The computers will never successfully rise up

Nothing to do with Pittsburgh and everything to do with companies trying to use computers to replace real humans. At least I hope for Dish Network’s sake, that “Angel” is a computer.

Also, please note that I am not one who just throws around threats to cancel service lightly. I actually had another tab open in my browser where I was ready to click the “Purchase” button on a Comcast package (FIOS is unavailable in my area).

Angel G (ID: ZDL): Hi, my name is Angel G (ID: ZDL). How may I help you?
Virginia Montanez: Hi! For about six months now, every time we get a slight sprinkle of rain, I lose complete satellite signal. Often, I lose all of my HD channels if we just have a windy day, and I’m getting really fed up with it.
Angel G (ID: ZDL): Hello Virginia. How are you doing today?
Virginia Montanez: Fine.
Angel G (ID: ZDL): I’m glad to hear that.
Angel G (ID: ZDL): I’m sorry to hear that you are having an issue with the signal. I’d be happy to resolve that for you.
Angel G (ID: ZDL): In order to do proper troubleshooting we need you to have access to your equipment. Are you currently at home?
Virginia Montanez: Yes.
Angel G (ID: ZDL): Can you please describe exactly what is on the television screen now?  If there is an on screen message, please include the 3 digit number found in the top right corner.
Virginia Montanez: There is no onscreen message right now. The rain has stopped and the signal is back.
Angel G (ID: ZDL): I understand.
Angel G (ID: ZDL): I apologize about the inconvenience but, the signal is via satellite and weather can cause it to go out. Build up of snow or rain can penetrate the signal or block it completely and that can cause this message to come up. Once the snow is cleared and the weather passes the signal should return on its own. If it does not, you will need to contact us to troubleshoot the issue.
Virginia Montanez: I am trying to tell you that for six months, every single time it sprinkles just a tiny bit of rain, we lose complete satellite signal. THAT IS UNACCEPTABLE for the amount of money we are paying you.
Angel G (ID: ZDL): I’m sorry to hear that.
Angel G (ID: ZDL): Please give me a moment to research this for you.
Angel G (ID: ZDL): Please give me a moment to research this for you.
Angel G (ID: ZDL): Thank you for your patience.
Angel G (ID: ZDL): I’d like to inform you that the signal issue is with the weather, due to bad weather, there might be a signal issue. I’d request you to please contact us when you have the issue inorder to resolve it for you.
Virginia Montanez: Thank you. Goodbye.
Angel G (ID: ZDL): Since there is a technical issue, I can offer the 30th Anniversary Starz promotion, which is going to expire on your account very soon. I can offer you the premium channel on your account for half price for the next 6 months. It is a promotion for a valuable customer and it is only $6.5 per month. We are offering you this price for next 6 months and you can cancel it any time. How does that sounds? Would you like me to add the promotion on your account now?
Virginia Montanez: No thank you. We are cancelling our service with you.
Angel G (ID: ZDL): Your satisfaction is very important to us, so I would like to transfer you to an account specialist for further assistance. Please hold.
Angel G (ID: ZDL) has disconnected.
Brian (ID: LR9): Hi, my name is Brian (ID: LR9). How may I help you?
Brian (ID: LR9): I will be handling your request today. Please give me a moment to access your account and review your conversation with the previous agent.
Virginia Montanez: Thank you..

The magnitude of the degree to which I wanted to reach through my computer and slap Angel was already pretty high when she asked me, “How are you today?” immediately after I told her my problem.

Then it was off the bitch-slapping charts when she told me the reason my satellite goes out if a squirrel sneezes hard enough is because of the weather.

Then it could  not be measured by Earthly instruments when she tried to get me to buy Starz.

This is why the computers won’t ever win. Because they’re so stupid sometimes. They can try to uprise but all you’ll need to do is say the word “cancel” and they’ll be all, “BUT YOUR SATISFACTION IS VERY IMPORTANT TO US!”

Siri would have been more helpful. At least she’d have given it to me straight all, “Girl, you shit out of luck.”

Dish Network saw I was tweeting about them and sent me this DM:

Losing signal in thick cloud coverage is normal?



There’s a technician coming Monday, free of charge. Bail me out if I am forced to choke a bitch.


  1. Amanda
    January 27, 2012 9:28 am

    So was this in a chat with “Angel”? That’s a new low for customer service, I think.

  2. Rich D
    January 27, 2012 9:28 am

    I called Dish Network, he came out, looked at my tree and the tree across the street and said forget it, you’ll never get a clear signal… Personally, I think he didn’t want to do the extra work to mount it in a clear location and run the wire. I’m about to dump comcast and switch to Fios. No service issues, but I can get more for less as a new customer at Verizon.

  3. Suz
    January 27, 2012 9:37 am

    Demand FIOS in your area.

  4. Former Disher
    January 27, 2012 9:51 am

    Dish Network has a ‘team’ that handles callers who want to cancel. They’re the ones who can give away the farm to retain customers. I’m pretty sure that’s who you got ‘transferred’ to. Best of luck with the run-arounds.

  5. DanW
    January 27, 2012 9:54 am

    It’s got to be an obstruction or dish pointing problem. I have Directv and the only time I’ve lost signal in the 3 years we’ve been in our house in Pittsburgh was during snowmageddon when the whole dish was completely covered with snow. In Houston we would lose signal during really strong thunderstorms, but it was no more than 2 or 3 times a year there.

  6. Dan (Not Onorato)
    January 27, 2012 10:05 am

    Monday or Tuesdays blog regarding the service call should be a good one. Hope it works out for you.

