Lost In Cyberspace

It’s my own fault for calling Cablevision about my email account on a weekend.

But a while ago — solving another issue — a technician told me that my “Optimum account” was not linked to my “Optimum ID.” He said that, to avoid a problem in the future, I should take care of that little issue.

Which I did last Saturday, around 4 p.m.

The process went swimmingly.

Until it didn’t.

Suddenly — in mid-linkage — the tech support guy could not seal the deal. Something had happened in cyberspace, he said, and it would have to be solved by someone higher up.

Unfortunately, those people did not work weekends.

However, the tech guy assured me chirpily, he was sure it would be taken care of. In 2 to 3 days. That is, “business days.” Meaning, oh, 4 days from then.

Until then, also unfortunately, I would not have access to email.

For someone who fields 200 or so emails a day — many of them business-related — this was not good.

In fact, this was very, very bad.

I asked to speak to a supervisor. The tech guy gladly got rid of me connected me to one.

Me, if I weighed 150 pounds more than I do.

This man — his name was Akinola — was sympathetic. Still, he said — I could almost see him shaking his head — this issue would unfortunately not be resolved this weekend. He understood that I was a loyal Cablevision customer — I was among the 1st dozen or so cable modem subscribers, when such a thing came to Westport around 1997, and I’ve been a cable TV customer since 1983 — but this was beyond his control. The best he could do was make sure it was taken care of early on Monday.

I asked to speak to his supervisor.

Which is when Stacie Serrano entered my life.

She understood the problem. She understood that Cablevision bore some responsibility for screwing up a relatively simple operation in midstream. She understood that I was angry, frustrated, anxious, and not a happy camper.

And — you don’t find this often in customer service stories — she set about to help.

I don’t know how she did it, but she found someone who — though this was not a “business day” — was actually working. Then — instead of just handing the case off to someone who may or may not have cared — she kept on him.

Me, at 10 p.m. Saturday.

And — are you sitting down? — Stacie called back several times to update me on Cablevision’s progress. So too did my new friend, Akinola.

By 10 p.m., the problem was solved. My account and ID number were now, apparently, linked. More importantly, I once again had access to email.

Well, most of it. Anything sent between 4 and 10 p.m. Saturday was apparently lost in cyberspace. I was assured it would turn up soon in Cablevision’s lost-and-found.

So this is one of those rare stories: the consumer equivalent of snow in October (it happens). This is a public thank-you to Cablevision, for outstanding customer service. And a hug — through the interwebs — to Stacie Serrano.

PS: 24 hours later, my missing emails came through. Well, most of them, anyway.

14 responses to “Lost In Cyberspace

  1. Ah yes. The two step process: 1. What is your name? 2. Let me speak to your supervisor.
    Then keep climbing the staircase till: a. You reach a YES human or b. A YES human tells someone to approve whatever so they don’t have to deal with you. If you skip step #1, chances are you get disconnected 🙂

  2. I wonder what we did with all our spare time pre 1997.

  3. Did one of the steps mention the 06880 blog? What a Cablevision supervisor fears almost as much as an outage on Superbowl Sunday is to be personally named in a blog about poor customer service. I’m curious if the blog came up.

    BTW – I think I must have bumped into you at the Wiz (then owned by Cablevision) picking up a modem back in ’97.

    • I did NOT mention that I am a blogger or newspaper columnist.

      I believe I was dealing with people in Cablevision’s Long Island headquarters, not Fairfield County anyway…

      • That’s good to know. Though, it’s entirely likely a smart, tech savvy Cablevision broadband supervisor ran you through the google machine to check you out. My experiences with Cablevision’s broadband support have been essentially positive. You just need to work your way up the line as you did.

        …and with the resurgent Knicks (it’s been soooo long), I’m feelin’ pretty good about the Dolan’s contribution to my life.

  4. Umm, get a web-based email service…? No ISP or Microsoft interaction.

  5. How do you know that some emails are still missing? Reminds me of the email I got from a business contact that said, “let me know if you don’t receive this.”

  6. Because when my email account went live again, there was nothing between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. that day. The normal number on a Saturday in that time frame is 20. So it’s either an amazing coincidence that NO ONE emailed me while I was having email problems, or they are lost in cyberspace.

  7. DirecTV!!!!!

  8. Here’s my reason for sticking with Optonline email. After all these years, my email address is everywhere in cyberspace. It’s on so many journalism and corporate websites, from which people find me for work. It’s in people’s address books from years ago; occasionally they contact me for work too, or just to say hi. It’s all over the place, so I don’t even begin to know how to contact all of them with a new email address.

  9. I just got this email from “Cablevision.” I’m reprinting it verbatim. I might be going out on a limb here, but maybe — just maybe — it might be a phishing scheme. What do you think?

    “Please note that recently made ??some updates
    datos.Durante our database for the upgrade there was
    an unusual response code from your email address requesting deactivation.
    Check to disable omantener your email account active.

    Furthermore, You are advice to click on the link below,
    Enter your full email access to adequate information in order to maintain their
    email account.

    Warning! the lack of verification of your email
    mail within 48 hours
    receipt of this notification, your account will automatically

    NOTE: You will receive a password reset
    Messenge within seven (7)
    business days after undergoing this process
    for safety reasons.
    Thank you for your cooperation!
    Warning Code: ASPH8B02AXV”

  10. DirecTV!!!