my ever-so-untrustworthy satellite dishA year ago I signed up for Directv. The process was grueling, and my mother sat listening, for an hour and a half as I spelled out every single word of the English language to a woman from India.

Outsourcing will be the demise of big corporations. Guaranteed.

I remember the conversation vividly. I spelled my name eight times, my address 12, and my social security number 10 times. This is NO exaggeration.

I should have known there would be issues in the future. I asked for a 12 month contract, because I knew I wouldn’t be staying in the same place for more than a year to a year and a half. I was told “okhhay maaaaaaam.” And for some strange reason, I trusted her chipper self, not considering this massive, looming language barrier.

So a year passed by, and when I called to change my service/extend it/cancel it.. A nice Middle-Eastern man joyfully informed me that I had indeed signed up for a two-year contract, and it would cost me $80 per month to keep my service as is, (I was paying 34 with a monthly rebate) or $240 to cancel early.

I almost threw up right there. First of all, as a full-time college student who is also working 15 hours as an unpaid intern and working a part-time minimum wage job on the side, both of those numbers terrified me. Secondly, I watch probably five channels. SyFy, because I love Ghost Hunters. Travel because I love Ghost Adventures. Channel 19 because I love my “shows.” Discovery, because, well it’s awesome. And A&E because I love Burn Notice and Covert Affairs.

The nice man offered me a package that would cover “60 of the most popular channels,” costing $40 per month. The family package. Well. The family package consists of news, cartoons and infomercials. Not any of the above stations, except channel 19. I watch TV once a week now: Sunday Night Football.

So I’m paying 40 bucks for nothing, basically.

So I called Directv again. I always prepare myself before such phone calls. Going into it I was hoping maybe to change the package/replace channels or cancel the service without paying the ridiculous fee. I’ve heard success stories about this before, and I thought if I was polite, articulate and compromising, I would be granted some leniency.

You can probably guess by my tone, that the complete opposite happened.

After a confused Indian woman couldn’t come to any conclusions, she summoned her supervisor at my request.

This guy was ready to say no to me before he got on the phone to hear what I had to say.

Never in my life have I felt so disrespected by a complete stranger. After he so graciously “allowed” me to make my plea, he threw the book at me. Now, I’ve worked in the food industry for six years, more than half of those years in management. Never would I ever speak to a customer the way this man did. Even to an irate, drunk, senseless fool I wouldn’t consider taking this tone.

He informed me just how much he didn’t care about my individual situation, about how I should have read the contract (which I never got) and how my finances are not his problem. My pleas for “help me” and “well, how about this” were completely ignored, and I finally started to lose my temper as he kept talking over me. I told him that he had an attitude, to which he replied, “Well that’s your opinion isn’t it?”

Guess what, Directv “supervisor,” my opinion, as well as the opinions of other customers DO matter. Perception is reality and if you’re cocking an attitude and offending me, then you need an attitude adjustment… Pronto.

After another “well guess what, that’s not my problem,” he asked me so very hatefully: “is there anything *else* today?”

Yes, Directv supervisor there is in fact something else you can do for me: you can go to hell.

Like the many over-privileged, over-paid, power hungry, uneducated individuals I’ve had the pleasure to work with over the years, you need to learn a thing or two about CUSTOMER SERVICE. I pray that someone plays back our conversation for quality and assurance purposes, and maybe hand you a broom and dustpan to clean up after your replacement.

I’m not saying I’m entitled to special treatment, but an “Oh I’m sorry ma’am, there just isn’t anything I can do, I’m so sorry,” would have been sufficient. But I know, there is Always something that can be done. Always.

In summation:

People who do not speak or understand English should not be hired as customer service representatives. I love accents. But I don’t love having to repeat myself a dozen times. And I also don’t love asking a question and being told something untrue.

Directv needs more stringent hiring criteria for their “supervisors.” Period. If I were in charge of that individual I’d be ashamed of myself for giving someone so unreasonable and unschooled, an opportunity to mess up my company’s reputation (further).

Here at, you can read other stories about fabulous encounters with Directv CSRs.

I’d love to hear your experience, too!