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Monday, February 22, 2010

GCI sucks

For those of you reading who have dealt with GCI before, you know what I'm talking about. For those of you who dont...GCI is our local/Alaskan cable, internet, long distance, and cell phone provider. GCI started cell phone service not long after I moved here, but it has only been within the last year or so that they have been offering any sort of reliable, affordable plan. I finally broke down, cancelled my landline, and got Avery and I both cell phones. Within the first couple of weeks, we were already having issues with the service. The first problem was that you could not send or receive calls to or from landlines. They fixed that fairly quickly. The next problem was that the phones would ring 4-5 times, next hang up the call with a message on the screen saying "no answer". The problem with this is that it would not allow the phone to ring enough times to go to a voicemail or answering machine if you wanted to leave a message. The other main problem is that the voicemail messages that are left on our phones sometimes dont come through for days. All of a sudden, I'll have 5 new voicemail messages and when I listen to them, some of them will be from 5 days ago.

Each month when I get my bill, I call GCI and explain the problems to them. Each month, they run through their scripted list of troubleshooting ideas and, each month, I tell them I've already done all of this and the problem isnt my phone because I know several people who are having the same issues. Stupid. Last month when I called, I finally got to the point where I told the customer service rep that I was tired of paying full price for services that only work part of the time and that I would like a credit on my account. She gave my $20. This month, of course, we are still having the same issues in addition to the fact that we are going over on our minutes, which is ridiculous. We have 500 minutes per month and most days, I never even look at my phone. Most of my conversations take place on the weekends, so I dont know how it is possible to go over our minutes. AND I have no way of checking my minutes...how retarded is that? so a few days ago, I had gotten a text message that said we were at 80% of our minutes, but our minutes dont start over until this friday. so we have to go over a week with only 100 minutes. avery had used the phone for a long time tonight, so i called to ask how many minutes we had left. they said that they did not have access to the information. I told them that it was ridiculous that they had the information required to bill me $15 in overages last month, but when I request the information so that I can watch my own account as a consumer, that information is not available. Well, if it's not available to me as a customer who is paying for the service, then how is it available for them to bill me in overages at the end of the month? So, the customer service rep waived my overages from last month and sent me out a statement listing every call that I made last month. I am really curious to see who I talked to for 472 minutes during the weekdays (nights and weekends and mobile to mobile is free). The tech people say that they know about the 4-5 ring thing, then it hanging up and they are working on fixing it, but he said that they have not had any reports about people not getting voicemails and cannot declare an actual outage and fix it until they are hearing from alot of people that it is a problem. So, if you are having problems with your GCI cell phone, please call and tell them so we can get these issues fixed. Also, request a credit while you are on the line.

The customer service rep who gave me my credit tonight said that once the issue is resolved, I should then call back and they will credit my account for the entire time since I first reported the problem. Which problem, I asked. uhhh...either, he said. How am i supposed know if the issue gets resolved, I asked. uhhh...the tech people will call you and let you know, he said. And considering the face that I reported one of these problems back in October and reported the other problem back in November, how long is a realistic amount of time to wait to hear from the tech people about getting these issues resolved, I asked. uhhhhh....I uhhhh....Uhhh, that would be a question for the tech people, he said. do you want me to transfer you so you can ask them, he asked. No, I'm sure I'll just have to call back next month when I get my bill, I'll just address it then, I say.

Next, I asked to be transferred to the cable TV department so that I can deal with another issue. I have to be transferred because although it is the same company, they keep completely different records and even send separate bills (is that stupid or what?) So, I get on the line with the next customer service rep and tell them the same story I told them last month. My cable freezes up all the time. Usually about 8 times within the span of a 2 hour program...that's an average of once every 15 minutes (and usually during the BEST parts of every show...just in time to miss the climax...how does it do that?). Last month, I had called about this and they had given me a $20 credit and arranged to send a service tech out to the house. The service tech called me and said they could come out on that Saturday morning...they never showed. Now, here we are a month later (billing month) and still having the same issue. Again, I am tired of paying full price for services that only work part of the time. I want it fixed. They offer me some free payperview coupons and sign me up for a tech person to come out to the house. Maybe they'll actually show up this time.

Maybe one of these days the services that I'm paying for will actually work.

Maybe if everyone who is having a problem calls and complains, they will actually fix it.

If I had another choice, I would switch companies, but they have a monopoly out here. I'm so frustrated with the situation, but I will admit that the customer service reps have been good. They did the best they could to appease me, but if this keeps up I will have to make a bigger stink about it. They other option is that I could cancel my services, but that really isnt a very viable option. GCI sucks!


Tamara said...

I HATE dealing with companies like this---so big they don't care if you complain, or so confident that you have no other choices. Ugggh...cable companies and cell phone providers seem to be the worst as far as runaround and red tape. Oh yeah, and credit card companies--let's not forget those bastards!

KuskoMama said...

yes, yes, yes, YES. For internet we had to call EACH day they had an outage (which was of course, several days long) to get credit for each day.

I find it interesting that calling the main Bethel number, which used to get you a real live GCI person here in Bethel, now patches you directly into the main GCI system instead of being able to talk to someone/get a local read on whatever issue is up.

I'm glad you've had good experiences with the CSRs...

KuskoMama said...

oh and on the keeping track of usage stuff... they do the same thing for internet. Except they provide info that's several days old, and then charge you if you go over - but you have no way of knowing how close you are to being over as of that day (or several days back, really).

Like you, if there was an alternative, I'd be there.

Anonymous said...

GCI is a HORRIBLE company. Overpriced, unreliable, slow to solve anything... the arrogance of a monopoly. We are slowing moving our business elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

I also can't stand gci...they can lobby the late Sen. Ted Stevens and at the same time cap our internet with out our consent all for the sake our charging "US" the customer overrage fees.

jaspershelly said...

I was with Alaska Digitel, with no problems for about 3 years. Now things have switched over to GCI, and my husbands dollar a month phone, was charged an extra $20 for 3 months in a row before we found it, they of course had no explanation. I over paid $180 once, and it dissappeared. A month to find it over in Treasury, then another two months to get it back. Also I found that they had charged us two of the same months on two separate bills, but was wrote out 2/7-3/7, then 2/8-3/7. Yes very difficult to find their screw ups. I want to cancel all contracts including my cell phone that hasn't been overcharged yet, so they say I have to pay the disconnect fee. Just want to go somewhere a little more honest with the bills. Each time there are no explanations, and no one acts surprised to find another over charge.