It was the bottom of the second inning of the second game of the National League playoffs, Cubbies v. the Dodgers. Adrian Gonzalez slammed in a single-run homer, the only run of the entire nine innings.
This, Mike and me, we learned afterwards. While Gonzalez worked his magic, we were gazing at the Suddenlink blue screen of death in Mike’s living room. Error No. XXXXXX, please wait a few moments for the channel to return. At 1715 and 1730, Suddendeath repeated its message. Please, just wait a moment.
Cell phone calls ensued.
We were informed that Customer Service was closed for the weekend. Tried Suddenlink tech support, which reported after numerous pushed buttons that Mike was not subscribed to the channel – which he’d been watching all season and is paying for.
Anyone, and I mean everyone, who is a subscriber to Suddenlink, nee Cebridge, nee Cablevision, is a blithering idiot. As the blue screen of death refreshed itself with yet another blue screen of death, Mike demanded, over the telephone, a name and an address to whom he could lodge a complaint, and promised a call to the Better Business Bureau as well.
They gave him an address, no personal name, just a P.O. box in Houston. Mike will no doubt write a nasty letter to them, but good bloody luck. It will not get to the right person.
When the Zanettis created Cablevision, which began with a big receiving antenna up top of Burke to catch the four channel signals issuing intermittent service from the stations in Spokane it was a Good Thing. They wired-up those of us down in the gulches, it was a local operation and a noble enterprise. God bless ‘em. We finally got TV here in the mining camp.
Suddenlink is neither local nor noble anymore. The Zanettis sold their co-ax-wired system years ago. There is, such as it is, still an office in Osburn, about 5 miles west of Wallace, where reside a few trucks whose main duty (this, honest to God, from one of their own servicemen) is to disconnect pissed-off customers who have gone to a dish or Frontier’s (nee Verizon’s) DSL.
When Cebridge/Suddenlink was the only game in town, I was getting download speeds slower than dial-up. Not always, but frequently enough that I had their techy supporters on speed-dial.
When Verizon, now Frontier, started offering DSL as competition to Suddendeath, I snatched the deal and with the odd (semi-annual, at worst) outage, they’ve not let me down. Happiest day of my life was when I called up Cebridge/Suddenlink) and said, “Get your shit out of my house and don’t waste a stamp asking me back onto your system, no matter the discounts. I wouldn’t take your service again for free.” Some guy in California yawned and said, OK.
Anyone who feels loyalty to Suddenlink because of the Zanettis’ pioneering efforts to stream visual media into this mining camp needs to have their head held underwater until the bubbles stop.
I marvel at the stupidity of the Wallace powers-that-be who continue to enable Suddendeath’s screw-job on the city. When my friend, who is connected to this user-unfriendly city-mandated system, needs to do a major download or upgrade, she brings the computers home rather than wait all night on no salary.
Mike’s letter to Houston will never get to its intended source, because Suddenlink’s American corporate P.O. box is actually in St. Louis, not the Houston address he was given.
And writing St. Louis won’t do any good, either. Cebridge/Suddenlink is in reality a European company and headquartered in Belgium and Switzerland under the aegis of the Altice Group LLC.
Having endured Suddenlink’s voice-mail hell, Mike and I repaired to the Metals Saloon and watched the remainder of the game on satellite. A couple of hits, no runs and no errors, but the Rainier was in handy supply and Tracey’s service was as always, superb. Which is a helluva lot more than you can say about Suddendeath.
Think you’re dealing with a local company? Wait. I can still see your bubbles. Keep thinking. Don’t ya love globalism?