Archive for the ‘Tough Jobs’ Category

It’s a Tough Job… by Trevor Walter

Thursday, December 5th, 2013

I have been working with Multiband for about 4 months now in the field, and I have to say, I really enjoy the challenges that come with this job. I have dealt with my fair share of cold, wet crawl spaces to areas in which I feel that most people would not even think about entering, even the customers themselves. Either way, I know that I have a job to do for each location that I arrive at.

The day of 12/3/13 was by far the most challenging so far for me. It was not a dirty environment nor a place that was cold and difficult to get to. It was the initial wiring of the home done by the customer’s relative. The entire house was wired so that anything that was played from the TV in the living room would be viewed throughout the entire house cabling system.

Before I arrived I felt that this ‘upgrade’ was going to be fairly simple and consist of a couple receivers being swapped and an ODU upgrade. Instead, what I found was the whole wiring for the house’s “Super Mirror” was entwined within the DIRECTV cabling!

So I started tracing out the cables from where I thought were coming from the ODU and Upgraded the system to SWiM. When I was to the point of swapping out the receivers for the Genie system, I found that two of the four lines I thought were the ones from the ODU were not. Later, throughout my backtracking, I found that I had spliced into the mirroring cables.

At this point, I can make a long story short and say that I was able to reconnect the mirrored lines and successfully got the customer up and running with his new whole home DVR system with his whole home mirror system. My thoughts were that this upgrade would take about an hour when, in reality,it end up taking five. No matter that the job took longer than presumed; it was a great learning experience.

Trevor Walter

Grand Rapids Market

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It’s a Tough Job… by Robert Dennis

Thursday, December 5th, 2013

While in training, I met another Technician to help on a 4-box install. The customer said that his wife would be there and she would be able to answer any questions for us. We performed a site survey, went over it with her, and followed through with the install. A few days later, the customer contacted us about the location of the ODU and met with our Tech Supervisor about this. He was unhappy because he would have to mow around it and he also did not like the way the wiring was ran underneath the mobile home. My Tech Supervisor decided to send me out there to try to make him happy.

When I arrived, he was furious about the install. He asked me if I would have that done at my own home and wanted to know why we left wiring loose under the home. After listening to the customer for about five minutes, I calmly asked what he would do differently. He started to explain that he would like the dish to be moved about twenty feet further from the home so he wouldn’t have to mow around it, and he had some more specific details about the cabling because he planned to use part of the area under the mobile home for storage.

I apologized to him because we were unaware he wanted to use the area in question for storage and also explained that we placed the ODU where it was to get the best signal. I went on to explain that we did not consider the place he recommended because it appeared to be part of someone else’s property. He verified his property lines and assured me that his recommended location was, in fact, a part of his property. I explained to him that we normally do not move dishes for customers for convenience but we are going to today for your loyalty to DIRECTV. He offered to help with the trench and was there right beside me every step of the way. He was very thankful after the install that I was willing to assist with his concerns and offered me supper after the install along with a bag of freshly grown banana, habenero, and jalapeño peppers from their garden to take home!

Robert Dennis II

Paducah Market

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It’s a tough job… by Nathan Froehle

Wednesday, November 21st, 2012

“I was performing an installation at an apartment – one of those jobs that quickly turns into a monster. Four receivers going in, and the dish had to be placed on a pole on the side of the building. I ran the cables into the crawlspace under the apartment and replaced all of the lines that were previously there. The crawlspace was very tight and full of spiders. On top of that, it was close to 100 degrees outside, and the ground was rock-hard, but I was able to get the dish mounted and tuned.

After I ran the lines, I came inside to give customer education. Suddenly, the customer’s 5 year old son started screaming in the kitchen – we both ran in and found the boy with his head stuck between the spindles on the back of a kitchen chair! He was squirming wildly, trying to break free, and only succeeded in making things worse by turning upside down! The customer ran around, looking for something to help him out of the situation, and I told him we needed to take the chair apart to get him out. I had my tool belt on still, so I quickly used my Phillips screwdriver to take the chair-back apart and let the toddler out. The customer thanked me over and over again,saying he didn’t know what he would have done without me. He didn’t have any tools,and the chair was made out of metal – I know this atypical job wasn’t the toughest job out there, but I was glad I was there to help!”

Nathan Froehle

Louisville Market

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You Know It’s A Tough Job… by Darcey Leu

Friday, September 28th, 2012

The Miami market has an aggressive growth strategy – over the past 2 months, we have increased our tech capacity by 40% which has resulted in some issues in inventory issuances and the amount of parking spaces available.

The Cable industry runs differently than that of the HSP world – here we issue out equipment on a daily basis to each technician (currently 163 techs); and due to our current inventory and routing constraints, we are unable to pre-pull gear. This means that, as our tech numbers have grown, our wait times in the warehouse have increased significantly for our technicians.

