I have to tell you I was dumb founded by what I was hearing from the Cingular “Customer Service?” Rep. Wasn't this the same company that spent millions of dollars with their ad campaigns, telephone solicitations, and those cozy family plan commercials offering free phones and wonderful plans with their smiley employees, so friendly, with their "we'll take care of you" promises? How comforting it was to know that there is still a company out there with the lost philosophy of "the customers always right". What a relief.
Let me fill you in on my latest conversations with the good people at Cingular's customer dis-service department. I have 5 phones from cingular and in all we have about 12 in my family. We liked the idea that we can have unlimited calls to others with the same service, and indeed we do. That's about the last positive thing I can say about our mobile phone service.
My final fiasco began when I lost my main phone some weeks back. This number was on all my business cards, car magnet, internet sites, and in countless advertisements in print and online. So needless to say, I needed to keep this number.
My first call to Cingular was to report the phone lost. which I did that same night. My first question to customer service was “How can I keep this number, yet block any out-going calls at the same time should the phone end up in the wrong hands?
Here are the options that my phone company gave me:
1) We can turn that phone off and you can purchase a new one. (Okay, that sounds fair, after all they practically give these phones away, so how much could another phone possibly cost.)
"Well sir, to replace the phone you lost will cost you $249.00". "I don't understand", I replied quite puzzled. "I only paid $50 for that phone when I bought it, plus I received a $50 rebate, so I paid nothing for it"
"Well sir, that price is only available when you sign a 2 year contract, unfortunately you don't qualify for an upgrade for another 5 weeks when your existing contracts expires on that particular phone" Okay, do you see where this is going?
So I’m forced to bring out the heavy ammo. I have no alternative at this point but to threaten to cancel all my accounts and I let them know I’m taking my entire Network of friends and family members with me. I hate to do it , but these people have to realize how serious I am in order for them to fully understand the ramifications they are facing by jeopardizing their chances of losing this large account that they spent so much time and money on to make sure we didn’t fall into the hands of any of their many competitors. Basically they said, “See yuh!”
Now I’m stuck like chuck and end up buying the cheapest phone they have and now the old number is forwarded from the lost phone I can no longer use, (yet I’m still paying for) to the new phone I was forced to purchase because I still have 6 weeks left on my contract. Are you following me so far? Now pay close attention, because this is the proverbial “icing on the cake”.
My phone bill arrives and I’m being billed over $500. Surely there must be a mistake and I know with just one quick phone call to my friends at customer service this will all be corrected and the charges will naturally be removed due to some understandable mistake on their part. It was then explained to me why my bill was so unusually high. You see, it seems I had made several calls out of the country from the phone I reported lost and no longer had in my possession. Yes, after having this account for 3 years it seems I was now making calls to Haiti and points beyond. Good thing for me I had reported the phone lost and Cingular put a calling restriction on the phone in case it turned up one day. Could you imagine if I was the one they were going to hold responsible for all those calls? I knew their fraud department would pursue this and maybe even recover my phone. “Excuse me, what did you just say?” I asked the fine folks at the phone company. “You want “ME” to pay for the calls to Haiti, are you serious?” Oh yes, they were very serious. They are demanding, yes demanding, as in threatening to cut off my service if I don’t pay the bill from the phone that I reported had been lost over a month ago.
Are you kidding me? Try talking to a supervisor; see how far that gets you. First they try to keep you on hold long enough to get you to hang up. Tactic 2 (unofficially there are rumored to be 113 stall and distraction techniques, but this is only a myth and the exact figures are top secret and perhaps we’ll never know. This is Cingulars version of the “Grassy Knoll” and to speak of it may be endangering my next phone bill at this very moment.)
Do you get the big picture? This is big business’s version of “You can’t fight city hall”. The sad truth is the customer is not always right any more; in fact we’re almost never right, because they have an excuse for everything. They have it right there in front of them in the form of cheat sheets. You say this, they say that. They don’t care about giving the individual “Customer Service”. They target millions of people all in the same fish bowl. If you or I have a problem they really aren’t concerned about losing our $50 or $150 dollars a month, they have trained people to deal with dis-satisfied customers and they call those specialists “Customer Service Reps”, which translated means “see you, wouldn’t wanna be you”. Face it folks, you can’t win, the best you can do is think you won, and go away happy. And that is where Customer Service Reps excel.
If you enjoyed this article, please visit Jay's Family sites at Jays Plan - Secrets of a Single Dad and Family Health With Mister Mom
Jay Bartels is the author of many human interest stories and considered to be an expert in Internet marketing and training. Jay's own story of hope and inspiration can be found on his highly resourcefull family sites. Jay is a single father raising two young girls and shares his experiences in several journals that can be found on his web sites.
