Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The Worst Cable Company In The History Of Honduras

I've mentioned the WCCITHOH a few times now. And up until now I haven't told you the entire story of how I was treated by their employees. I was trying to give them a chance to redeem themselves.

But they didn't. And now I've declared war on them.

So if you don't know already, the name of the WCCITHOH is *drum roll*.................Claro.

Wanna know why they're the Worst Cable Company In The History Of Honduras? Grab a beverage, sit back, and get ready for this loooooong story.....

It all started when I came back from the US in January. We had moved into our apartment and needed cable/internet. We did our research, and found the company with the best rates. Enter Claro.

We called Claro. They were nice. They said they would send someone asap. A few days later, technicians showed up and installed the cable. And, well, you know this story already. They stole my cell phone and racked up a $500 phone bill.

When we called Claro they were very apologetic. "Bring us the bill and the proof that it was our techs, and we'll take care of it," they told my husband. Actually, they said to fax it. So I printed out the bill and the rest of the info, and tried to fax it over. Their fax number was busy. For 4 days. So I tried to call. No one answered. Or it was busy. For 4 more days. So I got angry enough to go to their office and talk to them in person. I had to wait for 15 minutes in the lobby. When the woman finally came to talk to me, I explained everything to her. Again. And she told me, again, that they were going to take care of everything and not to worry and she was sorry for all of the trouble.

I left feeling a little better about things. And a few days later when I decided I needed internet/phone for my store, I called Claro. They are, after all, the cheapest.

I spoke with someone named Ilse. She was very nice and assured me that everything was in the system and someone would come to install it in a few days. But then she called me back and said that there was a problem, and it would be 5 days. Because of the trouble this would cause, I would get one month of free service. Okay, I can deal with that.

Seven days later, still no technicians. Not even a phone call. So I called Ilse at Claro. She apologized and said 3 more days. Five days later, STILL no technicians. I call. No one answers. Or it's busy (all 15 of their phone numbers, literally). For 3 more days!

Most people would give up at this point. But I'm too stubborn.

I then realized that Ilse had sent me an email. It had a signature. With her cell phone number. I called it. She assured me she would take care of everything and call me back THAT AFTERNOON.

Well, guess what? No phone call. So the next day, a Saturday, I called her again. She said she wasn't in the office and couldn't help me. "Well I don't care that you're not in the office Ilse. What did you tell me yesterday, Ilse?" I asked. "I said I would call you yesterday," she whispered. "And did you?" I asked. "No." "So what are you going to do to fix this?" I asked. She promised she would call me back in 10 minutes. And never did.

So on Monday I called Claro. No answer. For 2 days. When someone finally answered, I said I wanted to speak with Ilse. "Can I help you with something?" "No thank you, I'd like to speak with Ilse," I replied. "What can I help you with?" "Nothing, I want to speak with Ilse!" I said. Click. She hung up. SHE HUNG UP.

I was so angry that my blood was boiling. So I went to Claro. At the receptionist's desk I said "I want to speak with someone that speaks English," I said slowly. (This whole time I'd been trying to take care of this while speaking Spanish. I decided I could express my anger much more effectively in English.)

I was trying my best not to yell. "Ummmm....fijese que there is no one." "Do you mean to tell me that out of everyone in this entire building (it's like, a 10 story building) NO ONE SPEAKS ENGLISH?! I want to speak with someone that speaks English right now. I don't care if you have to go get the President of the company."

She picked up the phone and made a few phone calls. TWENTY minutes later two people show up in the lobby. I immediately thought of the dumb blonde jokes and thought, how many stupid Claro employees does it take to fix a problem? Haha.

I told them everything. I told them it was sad that I had to sacrifice customer service for low prices. I told them how angry I was. And they apologized. About everything. And about my cell phone. They guaranteed they would fix the problem. They guaranteed someone would come to install internet the next day. They gave me their cell phone numbers to contact them if I had a problem.

Guess what? No one came to install internet. No one called me about my cell phone. So I called them. They apologized again and said they were working on it.

Two days later, no one had come. Jose called his contact there and, low and behold, technicians arrived at my store to install the internet that afternoon. (HELLOOO why didn't he just do that before?!? Haha.) It took them FIVE hours to do it. And in the end, the phone line still didn't work. I told them I wouldn't sign the work order until the phone was working. They were angry. I spoke on the phone with their supervisor. He was angry. I still didn't sign the work order. They left and said they would come back in the morning to check it. And it should be a big surprise to you that they DIDN'T COME. Or call.

