Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Conversation with DISH Network

My 89 year old mother-in-law asked me to call DISH for her to order another receiver because she is hearing impaired. She gave me her last paid statement. Like the dutiful son-in-law that I am I, of course, complied.

I have to say that DISH has one of the best automated voice recognition systems I've used.

DISH auto-attendant: (computer blah blah) What do you want? You can say just about anything like (some examples).

ME: Add receiver (loudly)

DISH auto-attendant: You want to add a receiver?

ME: YES (loudly)

DISH auto-attendant: Please say or enter the phone number associated with your account or your account number.
The computer "knew" I was not calling from a phone number in the DISH database. Pretty cool.
ME: (said the account number - slowly and loudly)

DISH auto-attendant: Just a moment while I contact a representative for you.

DISH human #1: My name is -- and my operator number is -- and I will be glad to help you. May I have your name?

ME: My name is -- and I am calling for my mother-in-law at her request because she is hearing impaired.

DISH human #1: May I speak to your mother-in-law?

ME: No, I am calling from my office. Is that a problem?

DISH human #1: I think I can help you.
Then everything went really well until I had to give credit card information. I said the number and the expiration date.
DISH human #1: What is the name on the card?

ME: I stated my name.

DISH human #1: That's not the name on the account.

ME: No, that's my credit card.

DISH human #1: I have to have a credit card with the name of the account holder.

ME: I don't have that.

DISH human #1: I will have to transfer you to a customer service specialist.

ME: Ok.

DISH human #2: This is -- and I am a specialist and I will be happy to help you.

ME: Great. (Explained the whole deal again)

DISH human #2: We have to have a credit card with the number of the account holder.

ME: I don't have that. Are you saying we can't do this?

DISH human #2: May I speak to the account holder?

ME: No, I am at my office. Besides she is hard of hearing and that's why she asked me to call for her. If she could hear better she could have done this herself.

DISH human #2: Do you have her power-of-attorney?

ME: No (thinking to myself - this reminds me of caregiving for my parents) (wondering to myself what proof they would want if I did have POA)

I finally hung up with no resolution to the issue.

I made a special trip back out to my mother-in-law's home this morning and called DISH again from her telephone.

DISH's system knew her information from the phone number. The only problem was that their system did not understand my mother-in-law's touch pad entries but voice worked great. It was likely because her telephone is about 30 years old or so.

I went though the entire deal again though and finally ended up with a person. And all of these people apparently were in the United States or at least spoke the best Americanese that I've ever heard from customer service people.

I had already prepared my mother-in-law and she had given me her credit card and was sitting next to me at the table.

So finally the operator asked to speak to her and I put her on the phone.

M-I-L: (after listening a while) I'm sorry I just cannot hear you.
M-I-L: (after another pause) Can you say that again more loudly?
M-I-L: (another pause): (said her name)
M-I-L: (another pause): I'm sorry I can't understand you.
M-I-L: (another pause): Yes.
M-I-L: (another pause): You want to speak my son-in-law?

Then she handed the phone back to me. I have no idea what was asked of course.

Next I provided her credit card information and scheduled the service for tomorrow between the hours of 12 and 5. And, no, they can't call me.

No explanation why they can't call me. I wonder if the service people don't have cell phones?

So everyone knows what I will be doing tomorrow afternoon.


susie mccoll said...

That is pretty funny. We can all relate to those kind of conversations. What is really funny is that you would think they would just take your money no matter what! Very nice of you to do.

Lori1955 said...

It's strange that even though there are some utility bills in Helen's name, they have no problem accepting a check from me. I would think if anything they would just take anyone's money.

I love how they insisted that they speak with MIL. Guess they got their proof that she is hard of hearing. geesh.

TerranceLouis said...

Thats a very good conversation to have shared here... Dish network has unique features that you will not find on any other satellite television. Imagine this, a wide range of international programming, movies and video on demand. Videos and movies on demand enable you to watch movies at your own pace.

Katmir said...

ohhhhh my. this brought back many memories of past conversations i've had to go thru just like it. yes, i understand what you're gonna deal with.... and you have my full sympathy.

while the service tech is at the house, ask them to 3-way customer service and see if they will add your name as an authorized user on the spot.

good luck!

~Betsy said...

I had a similar situation once with ordering my mom's diabetic testing supplies (don't I sound like Wilford Brimley?). Anyway - long story short, I put my mom on the phone and they quickly asked for me again. I guess they realized I wasn't making it up that she had AD.

You're a good son-in-law.