Thursday, December 07, 2006

I had a very old cell phone. How old? Well, I've been back in Baltimore for three years. I lived in NY for nearly two. In DE for two before that. And I bought the cell phone my first season in DE. So old.

And the poor little critter had done its job well, and served me proudly, but was getting a little tired. I couldn't risk actually taking it out of my car (where a charger is) because it didn't hold charge for more than eight hours or so off the charger, and maybe twenty minutes of talking. I can't tell you how many people have called me at both my home and my cell phones and not been able to reach me because I was standing on my doorstep. So it was time to tuck that little sweetie into retirement and look for a new phone.

Now, if I'm only gonna buy a phone every seven years or so, I figure I should get the most up-to-date one I can afford, so that in 2013 when I look to have the computer chip imbedded into my head or whatever, I don't get as many crazy stares by the youngin's laughing at my primative talking machine.

And I hope y'all know I like to do a good thing and put a little goodness out into the universe when I can, so that motorola (RED) Razr was lookin' pretty good to me, and I've been with Sprint forever, and they're the ones that offer it. Completely out of my price range, until I remembered that Sprint has this offer when once you've been a member for a certain amount of time, you can get up to $150 off on a phone upgrade. Then add in some other random rebate, and we're talking a reasonable price for a new phone.

So I decided I would order it on my birthday, and I called. What I got then was an automated response ("blah blah blah higher call volume than usual, blah blah blah, we'll call you back in one hour"). That was about 10pm Thursday night.

The phone rings at 6am Friday morning.

Let me type that again, just in case you're an insomniac like me who can pretty much guarantee that if I'm conscious enough to order a phone at 10pm I will definitely not be at 6 the next morning.

At 6-bloody-AM Friday, the phone rings, and it's Sprint, wanting to connect me to a customer service rep. I convince them to call back at 8am, and this they do.

But then in trying to order the phone there's some computer glitch, and the poor girl (I swear, she sounded about twelve) can't figure it out, but will have her supervisor call me at 2pm.

He doesn't call.

At 4pm, I call back myself, now a little irked, and very tired. However, I've worked enough customer service to know it's not the fault of the poor schlub who got my called bumped to him randomly, so I'm very polite and calm. So this guy tries to answer my questions, but has some computer glitch, could I hold please.... fifteen minutes later, I'm bumped back to the very beginning.... go through the whole process again, this time getting to the point of giving out my credit card number to pay for the phone. Can I hold while the card is processing? And then fifteen minutes later, I'm back at the very beginning, no signs of an order placed, now talking to my third rep.

This goes on for TWO HOURS. Literally. I've now given my credit card number to two different people, spoken to six different reps (and had plenty of time to screw some things up in my flickr account, so I apologize if you're reading archives and find many images missing) and done a little random internet searching on my own while on hold.

At 6pm I say to the next person I speak to "Thank you for keeping me on hold, I see that Verizon's Chocolate phones are about fifty dollars cheaper than the one I'm looking at today, should I just give them a call?" and the guy panics, begins stuttering, and attempts to connect me to a supervisor. And we get disconnected.

He calls back a moment later, with the supervisor on the line, and she starts over from the very beginning with no idea what I'm talking about. And then she disconnects me, too. (I'm purposely saying "disconnected" not "hung up on" - I think this whole thing was equipment failure, not that they were hanging up on me). She calls back, we try again, and I'm disconnected again.

They didn't call back that time.

Well, damn, but I really do want this phone. I do not enter into these things lightly, I research a LOT, and that's the phone I want.

So I call back Saturday morning, and talk to a lovely woman who takes my order, is very sweet, and recommends I speak to "customer care" and she'll transfer me over. The guy I get there says he'll give me 800 minutes. Well, great, but that's a little like telling a goldfish you're going to put his bowl in a bathtub. I'm not using all the minutes I have now (that's why I have that plan, so I don't go over every month) so giving me more means absolutely nothing. That's all he can do, he says. I ask for a supervisor.

And get disconnected again.

Figuring they can't disconnect me if I'm standing in front of them (people have tried and failed) I go to a store near me. They have the phone, tell me the order was apparently never placed by the very sweet woman Saturday morning, wave a couple of connection fees and send me on my way.