As a result, our Inventory Manager, Jon Delano, and his crew have been working 3rd shifts in order to pre-pull gear and make the process more efficient for our technicians.

Aside from long hours, our technicians seem a lot happier due to the decrease in wait times. Though this is only a temporary fix until we find a facility better suited to our growing tech force, I wanted to take the time to share this “Tough Job” story with everyone to show some appreciation to Miami’s Warehouse Staff – We appreciate everything you do!

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You Know It’s A Tough Job… by Dustin Hill

Tuesday, July 31st, 2012

Daily, customers call us out to do our jobs; but it’s the chances that we get to go beyond the install and actually understand each customer individually that truly gives me pleasure in my work.

I’ll never forget a job I did in an apartment complex in Durham, NC. I went to do a routine installation of a cable box – a simple job just to get a customer television. The customer, an elderly woman, was very confused about everything and began to break down in front of me. After connecting the box to boot up, I started to listen as she told me how she had been forced to move from her home, and her one comfort was being able to watch her daytime programming. Previous technicians were unable to help her; there were some issues preventing an easy hookup from our distribution box to her television unit.

I began by reassuring her that we wouldn’t leave until everything was fixed and continued to comfort her as she told me her husband had recently died, her son was on deployment and her grandchildren were in Europe with her son; she was truly alone here and had no one else to turn to.

When I finished the installation, I showed her how to work the system and stayed a few extra minutes to help her program her box to her favorite channels and channel search functions that would never have been used. She turned to me and, in a quiet voice, told me “I haven’t had anyone ever just stay and listen like this. Usually people come in, go out and pay no attention to a little old lady like me. You have a good heart, son, and I hope you do well.”

I carry those words with me in my customer service every day. Regardless of my personal life and feelings that day, I always strive to make each customer happy and understanding. Even if there isn’t anything I can do, I will go out of my way to make sure that the customer is satisfied with whatever answer I can give them.

Dustin  J. Hill

Raleigh Market

Sometimes It’s A Tough Job… by Jim Mann, Portland

Tuesday, May 1st, 2012

This is my first tough job. I have been out of training since January of this year and I’m guessing this won’t be my last.  On April 14, I was already running late. Being in contact with the customer, she let me know that dispatch and I were calling a business line and not her house. I let her know that I should be there around noon, being an 8-12 I was nervous running late the way I was.

As I arrived I got out of my van and walked over to the back door to greet the customer. I showed her my ID badge and she was clearly concerned and upset. She told me that the order was probably wrong cause she wanted to switch an existing account into her name.  She was irritated that DIRECTV would not just do that and she had to create a new account. I told her that I was there and I would make everything alright by the time I left.

After we had our 45 minute conversation, I started doing my site survey. I went outside to see that the existing dish was not bonded, there were barrels in the line from where the last tech there extended lines 10 feet from an older 18×20 dish, so this all had to be fixed. I then told the customer what needed to be done outside and asked to see where all the lines came into the home. She brought me in the basement and it looked that every time someone had cable or satellite they ran new lines and left the previous ones there.

Again, the customer made it very clear she was not remotely impressed with how things were down there. She pointed out where our equipment was put this time and repeatedly told me she is at the point that she doesn’t even know if she wants anything else because of the mess that was there already. I told her again that it was me there and I would make sure she was happy by the time I left — no matter how long it took, I would clean it all out so we would be starting with nothing there. She told me again that she’s not sure if she should even bother, I affirmed that it wouldn’t look anything like that when I was done.

After 4 hours of removing line after line and splitter after splitter by the time I finished I had close to 500 feet of line, 7 splitters, a power pack, and more zip ties that we have in our warehouse. I brought her down to show her the progress and it was the first time I saw any positive emotion to her new installation.

I mounted my dish, ran a new single line to a 4 way splitter, hooked up my ground and started activation of my 3 receivers. She let me know that she was extremely happy with the final results and she repeated what I had been saying to her all day long for the 6 hours, “You said I’d be happy by the time you left and I absolutely am! Thank you so much!” As I was leaving, she could not be happier with the job that I did.

Sometimes It’s A Tough Job… by Pete Budner, New Hope

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012

On 2-16-12, I was contacted by Multiband receptionist, Suzanne Hemping, advising a customer – actually the entire family of four – was physically present in the New Hope, MN Multiband lobby requesting to speak to me about a billing problem experienced while the customer was traveling to their homeland in the Philippines.

The customers, an elderly couple, had left their Minnesota home to vacation in the Philippines, and designated their adult daughter as caretaker of their affairs while away. Unfortunately, the Multiband bill had gone unobserved and unpaid resulting in the suspension of their DTV programming. Following recognition of the service suspension, the daughter arranged for a technician visit to restore the service, but the scheduled technician was delayed resulting in lost wages and aggravation for the daughter. The customer was also disputing the charged $65 dispatch fee because of a misunderstanding regarding the Multiband Protection Plan (TPP). The customer was frustrated to the point of discontinuing their relationship with Multiband – in favor of a competitor.

