Thursday, February 19, 2009

Feminist Fumes when Insight Cable Co. Pulls a “Deloris Clayborn” Stunt

Insight Communications has implemented a "new security policy" that some (or at least one) feminist finds offensive.

After nearly twenty years of being the person in our family who calls Insight to make changes/upgrades to our service, today I was told “Your husband will need to call us and give permission for you to make any future changes to this account.”

I felt like Kathy Bates in the bank scene from the movie Dolores Claiborne.

“I’ve been the person handling this account for almost twenty years.” I said.
“It’s a new security policy. The account is in his name.”

“Yes, I know that. He started the service before we were married, but every time I call, ----and I am always the one to call-- you just ask me for our account number to verify my authorization.”

“Just have your husband contact us and provide his permission for you to handle the account. Then we will be happy to help you.”

Say What??????

Now maybe they DID institute a “new security policy”, or maybe, the difference is that today I was making a request to downgrade our service instead of upgrading. Maybe they added this policy in anticipation that a lot of wives would be calling in to cut back during these tight economic times, so they figured they might be able to “secure” some of their precious revenue if they added a few extra hoops for us to jump through.

I suspect that might be the case, because when I called, the rep asked for my account number as always, and was ready and willing to help me... that is until I mentioned I was mulling a scale back in our services. THEN all of a sudden, that "new policy" went into effect.

What Insight might well remember is that this ain’t the 1950’s and even the mere idea of a policy that invokes memories of the gender inequities of the past, is something they would be wise to avoid. Otherwise, their financial security might really be at risk, especially when they realize that 70% of the consumer spending in this country is controlled by women.


If you have any questions or concerns about your Insight service, they have a toll free number for your convience: 1-800–686–2200


Stephen Parrish said...

ADAC, the German equivalent of the American Automobile Association, sends its monthly magazine to me even though my wife is the one who signed up.

On the other hand, no fashion catalog has ever come to the house with my name on it . . .

Jill said...

Fascinating, Kelley! I am forwarding this to Sheryl Harris at the PD - and will post about it too.

Thanks for writing it up - how aggravating! I hope you made contact w/their complaint line or whatever they have (online or otherwise).

Kel-Bell said...

Thanks Jill.

I almost did not post this, because I hate whining, and red tape is something we are all trained to deal with.

But I am wondering if other people are having similar experiences.

Michele St. Martin said...

This may or may not be a sexist response -- but we had the opposite issue. I'm the mortgage holder on our home, and when my husband called with a question they wouldn't tell him anything!

Michele St. Martin

Kel-Bell said...

I suppose it's not really the idea of possible sexisim that bothers me. It's that I have been doing business with this company for twenty years.

After all this time, and all this money we have invested, these people think it's O.K to suddenly treat me like a total stranger.

-AND to diss me in a very sexist manner to boot.

Thats my real beef.

I dont think its too much to have an account rep who treats me in a neighborly way when I have been sending two hundred dollar checks every month for twenty years.

(Not to rant, but thats exactly what Mark Stevens book "Your Marketing Sucks" is all about.) Somebody at Insight ought to read it.

Sexist or not, Insight has some 'splainin to do.

Can I hear a Ba-Ba-Lou?

Sue Katz said...

It's hard to understand why these companies make it so difficult to use their services/products (like the way things are packaged for impenetrability). When I left America in the 70s, the only thing I missed was the service concept that "the customer is always right." When I returned in 2000, America had caught up - or is that down - with the worst in global rudeness. Instead of the customer being right, the customer is now something on the bottom of their shoe that they stepped in.

Gabriele said...

I agree with you completly.
However, heres a little story to make you feel better.
When I lost my job I needed a cell phone. My wife has ATT and I got my own phone there too.
when I call someone the identity of the caller gives my wifes name.
ATT says the cell phone accout is in my wifes name.
I always had a very developed "feminine side".
great story

Loraine said...

I would suggest you switch to the phone company. I'm in a huge battle with them over the fact our cable isn't working. When my neighbor's husband called, he got a free upgrade to a working service. When I called, I was told that was impossible - no one in the entire company could offer a free upgrade.

Yeah, right.

Perfume Buying Guide said...

It's hard to understand why these companies make it so difficult to use their services/products (like the way things are packaged for impenetrability).

Perfume Buying Guide said...

Actually I think this is so good because I allow that my wife taking all th decisions at home, sometimes she treats me so hard in order I obey her.

Isaiah said...

For my part every person ought to go through it.
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