    Im happy with Armstrong…

  7. Used to live in Pgh
    January 27, 2012 10:22 am

    I am sorry but I laughed hard at this post. So hard I have to share this … Years ago my father (was a huge sports fan) was watching a football game with my boys. Right at the crucial moment the tv went out. I can not even print what he said. When he called verizon to complain the woman (yes, person not computer) told him ” Sir, you are aware that our satellites are really high in the sky.” Again I can’t print what he said but as a family we always refer to that conversation any time anything goes wrong.

  8. Erin
    January 27, 2012 11:37 am

    Haaa OMG. I can hear you seething as you answered “Fine”.

  9. unsatisfied
    January 27, 2012 12:27 pm

    as a current directv (that’s a misnomer of epic proportions) customer, oh, do I feel your pain.

    in a couple of months, though….it’s fios, baby!!!

  10. Robin
    January 27, 2012 12:32 pm

    I had the same issue with Dish; but they did come out, fiddled around and everything has been fine since. Better than Comcast at least. Can someone PLEASE explain to me why the City of Pittsburgh hasn’t gotten FIOS yet? When I bought my house five years ago they said it was coming.

  11. Chrissy
    January 27, 2012 12:35 pm

    as a former costumer service agent at dish network i can tell you that it is company policy that if there is even a little bit of weather over your location the tech can’t do anything to fix the issue because it could be weather related. Chances are you just have a poor line of sight there isn’t much you can do about it and i seriously suggest switching service.

    that was hands down the worst job i’ve ever had. i rolled techs to everyone’s house free of charge. That place is a mess.

  12. Rachel
    January 27, 2012 1:26 pm

    I had a similar experience with Dell over a design flaw in my laptop (which overheated and fried everything). After nobody contacting me back after repeated emails and phone calls for A MONTH, I finally got someone who was respectful and helpful. I now have a refurbished laptop of a different model that doesn’t overheat. There are good people in these companies…they are just really hard to find! Good luck with the tech visit!

  13. Cassie
    January 27, 2012 1:40 pm

    I’ve been with DirecTV for many, many years now. Any time there’s an issue, they’re out at my house that day. And none of this between 10 and forever time slot. I mean, hell, the guy was at our house on Super Bowl Sunday last year because we had an issue. He changed out the box and BAM. Haven’t had an issue since. Plus, ours only goes out if it’s a torrential downpour, which isn’t all that often. I suggest them.

    And never Comcast. (Side note, when I went to ask a question about my cable, the man on the line said, “Wow, you’re just a stupid woman, aren’t you?” I said, “GET ME MANAGER NOW.” Then I cancelled my subscription on the spot and haven’t looked back.)

    • Monty
      January 27, 2012 2:28 pm

      My old lady would have figured out how to kick balls through a phone if that happened to her. Or she would have just kicked mine on some gonadal transitive theory.

  14. PittinDC
    January 27, 2012 2:28 pm

    I know people in the DC area that have problems with satellite service as well, so it’s not just Pittsburgh. I’ve never had a problem with Comcast here; they have always been pretty good.

  15. Clair
    January 27, 2012 3:10 pm

    We have DirecTV (in northern VA) and we have had weather related issues, but it is so inconsistent. I mean we could lose signal during a sprinkle but be fine in a blizzard. Sometimes the signal will go out for a minute or 2 and that tells me a storm is moving in, almost without fail. It does not happen as often as it could but it is still annoying. I am, however, thankful that the dish is mounted on our deck so if it DOES snow 12 inches, I can take a broom and clean the dish and usually get signal back LOL. Sadly, we are tethered to DirecTV so we can get Sunday Ticket for Steelers games…the stuff we do to see our team!!!

  16. JRL2481
    January 27, 2012 3:12 pm

    Ginny, I completely understand where you are coming from with Dish because my parents had the exact same problems, but please keep in mind that Verizon’s customer service is not the greatest in world by any means. I have had FIOS for almost five years now and I am always on the phone with them trying to get some problem resolved with either with my bill or my service. They transfer you to about 15 different departments before you end up back where you started. The only positive comment that I can make is that in five years my cable has never went out, even through all the crazy wind and snow storms we have experienced the past few years.

    • Silica
      January 27, 2012 8:06 pm

      Agree about Verizon’s customer service not being the best. I haven’t had too many issues, but when I do – even if they’re simple ones – it seems like it took forever to get fixed. I’ve worked in customer service and I know it stinks to be that person people call to complain when nothing that happened was your fault, but it still didn’t/doesn’t excuse the totally unprofessional and inept behavior of many of the service reps I’ve had to talk to.

      I will say that I find the online chat feature to be an immense improvement over phone conversations. Easier to keep records and you know that what you want to say will get said and you won’t just be talked over or ignored. Though the use of scripted responses, as Ginny noted, are more than a little obvious.

  17. bucdaddy
    January 28, 2012 3:05 am

    How much are you paying for all this angst anyway?

    They dick you around because they know you’ll just take it.

  18. Rach
    January 30, 2012 1:10 pm

    I recently contacted PNC’s customer service with (what I thought were) simple questions regarding a policy change. Not only did I not receive a straight answer about anything, the customer service rep told me that if I was not satisfied with their products, then it was “not recommended I continue my relationship with PNC.”

    I think my bank just tried to break up with me?

    Ugh. Providing good customer service shouldn’t be this difficult.

  19. toni
    January 30, 2012 1:23 pm

    HA! Good luck with Verizon…I’ve talked to so many Indians that I’ve lost count. One time I called I could hear screaming and laughter in the background. It was so loud I made the guy confirm he was indeed a Verizon rep. They did nothing to resolve my problem and never sent the rep I requested to my house.

  20. Pittsburgh Tom
    January 30, 2012 4:22 pm

    This is why I don’t have cable or satellite. I bought a $30 antennae & I have internet & I have all the tv I need.