Monday, August 31, 2015

The Customer is always Scre**d!

As the end of August approaches, many Trinbagonains have to face making an important decision that could profoundly affect their lives-whether or not to cut their Cable TV subscription. The reason for this is that the local Telecommunications Authority has ordered local cable companies to cut up to 16 channels from their line up.

It turns out local cable companies have been charging customers for channels that they didn’t have the right to broadcast. Of course, selling something that doesn’t belong to you sounds like theft and fraud to anyone who possesses a soul, which explains why local cable company owners don’t appear to see it that way, and have refused to offer customers a discount.

The only reason they sold customers channels they didn’t own the rights to, cable companies say, is because said channels don’t offer a legal framework that would allow them to be purchased outside of the US. Which is the same defense the Jamaat al Muslimeen used in 1990. The only reason they staged a bloody coup was because there was no legal framework that would have allowed them to otherwise overthrow Parliament.

Nobody should really be surprised by any of this. Firstly, for years now there have been questions surrounding the legality of the broadcasts of local Cable TV companies. Questions many Cable TV subscribers felt weren’t as important as watching Game of Thrones or Scandal. Lots of us signed up for Cable TV the same way we go shopping for car parts in the Bamboo, by keeping our heads down while trying not to ask too many questions.

Secondly, by treating their customers with utter disdain and contempt, cable companies are just indulging that great Trini love of providing horrible customer service. Forget Carnival, Calypso, and being a major transshipment point for narcotics; treating other people like they are beneath you is our true national pastime. Many people talk about improving the level of customer service in T&T. But let’s face it that will never happen. Only a certain type of person really gets excellent customer service in T&T.

For example if you’re the kind of person that’s behind bars in Remand Yard and you need some machine guns to shoot your way out with a getaway car waiting outside, you will find a prisons officer who will go out of his way to accommodate you. Or if you’re the kind of person that needs to stash millions of dollars you just misappropriated from FIFA, you’re guaranteed to find a bank that won’t make you line up for hours to deposit it.

The best way to deal with this fiasco from the cable companies and the level of appalling customer service we all encounter in T&T everyday is to develop a coping mechanism that will trick your brain into not breaking down and having a psychotic episode. For example here are some affirmations we can all repeat when confronted by insufferable customer service representatives.

“Everything happens for a reason”
For example let's say you put your life’s savings into a plan with an insurance company. Then due to systemic fraud, that insurance company goes bust and you lose all your money. Just say, “Everything happens for a reason”. Sure, part of the reason might be due to the failure of financial regulators to do their jobs, but hey, there is probably a bigger more grand reason. Life is an adventure you don’t need insurance!

“When life hands you lemons, make lemonade”
Let's say you run your own business and rely on US dollars to pay for goods. And let’s say banks have suddenly started to ration the sale of US dollars, while the Central Bank says there is no shortage of US dollars. Doesn’t make sense right? Well maybe it's time to switch your business to something that doesn’t depend on the efficiency of T&T banks, like making and selling lemonade.

“God has a Plan”
If you are a member of the LGBT community you might be dismayed at the lack of regard political parties have given to LGBT issues during the election campaign. Just remember God has a plan. And his plan involves serving heterosexual people first. It’s only fair; they are in the Very Heterosexual People section. He will get to you in the General Abomination section when he’s ready.  

“Go with the flow”
Let's say you are confronted with a no win situation.  Like having to choose between paying for a grossly inadequate Cable TV service run by crooks, or having to put up with watching local TV. Just think like a Trini here; do you want to be the only one of your friends who doesn’t have cable? And after all, going with the flow is our second favorite pastime.

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