June 02, 2005

We Know All About It But It's Still Your Fault

A few months ago I succumbed to the cell phone age and decided that I would exchange my land line for a pre-paid plan. As I saw it, this actually works out better since I will pay only for what I use instead of being forced to pay $30 a month for a utility I rarely use. I hate talking on the phone and I don't want to pay for something I hate.

I got my phone and service set up; fiddled around to find the most annoying ring tone I could, (pay backs are a bitch, people) and set about getting the settings to my specifications.

I and my cell phone were good friends for about a month. During the second month my cell phone decided to become a little bitch and end any and all calls at the 15 minute mark. Again, as I don't really talk on the phone that much I didn't really care that it did that. That is until I had to start calling companies for various reasons, (usually lack of quality customer service...surprise). It got to be tiresome and what really lit the fire under my apathetic ass was when I started to realize that the phone would end my calls at like 14:39 or 16:01 or 13:27, etc and I was being charged the full minute despite the fact that I did not get that full minute because the fucking phone kept hanging up. (Plus the fact that when I'm explaining my complaint, it would hang up and then I would have to start the FUCK all over with someone else...garrr!)

So I called...V-Immobile to discuss the issue.

Customer "Care" Lady: Thank you for calling V-Immobile may I have your phone number please?

**(interjection...if I already entered the phone number after being prompted while on hold, why do I have to tell her?)**

Me: 555-555-1234

C"C"L: What may I help you with today?

Me: I've had this phone for two months. The first month everything worked fine. The second month, every single phone call I make will get cut off, the call will be ended at around the 15 minute mark.

C"C"L: Are you touching the antennae when you are talking on the phone?

Me: No...and I don't understand how that can possibly explain why the phone ends every single call around the 15 minute mark during the second month of its life when in the first month everything was fine. But, no, I'm usually using the earpiece that comes with it.

**(interjection: This is great fun. You should try it. I love walking down the street with the ear piece in, talking on the phone. Even though the wire is clearly draping from beneath my hair towards my pocket, or, in some cases, cell phone in hand, I still get looks from people...horrified looks as they assume I'm crazy and talking to myself. It's a riot. Sometimes? I'll flap my arms while talking to further convince them.)**

C"C"L: Is the battery charged?

Me: Sigh. Of course the battery is charged. This doesn't just happen on a few calls, it happens on every single call no matter if the battery is fully charged, fresh out of the charger, half charged or plugged into the wall so as not to use the battery at all. It happens on every single phone call.

C"C"L: How often do you charge the battery?

Me: Just like the book says, when it's low or beeps at me. Again, it has nothing to do with the battery.

C"C"L: Well according to Enginerola, this is a known problem and they suggest that you remove the battery for one minute and then put it back into your phone. They also state to charge the battery every day.

Needle scratching over record

This is a known problem yet she wants to subject me to the Spanish Inquistion as if I'M the one doing something wrong?

Me: Ok, look, I don't touch the antennae or buttons while I'm talking. I've already questioned this myself. I've already taken the battery out and put it back in. My signal is always strong. I'm using this is the same environment that I did the first month. Nothing on my end has changed. It has absolutely nothing to do with the charge and if this is a known problem, then what is Enginerola or V-Immobile doing about it?

C"C"L: Like I said, Enginerola offers several suggestions and I'm running down the list with you. Are you on the phone now?

Me: Yes, this is the only phone I have. By the way, it will probably happen while we are talking so will you call me back if it does?

C"C"L: Yes, of course. How strong is your signal? Do you move around while you are on the phone?

Me: Again, my signal is extremely strong, 5 bars and sometimes I move, sometimes I don't. Regardless, I know where you are going with this and the fact remains, the first month this phone worked, the second month it cuts off at around 15 minutes with every single phone call I make. You state it's a known problem with the phone.....

C"C"L: (interrupting) Well if you were driving in a car while talking on it this wouldn't happen. Ok, I'm just waiting on the computer system to get me to the next screen.

