Direct TV installation by Ironwood Communications
SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA --
You only have to Google "Ironwood Communications" to find a plethora of complaints about the company, it's customer service and it's employees. There is a reason for that. Ironwood's customer service is among the worst I have ever experienced. If I treated my customers the way I have been treated by Ironwood, I would have been out of business a very long time ago. It's unfortunate for me that I am limited in my cable choices and apparently DirecTV is limited in its choice of contractors. I'd be shocked to find out that DirecTV isn't losing customers on a daily basis because of Ironwood's lack of professionalism.
A couple of months ago my husband received a phone solicitation and through that ordered a package of high definition channels. When we realized that the billing for those channels started, but that we were not receiving them, we made a phone call. DirecTV sent us a part that we needed to install ourselves, but it didn't work. Another month of phone calls to DirecTV went by before Ironwood was sent to the house to do the "upgrade". The appointment was set for 01/07/08. Not only was the contractor uninformed about the work that was needed, he was also clearly inexperienced. Six hours later, he and his partner that he called in to help, completed the "simple upgrade" and left. Shortly after, not only were we not receiving the HD channels, but we were not receiving ANY channels! Even our local stations were "unavailable."
I called DirecTV immediately and was told I'd need to call back at 7:00 the next morning. On 01/08/08, I called DirecTV, per their instructions and was placed on hold for 23 minutes. I was then walked through a "trouble shooting" exercise by an agent that clearly thought I was dumber than a bag of nails. These exercises didn't work (since the problem isn't with my remote control), she places me on hold for another 11 minutes. She came back on the line to tell me that the next available appointment would be January 24 - two entire weeks away! I explained that this was unacceptable for a variety of reasons. First off, our satellite was working just fine, all we wanted was a simple upgrade, but because of errors made by an installer - we no longer have ANY TV channels. I am not looking for an appointment for service, I simply want Ironwood to correct what they did. This ought to put me at the top of the list - even if it means bumping another customer to a later time.
Furthermore, I work as a political consultant, and use a home office. I need to be able to access the Capitol channels, C-Span and at a minimum, my local news. I bill my clients by the hour, and so each hour that I am without access to these channels, I am losing money. Not to mention the embarrassment of having to explain to a client why I missed something that he/she may have already picked up.
I was then told that the next available appointment would still be January 24, but that I could be put on a wait list. However, if I choose the wait list option I have to forgo my Jan 24 appointment, so if the wait list doesn't pan out, then I'll have to call to schedule something for February. I asked for a supervisor, and was promptly "disconnected." I called back, was put on hold again, had to tell my story all over, and then had to hold one more time while a supervisor was tracked down. Once I reached Judy (a DirecTV supervisor) she was very helpful and put me in touch with a customer service rep at Ironwood Communications. Again, I explained my situation and asked that it be escalated to a supervisor that could bypass the dispatch system in order to received immediate service. I was placed on hold for 14 minutes while the rep searched for a supervisor that was willing to help me. She never found anyone, but left a message to have someone call me back. If I hadn't heard from Henry the supervisor by 10:00am, I was instructed to call him. Having never heard from Henry, I called and was told that he hadn't come in yet, and that no other supervisors were in the building. Having worked in call centers before, I feel fairly certain that Ironwood does not have an entire staff of customer service reps working unsupervised for any length of time.
Frustrated and feeling lied to, I agreed to leave another message and wait another 2 hours for a supervisor to call me back. No one called. At noon, I called again, and was told that this time they would send an e-mail explaining the situation to a supervisor and that I should expect to hear from someone "soon". This time I waited until 4:30 pm and having not received a phone call, I called back again. This time I'm told that another e-mail will be sent, but that I will have to allow 24 hours for a response. Now I have lost an entire day of work sitting on hold and waiting for return calls that never come.
Not having a spare 24 hours to wait for a phone call, on the morning of 01/09/08 I called Ironwood again. After having to explain my situation to 4 different people, and sit on hold for a total of more than 60 minutes, I was told that someone would have to call me back. Thankfully this time, I did receive a prompt return call from Kevin, a supervisor who was genuine and helpful. He dispatched a technician, also named Kevin who was able to be on site later that day. Kevin called me as he was leaving another job, to let me know his ETA. I felt like I had finally found a professional at Ironwood! Kevin was there when he said he'd be there, and when he left, our satellite was back on line. Unfortunately, within half an hour, our service was out again.
I called Ironwood, and again had to go through the same frustrating process of explaining my story to several people and spending excessive amounts of time on hold. The phone rep I spoke with explained that one of the problems was that there was no record of us having a service call. The technician had been asked to respond "off the books." While I appreciate that this meant he was able to respond before the 24th of the month, I was horrified to learn that because Ironwood has no record of a service call to my house that as a home owner I am liable if the technician had been injured on my property! Why would Ironwood be willing to put me at such great risk? The phone rep responded by saying, "Ma'am, we were trying to do you a favor." I wish you could have heard her tone!
The fourth day of this fiasco was spent calling, holding and waiting for a call back. A call that never came.
Needless to say, it is 01/11/08 and I still have no service. I am sitting at home on what is now my 5th day away from work, waiting for that elusive phone call from a supervisor who will try to find an available tech to come out. Again, I have been asked to wait another 24 hours. I have calculated my losses at well over $1,000. A high price to pay for a couple of HD channels.