2012 Mar 18
After spending time recording the second part of the "Great and Not So Good" saga, I inadvertently did something which caused the whole effort to disappear into cyberspace, from where I was unable to retrieve it. So what follows is an attempt to rewrite part two, which took place on Friday, March 9, while we were staying in Gulf Islands National Seashore at Fort Pickens Campground. I HATE when that happens!
So…there we were at Fort Pickens Campground, which is a beautiful, restful, place with access to the bay and the gulf, wide, deep sites, and lovely scenery. Except for the intensity of the satellite TV drama, and the probability that we would only be able to have two nights there, it seemed perfect.
So, Friday dawned. After restful sleep, during a major rain storm, both Raymond and I were ready for a new day. For me, that meant, a walk on the trails with Greyla. For Raymond, it meant restarting the satellite procedure. Funny how differently our minds work.
As I sat having my morning coffee, Raymond explained that he could use my help with the satellite set up today. Let's just say this was met with a less than enthusiastic response. In my reality, the satellite issue was dead. We would perhaps revisit Camping World and their, "easy 800 number", but I had no plans to sacrifice a second day at the perfect campground fooling around with the portable dish, the cell phone and incurring a monthly bill. Silly me. This is what marriage is about, right? Compromise, helping your partner with what is important to him, even if you couldn't care less. And thus began day two of the satellite drama.
A good nights rest helped Ray to clarify some things he had read the previous day. He was attaching wires and adjusting position by direction and all that good stuff. Now, he wanted me to make the phone call to customer service (for which you'll remember, we had multiple different toll free numbers). Amazingly, the first number I called actually worked! Unfortunately, when we got the the part of the prerecorded phone call, where I had to input numbers from the bottom of the receiver, I was stumped. After apparently inputting the wrong number, I was disconnected. Encouraged that we had gotten this far, Raymond took over. Again, disconnect at the input stage. Now, it again becomes my turn. After several attempts, somehow, I managed to get to a human being! I promptly handed Ray the phone, once again thinking, "my work here is done". Once again, how silly.
This young man, was walking Raymond through whatever the process is until it became time to actually set up our account, at which point R handed the phone to me. The Customer Service Rep and I then did a surly little dance regarding our name. He asked R for our last name before he handed off the phone, so when he asked me, "Can I have your name?" I assumed he meant the first name which would be on the account, so I replied, "My husband's name is Raymond". Mr Surly, then said, "Should I call you Ray?" And so it began.
After concluding the technicalities to enable Dish Network to charge us a monthly fee, there were still intricacies of satellite service to be worked out. Mr Surly decided that we probably needed to speak with Tech Support and transferred our call.
Tech Support, which became Tech Support-one, was Raymond's call, which he handled for sometime before being told he would be transferred to "Tech Support-2" By now, R's phone talking frustration had kicked in and I got the phone. On the phone, was Lu. She was very nice, patient, and had an accent which I was having trouble deciphering. Matters were further complicated by the need to repeat everything she said to Raymond who was manning the controls. This seemed highly inefficient, so I gave R back the phone. Oops! As he listened and asked Lu to repeat what she said, several times, I could hear the frustration building in his voice. Then, without further warning, Raymond, a gentle soul, who is very easy going and good natured, and who wouldn't say "Poop" if he had a mouthful, was suddenly channelling his Father. He sounded so much like his Dad, complete with sarcasm, that I had to look twice. After he said, "What did you say?" "What?!" and "I can't understand a word you're saying!" He shoved the phone back into my hands. Poor Lu was equally frustrated, I'm sure, but offered to transfer me to someone else.
Now, it was my turn to be annoyed by the whole process and my involvement in it. When the young man began asking the same questions I had heard R answered much earlier in the process, I lost it. I explained that we were in an RV and had been on the phone for some time now and wondered couldn't they possibly have a technician who could come to our motor home, figure out what we were doing or not doing, rather than spend yet another hour on the phone. Craig seemed thrilled by this question. He asked for our zip code and after finally finding the zip for Fort Pickens, he gave us a number for Dan's Satellites.
When I got off the phone, it occurred to me that perhaps this was not the solution Raymond was looking for. Thank goodness, he was quite happy to defer to my decision. And so, I called. A message was left on Dan's answering service and R waited for a call back. Greyla and I finally went for our trail walk.
When we returned, R had already had a phone call from Rich Williams, and had been walked through procedures by Rich who was willing to make an RV call, but was also willing to spend time on the phone for free. After an additional call to Rich, later in the afternoon, it was decided that he would come to Ft Pickens after his work day concluded. He would call once he was on his way, probably sometime after 6PM.
We were blown away by how kind, professional and helpful this man was. He got the portable dish positioned correctly, facing Southwest, not due South as we had been told. He explained the interference to the signal caused by trees. He gave us a flexible connector so that we could still tightly close the slider window even with the coaxial cable running in. He gave us additional coaxial cable, "just in case". He discussed something called "The Tailgater" with Raymond. He called Dish Network to be sure we had satellite feed. He showed us how to remove the TV from the wall mount, so that Raymond could add HDMI, at some point. He even showed R that he would either have to drill a hole to make room for the HDMI, or, better yet, get an articulating bracket mount for the TV, in order to make it more easily visible from the dinette, as well as making room for the HDMI cable. He was simply, another really NICE person, doing his job, but also going above and beyond, what was absolutely necessary.
Before Rich left, he gave us his card and said even though we were going to be leaving Ft Pickens, we should feel free to call him if we had any more issues, or needed help. We also discussed the possibility of buying a Tailgater unit, which sounded like a much better item for us, than the portable dish. Less adjustment, fully enclosed, automatic; just a better idea all the way around. Rich then said that even though he was busy on Saturday, he would be willing to come back with a Tailgater, if we decided we really wanted that, but he couldn't do it till Sunday. And, basically, he wasn't trying to "sell" us. I think he actually seemed reluctant for us to spend additional money, since we already had the Winegard Portable Dish. We weren't sure where we would be by Sunday, so we left it undecided. And it turned out that Rich, from Dan's Satellites wasn't even from the Pensacola area. He had come from Pace, FL, to take care of us. What a guy! Funny how, a positive interaction with a real person negated all those previous hours with Customer Service and Tech Support.
Raymond had ESPN, he was happy. Rich Williams was kind and helpful. Now, if only there would be some cancellations and we could stay on at Fort Pickens...