Have you ever procrastinated on something or settled for second best (or worse) and later kicked yourself for not caring enough to do something about it sooner? It’s helpful to get a friendly reminder now and then: don’t settle due to laziness or lack of effort. I was reminded of this recently at 1:03 am Saturday morning.
Here’s what happened to me this past weekend. Over the last few months my wifi connection has started to act up. I pay for one of the faster internet packages from Xfinity because I work from home a lot and enjoy streaming lag-free content in the evenings on Netflix. I think I would lose my mind if I ever had to go back to the slow days of dial-up (which does happen on occasion when I travel.)
Settling for crappy service
Anyway, I was getting more and more frustrated this summer because my internet speeds were getting so inconsistent. Several times I even lost connection entirely. My lazy solution was to unplug the router/modem, wait 30 seconds, plug it back in and then wait another 5-10 minutes for the connection to be restored. The restarting method worked, but I found myself getting really annoyed.
Curious why I hadn’t just called Xfinity to tell them I was having repeat issues? Laziness and impatience. It’s hard to be patient when you’re stuck on the phone with customer service and have to repeat yourself over and over again. I also figured I’d have to schedule an appointment for someone to come out to my house and install a new router, and with my hectic schedule I wasn’t looking forward to that. What a pain. Yet, I was willing to put up with the frustrations of crappy service.
The last straw that got me to take action
Finally, I caved in over this past weekend and called Xfinity. Why? I was trying to watch the Season 2 finale of Daredevil on Netflix and my smart TV wouldn’t connect to the internet. Augh! 🙂 No matter how many times I rebooted the router/modem and tried to reconnect the TV like, nothing worked. A huge part of me still didn’t want to call Xfinity. It was already past my normal bedtime and I was sleepy. But the TV completely losing internet connection was the last straw. I figured I might as well call in and get an appointment on the calendar as soon as possible.
The first customer service rep I spoke with (Tier 1 support) was patient and sympathetic to my frustrations, but couldn’t really help me (what I expected). That “wasted” about 15 minutes of my time and I started to get sleepy listening to him ramble off scripts in an effort to fill time waiting for his system checks to complete.
It was already past midnight at this point but instead of scheduling a service visit, he transferred me to a Tier 2 technician. My initial thought was, “oh no, that’s not going to help at all,” but it actually was well worth it.
I had to re-verify my account and re-explain my issues, but fortunately once the tech got into my router remotely, he quickly said, “I think I see what the problem is.” I sure didn’t expect to hear that. Suddenly I had hope at 12:40 am in the morning.
Basically, the tech who came out to my house a year ago to install a signal booster didn’t properly configure my router. He gave both networks on my dual band router the exact same name, which apparently is “really bad” and can cause devices to get confused and drop connection. It’s weird things weren’t bad from the get go, but perhaps it’s because I added more wifi enabled devices to my home network in the last couple months.
Don’t let stubbornness cost you extra time
It’s kind of funny that my incredible frustration at not being able to watch the season finale of Daredevil Friday night turned into a little blessing in disguise. It took 49 minutes on the phone with Xfinity and another 15-20 minutes to get my TV reset, but now everything finally works! Plus, my internet speed should be much more consistent now without going out and I didn’t have to deal with waiting several days to get a technician to come out to my house.
Long story short, it’s Xfinity’s fault for not setting up my router correctly in the first place, but it’s also my fault for being lazy and waiting so long to get help. I probably would have saved more time and a lot of frustration if I took action months ago.
Key Takeaway: Don’t settle due to laziness or lack of effort! It’s so easy to let things slide sometimes, but we shouldn’t settle if there are easy solutions and alternatives at our fingertips.
Are you putting up with unnecessary crap or frustration in your life? Ask yourself if there are things you’re settling on and why. Think about ways you can start taking action to improve your situation instead of just letting things slide.
Here’s a short list of various examples of settling due to laziness or lack of effort.
- Settling for bad service when you are a paying customer but are too lazy to work with the vendor to resolve issues.
- Throwing away a broken or malfunctioning product because you were too lazy to contact the seller or follow up on the warranty.
- Losing track of things or complaining about a messy house because you haven’t stayed organized or picked up after yourself.
- Staying in an unhealthy relationship that lacks open communication and support because you’re too afraid of having difficult conversations or parting ways.
- Not getting promoted because you prefer to kick back and haven’t tried to beat expectations.
- Settling for less income than you’re worth due to a lack of negotiating, being unaware of the market or fear of asking for a raise.
- Falling behind in your retirement savings because you haven’t made the effort to increase your contributions over time.
Check out more articles in my self-improvement category for ways to improve your productivity, communication and more. Want to boost your career and become a branding rockstar? Learn how to start your own website.
Untemplaters, have you kicked yourself recently for settling on something you should have resolved a long time ago? How do you stay motivated to fix things when it’s so easy to be lazy?
Martin - Get FIRE'd asap says
Hi there Sydney. I’ve found my way over here after reading Finance Superhero’s blog.
I’m always amazed by people who are prepared to put up and pay for poor service (this isn’t a poke at you specifically). Then, in my experience, they will complain to anyone prepared to listen, how crappy the company is and how poor their service is.
Having been in the telco industry, I can tell you that it is impossible to monitor every circuit and line so if there is a problem, the only way the company will know is if the user tells them. Then they do tests and/or send a tech out to fix it. A good company will do this quickly and efficiently and then communicate back to you that it has been fixed.
I do agree that there is nothing more annoying telling your life story to the first person answering the call only to have to do it again when they transfer you to another person. That is poor service in my opinion.
As a consumer, if I feel a supplier’s service is flawed, slow, poor, not delivering, I have no hesitation in letting them know. How they deal with my complaint determines whether they continue to keep my business. I will not pay for poor service.
I’m please that you got your internet sorted. I hate slow internet with a passion.
Yeah, having to repeat myself is super annoying. But thankfully it’s fixed (for now)!
Nice article, Sydney!
Not to get too technical, but yours is a classic case of status quo bias – called the “yeah, whatever” bias by Richard Thaler. Whatever the default setting is (including a wonky router) tends to be the way things stay, unless there’s a big-time catalyst to provoke a change. Which now we know includes watching Daredevil.
Status quo bias is tough to defeat on its own with any sort of cognitive “trick.” The best way is probably through habit-forming, where it’s just part of your natural rhythm to fix things as they pop up. But this also has a downside: You can quickly go nuts when you realize how much crap there is to fix.
Hope you enjoy (or enjoyed, by now) the finale.
The finale was awesome thanks!
Vicki@Make Smarter Decisions says
This is a great read! I think you are right about people holding back because they just don’t want to deal with things (likely from prior bad experiences). There has been some improvement in customer service in some areas I used to hate dealing with (think DMV…) and cable companies. Our last experience with XFinity was great. It seems as though customer service is really being valued (at least at this point)!
OH yeah DMV is another one of the bad ones!
Money Beagle says
Good find. I think we’re often predisposed to just assume that things aren’t going to really change, so why bother. Maybe this is a case where hearing how awful Comcast is makes people less willing to call.
Yeah. I’ve had bad experiences in the past which is also why I dread dealing with them. Hopefully I can go for more than a year without having to call them again.
Financial Samurai says
I think cable companies and other service providers depend on laziness to make money. There are billions worth of gift cards that go unused every year to the JOY of retailers.
There are billions more of unclaimed tax refunds that go unclaimed each year as well to the delight of the government.
We can all do much to optimize our finances.
Thx for sharing your thoughts!
Yeah, same thing goes with rebates. Most people won’t take the time to follow through to get the rebate but are pulled to buy the product because they think they will.