keep Baltimore up and running. Everything is hunky dory, right?
Things are wrong, so, so wrong. Four days later, on my last day at Columbus, I get a letter from ADT telling me that two weeks before the date of the letter, they disconnected monitoring on the house in Columbus. How's that for being timely?
No sooner than I move here than I start getting collection calls from ADT. They want their install money that was supposed to be paid at the install in August. "Not only that, your financial institution returned your payment," states a very rude Debbie Debtcollector.
"How can this be?" I ask. I point out that the husband provided his credit card for the install and I never authorized direct debits from my checking account. "And why was it returned?" I further queried.
Debbie Debtcollector has no idea, she just wants the money. And I tell her I'm not paying her one red cent until she sends me a statement, and I call my financial institution to see what is going on. I also tell her that she isn't doing her job if she doesn't know what the payment was for, and why it was returned. "How can you collect for something if you have no idea what the facts are?"
"Sir, I am ending this call because you are being rude."
The debt collector calls go on for a few more days, and each day I have to remind them again and again what is going on, and every day Connie Crabbyass, the Supervisor in the credit department tells me that "The problem is yours, you have to pay this bill or we'll file charges in small claims court."
I tell the husband this when he gets home and set to work. Husband is baffled because nothing has been charged to his credit card, or return because of an over limit charge (like that would happen), and my financial institution is telling me nothing on my account has been presented, bounced or otherwise returned.
FINALLY we get to the bottom of it when they send me copies of everything that they are looking at. ADT had the husband's credit card, they never charged it for the install. How can one pay a bill to a company if the company never submits the payment amount to the credit card company? How do we end up in collection if the employees fail to READ THE CONTRACTS correctly? ADT 0, Cookie 1.
And that bounced payment? Husband had given them our financial institution's R&T (Routing and Transit Number) and instead of writing our account number on the account number line, the numb nuts installer wrote the R&T number as our account number. So the payment got returned because they sent it to the right place, and then asked the credit union to pay our bill from their accounts, not ours. ADT 0, Cookie 2.
So Friday I climbed my way through their phone tree until I got a human who had authority and she had a copy of the contract, and I had mine and I walked her through the entire mess THEY created.
She offered me a free month for my trouble. "Thats so nice, but I can't accept it."
"Why not," asks she.
So I asked her "Would you be happy with a month of free service after you were threatened with court action? Would you be content with a free month after ADT screwed this up so bad that even your underlings couldn't figure it out? And would you be satisfied with a month of free service after waiting about 20 hours of your personal time trying to get through to people, being on hold, being told that the answers to many of my questions can be found on ADT's website - when they can't, reading contracts, making long distance telephone calls and the like?"
"Well..." she starts to say.
"Well, what. I figure my time on this doing your work for you, and the harassment and the other BS is at least $20 an hour. I have obligations. I have overhead. I have costs. Twenty hours at $20 an hour comes out to an amount pretty darn equal to a free year of service."
"I can't do that..." says she.
"Well then, you need to at least try." (NOTE: It's important when backing a company into a corner that you give them something to strive for, correct? I mean without giving them an outlet, you're just a Bitch, right? And all bitches get negative attention that leaves a bad taste in the amount of others, right? So give them an out that says to you "we're really, really sorry."
We settled for ten months of free service, and a direct dial number to her if this gets screwed up again, and something else. Jack Hughes, Debbie Debtcollector and Connie Crabass have to go back into customer service training, or else, I will bring to bear upon ADT the full force of the Government with their illegal debt collection practices, savvy?
People, if you let these bastards fuck with you, they will.