UPC mess up house move disconnection

I’m moving house next weekend, into somewhere that already has UPC service. As such I needed to cancel my UPC at my current address.

To cancel you are required to give 30 days written notice (email to resolutionteam@upc.ie), which I duly did, noting the exact day I wanted to the services to cease.

Unfortunately today they’ve cut me off 9 days early! I have no TV or broadband, and because its Good Friday, there’s almost nobody working in UPC today.

I did speak to someone, and asked for my account to be re-enabled for 9 days. But they say the only way I can get TV and broadband connected is if I sign up to a new 12 month contract, which is ridiculous!

So I’m sat here in complete silence. Can’t watch TV, can’t use broadband. I can’t even download a new book for my Kindle.

They claim to have tried to call me 3 times in the last couple of weeks, to confirm the disconnection, but I never received the calls, or any voice mails asking for me to call back – so they decided to go ahead anyway.

Lower Estimations

We don’t often get anyone knocking on the door. We’re in what I like to call a “gated community” – in that an electronic fob is required to get through the gate into the grounds of the apartments, and again to get into the lift/stairs – and so visitors have to call on the intercom or phone when they arrive, to be let in.
And so, when there was a knock on the door earlier today, I assumed it must be one of our neighbours. But no – it was a salesman – and he must have persuaded one of the other residents to let him in. I’ve flatly refused to let other salespeople into the apartments in the past, as I hate the concept of being doorstepped with a hard sell.
Anyway, so this guy was from Airtricity, and he was trying to persuade me to switch electricity suppliers to them. He asked if I had a recent electricity bill that I could show them, and he would explain how much money I could save. I declined, but he kept talking, trying to persuade me to play along – reminding me why I hate this kind of selling.
The thing is, I’d been considering moving my supply to Airtricity anyway, as they have the cheapest prices on the market at the moment, and are a good way for eco-agnostics like myself to feel a bit better about saving the planet, without any of the down sides of being properly green (such as putting in any effort). I even had the company’s website loaded up on one of my browser tabs. But this recent visitation has put me right off the company, and I may well end up going with Bord Gais instead, just on principal.

UPC Problems

More fun and games with the UPC so-called customer care department this weekend.
After inspecting my cable TV bill a bit more carefully than usual, I noticed that UPC were charging me for the use of two digiboxes. Now back when I lived at my old house last year, that was accurate, but since I moved I’ve only had the one digibox (a DVR).
So I got on the phone to customer care on Friday evening, and spent the next 90 minutes trying to resolve the matter. My first call to customer care established that the DVR was registered on my account as an additional box, and that another box (the one I don’t have) was my main box. So the first action was to switch those around, so that the DVR became the main box, and the other the additional. The idea was then to delete this additional unknown box, to ensure I wouldn’t continue to be charged this additional charge.
I then raised the subject of getting a refund for all of these additional charges, dating back to December when the house move happened. And the guy said he wasn’t authorised to apply credits to my account, but that he would email someone to request it. I severely doubt, of course, that this will actually result in me getting my money back, but I couldn’t be bothered to argue with him at the time, so I left it at that.
And I thought that was the end of the matter until, several moments after putting the phone down, the TV signal on my DVR was replaced with a You do not subscribe to this channel message. So I was back on the phone to customer care, and back in the queue. During the first call, I had waited about 20 minutes in the queue to speak to a person (thank goodness it’s a freephone number), and the wait times for this second call were just as bad.
Anyway, so I eventually got through to a young lady and explained the problem. She read through the notes on my account, and said she would have to put me on hold to speak to the engineers. So I went on hold – but never heard what the engineers said, because she had dropped my call back into the main telephone queue. So there was another 20 minute wait, and then I had to explain the problem again to someone new. At which point the same thing happened again. Instead of being put on hold so that my issue could be resolved, I was just dropped back into the main queue again, and had to endure another 20 minutes of on-hold music.
I wouldn’t mind, but UPC only seem to have 2 or 3 different pieces of music on their on-hold system, and all of them are corrupt, so that the music randomly drops out and all you hear for a few seconds is static.
Eventually, after a total of 58 minutes on hold (yes, I was keeping count) I spoke to yet another customer care rep. This one, thankfully, knew what he was doing and resolved my problem within a matter of moments – simply be resending the TV provisioning command from his computer. There was no need to speak to an engineer, and no need to put me on hold. A few taps on his keyboard, and my TV channels were reactivated.
Of couse, that’s not the end of it. This morning I got an automated text message on my mobile from UPC, asking me to ring them to arrange an appointment to collect the digibox… the one I don’t even have.

