Over the past several months, we’ve recounted trials and tribulations as we tried to obtain a telephone power cord from CenturyLink. The saga has taken us through the horrors of Halloween to an odd fall Groundhog Day, and now we’re happy to report that our hero recently celebrated an early Christmas. The phone power cord has finally arrived.
In order to memorialize the event, we recorded John opening the package from CenturyLink. Against all odds, it WAS the correct cord.
All He Wanted Was A Phone Cord
As a recap, the CenturyLink Saga actually began on August 22, 2018, when our Co-Director and head of the Energy Democracy Initiative, John Farrell, contacted our Internet access and VoIP provider to request a phone cord. If you read the first story in the series, you’ll remember that a phone he ordered for a new hire came with no power cord in the box. Seems like a simple request, but is there such as thing as a "simple request" when dealing with a massive, inefficient bureaucracy such as CenturyLink?
What He Got Was A Trip on A Hamster Wheel
From that moment on, John was mindlessly shuffled from sales associate to “help” desk, and eventually routed back the first person he reached out to for help. When he expressed his frustration on Twitter, CenturyLink was all over the problem, tweeting that they could help him if he would just direct message him. He obliged, only to be sent through the same maze once more after being ignored after some weeks. The final response, after CenturyLink had wasted John’s time was, “We don’t provide power cords for the phone. I apologize.”
He Had to Let the World Know
All that changed, however, after we published our account of the bureaucratic bumble from behemoth CenturyLink. When we tweeted out our story on Halloween, once again, CenturyLink was all over our problem and asked us to take our complaints out of the public sphere. Whatever you say about CenturyLink, they have alert communications people manning the Twitter account.
Within a week, a dozen or so direct Twitter messages, and another endless Groundhog Dayish loop of endless bureaucracy later, the “escalation team” took up our cause. It was obvious by the messages that the people we interacted with didn’t know what each other were up to in trying to solve out problem. No surprises there.
After 96 days, John finally received the power cord he requested so long ago.
Happy Christmas, John!