Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Phone Takes up a Lot of Phone Time

James and I are responsible adults.

It only took two years and eight months of marriage to create our own phone plan and get off our parents' plans.

Very responsible.

Unfortunately, switching two already-existing numbers into a new account is tricky. Really tricky.  But it shouldn't be so tricky. It should be simple to transition in to responsible adulthood. Right?

The young woman who helped me set up the new phone plan a month ago was really enthusiastic and helpful. As we concluded each step, she'd say "Awesome!" and move onto the next item of business. Maybe her awesomes addled her brain a bit because that weekend I had a voice message that there was some problem with the billing for the new phone. My name had been entered wrong. Which was weird since she had put me on hold to make sure the payment went through. I know because she told me it was awesome afterward.

So I talked with some other customer service representative who got the payment all worked out and spelled my maiden name wrong and forgot to put my married name on the account.

Then I received a notice that there was some change on the account, so I called. They said it was all right. I shouldn't have believed them.

But the phone that was supposed to have come within five business days still hadn't arrived after two weeks. I lost my temper with the poor young man who was only trying to do his job.

After the phone was finally delivered, some other customer service representative told me that I had only signed up for a single line. "No," I told them, and explained the plan we had set up three weeks before.

Finally, after the phone came and we got things straightened out with my name and James's contacts (by going into the store, of course), I was able to transfer my number and start using the account. We still had to wait for James's number to be released by his parents, but it was all right. We had our two lines, our texts, our minutes, our account, and the latest in a string of customer service representatives assured me we wouldn't be charged for the entire month of June since we didn't activate the account until the end of the month.

We got the information we needed for transferring James's number, so we called today. Pretty straight-forward. Here's the previous account number, pin, and account holder name. Yes, they'll release the number. Automatic text message comes up, telling us the phone now uses the old number. It's all set. Yes. Oh, but we need to check that one weird message we got about adding data. We didn't add data. Let's create an account online to see what happened.

What does "?!" sound like? Maybe some kind of groan or shocked guttural sound. That was the sound we made---in unison. We had a $407 bill. Ummm  . . . What happened?

So two and a half hours of calling (and losing the call and calling back and transferring to supervisors and talking with multiple customer service representatives) later, they dropped the excess charges for "changing" our plan to the plan we had initially signed up for, and blocked the data option, and moved the billing date to the end of June instead of the week before we had first called.

Fixing phone problems is a really time-consuming way to spend a Tuesday afternoon. I'd rather have a Moody Blues kind of day with quiet reflection and whistling, but at least we have saved about $250 in unjustified charges.

It's just one of those things responsible adults have to deal with.

Don't get me started on insurance . . .