Brian vs. the Gas Company
I got home from work yesterday and found a big pink notice hanging on my front door. The notice was from the gas company, letting me know that they had replaced my gas meter. The notice also let me know that for my "convience" they had left my gas turned off. Visions of no heat and cold showers ran through my head, so I quickly called the gas company.
I had the pleasure of speaking to Janice in the customer service department. Why Janice ever decided to go into the field of customer service still amazes me. Being friendly and helpful were not her strong points. Problem solving is not her forte. Janice explained to me that they had to turn off the gas to replace the meter and they could not turn it back on since no one was home. I questioned why they would turn it off in the first place and she explained that they probably thought I was at home when they started working. I asked when they would come back to turn the gas back on and she told me that the gas company doesn't do "return visits"; she said that I would need to call an independant contractor to come back and turn on the gas and relight my pilot lights. I argued back and forth with Janice for almost 45 minutes, but she stood her ground and said there was nothing that could be done- I needed to call an HVAC company if I wanted my gas to be turned back on. By this point I was speachless and I said goodbye. As I was hanging up the phone, I heard Janice ask "Is there anything else I can help you with?". Obviously not.
I waited a few minutes and called back. This time I got an operator named Porsche. I immediatly asked for a manager. I was put on hold for a few minutes and then Porsche came back to tell me that there were no managers on duty, but she offered to help. I explained my situation and before I could finish, Porsche interrupted and asked if someone would be home for the next 4 hours. I told her that I would be here. Great- she would have someone out to my house within the next 4 hours to correct the problem. My phone call to Porsche took about 2 minutes; my call to Janice was about 45 minutes. Why couldn't Janice have the same ability to solve the same problem? Janice was content to let me sit here in the cold with no hot water for several days; Porsche worked it out in a couple of minutes. I hate Janice.
As promised, 3 hours and 59 minutes later, the repairman showed up. It was after 11pm, but I was so glad to see him. The repairman turned on the gas and came inside to relight all of the pilot lights. By midnight, I was warm in bed. I can only hope that Janice was at home by that point too-- hopefully reading the latest edition of "Customer Service for Dummies".