February 11, 2007
Today my cell phone wasn’t working all that well. Actually, as far as the phone part goes, it wasn’t working at all. Every call I tried to make failed and if I tried calling my phone it would eventually give me a busy signal. I called up Cingular and since my phone is less than two weeks old the best guess was that the phone was defective and Monday I’d have to deal with that department since its not open on Sundays. Ok, not the best scenario, but survivable. There are a few old phones around the house that I can pop my SIM into that would let me get by for a few days. Except that when I put my SIM in another phone it still didn’t work. I then found that my parents’ phones weren’t working either. Something must be wrong with the tower, so I gave Cingular a call back.
The Cingular lady checks into some things and comes back and tells me that my phone isn’t working because there are no towers in my area. Her best guess is that they had a roaming agreement that ran out. She wasn’t quite sure how to explain the fact that I had full bars and that my Alpha Tag said Cingular. I questioned what we were to do now that we won’t be able to get service at the house. I was told our termination fees would be waived. I also mentioned that it would have been nice if there was some sort of notice. She told me that letters would be sent out soon.
I didn’t believe her for a second, but she seemed confident that there were letters being sent out letting us know that we couldn’t get service anymore. That would really be terrible. I quickly did some T-Mobile research but that didn’t make me feel any better. A little while later I tried my phone again and sure enough it was working again. We’ll see where this goes over the next week.
This is just the latest occurrence dealing with a cell phone company. A few months ago I dealt with Verizon and they were completely clueless. It took me over a day and about six people to get my phone activated. Finally I was transferred to a guy who did it in two minutes, the trouble was finding that guy. I went back to Cingular after the Verizon experiment because the call quality was so awful on Verizon (I had a LG VX-8600). I’d been happy with my Motorola RAZR V3, except for the fact that it was getting old and making some buzzing noises. I jumped on the Motorola RAZR V3xx as soon as it came out and it sounds fantastic.
I seem to always know more about how the company works than the people who actually work for them. When the first guy at Cingular told me my phone was defective he said he was going to transfer me to the warranty people. I told him that my phone was less than 30 days old, so this wasn’t going to be a warranty exchange. He disagreed with me and transferred me. The guy in warranty told me that I needed a different department because the phone was less than 30 days old. Hmm, that sounds familiar. This sort of thing happens all the time. I wish I was a little more clueless so I wouldn’t be quite as angry when talking to these people.
My favorite part of any of these conversations is at the end. When there is nothing they can do to help you they ask “Is there anything else I can assist you with?” You just told me I can’t use my phone at home, I think we’re done here.