Cox vs. Brinks: I lose, nobody wins

There was a power outage at my home on Tuesday that knocked out my internet and cable-based phone service. I was able to restore my internet connection, but the phones remained dead. This little incident has led to a knock-down, drag-out, no-holds-barred war between Cox Communications and Brinks Home Security to avoid responsibility. So far, nobody's won.

Cox Says

Cox sent a technician named Charles to our home to check out our system. He spent nearly 1 1/2 hours troubleshooting the problem and even contacted his supervisor to get some additional ideas. Finally, he concluded that the problem was being caused by some hardware that was part of our Brinks home alarm system (the alarm is connected to the phone system). "Call Brinks," was the diagnosis.

Brinks Says

Brinks sent a technician named Edgar to our home to fix the problem identified by Charles. This technician spent two hours scratching his head and trying to prove Charles wrong.  Finally, he concluded that real problem was somewhere in the wiring that leads from the phone system to the phone jacks in various rooms of the house. "Call Cox," said Edgar. "They installed your phone system incorrectly, so they need to come back out and fix it."

The Wrong Focus

Both the Cox and Brinks technicians failed to serve because they focused on troubleshooting "their part" of the system and not on resolving my needs. When the problem apparently spanned from the Cox system to the Brinks system (or vice-versa), they stopped looking for additional solutions. Instead of looking at the whole system to identify the real problem, they decided they had already spent enough time in my home, packed up, and left.  Meanwhile, I still have no phone service, no idea what caused the problem, and I am at a loss about who to turn to next.

Now what?

I really don't know what the next step is. Probably calling Cox back, asking for anyone but Charles, and having them restart the whole process. Or, maybe I'll go back to AT&T.  Yes, a few months ago I wrote that AT&T is like a psycho ex-girlfriend, but like many psycho ex-girlfriends you sometimes end up back together because the other telecommunication companies you've gone out with just don't seem to "get you" like she did.  We'll see...