It seems that today customers are tied to all businesses with contracts.
When we first moved in, I called the electric company to switch service from the seller to us. We had to sign a two year contract. When I called the Internet company, I had a choice between a one year and a two year contract, but if I chose the two year, I wouldn't have to pay the $50 deposit. Our cable wasn't on contract until I had to call and have the satellites adjusted after a typical Texas rainstorm, and just so I wouldn't have to pay the $75, I signed a one year contract. And of course, we don't have prepaid cellphones, so those are on contract as well. Now with our new alarm system, we have a three year contract.
The problem with this I think, is the fact that it relieves companies from having to scramble when a customer like me gets fed up with the horrible service and threatens to cancel. Businesses have taken all power away from customers - and I'm not talking about those crazy customers that are never happy about ANYTHING. I'm talking about me, a fairly rational person who pays her bills on time and expects nothing more than what's promised to me in the service agreement.
With that said, I'm feeling a little helpless in a situation with our alarm system company. Scout has called countless times to have the system fixed because the inside garage door sensor doesn't work (and hasn't since it was installed). Every time we set the alarm, we have to bypass the garage door (meaning of course, that someone could break in through the garage and the alarm wouldn't go off). And the back door isn't hooked up to go off in the "stay" mode, so if we were asleep in the middle of the night, someone could come in through the back door without the alarm going off. So by my count, that's two out of three door sensors that don't work. We're paying full price for 1/3 of the service.
Here's the bigger problem: Scout told them that he just wants it fixed or he wants to cancel the service. He doesn't want to have to call back one more damn time to see if anyone has gotten the work order. The guy on the phone told him he was welcome to do that, but he would still have to pay out the contract.
Are you kidding me? I'm telling you, people in customer service jobs have it made because they can always come back to the contract (that really only benefits the company). And it's horse shit.