Friday, April 24, 2009

Cell Phone Convenience?

There are certain things that I just like about cell phones. I like the convenience of being able to contact anyone anytime I want to. I like staying in touch with my husband and kids. (Most of the time, anyway.)
My husband needed to update his phone. His old one was still good, but he needed to upgrade to some sort of a PDA. I've tried to get him daytimers, etc. He loses them. Or he doesn't keep up with them so they're no longer current. He has a huge wall calendar in his office, but he's not always in his office when he needs to schedule something. After he scheduled two different events while we were supposed to be away on vacation, I knew we had to do something.
I researched different types of phones. I took him to the store and had him check out different types of Blackberrys. I wanted him to get something he would be comfortable with, and something he would use to keep himself organized.
He finally decided what kind of Blackberry he wanted. When I went to our cell phone carrier's online store, they were offering Blackberrys at a buy one get one free deal. So guess who else was going to get a new phone! : )
The problem was this: Matt's phone was due for an upgrade. So we decided to buy a phone on his upgrade, and then switch his and Terry's numbers. Then we found out that my phone was due for something called an early upgrade. So I was going to get the free phone. That's where the trouble began.
The store we went to said my phone didn't qualify for the bogo deal because it was an early upgrade. But then I called the 800 number for our carrier, and was told that, yes, I did qualify for the free phone. But they told me I would want to place the order online because their online store had an instant rebate. Sounded good.
Unfortunately, the online store would not give me one of the Blackberrys for free. They kept wanting to charge me. A chat box popped up for talking with a representative, so I asked her the question. She said yes, my phone qualified, but since it was an early upgrade I would need to order it over the phone.
So back to the phone I went. I explained what I wanted, and the customer service rep said yes, indeed, I could bogo the Blackberry, but because my phone was an early upgrade, I had to do it online.
"I talked to Sharon on the phone said I needed to do it online. I chatted with Yecenia online and she said to do it on the phone. Now, Pamela, you're telling me to do it online again?"
The woman gave me a different 800 number and said that they could help me get this straightened out. Except that it was Friday night and the other 800 number had closed down until Monday.
I was getting dizzy from the runaround.
Monday morning I call the new 800 number and spoke to Connie. I explained what I wanted and she said, yes, I could do that online without a problem. But I did have a problem, I said. After explaining what I had been through, she agreed to go online with me and walk me through it. When I got to the checkout stage, I was still being charged for both phones.
"Interesting." She commented. "My screen is saying you get the second one free."
"My screen is charging me," I countered. "And I don't want to pay for both."
The rep finally came up with the idea that I should pay for both while she waited on the line. Then I could give her my confirmation number, and she would go in and credit my account for the price of one phone.
The good part is, overnight shipping was free. I got the phones the next day. Immediately I went online and activated my new phone. I started playing around with it and learning the new features. When Matt and Terry got home, I started to activate the other new phone to Matt's line. Then once it was activated, I would call the customer care line and have them switch numbers on the phone.
Only the other new phone wouldn't activate.
Of course not.
I decided to have someone at the store take care of this for me personally. You know, the old, "I'm not leaving until we get this right" concept.
Guess where I spent most of Wednesday afternoon.
I walked into the store and held out all three phones: the new Blackberry, Terry's old phone and Matt's old phone. I explained what I wanted to do and the guy said, "Why didn't you just do a switch upgrade and upgrade the phone to your husband's line?"
You can do that?
The guy seemed confident, and I almost believed him. That is, until it took him over an hour to get the phones switched around. He actually had to call the company's 800 number (twice!) and have me talk to someone there in order to get things worked out. The first time the woman that she would transfer me to the automated activation line. That's what we'd already tried and it didn't work. Again.
But finally everything got straightened out and we are now enjoying our new Blackberrys. Matt will get to upgrade his phone in November when Terry's upgrade comes due. Of course, that means activating the new phone on Terry's line and then switching it to Matt's and then ... maybe he can just use one of our old phones.


  1. hahaha too funny, but only when you are not the one involve. Those people can drive you crazy. I think they just want you to eventualy get tired of dealing with them and give up so they don´t have to give you anything free... ;) Good plan if you think about it and I bet you it works most of the time. Is like ¨how bad do you want that free phone?¨

  2. Hey Jill, email me at so I can get my email and I will write you the how to of the button


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