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Answering someone else's complaints?

Posted: Thu Apr 12, 2012 7:01 am
by w9wi
Well, it's happened again -- someone called us to complain about reception problems on a different station. Not one of our competitors, but a station in a completely different market.

Voice message on the engineering mailbox, tied with a strange area code. She says for some reason she can't get channel 4 -- although mostly, she's upset that she's not receiving channel 38. First head-scratcher: while we *are* channel 4, there is no channel 38 in the market.

I return the call; before I can identify myself, she repeats the entire voice message. (including something I've heard happened to other engineers but was happening to me for the first time: she complained that we should have run a story in the news about being off the air...) Luckily, she solved the mystery by mentioning she was in Cambridge, Massachusetts :shock:

(yes, I'm aware of the master antenna issues in Boston this week, affecting WBZ-TV and WSBK-TV among other stations)

This is at least the third time someone has called us complaining about problems with reception of a channel 4 station in some other market. Shortly after the digital transition, I helped a guy in Racine, Wisconsin get his WTMJ-TV reception fixed...

Re: Answering someone else's complaints?

Posted: Thu Apr 12, 2012 10:21 am
by PID_Stop
I get that all the time... mainly because people tend to get little or no help when they call our competitors.

The best (?) call was a number of years ago, right after we dropped the Donahue show for Oprah. An elderly woman called up with that special brand of annoyance that only elderly women can generate:

Code: Select all

"Donahue isn't coming in on my televison!"
     "I'm sorry... but we stopped running Donahue.  We carry Oprah at 4:00 now."
"I know that."
     "So... are you having trouble seeing Oprah?"
"No, I can't see Donahue."
     "We don't carry Donahue any longer -- that's channel 3."
"I know that."
     "This is channel 9 you've called..."
"I KNOW THAT!"
     "Why don't you give channel 3 a call?"
"Their number is busy."
:roll:

-- Jeff

Re: Answering someone else's complaints?

Posted: Thu Apr 12, 2012 11:41 am
by NECRAT
During the DTV transition, I got a call from a lady who lived in the city of Boston, in the Roxbury section. She couldn't receive any of the Boston stations. So when I asked if she called the stations, her response was "two never returned my call, one told me to visit a website, and the fourth told me to go to best buy". (Which she ended up doing).

So I helped her with her reception issues up there, and at the end of the call she was like "you know, no one would help me in this market".

I don't know how she got our number , or where she found us, but I actually felt glad to help.

Doug, your call, however, is definitely an odd one.

Re: Answering someone else's complaints?

Posted: Thu Apr 12, 2012 12:08 pm
by eadler
When the adjacent market station with the same affiliation lost their transmission facility, I received a few calls from some of their viewers. I suspect that most (if not all) of them simply once received us via cable and switched to OTA and got them. (If they live on the south side of the mountains that are in the southern part of our coverage, they have a straight shot at the transmission hill of the other market)

Re: Answering someone else's complaints?

Posted: Thu Apr 12, 2012 4:28 pm
by grich
During the transition, I had a call from someone bitching they couldn't see Channel 13 since we flipped channels. And, she could see Channel 8 just fine.

Only thing was, our market hadn't done anything. After arguing with her for a couple of minutes, she said the name of a town I didn't recognize. I then figured out she was in Wisconsin (I'm not). Their market just happened to have an 8 and 13, too. She just googled Channel 13 and picked the first phone number that popped up...oh well, she was only a couple-hundred miles off. :lol:

Re: Answering someone else's complaints?

Posted: Thu Apr 12, 2012 10:05 pm
by w9wi
Yeah, one of our techs theorized that these people are calling 411 and asking for the number for "Channel 4". The caller doesn't realize the 411 operator isn't in Boston -- and the 411 operator in Tennessee doesn't realize there's more than one Channel 4 in the United States...

Jeff: I think some viewers think all TV stations in a market are co-owned. (given the monolith that is cable, that may not be as completely unreasonable to think as it may seem) Definitely, I've had callers ask for help receiving our competitors.

And.. they think we're all network O&Os.* "NBC isn't answering their Boston number. I'll call their office in Providence & get them to fix Channel 7."

* except for viewers over age 65 in Nashville who all believe we're still co-owned with WSM Radio.

Re: Answering someone else's complaints?

Posted: Mon Apr 16, 2012 7:15 pm
by Shane
What? You're not? :lol:

Re: Answering someone else's complaints?

Posted: Tue Apr 17, 2012 1:02 pm
by NECRAT
I used to get that quite a bit. When I would wear my old station's logo on a jacket out in public, i'd hear "oh would you tell that Brian Williams he's a nice guy, or, I bet Pat Sajak is a nice guy to work with". Usually from very old folks.

Re: Answering someone else's complaints?

Posted: Tue Apr 17, 2012 2:02 pm
by PID_Stop
NECRAT wrote:...I bet Pat Sajak is a nice guy to work with". Usually from very old folks.
School kids (girls, mainly) touring the station were really crushed when they found out they weren't going to meet Oprah.

-- Jeff

Re: Answering someone else's complaints?

Posted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 10:45 pm
by K9EZ
NECRAT wrote:I used to get that quite a bit. When I would wear my old station's logo on a jacket out in public, i'd hear "oh would you tell that Brian Williams he's a nice guy, or, I bet Pat Sajak is a nice guy to work with". Usually from very old folks.

Wait, I thought they lived in that little box I watch.......