I intended to post about all the awesome things I accomplished today. I set an alarm for 4:00 AM so I could work on my stuff. I accomplished a lot, but it pales in comparison to this.
Consider these to be personal stories, but there could me a moral in there too. This is the tale of two corporations.
We raised three children to adulthood. Two of them are fully functioning members of society, and I’m very proud of them. One, frankly, isn’t. He’s nearly twenty seven years old, and continues to fail at jobs most would consider as “entry level”. The kind of jobs you tell your sixteen year old congratulations for taking. He quit his last job, because he got scheduled for two days off that weren’t adjacent. He would have thirty days of this, before being allowed to name his own schedule.
I’ve worked thirty days without a day off several times in my life, and think this is absurd. There was no reward except continued employment at the end.
We’ve helped all of our kids, and I don’t mind that. This one is no exception, and we’ve co-signed for cars where Mom & Dad had to make a payment or two. The last time he was unemployed, grandma paid the car off for him. He did not visit during my father’s eightieth birthday, or call, or send a card. I think you get the picture. The stage is set.
We got a letter from Sprint today. Our son hasn’t been paying his phone bill. Guess who co-signed so he could get this phone. Hint: It’s my wife.
My wife called the number on the bill to turn off the phone service. Her intent was to pay what was owed, and be done. That was not Sprint’s intention.
The first call began with an automated system that eventually led to a human. My wife needed her PIN number. We don’t have one, so she answered the personal question and provided the account number of the bill. This confused the Sprint employee, who put us on hold to look for a supervisor. Twenty minutes later, the employee could not help and only a supervisor could do that. She asked for a supervisor. About a half hour on hold, and the call was disconnected.
The second call was a repeat of the first. My wife said she was disconnected the first time. The new Sprint employee said, “No problem, we’ll call you right back.”
My wife said, “But I’m not calling from the Sprint telephone–
Cue the hold music. Forty five minutes later the call disconnected.
Third telephone call. My wife said, “I want to disconnect a telephone, I don’t have a PIN number, my answer to the personal question is XXX. I am not calling from the Sprint telephone number, so you can’t call me back. I need a supervisor so I can cancel a service. I’ve been hung up on twice, and I’m getting a bit upset about it.”
It took a long time for the supervisor, George, to show up, but he did. My wife explained that it isn’t our phone, and we are willing to pay, but do not want to continue the service.
George apparently misunderstood and tried to sell her a new and upgraded plan. She explained all of what she wanted to accomplish once more. George told her about the severe cancellation fee that comes with canceling a contract.
She explained that this phone hasn’t been under contract for two years. George seems to have some kind of impairment that doesn’t allow him to read his own fucking computer screen.
He generously offered to turn off the phone nearly a month from now and the bill would be $300+. My wife said we are not paying for future service for a cancelled contract, and in fact Sprint bills a month ahead and we were donating a portion of the bill back to Sprint. She was willing to pay the late bill, but that was it. This was her last attempt, and then Sprint could send the account to collections and receive nothing.
George finally gave up and my wife paid about half the amount that was requested. George said the phone is disconnected immediately, and accepted the payment my wife offered. He assured her this was finished. She asked for his name and he said, “Just George.” I doubt he’s the only George that works at Sprint. I’m sure we’ll get another bill next month.
Now I’m old enough to know this is all some bullshit game. The phone can be disconnected at any time with a few simple keystrokes. The hold and disconnect is part of the game. If we give up, they enter another billing cycle and it’s our fault.
We don’t know if we succeeded or not. Neither of us has any faith in George. My wife spent two and a half hours on the phone with Sprint to handle a five minute process. Here’s the credit card – turn off the phone. By my account, they owe her $40 for her time.
I don’t want this to be a complete downer, so here’s a happy story. It was New Years about eighteen or nineteen months ago. I decided to get a new vehicle. This is something I do every fifteen years or so, and it was time. I bought a new Toyota Tundra. I had them install stainless steel running boards as part of the purchase.
I love this truck. It runs flawlessly, and it gets 18 MPG.
My running boards are starting to rust. There is quite a lot of rust, so I had Peterson Toyota take pictures the last time I had it serviced. They called me today. Toyota will replace my running boards for free, no questions asked. The service department already placed the order and they will call me when they get here next week.
My father decided he wants a new truck and asked me to help him. I mentioned early on that he’s 80 years old. He really likes my Tundra and asked me to look some things up on that newfangled internet thingy.
He’s picked out a specific Tundra that’s on the lot at Peterson, placed a deposit to hold it, and I’m going to take time off Thursday and Friday to help him trade his old truck and chauffeur him to get the new one. This is a good product and Peterson has been very fair with me. I believe in saying something about good products and services.
That’s how I roll. If someone treats me well, I’m willing to tell others about it. I’m willing to go back, and my wife has her eye on a new Toyota SUV in a couple of years. I even referred my father to the same salesman who sold me mine.
I may also have something to say if my parents ever want to change telephone providers. It was a long post, but now I’ve told all of you too.