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Friday, September 01, 2006

Bad, Cox, Bad! No cookie!!!

So, here I sit on a Friday night, trying to pay my stupid Cox cable bill. Why is that hard? Frankly, I can't imagine.

I've been paying my bill online for three years or more with no problems. When we got our DVR, though, something got messed up. Ever since we moved into our house, Cox had my driver's license number on file instead of my social security number. Frankly, that was fine by me, I just had to remember to give them my DLN whenever they asked for an SSN. When I went in to get the DVR, though, they "corrected" that. No problem, and no big deal.

Or so I thought.

The next month I went to their website to pay our bill, but when I tried to login, it said since there had been changes to our account, they needed additional confirmation in the form of our account number and my social. (Yes, I know that sounds like a phishing scheme. I manually typed in to get there, though, and even checked the IPs. Yes, I'm paranoid.) When I entered it, though, the form said it didn't match what was listed for that account. So I tried my DLN instead -- no luck. Then I tried Heather Marie's SSN -- still no luck.

"Great," I thought, "they must've mistyped it at the office." So the next time I had a chance to go by, I stopped in and explained my problem. The nice folks at the office double-checked my account info, carefully compared the SSN and DLN I provided to what they had on file, and assured me that it was all correct.


I'm still having the same problem with the online account info, so I took the time tonight to call their alleged billing support line. At least I think that's what I called. Here's a free tip to companies everywhere: If you're going to display a message on a web page for your customers to call a service representative, put the number RIGHT THERE! It's not rocket science! If I have to hunt around your site looking for a number to all in order to more efficiently give you money then the odds are really good I won't bother.

So I finally work my way through the billing phone menu until I'm told that I can press 0 to speak with a customer service rep. When I pressed 0, the recording warned me that my account would be charged a $4 "cost recovery fee" for helping me. Helping me pay my bill?! FOUL!!! Cost recovery? Where I come from, helping your customers give you money is called a cost of doing business, and you factor it into what you have to charge for those services.

Fine, I'll pay their stupid fee, just to get this sorted out! Wrong again, cowboy! Because they only provide that service during normal business hours! So it's hard to access, pointlessly expensive, and unavailable. Boy, that's a winner!

In their defense, I should add here that this is really one of the few problems I've had with Cox, either with net access or TV, while our previous DSL experience was nightmarish. It's still very frustrating, though, and even though our cable service has been good so far, I'll certainly remember tonight when AT&T starts calling to tempt me with the broadband service they're rumored to be prepping for our area.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just read your post on not being able to pay your Cox bill via their website. Thank you for posting that, and I will be posting my similar experiences with them, which just happened over the last several days (January 2-3, 2007).

I, too, had been using the online method for several YEARS, and went to do the same for my bill due very soon. However, I could not login successfully. OK, so I ask for them to email me my password. Of course, I had to answer the secret question. I don't remember ever setting that up on the site, but tried to answer with what I WOULD HAVE PUT in had I chosen that question. NO DICE. So, now I get on the phone and spend about an hour and a half, being transferred around, hung up on, put back out to the main menu, etc. The bottom line is that I still cannot login to the site to pay my bill. I was supposed to get a call back from a supervisor within an hour.... try, 28 HOURS. Oh, and then the Supervisor said that I would receive an email in about an hour with the instructions on how to get my password reset. NO EMAIL, OF COURSE! ARRGGHHHHHH.

I hope that you finally got it all squared away? All the best, Bill T.

1/03/2007 11:30 PM  
Blogger Ryan said...

Yes, I did finally get it fixed, although Cox was no help in doing so. I eventually just re-registered by account number with a different email address and created a completely new online account.

Frustrating, but ultimately effective, and I've had no problems since then.

1/03/2007 11:39 PM  

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