Customer Service Part 2

15 Aug

You may remember my post “Insurance Woes” where I had a pretty horrid experience on the phone with customer service with my auto insurance provider. The last two days I’ve spent time on the phone with my cellular phone provider (AT&T, formerly Cingular, formerly BellSouth). Yes, I first purchased my own cell phone and started my own account when it was still BellSouth (so I’ve been a customer for a while). Prior to that I had a phone on my parents account with PrimeCo, which has became the hulking giant called “Verizon Wireless.” (“Can you hear me now” “No, I can’t! If your service was any good and I could hear you no matter where you stood YOU wouldn’t have a job!”) I actually have a stuffed PrimeCo alien doll at home!

On Tuesday evening I discovered that I could not send any picture messages (it would turn out that I couldn’t send ANY messages other than texts but I wouldn’t learn that for a day). I decided that I would try again in the morning. Wednesday it is still not working so I decide to call 611 from my cell (AT&T’s Customer Care line). I sit on hold for about 40 minutes before speaking to a nice lady who tells me that there is a system problem with “older” 3G phones. By “older” she meant anything not the iPhone 3G (lame). She tells me that it “hopefully with be up within the next few days.” Days!?! I decide that I will give AT&T until the next day before I throw such a fit and demand a working phone or they would be breaking my contract.

I also did some research on-line to see that most people stopped complaining about the problem Wednesday night, so I was guessing it should be fixed, but it wasn’t. I decide to call “Customer Care” again, but this time I was sitting at my desk at work and decided that I should call the 800 number. That way my phone is free to reset/text to fix whatever problem I may have.

This lead to two major revelations. First, my account is considered a “Small Business” account, so when you call the 800 number it routes you to the “Small Business” services division which means on my three phone calls I waited a total of 45 seconds. How is my, single line account a “Small Business” account? I had to do some research to find out. It turns out that when I added the Orange County Employee discount (15% off everything every month) it turned my account into a “Small Business” account. Awesome! From now on I will call the 800 number!

Second, the “Small Business” technical support rep was able to immediately notify me that I didn’t have any data plan selected. She told me that this is happening to a lot of people. I tell her that I’ve never had a data plan and I don’t plan on needing one. She tells me that I need one, but I don’t. I was very confused. After a while I figured it out.

I have 1500 text/picture/IM messages per month in my plan, so picture messages are free. But the picture messages use the data side of things. I somehow had NO data plan, meaning the network rejected any data. She added the “pay per use” data plan to my account and everything works. Now, my picture messages will still be free and will charge no data, but to use them I need to have some sort of data plan activated. Stupid? Yes, very. But it works now, so I was able to send my mom a picture of my new kitty.

Speaking of…I may have told some of you that today would be a Kitty Update…I didn’t lie. This came up and I decided to delay the kitties until tomorrow. I promise tomorrow there will be a nice kitty update with LOTS AND LOTS of pictures!!!! So check back tomorrow!

BONUS Video of a PrimeCo commercial:


One Response to “Customer Service Part 2”

  1. sunshinekmp August 15, 2008 at 10:16 am #

    Oh I remember the little alien guy…..I think I had one of those guys too! He was cute! Glad you got it all straightened out.

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