The crew from Bloody Elbow discuss's the UFC making a run at getting Ronda Rousey some marketable opponents, from flirting with Gina Carano and signing Holly Holm.
Tessa Watkins knows that romance can be found in unexpected places, particularly when women stop searching for sizzle and embrace plain old fun.
Joining me on "the Conversation will be prolific singer/songwriter/producer Chris Jasper dropping by to talk about his journey with the Isley Bro., Isley Jasper Isley and now his solo career in this new Industry age!!
Emmy award-winning journalist and writer Terry Irving joins Big Blend Radio to talk about his thrilling debut novel COURIER.
AreYouScreening.com and BFCA critic, Marc Eastman, and co-host extraordinaire Shane Leonard review The Purge: Anarchy.
After a long run on Saturday Night Live, Victoria Jackson has kept busy performing in night clubs across America, and appearing in multiple movies. On August 7, the people of Williamson County in Tennessee will decide if she'll be the new County Commissioner.
Learn to accept the reality of your fears. Embrace Fear motivational training with Navy SEAL and coach David Rutherford
Zurich: Historic Meets Hip - Travel Brigade visits Zurich for history in Old Town and hip in revitalized Zurich West. Will also take you for a swim in Lake Zurich and luxury shopping along the famed Bahnhofstrasse.
That's Entertainment's host Tammy Jones-Gibbs welcomes Celebrity Chef Lorna Garcia as she talks about appearing on NBC's "Food Fighters."
The team follows Historic Route 66 through the Texas Panhandle, dining on Texas-sized steaks, checking out the graffiti over at Cadillac Ranch, and visiting the ghost town of Glenrio.
Retirement is a bankrupt industrial age idea. When building and running a business, you want to operate from a strong foundation & premise. Tune in as Chuck Blakeman flips your thinking on running a profitable business.
Meet the founders of Sober Chat, the first ever "location sensitive" mobile chat application for those in recovery from addiction/alcoholism. "Location sensitive" means that the people page will be populated with people that are close by, similar to dating apps such as Scruff and Grindr.
Connect with Marlise and find out why the boy in Heaven is For Real only recognized Akiane’s painting of Jesus, “The Prince of Peace,” as the man he spent time with when in a near death coma.
Joy Keys chats with sexy, handsome star McKinley Freeman from VH1's Hit The Floor series.
Cancer is expensive. Too often, you win the fight but lose everything thanks to crushing debt, medical and bankruptcy. This is not OK and the folks at Give Forward are doing something about it. Join us as we discuss our broken healthcare system, the ridiculously high cost of care and what people are doing about it.
Craig Shutler, famed Aria mixologist, tells us about the trends in Las Vegas cocktails and beer. He joins us at Hotel 32 on top of MGM’s Monte Carlo Hotel on the Vegas Strip.
On his show, Comedian Rodney Perry covers arts and entertainment, everything from comedy and politics to music and acting, with his signature comedic slant.
Joy Keys provides her listeners with insight to improve their lives mentally, physically, monetarily and emotionally. Past guests on the show have included Meshell Nedegeocello, Blair Underwood, in addition to an impressive list of CEOs, humanitarians and authors.
Host Barry Moltz gets small businesses unstuck. He has founded and run small businesses with a great deal of success and failure for more than 15 years. This is a business radio show where he shares all the craziness of small business. It’s that craziness that actually makes it exciting, interesting and totally unpredictable.
The Bottom Line Sports Show is hosted by former NBA stars Penny Hardaway, Charles Oakley, Mateen Cleaves. Tune in to get the inside scoop on what's happening in sports today.
Hits Radio covers basketball, sports culture and entertainment with past guests including Jason Kidd, Robin Lundberg and Chris Herren.
Listeners get an earful on The Halli Casser-Jayne Show, Talk Radio for Fine Minds. Whether it’s the current political cocktail or the latest must-read award-winning book, Halli tackles all topics and likes to stir — and sometimes shakes — things up.
Official Internet radio show of forthcoming epic paranormal investigation book by Eric Olsen and "Haunted Housewife" Theresa Argie.
Award-winning World Footprints is a leading voice in socially responsible travel and lifestyle. Hosts Ian & Tonya celebrate culture and heritage and bring a unique voice to the world of travel.
Football Reporters Online is a group of veteran football experts in the fields of coaching, scouting, talent evaluation, and writing/broadcasting/media placement. Combined, the group brings well over 100 years of expertise in sports.
Host John Martin interviews the nation's leading entrepreneurs and small biz experts to educate small business owners on how to be successful. Past guests have included Emeril Lagasse and Guy Kawasaki.
Sylvia Global presents global conversations pertaining to women, wealth, business, faith and philanthropy. Sylvia has interviewed an eclectic mix from CEOs and musicians to fashion designers and philanthropists including Randolph Duke and Ne-Yo.
It's good to talk.