All I Wanted Was A New Phone

I'm not clear why the world of cell phones is not something easier to navigate than it is. It's not the phones themselves that cause me problems - technologically, I'm pretty adept. It's the plans and the not-plans and all the options that boggle me.

It all started when I got a notice in the mail from Verizon letting me know that I was qualified for my new phone. I like the "new every two" program wherein you get a new phone every 2 years. There's certainly nothing wrong my current phone, but I have actually started texting a teeny bet more these days and have come to the conclusion that I'd really like a QWERTY keyboard. I still refuse to pay for data services, so I don't need a Crackberry or anything like that - just a phone with a keyboard. After talking to a few people and looking around, I settled on the enV2.

Then Tim decided to throw a wrench in the works. See, his company has employee perks with the various cell phone carriers. So I poked around at Verizon and AT&T and TMobile and looked at what they could offer via the employee discount program and decided that, all things being equal, sticking with Verizon was the way to go. In many ways I found this shocking - because I had mentally switched to AT&T with their rollover minutes since I never use all my minutes and hate that they disappear even though I pay for them. But there were some cons that rolled around with AT&T so...back to Verizon I went. Still, I couldn't quite figure out how to switch my existing account to one under the employee plan. So I clicked on the happy little tech support chat box.

First...wouldn't you think that if you were a tech support chat person that you would be able to type with some relative sembalance of speed? Me too. But my TSCP? Not so much. Of course, as I was running from the keyboard every two seconds to try and either save the kiddo from harm or keep him from harming something that he managed to find that he shouldn't have, maybe that's not so bad. After 20 minutes chatting and exactly 5 chat interactions (seriously, she was S-L-O-W) it was clear that we would have to have a family plan to use the employee discount - or we'd have to cancel my phone and "get a phone for Tim" that was, you know, really for me. That all promised to be way more hassle than it was worth for the $5/month that I stood to save.

So instead I logged in as me and just clicked "Upgrade my phone". This actually went pretty smoothly until I got to the checkout and saw that I owed $29.99 for the new phone and then a $5/month upgrade fee. That threw me...why was I paying $5/month to upgrade my phone? With an indrawn breath, hoping for a new TSCP, I clicked on the happy chat button.

The new TSCP could actually type (hallelujah!) and after a little explanation and looking around, she explaned that because I add 250 texts per month to my otherwise textless plan, that's considered an "upgrade" - and those 250 texts/month are $5. Gotcha. So the monthly bill will nto actually change and my purple enV2 is on its way. But it took me close to 90 minutes to do something that I think I should've been able to do in 5, all because I wanted the "convenience" of doing it online.


Gwynne said...

Yeah, some things are better done in person. You would think upgrading a phone is not one of them, but clearly, it is. I just laundered my phone (heh, and I thought only teenagers did this) and had to replace mine. I was pleased to find that my husband hadn't upgraded his yet, nor will he ever, until his goes the way of the 8-track tape and can no longer communicate with the rest of the world, so I went to Best Buy and lickety split, I had my new FREE phone in less than 5 minutes. I even had the baby with me. Best Buy has great customer service when it comes to phones, knowing all the company plans, products and tricks re: upgrades.

Marmee of Bear Meadow said...

As many have said before me, Nothing is easy! Perhaps if you hadn't done business online, you would have been caught in traffic for an hour, had a flat, waited for help for another hour, run into an old girlfriend who begged you to go for coffee so she could pour out her heart, "just for five minutes," and then three hours later you would stagger home to your hungry husband and crying child. Goodness, I'm so glad you took care of the phone business online, neophyte typist techie and all!

Rodmonster said...

Better than the nearly 4 hours it took us to do the same last week and for the same blooming phones... As much as i love the Verizon service... I CANT STAND THIER CUSTOMER SUPPORT.... or lack there of......