Clearwater, We Have a Problem

My recent mistake with the cable company is back to haunt me. They are switching to a digital signal and all customers need new converter boxes before the deadline. This includes my 88-year-old mother. During a past visit, I had brought the wrong box (previous post) back from their sales office to hook up to her bedroom television. It was designed to fit a flat screen t.v. and she has a much older model. Given the crowd that day, I had no desire to return and figured I would swap out the box the next time I was there.

Well, I’ve just been alerted that the digital deadline is now two days away. What??? How did I run out of time? I let this parent project get pushed to the back burner. I could wait to deal with this during our next visit in 10 days; mom would only lose coverage on her bedroom television, but she does enjoys the National Geographic channel in bed at night. If we can’t make the switch, there will be no more wide-eyed lemurs keeping her company.

I’m suddenly inspired that I can coordinate this from a distance. I call Betsy and ask “if I am able to make an appointment for a service call, would you be available tomorrow or the next day to stay with mom?” She says yes, she is free both days. (Ginny can’t be alone for this type of appointment.)

 I call the cable company and set up an appointment for a technician to bring the correct box, do the hook-up and remote programming. It will cost $49.00, but it’s worth it. I can’t get an appointment for tomorrow, but there is an 11:00 am-12:00 pm time slot on the following day. They explain I will receive a call in the next 24 hours to confirm. I text Betsy the information.


There is no phone call. I figure they are super busy with the transition of thousands of customers and I do nothing.


It is now three hours before the service call appointment and I still have not received a call. I want to make sure we are still confirmed, so I call customer service. The automated system assures me that Ginny is on the schedule and that the technician will call when he is en route.


There is still no call. I text Betsy to see whether he has miraculously appeared. She replies no. My carefully crafted house of cards will crumble if the technician is delayed much longer or Betsy has to leave.

I call customer service back to speak with a representative. At first, Ms. Automated System wants to handle the call. She explains the appointment time again. Then she makes a weird beep boop noise and says there is an update.

“The technician will not be arriving at the scheduled time” she offers in a monochromatic tone.  “There is no additional information available.”

I hit the option to speak to a representative. She confirms what I know. He’s not there. She explains that she has forwarded my information to dispatch who will call me back within 30 minutes.

I call Betsy to see how long she is able to stay. She says that she could stay up until 3:00 if necessary.


Dispatch calls and says that she spoke with the driver. He will be there in an hour.

I text Betsy the latest update.


Betsy calls and explains he has arrived.  Apparently, the problem was that the scheduled technician from Clearwater did not have the right box in his truck for mom’s television – the entire reason for the service call. Sigh. They ended up contacting a tech further north to drive down for the set-up.


I’m pouring a glass of wine. Thankfully, the only coordinated effort required is finding a glass big enough.

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