Thursday, July 12, 2007

Lost my Phone! Help!

I haven't really lost my phone, it was hiding in the green bag, but for a day or two I thought I might have lost it forever. I've been visiting lots of friends recently, including camping out by Lake Ontario and digging in the gardens at Battle Green, you know my phone might be in the depths of the sea or buried neck deep in soil, if not for the notorious green bag!

While I thought my phone was gone, I spent some time looking for a new one. I checked out the Verizon website and was informed that my contract had a few months left before I could make a trade, but I spotted an option to upgrade early under the New-Every-Two program and so I checked it out. I'm a sucker for cool features, and I'm always looking to replace my other gadgets with more featureful, less expensive alternatives.

My old phone has a data cable that doesn't work, on account of proprietary software that wasn't included and can't be downloaded anymore. I was attracted to the Nokia 6315i for the GPS VNavigator service, EVDO data plan, and Bluetooth wireless connection; the cost was $29.99, and while I could have a phone for free, those extras were enough to seal the deal for me. I filled out the form and printed it out, then hopped in my car to go pick up my new phone at the local Verizon Wireless office... if only it were that easy.

David, the first sales rep to greet me when I came in the door, was quick to explain that I really didn't want a new phone if my contract was not up. I showed him my print of the deal from the website, and he told me he couldn't honor that price; he was also suspicious that if I had actually placed the order, I would have been billed the full retail price of the phone, costing me over $200. Great job sir, you know I'm definitely sold now!

I explained that my phone was lost and I was looking for work, and so I would really rather not leave the store without a phone. He told me my best bet was to order through the website, and I would only wait a couple of days for shipping. The model I wanted was not in stock here, and he couldn't help me anyway until July 22, on account of my contract. Needless to say, I had heard enough from David at this point.

I walked over to the customer service desk and explained my situation with the lost and found phone, to see if perhaps there was a data cable that I could purchase to back up my contacts in case it was lost for real; of course not, those are a special order, and of course you will need another different cable to load the numbers onto your new phone when you get it. The customer service rep explained, "Navigate through the Get-It-Now menus and find Backup Assistant, and for an additional $1.99/mo your contacts will automatically be stored daily on our servers." On their servers. Right... so much for data retention.

Might as well put the icing on the cake: I asked about the EVDO and Bluetooth support on the new phone that I was meaning to buy; well, that sounds like something you should be able to do, in fact the phone supports that, but you can't use it; we disable that functionality. The bluetooth is only for those headsets that our customers use so they can walk around looking like Borg drones. I think Verizon executives should own stock in AT&T/Apple. Can you hear me now?


yebyen said...

Now I know exactly what my tuition bought me in the business world: confidence. I'm on the phone with HP support, trying to get a replacement hard drive under warranty. The drive is bad. I know that the drive is bad. I've proven using inductive reasoning that the drive is bad. I've explained in symbolic logic the construction of my proof, so far to two Indian men, Mahesh and Rahul.

Now Rahul has to go talk to the supervisor Jit for some reason. The SMART test passed, so obviously the drive is not bad. There is nothing that they can do for me, and I have voided my father's warranty by installing a Vista operating system in an unsupported troubleshooting procedure. This SMART test is a very sensitive test which will detect any fault in the drive. We cannot replace the drive unless it has completely failed, and this SMART test has indicated no fault in the drive.

A moment has passed... Rahul has returned and something has changed. We will be replacing the drive on the basis of customer satisfaction. I will be receiving a call within a span of about 24 hours from the supervisor, and he will help me with my drive replacement. Now I'm absolutely positively delighted! But was that really worth $40?

Joseph said...

To be honest, the utter calamity and blood letting that you went through to simply upgrade your phone is temping me to go buy a featureless Virgin Mobile phone, or remain without mobile communications, and hope I don't lose my current job, because then I'll need a phone number again.