From Dito Sevilla. You can often find him tending bar at — where else — Dito’s Bar om 17th Street NW where he dispenses witticisms and advice. Email him at dito[AT]borderstan.com and follow him on Twitter @DitoDC.
To my generation of Washingtonians, “KableTown” is all we know. Until recently, it is all we could know. It enters our homes, tearing through our walls, snaking around our doorways, attaching itself to our machines disguising itself as a messenger bringing with it great news of the outside world. KableTown’s claim to “keep you connected” is not a lie, rather a half-truth designed to get our attention.
Like a viper’s bite, fangs deep — it must keep its prey connected, for only then can the full effect of its venom be realized. Its prey pays the ultimate price. Too weak to fight, too beaten to resist, it succumbs. It goes limp. Here in Washington’s jungle, succumbing is not necessarily an agonizing death, but it may as well be. You see KableTown’s venom is billed monthly.
Every 30 days it stings us again. From it’s fangs spring new fees. Unrecognizable pain delivered by envelope. With each bill offering up no answers, only new taxes and surcharges. It’s all the same too us. Surrounded by snakes, we pay. To fight back will only weaken our will and kill our spirits. We are defeated. Bitten, we can wait only for rescue.
One day the antidote will come. One day for me, it did.
Here is My Story
ACTUAL EMAIL TO KableTown, DATED: 07-15-2012
Dear Mr. “Greenleigh,”
I write to you in order to bring to your attention a most peculiar experience.
In over 10 years as a KableTown/KFinity customer, with accounts both at my home and my business, I have never experienced anything quite as shocking as what occurred during a service visit this Thursday, July 12, 2012.
I must stress that in over a decade with your company, I have had countless disdainfully acrimonious and vexing conversations with the department so cavalierly labeled “customer service.” I have had your sub-contracted technicians stain my carpet, ruin my walls, snake cable with the care one would tangle Christmas lights.
I have sworn off KableTown for fear another conversation with your team members would give me an aneurism, or cause me to commit a terrible crime. I have waited in lines so long to replace equipment the groceries in my car expired before I could get back to them.
I have developed an Imperially British accent from the interminable conversations I have endured with your technicians overseas. My service has failed me indiscriminately through all manner of events, from the lowliest rerun, to the royal wedding itself. I have missed news, season finales, premiers, and the like. For days in mid-April, I thought it was snowing because the picture was so bad.
Were KableTown a person, I would happily cast a stone aiming high enough to hit it’s face, but not hard enough to kill because unselfishly, I’d like others in the long line behind me to get their chance too. In short, your company has failed me terribly, but we are bound together. KableTown is the devil I know.
Mr. Greenleigh, I direct you back to last week.
Wednesday, I called to reschedule the appointment from Thursday (7-05-12), an appointment to which, unremarkably, your people failed to show.
After being on the phone for (yes, seriously) more than 37 minutes, and enduring FIVE transfers from HOME, to BUSINESS, to HOME INTERNET, to HOME TECHNICAL SUPPORT and finally back to a “supervisor” in BUSINESS, a new appointment, Thursday 7-12-2012.
THE TECHNICIAN SHOWED UP EARLY! HE WAS FRIENDLY! HE WAS COURTEOUS!
He called to let me know he was in the area — as he knew I was rushing down the street to meet him, he told me not to hurry because he’d happily get to work without me there because he had already diagnosed the problem!
HE REPLACED THE DEFECTIVE CABLE BOX, trimming and re-installing ancient coaxial snakes in the process. HE PROGRAMMED MY REMOTE… a remote which he happily retrieved from his van! Then he repaired our TELEPHONE LINES and HAPPILY followed me up the four FLIGHTS of stairs to confirm that the FAX line had also been corrected. He offered me HIS TOOLS and HIS HELP to mount the new cable box to the wall. HE helped me schedule an appointment and installation of a new phone jack.
I have NEVER been so shocked in my entire life. 34 years on this planet and I have never seen anything so amazing. I saw a KableTown employee who I’d hire to work for me.
Mr. Greenleigh, I can tell you that this man almost changed my opinion of your company.
His name is “Rodney,” his Technician ID is “1602” and he should be YOUR boss.
He is the kind of person who should be training others you send to your client’s homes and businesses. He is professional FAR beyond the standards you set. He doesn’t deserve a raise. What he deserves is a recommendation to get a better job, to work for a better company. At the very least he deserves this email, and the gratitude of this man, our business, and all of its guests. That Rodney has earned, along with all of our respect.
I remain, sincerely yours,
E. Dito Sevilla
Customer Number “09529 3800080 04 6”