After listening to the customers explain their frustrations and researching the Multiband service records, it was clear there was a series of misunderstandings and poor communication – with both parties culpable. To reestablish goodwill and retain the customer, I agreed to restore the service and waive the $65 dispatch fee while adding TPP to their account for security against any future service calls. The potential long-term revenue from a proven reliable customer (Premium DIRECTV programming, Multiband SURF and the TPP charges) more than offset the waiver of $65.

The customer left satisfied, the account was retained by Multiband, and the monthly billing was increased due to the addition of TPP. I am confident Multiband will have a long-term relationship with this customer and the final positive outcome will be shared by the customer with friends and family.

- Pete Budner, Sales & Support Center Manager

It’s A Tough Job… by Ron Landry, Portland Market

Tuesday, February 21st, 2012

So, we all think of what could help boost morale… and when something goes wrong, you wonder, “What am I going to do to earn back this customer’s trust?”

Well, a scenario like this played out on this 4 box job in Gorham, Maine today, in which a customer was very upset and didn’t want anything done due to some frustration and poor customer service.

Our Tech Arborio and DST Francis would not let it go at the home, they were tag teaming on DIRECTV to get the order built correctly to an 8 box with a DECA.

It took 2 hours to get the order taken care of, which, to me, is above and beyond what is expected from a Technician.  In short, the customer threw another curveball at the guys and told them he only had 2 hours to get it done now.

Well, 2 calls were placed, one to Tech Borden, who just left a job with me in Saco. He headed right over, along with DST Moody, who was in Newfield. In all, the 4 guys were able to put such a smile on these customers’ faces and save another installation and customer. In talking to the customers during the install, they were so besides themselves that people actually care about their needs in this industry, had such a high level of team togetherness, and made it all happen in less than 90 minutes.

The customers advised they will be with DIRECTV for a long time, simply due to the consideration our Techs showed that they are valuable customers to DIRECTV.

Asking me if this is something that happens daily, I couldn’t lie, and advised with a big smile that there is no team like Maine, there is no job these guys will not tackle, there is no such thing as “NO” in their mindset. They agreed, and were just very happy with everything. When Tech Arborio advised they even ran a new line to their modem, as they were complaining their internet was going out constantly and the new line should make a difference in their endeavors with internet, the smile was lit up even more.

So, in all, I’m a very impressed, very happy Sup, and can honestly say it was so nice to see DSTs and Production guys on the same level just getting it done.


Ron Landry

It’s A Tough Job… by Josh Price, Lexington Market

Monday, February 13th, 2012

What it seemed like:

Let me tell you the story of Multiband today…. While taking a phone call Shelly Pearson was viciously attacked by a mouse! First the mouse did a dance on her boot, reminiscent of the WB Frog. Suddenly Shelly jumps out of her chair, screaming as if she had been shot, attempting to run away, but falling due to the mouse tying her shoelaces together. As she made her way up, to the other side of the room, standing on a chair. But alas the mouse had died, scared to death. Or maybe it was deaf? The scream was so loud that Wendy’s down the street called to make sure all was okay. Lesson learned? Shelly should never go to Disneyland.

What actually happened:

The real story is that Shelly Pearson looked down while on a call in our tracking office and saw a small mouse run across the floor. Shelly is very scared of mice. So after screaming and standing on a chair to get away from it, Bonnie Wood picked up the mouse and took it outside, putting it back in the wild. This is one of those few times where being a tracker was a tough job, because everybody had to calm down after the blood curling scream that was let out. But everybody got back to work and had a great Saturday.

It’s A Tough Job… by Michael Landry, Memphis Market

Thursday, January 26th, 2012

On Jan. 20th, 2012, I experienced a really tough job. It was a five box install, one HD DVR and four standard IRDs. Upon arriving at the customer’s house I greeted the customer and went inside to see where all the receivers were going. The customer then began to show me where the receivers were going. Upon the walk-through, the customer showed me that she had two separate attics and two separate crawl spaces. I then went outside to begin my site survey. The dish was going to have to be placed on the right side of the house while the ground source was on the left side of the house. I then began to run my lines from one side of the house to the other through the two separate crawl spaces. Then after getting the wire to the other side of the house and attaching it to my ground block, I then ran my wire into one of the attics. I put my switch in the first attic and dropped my wires into the rooms, then I had to find a way into the other attic. I searched and finally found a small hole that ran into the other attic. I pushed my wires through, grabbed the wires, and dropped them down to the final rooms. Finally I got my receivers activated and got the job done. It took me around five hours to finish the job, but I got the job done and the customer was happy which made the job well worth it.