Question of the Week

This week my question is aimed at any business where customers may at some point in time need to contact you for questions or (God forbid) ASSISTANCE.


This week there were a few people we had to deal with, but the phone company — that took both of us and in the end ME to deal with.

We have a pay as you go phone. Mainly because it offered the same unlimited calling, texting and web access that the iPhone did…only for about $100 cheaper. It was great. We loved it. Unlike the iPhone it actually had service just about everywhere. No dropped calls, no being unable to get in touch with people when we needed to. It was great.

Then we moved. That meant we needed a new phone number. According to the phone company’s website that meant we had to let the time run out, let the phone be disabled so they could reassign a number and then we’d be gold. Easy right?

slams head on desk

Apparently not. Sunday Matt went online to add the new bank card (cause we moved…new location, new bank, new phone number, new address…you get the picture, right? Good. The phone company? Not so much). This phone company..while having an AWESOME signal really sucks if you need something.  You can’t change any of your info on the website. You have to call them.

Our phone was out of time. We had no phone. Hello? ARGH.

Matt walks to his sister’s house and uses her phone to call these people to change all  the account info. Once again…all he wanted to do was change our address and add the new bank card to the account. (According to the website you had to reload the phone with a card from the store so they would change your number. So…just new address, new bank card number.) He was on the phone over half an hour with a woman who didn’t speak English. She added the new bank card, but changed the addresses on both bank cards (not supposed to do that), didn’t get the city name right (after having it spelled to her 5 times) and asked  Matt if he was refilling the phone. He said, yes, but all he needed her to do was add the bank card. She insisted she could just charge the bank card and change the phone number. He gave in (really…he’d argued so long and repeated himself so many times that by then it was like “ok, whatever. Do your thing and let me go talk to someone normal.”)

So she did her thing, he did his thing and Sunday night? We had a working phone with the OLD phone number.

He called back, went through another half hour or so of hell (giving same info, repeating what happened, what he wants, old zip code, new zip code, bla  bla bla)…and was told that it can take about 15 minutes for the number to change.

The number never changed.

Monday, he calls back and they want the same info (phone serial number, old zip, new zip, explain the situation) he loses his mind and hangs up.

Frustrated, but knowing we HAVE to change this, he calls again…..and hangs up.

I call and they want to talk to him to verify info. He says ok. They ask for the home phone number on the account. He hangs up because there is no home phone number on the account. I say, they wanted to make sure it was you. No one else knows there’s no phone number. GEEZ.

I round up all the info, he hands me both bank cards and I go outside to battle the devil.

I actually get right through. I think “This shouldn’t be that hard. He’s just impatient.”

Uh huh.

I give phone number, serial number, explain that we moved and need a new local number and explain that Matt called yesterday, what the woman said, what he did, and that we don’t have a new phone number, the woman spelled our city wrong and we’re not completely sure she charged the right card. Foreign woman with heavy accent tells me no problem she can assist me with all of that.

I repeat all this information another 4 or 5 times over the next 45 minutes alternating with being put on hold so she can “investigate further” and speak “with the supervisor about this case”. At the end of THAT I’m told that our phone number (the old one) was computer generated. (Yeah, ok?) And, she says, that for our new zip code the number we have is the best number we could have. I said “No, it’s not. Our new zip code is 1500 miles away from the old one. We need a local phone number for here. If someone wants to call us they have to call long distance. Then I add we’re looking for work and employers aren’t going to call someone long distance when they have local people, even though we live here. (We’re unemployed and it’s the phone company’s fault, yo.)

For the 20th time she tells me she’s sorry to hear of that situation and puts me on hold. She tells me the supervisor said there’s nothing we can do. I said Fine, let me talk to your supervisor. She said, “okay, Elisa, I have to inform you that because you asked to speak with a supervisor we cannot transfer calls.”


So another 45 minutes go by where we talk about all the same things and finally we get to a point where she says that they can’t change the phone number without the service card number (from the cards you buy at Walmart or somewhere) which we don’t have because THEIR REP refilled the phone over the phone using our bank card. I tell her I’m not paying another $50 for another month of possibly the wrong phone number. We didn’t do this, THEY did. If they can’t change the number, then deactivate the phone and credit our bank card and when we get the money back we’ll buy a service card. Or we’ll get a phone with a company that has customer service.

She said they can’t do that. I said if you can debit our account you can credit our account. She said “Let me transfer you to a supervisor.”

WTF???I asked for that 45 minutes ago and she said she couldn’t do that. ARGH!

So finally I am transferred to a supervisor. (Who speaks English!) I have to repeat the phone number, serial number, what’s gone on, what we want, what happened and why I’m on the phone now. She says no problem she can help me and she actually does. We have a new phone number, the address is spelled correctly, and she double checked that it was billed to the right bank card and that the new bank card is the default card on our account.

I was on the phone with them for TWO HOURS.

Needless to say, when this month is over we’re switching phone companies. We’re also rescinding the raving reviews we gave to Straight Talk, because when you need them, they just don’t care.


15 thoughts on “Question of the Week

  1. So, Elisa,honey, how the hell are you???HAHAHAHAHAHA!! Seriously, though, I am sorry you had such a telephone nightmare, but glad that it was resolved before you both committed suicide!


  2. Suck it up! Here's what you do… keep hitting 0 multiple times; until you get a real live person! I understand the need for automated systems; but whatever happened to "the personal touch?" THAT is what I really wanna know! 🙂


  3. Two things I hate. Dealing with people who don't care, and who don't speak English. If you're going to be in the service business you need to be able to communicate. I don't understand why companies don't hire people who are bilingual, or at least have a separate dept. for English, Spanish, etc. ????What a pain in the ass! Sorry!


  4. Brenda….none of it was automated.Technically, Sai, she was speaking English. It's just everytime I said something she said 'I'm sorry to hear of that situation." which means…she has no clue what I just said. Yeah….I may botcott all companies who outsource to another's like that commercial on tv where the fat bearded guy answers the phone and with an accent says "My name is Peggy, how can I help you?"


  5. "Soul sucking Peggy; phone operator from Hell"…Between that and automated systems, it's no wonder I cringe eveyr time I need to call a utility company, tech support person, etc. I'm generally pretty laid back and happy; but I have been known to get bitchy with soul sucking Peggy a time or two.LOVE you… and the music! Think I'll just sit here in my jammies and listen to it. All day…..


  6. It makes me happy…that's why I added it. When you get sick of it let me know and I'll see if I can remember what I did and change it up.Soul sucking Peggy. Hahahahaha. Sounds like a song to me…Sai??


  7. OK, that made me tired. Seriously? I thought there was this little thing called number portability. Some kinda law the last time I checked. Did you ask them that?Isn't it fun to have a sorta/kinda lawyer as a friend?


  8. Lanita, I think that only applies to landlines. And really? Asking them anything is far too painful. FAR FAR FAR TOO PAINFUL. Seriously. I haven't made a phone call since. I may have a new phobia.


  9. HELLo, Elisa! Thanks for the comforting comment on my post! I am feeling better today, so I went back and cleaned it up a little.I can't text. It is way too confusing for me.


Don't just sit there -- talk to me!

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