Sunday, July 24, 2011

When did the Cell phone store replace the DMV?

So, I had to get a new drivers license this year,  and had to make the dreaded trip to the DMV.  I planned ahead, had all my paperwork ready,  showed up 5 minutes before they opened.. only had 5 others waiting at the door?   What?   I walked in and was greeted by 6 smiling workers,  and was helped immediately.  I thought I had entered the twilight zone.  I didn't have to take a paper number.. sit in a line realize I had number 999,  and they were currently serving customer 2? (Remember Beetlejuice?)
I commented to the girl who was helping me,  that this wasn't what I was used to. She stated that since people can now get their plates online,  traffic at the office has dropped dramatically.  I guess decreased customers,  makes for happier employees as well.   Wow!  In and out..10 minutes.

Fast forward 2 weeks... thinking about replacing Time Warner with Direct TV.  Doing the math,  I think we will save about 40 bucks a month!  But had some questions about service,  internet,  the equipment etc,  so a stop at Cincinnati Bell was in order.   You can order Direct TV from them,  bundle it with their internet service and get an additional discount.   Stopped by the local store at approx 7 pm on a Friday evening.   Walked in and scanned the room,  7 employees (they are wearing distinctive blue polo shirts, so are easy to point out in the room)  and about 10-11 customers were in the room... Good odds ,  right?   WRONG..

Cell phone companies have the high tech equivalent of taking a number... type your name in a computer kiosk at the door,  watch your name appear on the large screen TV's mounted in the room and see that you are # 4 on the list of people waiting.   Not bad... especially when you look back about 5 minutes later and see 6 more names have been added after yours...

So now the game begins.. you watch an employee finish up with someone and think... YES!  one more name off the list.. but wait... said employee suddenly wanders back behind the magic curtain (back room)  and doesn't return.    Okay maybe it's his break... but then it happens again... another customer leaves,  another employee leaves the floor.  If this is the norm,  I'm not ever getting out of here.  One more time we watch this dance,  and those of us waiting ,  wandering around staring at the cell phones that are covered in so many germs from I don't want to know how many hands have touched them,  and then casually glance up at the TV.. the names haven't changed...  Finally one employee returns and calls out a name.. it only took 25 minutes to get assistance...  But during that 25 minutes.. what had been 7 employees dropped to 3.  What the other 4 were doing in the back is anyone's guess...

Do they have camera's back there scanning the showroom floor where they giggle and point at the customers waiting like sheep to see their name finally make it to the top of the list.

Oh and to top it all off... the employee who finally did call our name... No real answers to any of my questions.    No they don't know when our area will be getting Fiber Optic.. they don't give employees that information...   Okay.. No,  I can't tell you what the $5.99 a month insurance and service charge covers,  or why it is considered optional?,  Not you only have 48 hours to decide if the direct TV system will work for you,  other than that you are locked in for 2 years...

So there is 45 minutes I'll never get back...  but,  I still think Time Warner is out of here... I mean 40 bucks a month is a lot of money.. Now how much time will I need to spend on the phone with Time Warner trying to get my service canceled?

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