Yes, you read that right.
For the 3rd year now, winter has brought me flaky internet connection. I go to browse the interwebs. The modem dies. I call the support line. As directed, I unplug it and plug it back in. The support line recommends a service technician come out and take a look. The connection comes back online (sometimes minutes before the service technician arrives). The service tech comes around, looks around, and says they can't find a problem. Occasionally, they'll make an appointment for a line technician to come out, replace parts, or say they'll "monitor things". This Wednesday, I'll have my third appointment in 3 weeks. So far this year, I've only lost 1/2 vacation day. I'm actually coming out ahead of last year at this point.
I could switch my business to another company and you wouldn't even notice. Fin's refused to switch over to DSL for a long time now, but we'll likely have AT&T out here shortly if this continues much longer. Bad customer service and high prices? Annoying yes. Forcing me into business with the Death Star? Unforgivable.
I'm not a fan of governmental regulation, but your complete disregard of customer service makes even the most anarchist weirdo want to call up his rep and scream "there should be a law". Even from an "evil capitalist" standpoint, your actions don't make sense. A rough calculation would indicate that it'd take around 6 months to get back the past 3 weeks of phone calls, service appointments, and "line techs". From a corporate perspective, you'd be better off giving me AT&T's number directly at this point, versus having ANOTHER guy come and say he doesn't see anything wrong.
I'm forced to assume you either have employed the most perverse sadists of all time or have an ingrained institutionalized incompetence so truly awesome as to necessitate an academic study. I'm not sure which destroys my hope in humanity more.
If I took a deep look into your company, I'd probably discover many decent technical people floating around in a cesspool of mediocrity. Sure, they might have ideas that'd save you money. Simple things, like tracking an ongoing issue to insure it stops. Perhaps skipping the 3rd technician after each one indicated there was a line issue and sending a line person out. Maybe giving front-line support the ability to start crediting bills when an on-going issue is happening. Realizing that an ongoing issue might be easiest to solve by sending someone out while the problem is actually happening! No doubt the decent people are your company have brought these ideas up. And, I'm sure you have shot each of these ideas down as "costing too much" or being "difficult to implement".
Karma's a bitch when companies start finding customer centric solutions "too difficult to implement". Ask AT&T about regulation. Ask Sprint about customer attrition. Ask Blockbuster about bankruptcy.
Now, please remove your head from out of your ass, and start figuring out how to have some customer service. I don't need you for TV service anymore - not between the great number of online services and cable alternatives in existence. AT&T will work just as well for NetFlix as your sorry ass.
Edit: While attempting to submit this post, I lost my connection. Again.