Customer Service: A Thing Of The Past!

On Saturday afternoon, due to the freakish Nor’Easter that pounded our area, our electricity went out at 5PM.  (Several pictures throughout this blog). It was restored 30 minutes ago at 4:30 on Thursday!
We were having a dinner party that was to include several friends from Connecticut. As we realized how serious this storm was turning out to be, we advised our Connecticut friends to stay home and invite a few neighbors over. I was preparing Al Roker’s famous chili (from a previous blog). All the prep work had been done in advance, thank God!  At about 4:30PM, we started getting power surges. We have never had a problem here with outages  beyond an hour.
Just as I hit “save” on my blog at 5PM on Saturday, OUT! Everything went out. My apologies to both Janice Hall and Scott Evan Davis both of which were being covered in Saturday’s blog to promote upcoming events.
Several trees in our backyard were destroyed.
Our back deck through screened window
Our dinner party went on as planned. Mrs. Bucket would have been proud of our candlelit supper. We are also lucky enough to have a fireplace. The electricity did NOT come back on that night. Nor Sunday. I spent the day wrapped in blanket and sweat clothes. We were supposed to visit friends in Massachusetts.
We wisely decided against that.
Last, I heard, they are STILL without power and the damage they incurred is worse than ours.

At about 8:30, we went over to a not so far away friend just to warm up. Obviously, she had power.
We came back home around 10PM and went to bed. MOST of our power was restored, thank God, at 2:30 AM according to our estimations.
However, our “Optimum” Triple Play (owned by Cablevision) was still out: cable, phone, internet.
At about 5PM on Monday afternoon, with my limited cell phone usage in my home, I called Cablevision and after going through one of the worst automated set ups created, I got a “customer service representative” on the phone. She told me that there were no outages reported in our area and that our service was discontinued due to an overdue bill. (This information turned out to be false) That also turned out to be the first of several lies we were fed!
When I followed up with yet another call, (and yes, each time I called, I HAD to go through the automated CRAP just to get a real person on the phone!), this time I was told that my problem was isolated and that there were no other outages reported in my area and that they would send a repairman on Tuesday to check out the problem sometime between 10AM and 8PM! In the meantime, several neighbors are informing me that they are experiencing the same problem and that they, too, had called Cablevision!

When the repairman arrived at 7PM, he turned on my TV and said there is an outage in the neighborhood and that this would be reported.
Our backyard at 5PM on Saturday
Hopefully, I would have service within 24 hours of reporting this.

Yesterday, I called several times during the day.
Depending upon who I got on the phone, all of the responses were conflicting. At 5PM yesterday, I got a supervisor on the phone.
When I asked her why these operators were not informed of areas that were still out, she could not give me a straight answer. WHO IS IN CHARGE ANYMORE!?!?!
How I miss the days of the friendly receptionist who answered the phone by introducing him or herself, asking how you are, and asking how they can direct your call.
You even get an automated outgoing message when you call Joe Allen’s these days to make reservations! Who’s STUPID idea was that!?!?!
Wake up business, get rid of the human element and you lose me as a customer. I will support those small businesses that still care for their customers! Our service was restored at 4:30 this afternoon...almost 6 days. When I spoke with the last of many customer service representatives today at 2PM, I was told that they were not always aware of what is going on. Many are still without power tonight and the "customer service" representatives STILL do not know what to tell their customers. I truly feel based on my experiences of the last few days that they just don't care. I would like to be proven differently!

The good news is that I'm back!

I have been fortunate enough to call among my friends several celebrities. The one thing that I've gleaned from them beyond their bodies of work is their humanness.

Thank you to all of the artists mentioned in this blog for the gifts you ALL have given to the world!

Nov 15
ARTS COUNCIL OF ROCKLAND, 185 North Main Street, Spring Valley, New York 10977

Join the Arts Council and critically acclaimed, multi-award winning performer/director Richard Skipper for this 'how to' workshop on building audiences and creating a following for performers, visual artists, writers and any other individual or group looking to expand their fan base and reach beyond their borders. Skipper, a career consultant and co-producer of the 2010 and 2011 Bistro Awards brings years of experience to this workshop.
Beyond the 3 F's (friends, family, fellow performers/artists) will focus on how to get you the attention that you need. Topics include how to use the Internet to your advantage in marketing; how to get your name "out there"; cold calling; creating a contract specific to your needs; how to create a press kit that shows you to your best possible advantage and more! Attendees are surveyed before the workshop to determine their needs. Richard customizes the workshop so that each participant gets their questions answered.
The workshop is free for members of the Arts Council and $25 for non-members. Space is limited. Reservations can be made by calling 845-426-3660, e-mailing or by visiting
The Arts Council strives to be a fragrance-free workplace. Attendees are asked to please refrain from wearing perfumes, colognes or other strong scents. This event is co-sponsored with Arts in Orange and made possible, in part, with funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency and with a generous grant from KeyBank.

Thank you for joining me on these nostalgic journeys! I've added a new aspect to my blog.. I am now answering a question on video that YOU send to me. You can ask me ANYTHING and I will answer your question on video within my blog. Send your questions to

Next question will be answered tomorrow! (Thank you, once again, Stephen Artist)

"Richard, for supporting the ARTS and calling attention to the STARS of yesterday. You are a STAR in your own right!! With admiration and friendship"
Arlene Dahl

Thank you to all who have encouraged me! Thanks to all who have tried to stifle my art. I have learned from ALL of you!
Here's to an INCREDIBLE day for ALL!


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Tomorrow's blog will be YOU TELL ME I'm open to suggestions!


Richard Skipper,


  1. Richard,
    I'm glad that you are okay. I have many friends who were affected and am waiting to hear from them. I would complain to high heaven over being lied to by a customer service rep. I hope you took names when you talked with them. As a former phone company employee I took care of my call-ins with courtesy and efficiency. I would never lie to them regarding service or a bill. That is unconscionable. I'm glad your back and doing what you do best.


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