Today, the trend is to shout from the highest mountain that you are 'service oriented', but rarely follow through on actual service. No company epitomizes this more than RCN.
Here is my most recent (and final) experience with RCN. It contains a price hike, two service outages, and a complete disregard for the needs of the customer. See if you agree.
I received a bill that had an increase- the third in three months. I called RCN to inquire. The said the price increase was nationwide and due to 'cable programming costs'. I kindly let them know I did not have their cable service, only internet (I cancelled the cable service through another bad experience over a year before). The representative had no facts to offer, only his blanket statement and left me with that.
After the rate increase, I experienced two outages in my internet service in two weeks. Now, an internet outage is not life or death, but I do work from home, manage my bills, and my family enjoys internet activity so there is some real impact to our lifestyle, for what it is worth. The first outage was due to some problem with the local equipment and they had it on file. I was never offered any consideration or rebate, but again, it is not life or death, so I did not give it much more thought at the time.
The second outage they had no explanation and told me a service technician would have to come out and replace the router. Fine, I said. He could be out six days from then, they said. I asked why it was so long and they said there were not have any appointments earlier than that for service.
I hung up and thought about this. On a hunch, I told my wife I would call back and see how quickly I could have a new service installed. The response from RCN was that they could be out the next day.
I called the only competitor and had them come out the next day to install their service. Now, I do not expect, in reality, that they are going to be any better. We only have two providers and there is no reason either one would have to offer real service in any event. I am not naive anymore. But I was so insulted by the service provided by RCN, I made my resolve to switch then and there.
I called RCN back and told them to change the service appointment to a cancellation. 'I can terminate the maintenance appointment,' the representative said', 'but Ill have to transfer you to arrange the cancellation.' So I was transferred. I saved the reader some detail here, but after being transferred, I had to repeat my state, zip, address, name, and password for the third time.
Then the cancellation representative kindly told me he was sorry for all the problems I had and offered me a free month of service. When I declined, he then told me where I could drive to drop off the equipment.
Drop off the equipment? I told him I was not driving anything anywhere. When the technician came to disconnect the service I would gladly hand the box over to him. 'Well, the technicians are used just for maintenance, they can't pick up boxes,' was the reply. I thought that was unbelievable and said, fine, send me a mailing box and Ill ship it out. 'Okay, that will be $25. Or we can send someone to pick it up and that will be $50.'
I kindly told him that the box would sit here for 100 years and I will never drive it to their center. I will never pay for it to be returned. I did not know if it was in my contract, but thought that was ludicrous. He could do what he wanted. He kindly gave me the address anyway in case I changed my mind. By the way, the drop off center is in the worst neighborhood you can imagine. The last time I was there, I was almost mugged (no exaggeration).
After a rate increase, two outages, delayed maintenance, and the final insult of returning their own equipment to them, I hope RCN is not long for this world. I absolutely hate this company and I do not think 'hate' is too strong a word. From top to bottom, they are the farthest thing from 'service oriented' I have ever experienced.
Oh, I also forgot- since the maintenance request turned to a cancellation, they couldn't be out for another week after the original appointment, so I am sure I will be billed for that extra week of 'service' as well.