And now, here I am, THREE weeks later. The Claro phone still doesn't work. No one has called me. No one has come to help me. The Claro modem is still here, in the box, waiting for someone to come claim it.

So what am I going to do? I'm going to leave the modem in the box here on my desk until someone calls me. I am not going to pay any bills that I receive from Claro until someone answers the darn phone over there. I'm soooo tired of hearing the busy signal. AND? I'm writing this blog with the hope that it will dissuade you from using them. Bad publicity is the worst. After a few weeks, I'm going to print out the blog post, along with my stats from Google Analytics proving just how many people have read it. Well, that won't prove that I've dissuaded any of you, but, might help my cause. ;)

So, like I said, it's war. ;)

PS - I have since switched services to Cable Color. They are an excellent provider. They are a few dollars more each month, but completely worth it for the customer service alone. And can you believe that they answer the phone when you call! And they come when they say they will! :)


Alejandra said...

I kept wondering what was your cable company and when you said Claro everything made sense...

I´ve never had anything to do with Claro apart from a cellphone a few years ago (not such a terrible experience), but from the moment I heard they were offering cable and internet I knew it wasn´t going to be good... Then a friend of mine worked there for a few months and when I mentioned that my dad wanted to switch to Claro, he was more than excited to try to sell me the service every day! But when he finally got a decent job somewhere else, he called me and told me not to make the switch, because the service was terrible... The people selling the service have no idea what they are doing, and the technicians... well, they have no technical knowledge whatsoever...

We have Amnet, not the best company , not the best customer service, but as Cable Color, they do answer their phone and after a few threats, they get the job done... :-p

Live Simply Love Strongly said...

AY, AY, AY!!!! That is some BAD service.

La Gringa said...

Hannah, you've got to calm down and get used to stuff like that, as hard as it is. You'll drive yourself crazy and it's not worth it. You'll never get justice and thinking in American terms of bad publicity just doesn't work here.

Laurie said...

You are slowly realizing that Hondurans never like to say "no." They generally tell you what you want to hear, not what it likely to happen. It's a part of the culture that I dislike. I like frankness as do most Americans. Here frank and honest answers are not always the most polite response, hence the frustration level.

DON GODO said...

We used to have cable color, and were happy with the service but it really bugged me that they charged $20.00 per month to allow us to get vonage through the cable line. They claimed they were giving us a 'discount', that the normal charge was $40.00.

So we switched to Amnet, and are relatively satisfied. While not the best, there customer service is ok, we get more t.v. channels, don't pay extra for receiving vonnage, and our internet service is about half the price we were paying to Cable Color.

Hannah said...

Ale, thank you for the bad reference. Too bad you didn't tell me that 3 months ago. Hahahaha.

LG, I am now calm. And I can't wait to prove you wrong about the bad publicity.

Laurie, I learned a long time ago that no one likes to say no here. But a company? I wanted to PAY them for something. This is a service that they sell. And they wanted to say no? Doesn't make sense.

Don Godo, How in the world did they know that you were using Vonage? You should have kept that a secret. ;) I'm using Magicjack in my store with Cable Color and they haven't added any extra fees!

Hannah said...

Sorry LG, that sounded a little harsh. I should have said "I hope I can prove you wrong!"

La Gringa said...

No worries, Hannah. I hope you can prove me wrong, too. It would be a start if companies started caring about customer service. The thing is that this type of thing usually backfires and can end up being dangerous.

I know because .... well, we had an experience that makes yours seem like a minor inconvenience. Maybe I'll write about it one day. It's hard to think about even now 6 years later. We were 100% in the right, but in the end, that didn't matter at all and all complaining did was to result in being victimized all over again.

As you've been finding out, there is no justice in Honduras.

Michelle Breuer said...

Hi there great blog post. I was actually searching because we are about to sign up with Cable Color and wanted to find some people's experience with it.

We live out of range so they are offering to run us our own fibre optic line for digital TV and internet. The price is considerably higher than residential.

Over all are you happy with cable color, internet and TV. Are the USA prime channels actually in English?

Any feedback would be appreciated.