I bought my condo despite the fact that it had a south-facing main door. Where I come from, a south-facing main door is not considered auspicious.
The condo is really beautiful – quaint in a cottage-in-the-woods sort of way. It’s located in a quiet neighborhood complete with white picket fences and most importantly it fit my budget. So I did not care for the south-facing main door at all.
I should have cared. Because the south-facing main door led to a north-facing balcony!
Any TV lover would know the problem with that. You cannot get dish network in a north-facing balcony. Not unless the balcony has some miraculous spot from where the dish antenna can look southward or southwestward because dish has its satellites only in the southern skies. I know this because I tried getting dish network in my previous apartment but the balcony there had the same issue – it was facing northeast to be precise!
I hate the monopoly of cable networks. And the cable company in my area did not have any technician free until the end of the month. I was mad. What was I to do for a month without TV or internet (what did I do before this – I don’t remember)? Someone suggested Direct TV although they weren’t sure what kind of balcony they needed. I did not know too much about Direct TV so I thought I would give them a call.
The customer care executive was extremely friendly (a definite improvement over the cable’s haughty one). She was only too happy to have me as her customer and in fact, assured me she would send a technician the very next day, which was a Saturday. I was ecstatic. I did ask her if it mattered which direction my balcony was and she said it shouldn’t matter. In fact, she claimed they need the balcony on the opposite side of where dish required – which meant my balcony was ideal. Also she offered me an excellent deal with Indian channels literally free. It all sounded too good to be true.
I was so excited I could barley sleep that night and woke up very early the next morning in anticipation of the arrival of the technician. I decided to skip the gym because I didn’t want to risk missing the technician. I showered and got ready by 8:00 a.m. and started waiting for the technician. Time trickled by. The time of the arrival window came and went. No sign of the technician. The customer care was even more clueless.
Did the technician call you to let you know he will be late?
I haven’t heard from anyone! I said.
Ok. let me see what’s happening.
After a few minutes, which seemed to stretch on endlessly, she told me she got in touch with the regional office and the technician will call me soon with an expected time of arrival. In a few minutes, I did receive a call from the technician.
Hi, this is Will, he said. I am sorry I did not call you earlier. I am working two hours away from where you are. Frankly, it is not easy to install our antenna in a condo. The condo walls are usually pretty feeble and the associations make too much fuss. So I don’t think Direct TV is the right choice for you!
He hung up before I could tell him that I had in fact seen dish-like antennas in other condos. Disappointed and perplexed I called the customer care to cancel my order.
Why ma’am! What seems to be the problem?
The technician doesn’t think my condo is fit for the antenna.
Did the technician actually come in and inspect the property?
That is not right. He should have come in to check that before making that statement. Hold on. Let me get you the local office that works with the technicians. They should be able to send someone out.
After a long wait, she transferred me to a gentleman who introduced himself as the boss of Will, the technician I had spoken to earlier.
Sorry about the misunderstanding. Will will call you in a little bit and everything will be taken care of, he assured me in his sincerest voice.
An hour passed. No sign of Will or a call from him. I almost felt like I was waiting for a call from a first date that I really, really liked. May be he is busy. May be he is waiting for the right time. May be he will surprise me by just dropping by my house!
Another hour later, I finally called the boss.
He didn’t call you still? The boss was in total shock. Let me check.
He put me on hold, to call Will, I presume. After a long wait he came back to inform me that Will was going to call me now. Could I please be patient for just a little long?
Finally, the elusive Mr. Will called me.
Yes, ma’am. I had asked my boss to inform you that your balcony is not fit for a Direct TV antenna. But he insisted I call you. So here I am telling you that it just will not work.
But how do you know that? The customer care says you need to inspect the property first.
I drove by your condo and saw the balcony. It won’t work. Sorry!
What? Wait a minute…
He hung up on me.
I was speechless with rage. After making me wait all morning, he had the audacity to blatantly lie to me. There was no way he could have driven past my condo and figured out which one was mine – not even with the address. The condos were not one size all. Each condo was unique and mine especially was hidden past a courtyard between two buildings. In any case, it leads to a dead end and there was no driving past it. And the rudeness of the guy to hang up on me! And to think that all my Saturday morning had been wasted in waiting for this idiot. I could have done a million things.
I promptly called his manager to give him a piece of my mind.
I was ready to cancel the order but no, your customer care wouldn’t hear of it. And here your technician claims he could gauge my balcony by driving past it without really knowing which one is mine. Do you think I am stupid that I will believe his stories? You know what? Now I definitely want a technician out here. You have made me wait all day so you better send someone who can gauge whether my balcony is really fit for Direct TV or not.
Ok. I will send Will over.
What? Why Will? I don’t trust his judgment anymore. I would like someone else.
Let me see what I can do.
He called me back after fifteen minutes to inform me that there was no one else who could come to my area so if I did not mind he was going send Will over.
You’ve got to be kidding me. You have no other technician but Will?
Either Will was Direct TV’s answer to God or I lived in a lousy area where no other technician operated.
Ok. Send Will but it better be today.
Sure. And please let me know if he doesn’t show up. I am sorry for all the inconvenience caused to you.
So the wait continued on for Direct TV’s one and only technician in my area. Another two hours passed. I was beginning to get restless. What exactly was this guy’s issue with my condo?
Around 5:30 p.m. the bell rang. I jumped up with a victorious smile on my face. In this unspecified battle that ensued between Will and me, I had won. I had made him drive two hours to do his job even if it was a little late in the day.
When I opened the door, I found a bespectacled man looking obviously very pissed.
Here. I have come to your house. And you can call customer service and tell them that I came to your house and told you that your balcony cannot get Direct TV access.
With that he turned on his heel and left.
As for me, I closed the door and went crawling back to the cable company that did not require any balconies to air their programs. I could never find out if my north-facing balcony was fit or not for Direct TV!