Reach Out

For the most part, I don’t find telephones hard to use. I don’t find them hard to select, to purchase, to back with phone service. I have no great difficulty in going through customer support when things go awry.

Then came Net 10…and serious opportunity to whine, with motivation provided to do so.

I’ve been a customer for years, a very happy customer. Bought the phone cheaply, used it inexpensively, basked in the glow of fulfilled consumerism. Then, two weeks ago, I foolishly let my phone stay behind to take a bit of sun on a park bench. When I returned, the phone had gone off, undoubtedly with some deserving homeless person who would be otherwise unable to call out for pizza. I accepted the consequence of my actions, slightly bucked up that they were serving another, and ordered another phone via the web. A nicer one this time, flat, with a camera and a web interface, all the bells and several of the whistles. I was, you see, a Net 10 believer at this point. I even dropped the extra $5 for three day delivery.

Three days.

My phone did, in fact, arrive in three days. The SIM card that permits it to operate did not. I called customer service, anticipating a cheery hour spent being matey with the phoneroom crowd. We would share a chuckle over the vagaries of the shipping department, have a joke or two at their expense, and things would be made right.

I made a poorly chosen remark early on, though, and it placed a wedge between the phone room person and myself. I shall call him Charybdis, as that was his name. Honestly.

CHARYBDIS: Okay, then, we’ll have a SIM card delivered to you in seven to ten days.
ME: I actually need it sooner. Overnight seems reasonable, since I paid for faster shipping.
CHARYBDIS: We don’t do that.
ME: But surely you can, and I paid for my phone – then entire phone – to be delivered in three days.
CHARYBDIS: Your phone was delivered.
ME: Most of it, yes. Crucial parts are in your hands. I need them, or I only got part of my phone.
CHARYBDIS: Okay, then. We will ship it in seven to ten days.
ME: Look, I paid for a phone. And I paid for fast shipping. I got the phone. But you owe me $5 for the shipping, or fast shipping for the entire phone.
CHARYBDIS: You have the phone.
ME: Not the whole phone. You have the SIM card.
CHARYBDIS: Okay, then. We will ship it in seven to ten days.
ME: Then refund my shipping fee, and we’ll be good.
CHARYBDIS: No, we don’t do that. I can refund the price of the phone, but the shipping feel is non-refundable.
ME: So what you are telling me is that you took my money for three day shipping and you will have my entire order to me in ten days, and I can just pay you the extra $5 for nothing at all.
CHARYBDIS: You already paid for shipping.
ME: But I didn’t get the whole thing.
CHARYBDIS: Okay, then. We will ship it in seven to ten days, and you will have the whole thing.

And ‘round we went again. I finally acknowledged that Charybdis had the better of me, as he held the high ground; he had what I wanted, I had nothing he cared about, having already tendered my money. I asked, gently, to be passed to his supervisor, Scylla.

Who had the same identical conversation with me. To the word. I assume they are scripted.
I finally bowed, and allowed that the war might not be over, but this battle did not belong to me. I accepted seven to ten day delivery and vowed I would stand the victor when this dust finally settled. I would get my phone, and would continue the fight over the admittedly minor amount of $5, and I would prevail.

The phone arrived. It doesn’t work.

I spoke with Customer Service again. They will send me another phone as replacement.
In seven to ten days, although they pointed out that, with the holiday upon us, it might take longer and I should make allowances for slow delivery.

There is nothing I can say of Net 10 that is so scathing as the raw details of this transaction.

Crossposted from Epinepherine & Sophistry

3 thoughts on “Reach Out”

    1. I shall be prepared to prefunk; I have begun the lacing of ribbons in my hair and the bells have been mounted on my toes, so I should be in fine form.

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