More problems

The farce continues with the NTL DVR installation. Following two failed installs on Monday and Tuesday this week, I was assured on Tuesday afternoon that a DVR would definitely be installed "first thing tomorrow morning" (Wednesday).

Well it's now Wednesday afternoon, and guess what? Yup, you got it. Nobody came, and the number of failed appointments reaches three (or four, if you also count the missed Broadband install on Saturday).

So I called NTL (I know the number from memory now), and they told me that no appointment was made for this morning, and that my DVR was booked in for Friday afternoon – which was news to me – but not much of a surprise. After all, almost nothing that NTL tells me ever seems to match reality. I've had several promises made to me over the last week, and not one of them has been kept. And at the moment, I have very little faith that anyone will arrive on Friday either.

What I should do, of course, is cancel my service with NTL. They've messed me around more than any sane person could stand. But I don't want to go elsewhere. I just want NTL to install the services I asked for.

Catalogue of errors

You wouldn’t believe the amount of grief I’ve been experiencing from NTL (also known as UPC) over the last week or so.

I called them a couple of weeks ago, to get my digital TV subscription moved from to my new address. And as part of the deal, I wanted to also order Broadband internet and a DVR (hard disk recorder). Now originally I was told this could all happen on the same day, but a week later when I was informed of the dates, the single install had turned into three separate appointments on three separate mornings.

The digital TV would be installed on the Wednesday, the broadband would come on the Saturday, and the DVR would arrive on the Monday. It didn’t seem like the best use of resources to spread the work out over three different appointments, but I was happy for them to go ahead. Only that, so far it’s been a bit of a nightmare.

Wednesday 5th December
Appointment slot 9.00am – 1.00pm to install digital TV – installation engineer arrives at 10.30am, and everything goes smoothly.

Saturday 8th December
Appointment slot 9.00am – 1.00pm to install broadband – engineer fails to arrives, nobody calls to apologise or explain what’s going on, and getting through to customer care is impossible because they’re flooded with calls from people wanting to view some premium boxing match event.

Monday 10th December
Eventually get through to customer care about the broadband, and they tell me that the install was cancelled by the engineer that installed the digital TV on Wednesday, because he says I didn’t want broadband any more. This is a complete lie, as we never even discussed broadband. But I let it go and accept a new appointment on Thursday.
Appointment slot 9.00am – 1.00pm to swap digibox for DVR – wrong engineer arrives at 11.00am. He’s been sent to fix a fault rather than doing an install, and has no DVRs with him. He says he will get an installation engineer to call later in the day, but this doesn’t happen. And when I get through to customer care again, they rebook the install for the next day.

Tuesday 11th December
2nd appointment 9.00am – 1.00pm to install DVR – and the wrong engineer arrives again. Just like the day before, the guy who turned up was sent to fix a fault rather than install a DVR – so he goes away without doing any work. I call NTL again, and they apologise for the (three) messed-up appointments, and promise that my DVR will definitely arrive the next morning. I ask to confirm that the broadband install is still happening on Thursday, and am told that there’s no appointment noted on the system for Thursday, and am instead offered an install on Friday.

Wednesday 12th December
3rd appointment to install DVR – stay tuned to see if this actually happens.

Thursday 13th December
2nd appointment to install Broadband – glad that I asked about this, as I’d have waited in again, only for nobody to show up.

Friday 14th December
3rd appointment to install Broadband – stay tuned to see if this actually happens.
So, all in all, that’s a total of seven different appointments made, instead of the initially-stated one.