Friday, October 10, 2008

The Switchover Maze

Times are hard right now and everyone I know is trying to cut back on expenses, including myself. Having both a land line and a cell phone seemed to be an area I could make some economies in so I decided to switch from Verizon, a most excellent company, to AT&T/Cingular who has a better savings in their roll over minutes. AT&T was so glad to get my business that they gave me a $25 credit, but the switchover didn't go as smoothly as it could have.

Before setting plans into action I had checked on the company's reputation. Comsumer's Report doesn't like AT&T very much. JS, on the other hand, did. She said she'd had no problems with them. So I talked to the Customer Service representative and was made a really nice offer which would make the switch over almost cost free. We're talking like less than a dollar. Woo hoo! And I'd have a camera and music phone to boot. So I placed the order. This was at the beginning of September.

The phone, a lovely plum LG CU515, was shipped to me on the 3rd of that month via UPS. UPS didn't deliver it. I waited and waited. I called the apartment office and had them search their package closet. No luck. The office closed at 5:30 but so did work. I didn't want to leave work early to stop by the office. I trusted the package would arrive. Maybe it was on back order. Nope! Eventually at the end of September I got a call from AT&T saying that my contract was about to be canceled for lack of activation, so I took time off from work and went to the apartment office. They still didn't have it but checked UPS for me and found that the package had been sent to Dallas instead. I called UPS. They looked on their records and had returned the package to sender because, "There was no apartment number on the label." Ouch! I'm pretty sure AT&T had my apartment number. It has been on my bill from them for the land line for several years now.

AT&T got my next call. They apologized, made lots of concessions, and set up a new delivery. It took a really long time to get that new delivery set up and I spent 45 minutes on the phone with them, middle of the day, anytime minutes. This was a really long lunch so when I got back to work I apologized to my boss. AT&T called again during the afternoon but I didn't pick up the call. Instead, I listened to the message and received the call again that evening in the midst of an Altar Guild dinner and meeting. The shipment had been canceled because they couldn't bill it to my account and needed a debit or credit card to charge the phone to. So they had to set it up all over again.

AT&T scheduled a call to me this past Monday to check and see if the phone had arrived. It hadn't. They were going to call back. They had shipped it via FedEx this time and FedEx tried to deliver it on Tuesday. I wasn't there. So they brought it on Wednesday. Last night, Thursday, AT&T called again to check and help me set up my phone by "porting" my number from Verizon to AT&T. The customer service rep left me with an automated phone system and I had no idea what was going on. So when I turned the phone on, as directed, and saw an error message about its smart chip I asked for a live person to talk to. That person helped me by having me reset the chip in place. Then we went together through the automated activation system and it worked. Then she had me place a test call to see if the phone would call out. Mom was glad to hear from me. Then the AT&T rep placed a call to my phone to make sure it worked. Whew!

The upshot of all of this is that I have a new phone but still have things to attend to. I need to see if the AT&T store can help me move my phone directory from the old phone to this one. That's a major headache if they can't because who wants to have to reenter all those numbers by hand? Then and only then will I call and give Verizon the bad news, although with the loss of a number I think the already know.


david mcmahon said...

Sometimes a maze just needs one person to help you navigate it.

Lee said...

Ah, but is it a true maze? Or a labyrinth?

And you're right! It only needed the right person!

Cheers, David!

jsd said...

Ugh - but glad the phone finally arrived.

Lee said...

Me too, JS! Me too! :)

San said...

Lee, you're the third friend who's complained about cell phones being mis-delivered. I don't know what's up with these cell phone companies, but thank goodness you had the patience to find your way out of the maze. A-mazing!

Lee said...

Thanks San! It was weird, that label not having an apartment number on it.

I like your play on words! :)

I'll have to call you on it soon.


Jeff B said...

And to think, all this technology has been put in place to make our lives easier. riiiiight.

Lee said...

LOL You're riiiight, Jeff! Good thing for them I really like my new phone. Fewer buttons to accidentally push. (G)