In a routine query about my service at a cable company recently acquired by Jamaica's largest telecommunications company, I discovered that I was being charged for several years for three cable boxes, including one digital box, as opposed to only two analogue boxes that I actually have.
While it was fairly easy to get the company to accept that fact, it took the better part of an hour and a quarter to convince them that I should be credited for this error. Their bone of contention was that another customer had told them that he was transferring a box to my account. They acknowledge that they have no evidence of me requesting or agreeing to this transfer, but were unable to digest the simple concept that I cannot be liable for a charge that I did not order.
After that extensive argument to prove my point, I was told I should be credited just over $1,600. I then requested a statement of account detailing debits and credits over the period, and to be told the difference between what was billed and what should have been billed. I was told categorically that the system cannot generate a statement.
After further insistence for a statement, I was then told that my credit was actually in excess of $3,300. I continued to demand a statement and was told that it was a waste of paper. Not budging, I was finally presented with 23 sheets of paper and a small handwritten attachment that still didn't meet my request.
At that point, however, I realised that after two and a half hours at the office, the clerk and the line supervisor didn't possess the mental capacity to understand the concept of compensation.
Interestingly, no member of senior management saw it fit to intervene, even though I made several requests for a superior officer to deal with the problem, which was clearly beyond them.