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

Singin' the Customer Service Blues

Fresh when it gets here from Julie Barrett
Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The mobile phone bill arrived in the post the other day. Chris is now using enough text messages to make a plan attractive. In fact, there was a note in the margain that his line was eligible for a decent deal on a text messaging plan.

I should mention that Chris is fairly frugal on text messages. The problem is that all of his friends have plans and think nothing of sending him text message. Teachers send text messages. The college will send a text message if there's an emergency on campus. So yes, a text message plan is a good idea for him.

So I called.

Me: I want to add the text messaging plan.

Rep: Well, I can add a line or upgrade your phone, but I can't add service.

Me: The bill said to call this number.

Rep: I'll transfer you to someone who can help.

Phone: Click. Buzz. I was cut off.

I went to the web site, figuring I could easily add the plan. Nope. I could upgrade my phone. I could change our entire plan. I could add international calling or roadside assistance, but I couldn't add a text messaging plan. Fine. I grabbed the mobile and called the direct customer service number. After navigating a voice mail tree that makes Douglas Adams' Bureaucracy seem tame, I finally got a rep.

Me: I want to give you more money. Will you take it?

Rep: Please hold.

I could barely hear the music on hold, but the voices blasted out of the phone. Not only that, but the rep talked like she was bent to break the land speed record. I spent twenty minutes (most of that time on hold) getting the plan added.

I could understand the runaround if I had a technical question or if I was trying to get a bogus charge removed. No, I wanted to give them money. Increase their bottom line. Toss more filthy luchre in their geneeral direction. Give them cause to sing another chorus of The Money Song. But nooooo. That would be too easy.



Filed under: Life            


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