Keep Smilin’ with Rosie – “Customer service” an oxymoron


By Rosie Preston

Our family used the same house alarm system for years, so we recently decided to change. I called our present company and informed them that I was making my last payment and wanted to cancel my service. I asked what I thought was a simple request. The following is what I most remember about my conversation with a customer service representative.

“Hello, I’d like to make a payment and also close my service with your company.”

“That’s no problem. I just need your password.”

I keep excellent records in a huge notebook that lists all my passwords, account numbers, phone number, ect. I provided the information he needed.

“That password does not match our records. Are you sure that is the correct password?

“Yes, I’ve got in right here in my account book.”

I read it to him again.

“That’s not going to work. I cannot cancel your service without your password.”

“So, you can take my payment without my password but cannot cancel my acc-ount without my password?”

“That’s not correct. Would you like to guess the password?

“No, I would not, mainly because I’ve never changed it.”

I began to feel that this guy held some kind of power, and I did not know how to handle it at first. I became very upset and felt a panic attack coming on. Luckily, I remembered that I did not have to talk to him.

“We can send you an e-mail,” he informed me.

“My contract has expired, and I no longer am going to use your cable service. This account is in my son’s name and I don’t know his email information, but as you can see, I am also listed on the account, and I’ve been making payments for a few years. Could please speak to your supervisor?”

“You can’t speak to a supervisor without your password.”

“I’m a senior citizen, and I’ve never have had any business ask me to provide such information. I can give you all the other information that is on my page to prove that I’ve been using your service.”

“Without your password, we can’t cancel your account.”

At the point of tears and with much anger, I realized that I could hang up, call back and hopefully get another customer service agent. That’s exactly what I did and was very pleased with the way she handled my request. I did file a complaint with her about how I was treated by the previous representative, and she promised me that she would file my complain.

Business owners and bosses should train their employees to provide good customer service, because the first person you speak with represents that company, doctor’s office, retail store, ect.

For what it’s worth I often ask for the supervisor when an agent has done a great job. I also ask for the supervisor if an agent has been unkind and unhelpful.

Keep smiling, Rosie Preston

Contact Rosie Preston at

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