It will get better

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 14, 2006

This past couple of weeks, we’ve been moving into our house and attempting to “feel at home.” In my world, that means getting boxes out of the way, unpacking as much as we can and getting back into a routine that suggests normality.

The move has been successful. Dealing with our cable guys, however, has not. Everyone knows that when you undertake something as significant as a full-family move, you are bound to encounter uncontrollable circumstances that prove frustrating.

Mine started when I first began calling to get the power turned on, telephone activated and cable hooked up.


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My first conversation was with someone at the power company who assured me that he was the “one-stop shop” and would have everything turned on like the phone, cable and electricity; and I think he even said he would cook dinner for a few days. Needless to say, none of the above, except for electricity being turned on, occurred. As you can imagine, I was looking forward mostly to the cable and food.

Upon entering the house, and moving the boxes from in front of the television, we realized that no one had come to install our precious cable. So I then marched to the office and pleaded and negotiated for the earliest possible date for installation. This was on a Monday; I was told the first available installation time would be on Wednesday from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m., and they would call beforehand to make sure someone was home. Unfortunately, the message wasn’t relayed. No one called and no one came.

This undoubtedly antagonized my wife, who is eight months pregnant and wanted her Lifetime movie network more than I wanted my ESPN. She picked up the phone, called the cable company’s 800 number and shared her thoughts on what was considered unacceptable service. What I wouldn’t have given to be a fly on the wall for that conversation.

After I got home from work that night, I decided to try a softer approach, realizing that things happen. I found a much nicer customer service rep and was promised installation would occur before 8 p.m. the same evening. “They are still out working in your area,” the rep said. No one came.

So, Thursday morning came, and after two visits and a pleading on my part, we were finally watching television by 5 that afternoon.

I share this story for a reason. Through all the frustration we had over the cable company’s inability to do something as simple as follow instructions and make an installation, I thought of all the Suffolk News-Herald customers who have gone through similar frustrations with our newspaper. Sadly, they have stories much worse than mine. It’s easy for me to understand that miscommunication occurs, and sometimes companies don’t have the right people doing important jobs. Neither constitutes a good excuse. There isn’t a good excuse for poor delivery and poor service.

For those newspaper subscribers who have endured pain and agony with our service, please accept this as my apology to you. We are working hard on improving our delivery system and realize there are many opportunities for improvement.

So, next time you get frustrated because we haven’t done our job, please let me know. I understand why you aren’t happy, and I, along with my staff, will do what we can to make your newspaper experience much better.

Lindsey is the publisher of the News-Herald. Contact him at, or call 934-9611.