Me: I do not talk on the phone while I'm driving and if this is a claim you are going to make perhaps it should be written in bold letters somewhere on the packaging of the phone in the stores. By the way, how long have we been talking by the way?

C"C"L: About 11 minutes. Not counting the time you were on hold.

Me: Ok, if it's going to happen, it's probably going to happen very soon. Please call me back if it hangs up.

C"C"L: Ok, what's your phone number?

(bloody fucking hell lady!)

I give it to her. She's still waiting on her computer to switch screens. I mention that it will be interesting to see if the phone hangs up on us and....

As soon as I said that, the call ended. Time: 13:16

I waited. And waited. And waited some more. Bitch didn't call me back. SIGH! I call back, naturally get someone else, naturally douche bag from the first call failed to put notes in on my account so I got the joy of explaining all of this again. The difference? This one claims it is not a known problem and put in a ticket to the help desk. I should hear something within 24-72 hours. I'm approaching 72 hours. Have I heard anything?

Of course not.

If this is a known problem, I should be issued a new phone. It doesn't happen on every V-Immobile phone. I know this for a fact as someone I know has the exact same phone as I have and theirs doesn't do this. So give me a fucking working phone! And while they're at it, they can throw in another $50 worth of talk time for all the minutes I've paid for but didn't use because of the "known" problem ending my calls.

Also, when training customer "care" reps, can we get them all on the same page so that one doesn't tell me it's a known problem and one tells me it isn't? Which one do I believe? I feel like I'm getting the brush off. I know I'm not going to get a call from the "help desk" so that means I have to call and talk to a third person to try to get this resolved. And that pisses me off.

If this was a $50 phone maybe I wouldn't care so much but this phone cost a pretty penny and the damn thing needs to work longer than a fricken month. Especially if they "know" it's a recurring problem. What should have happened in the FIRST phone call was for me to explain what happened, the lady tell me it was a known problem and offer to replace the phone for me as well as credit my account some money for all the minutes I've been charged.

Has customer service gone to shit or what? We need to stand up and tell these companies that we are not going to take this crap anymore. They aren't doing me the favor...without us customers, those pricks wouldn't have a job or a business. Assweeds.

Posted by S. Faolan Wolf at June 2, 2005 05:39 PM

That is weird - I have never heard of it happening before...I have had a phone go apeshit because of water damage, apparently, but I guess it isn't that. Yeah you should get a refund.

Posted by: Ruth at June 2, 2005 11:49 PM

That is frustrating. But don't get too upset with the service personel; they really are regulated as to what they can say, and can lose their jobs if they deviate from the proscribe script. Not kidding; my dh works for oen of these companies and one can get in trouble for smallest digressions from the format given him.
The workers are also underpaid, overwroked and treated abysmally.

Posted by: Rachel Ann at June 3, 2005 04:23 AM

You are assuming that I go off on customer service personal. I have been a CSR and I know they aren't all regulated and I know that if one tells me it's a known problem and one tells me it isn't, a help desk person was supposed to call me within 72 hours and that didn't happen, I now get to call AGAIN....it doesn't have a thing to do with regulation, it has everything to do with piss poor customer service.

I don't have sympathy for people choosing the jobs they choose. If they don't like their job, they can get another one. In the meantime, they better give me the highest quality customer service no matter how much they get paid.

Posted by: S. Faolan Wolf at June 3, 2005 09:10 AM

*giggling uncontrollably*

Posted by: Maine at June 3, 2005 04:50 PM

I had my cell phone disconnected one time for no reason. I paid my bill on time but nonetheless they shut it off. I called the company, we figured out the problem but...in the meantime, the CSR actually said to me "what the hell do you want me to do about it" When I protested he then said "cry me a river lady" I swear to G**. So regardless of the script, they do deviate at free will.

Posted by: Sailgirl at June 8, 2005 01:25 AM

Holy crap! I would have been on with a supervisor so fast his head would have spun all the way out the door as he got escorted after being fired.

What a putz!

Posted by: S. Faolan Wolf at June 8, 2005 01:31 AM
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