Phone Karma

I just must have bad phone karma. You all have heard my previous phone company woes. When I signed up for Cingular on, I bought the cheapy flip phone: an LG C1500. The phone had its quirks. Sometimes it couldn’t read the smart chip, sometimes it would drop calls, sometimes it would not connect people that were calling me (and I know I wasn’t out of the service range because I would immediately receive their voicemails), sometimes people would call and it would ring once and then go to busy. It was frustrating. So, the Cingular store swapped out the smart chip. Still same problem. 2 weeks later, they gave me a different LG C1500. Same problem. 3 weeks later, I take the phone back again and now the store can’t swap me phones because it’s beyond their 30 day policy and so I have to deal with Cingular directly. So, I sit on hold for 20 minutes. They send me a replacement LG C1500. This one can’t even pick up a signal within a 1/2 mile of my house.

So, I go over to the Cingular store and *buy* a phone that I intend to return within 30 days and get all my money back just so I have a working phone until I get this sorted out. In the meantime, I spent AN HOUR AND A HALF on the phone with Cingular tonight. First, I had to sit on hold for 20 minutes to talk to their warranty department only to tell my store ALL OVER AGAIN for like THE FIFTH TIME. I’m starting to cry and pull my hair out and the guy is trying to be accomodatingand running back and forth to his supervisor to see what kinds of exceptions they can make for me because all they are allowed to do is debug the same phone over and over again. I tell him that the only way I will be happy at this point is if Cingular gives me an equivalent phone by a different maker. So, he transfers me to customer service and I wait on hold their for probably another 20 minutes. The whole time I’m fighting between pacing around the house in frustration and not wanting to pace so far that I lose my signal and my place in line.

Anyway, I finally talk to somebody at customer service who asks me how he can help. I tell him the first thing he can do to help me is to read my file so that I don’t have to repeat my story anymore. Which he does. And is appropriately empathetic. I explain to him how many hours of time on hold and driving back and forth to the store using Cingular has taken out of the last month of my life. He asks me what kind of phone I want as a replacement. I say, I don’t need a bunch of features. I just want a flip phone with a front screen so that I can see who is calling.

The only one of that sort available is a really nice one with a super high tech antenna and camera and bluetooth and USB connectivity. Which he is now sending me. For free. And he reimbursed me for all my ring tones even though I didn’t buy them through the Cingular site or pay for them with my Cingular account.

So, I’m back to being a happy customer. Let’s hope the new phone rawks.


9 thoughts on “Phone Karma

  1. Awww man, that SUCKS! Fwiw, I’ve had an LG1150 for going on two years now, and I’ve *never* had problems with it. I love it! Also, I’m with Cingular, and I’ve never had problem with them either. It’s strange how this stuff goes; I’d be inclined to agree about the bad phone karma. Of course, I could make a really snarky remark about how it’s the evil Cell Phone Spirit paying you back for holding out so long, but I’d never do that. πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰ Seriously, better luck with the new phone!

    • I got my new phone on Monday and I’m really happy with it so far. In fact, I have to say I’m definitely a cell phone convert now. And with my headset, it’s great to be able to talk in the car (although I still can see how I gotta have boundaries around conversations that require a lot of attention because they would distract me from the road). And I don’t take it with me into places where I wouldn’t want to be interrupted. So, my new credo is “cell phones don’t turn people into narcissistic, rude idiots, they just making it harder for people to resist the temptation.” πŸ™‚

  2. Important Phone Numbers for Cell Users.

    So, for those who might be interested. Here is a list of various cell phone providers numbers.

    If you have sprint you can use the “Customer Service without Claire – Bumped to front of line” and not be on hold. This is also known as the “red line”.
    I don’t know which number under the Cingular listings on that page is Cingular’s “red line”. But I imagine there is one out there. Perhaps more googling will uncover it. (Maybe it’s that “lifeline” listing?)

    I also wouldn’t call the red line too often, and I’d be extra polite. Since you did just cut to the head of the line. But anyhoo.. I’m rambling now..

  3. Massive salaams to you for sticking with it and following through rather than just surrendering to an unfair and unfriendly universe. You knew what you wanted, communicated it, waded through the bullshit, and got results. I’m awestruck. You totally go!

    • Thanks. I love my new phone–higher quality, better reception, and now I can walk around and talk wireless like the other crazy people. πŸ™‚ This incident reminds me that the universe is basically on my side and things do usually work out for me as long as I engage.

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