Julie Barrett is a freelance writer and photographer based in Plano, TX.


Fresh (almost) daily from Julie Barrett

Boy, am I glad to hit the end of the week! Yesterday was an exercise in frustration I care not to repeat. I mentioned earlier in the week that Chris' cell phone had died. It could never find service.

It was bad enough that we had to fight traffic out to the west side of town. Monday when we tried to get the phone fixed we went to the nearby location only to be told that they'd moved the repair center. It's a 20-minute drive at best in generally heavy traffic. Monday we spent 45 minutes at Borders while they checked over the phone and then declared it to be dead. For only $55 (cough) I could have a replacement. So we ordered the phone, which was promised to arrive on Thursday.

I'm assuming that if I had wanted to outright buy a phone they'd have had one in stock. We probably were going to get a factory refurbished unit.

Rather than just drive across town yesterday, we decided to call and make sure the phone was in before we made the trip. I assigned Chris that task. It was, after all, his phone. Every time he called he asked for the repair department and ended up in some kind of limbo. Nothing. No music or ads on hold. Nada. He called back and explained what was going on and got put in limbo again.

He tried again early in the evening. Same thing. We decided to drive out after dinner. Of course, the place was packed. We got his name on the list. I was feeling terrible. I had a stabbing pain in my eye from the allergy issues (it's better today) and on top of that I was Hot Flash Woman. You don't want to mess with me. I explained the phone hassles to every rep we talked to and they just blew it off. They put customer names up on a big screen TV so you know when your name will come up. I looked up at one point just as the top four names - including Chris' - vanished from the screen. While we were discussing what to do a rep walked up. "Did your name just go off the screen? I did that. I was walking around looking to see who had a reaction." Dang, what happened to calling out the customer name?

She couldn't find any record of the order. That's odd as they practically record the number of times I breathe in the store and then send me a targeted survey begging me to rate my "experience." Of course, Chris didn't have his receipt. I sat down while she dug through the drawers of phones. I finally saw her walk over with one and a minute later the guys were ready to leave. Why? She said it would cost $55. But I already paid that the other day.

It gets better.

We got on the list. Again. And waited. And waited. By this time the store was full of families, and some parents refused to reign in their little terrors darlings. One girl dragged her little brother kicking and screaming across the store and then the kids started calling each other idiots. Then she decided she had to entertain the store with her cheerleading skills. The parents didn't do a thing. A woman in a chair next to me muttered, "if those were my kids, I'd tell 'em to calm down or we'd leave, and they'd listen." I'm with ya, lady.

We continued to wait. Time passed. They started calling names that weren't even up on the screen. Chris' name got to the top. More time passed. The unruly kids were handed a bag of cell phones and two of them started to paw through them. "Hey! Yours is better than mine! Dammit!" "Dammit!" It was like a junior version of a Fry & Laurie sketch in a perverse sort of way. (I wonder if the mom's name was Marjorie?)

We were about to close down the store. The cleaning lady was emptying the trash. Finally, they called Chris' name. We explained everything again. Still no record of the transaction. This rep agreed that he could refund our money, and he had to look up the transaction in the computer by time of day and counter number. He found it. I handed the card over and we got a credit.

We drove home in silence (we were to mad to talk) and I went to bed as soon as we got home.

I'm expecting the targeted survey soon. They're not going to like the results.


Filed under: Life            


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