But I'm not yet entirely happy, I've just had the contract read to me so many times I know I can return the phone in thirty days without major trouble.

So I wait a few days. I'm thinking I don't want to call at any "rush hours" or early in the week when folks are trying to clear up weekend issues.

So I call today, ready to battle (I've already decided I want another $50 credited to me)

And I get a charming woman who is shocked and appalled at the experience, is apologetic, is sincere, and without my saying another word says "I'll give you 10% off your bill for the next 24 months" (this would be more than the $50, so I was willing to stop here, but it would have been rude to interrupt, yes?) "and right now I'll take $50 off your bill."

THAT's more like it.

So welcome home, little guy...

You better be worth the battle.

(oh, and the pink? you'll see more of that this weekend...)


Anonymous Mom said...

Wow! Next time I have a greivance, you're my girl!

2:16 PM  
Anonymous Dianna said...

All I can say is that you are a better woman than I, and have the patience of Job! congratulations - but I would've gone to the other guy!

2:19 PM  
Blogger The Queen said...

Wow -- and your story didn't once include you SCREAMING at anyone??? How does that work? I don't seem to get anywhere until I've begun to scream -- I respect your calm and wish to grow up to be more like you.

And cool phone.

2:46 PM  
Anonymous Sarah said...

He's beautiful.
My plain silver Razor is Jealous.

2:47 PM  
Blogger dragon knitter said...

makes me tired just to read that!

2:55 PM  
Anonymous brandy said...

When I used sprint for my landline, I got nothing but trouble and double billing. I kept getting shut off for not paying the second bill in the month, then I would get another bill after I got it all turned back on. This time with reactivation fees. I eventually just stopped using landline. I have a bad mark on my credit report and probably still owe them money, in their opinion. But they won't get it. I paid them what I owed. I don't like sprint. I am amazed at your patience with them. Really I am.

3:04 PM  
Blogger Customer Justice said...

I think companies should treat us the same way we treat them- well.

Your phone does look pretty amazing though! :P But wouldn’t it be better if everything had gone smoother?

3:17 PM  
Blogger Catherine said...

I've been with Sprint for years too, and no complaints, but boy, that is the story from hell! I'm glad they made it right in the end, but you are far more patient than I - I would have gone to the store after the first round of disconnections. And now I want that phone!

6:12 PM  
Blogger Kadiddly said...

You must have the patience of Job. I'd've gone to Verizon - the customer service people getting disconnected on me does not inspire my trust! I'm really glad you like the phone, though - it is very sexy! I hope you enjoy it!

7:31 PM  
Anonymous Eva said...

I'm sooooooooo jealous!!! I've wanted that phone since I saw it on Oprah in October... but it is not available in my part of the world snif-snif...

Enjoy it !!!
Cheers Eva

11:37 PM  
Blogger CarolineF said...

I had Sprint. I dumped 'em because their customer service was so bad, and the only service that works in all the places I go was Verizon. I am due a new phone in March... I think after that the 'new every two' gets reneged on, so I suppose I'll go for something really sexy too.

8:35 AM  
Blogger Javajem said...

Wow - isn't it sad when bad customer service is the norm - what happened to the customer is always right!!

I'm glad your phone is finally in your hot little hands!!

12:47 PM  
Blogger fig said...

Amie, you are one patient and persistent woman! Enjoy the phone!

8:45 AM  
Blogger Minh said...

Your patience is just out of this world! I would have given up a long time ago.

Please, do tell what the pink is...

6:46 PM  
Blogger zippiknits said...

Wheew, and you have some wild form of tenacity, as we all know! Congrats on your new Phone!

2:55 PM  
Blogger zippiknits said...

Wheew, and you have some wild form of tenacity, as we all know! Congrats on your new Phone!

2:56 PM  
Blogger zippiknits said...

Wheew, and you have some wild form of tenacity, as we all know! Congrats on your new Phone!

2:56 PM  
Blogger zippiknits said...

Wheew, and you have some wild form of tenacity, as we all know! Congrats on your new Phone!


I can't seem to post to your blog except annonymously, but maybe even that won't work! O_o

2:58 PM  

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