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    Has No Bridge Over These Troubled Waters

    | USA | Rude & Risque, Technology, Wild & Unruly

    (I am a retail rep at a well-known cellphone carrier store.)

    Customer: “I bought two phones two weeks ago. My brother’s doesn’t work. He says it has never turned on since he got it in the mail.”

    (I pull up the account to view if the device has been in use. Before I see this info…)

    Customer: “Oh, and how come his phone has a red square on the back but mine is white?”

    (For those who don’t know cell phones have liquid damage indicators that turn white to red when exposed to liquid.)

    Me: “Oh, I’m sorry, sir. This device has liquid damage and is not covered by the warranty. You also didn’t add insurance to this line.”

    Customer: “So what does that mean?”

    Me: “You have to continue to pay on the phone and get a new one if your brother needs a phone.”

    Customer: “Well, that’s impossible. He said it never turned on since he got it.”

    Me: “I see on the account the device was used for the first time on [date] and stopped use three days ago. It had been in use for nine days of the twelve days you have had service.”

    Customer: “No, he would’ve told me if he got some liquid on it. That’s not possible.”

    Me: “Well, pink indicates exposure. Red, which this is totally red, means the phone was drenched in liquid. He must have gotten significant amount of liquid on it.”

    Customer: “So, you’re not gonna replace it?”

    Me: “We can’t. You have no insurance and you voided the warranty with damage.”

    Customer: “You’re telling me [Company] won’t back up the products they sell?”

    Me: “We do. So long as you have insurance for accidental damage or if there is no damage for warranty exchanges. You have neither.”

    Customer: “That doesn’t make sense. If I bought a car and there’s something wrong with it, the dealer would take care of it! The dealer would fix it for free!”

    Me: “Not if you rammed the car into a building.”

    Customer: “Well… If… So what? I gotta keep paying on the phone even though he can’t use it?”

    Me: “Yes. You still owe $300 on it.”

    Customer: “That’s outrageous! I’m not buying him a new phone. Cancel his line!”

    Me: “Okay, sir. Although you have no contract therefore no early termination fee, your next bill will have a charge of $300 for the phone.”

    Customer: “What?! What happened to paying it off monthly like I was told?”

    Me: “As long as you have an active line you can pay it off monthly. You signed something that said the entire value of the phone is due immediately once service is canceled.”

    Customer: “I will still have my line.”

    Me: “The phone isn’t attached to your line. Yours is.”

    Customer: “Well, don’t you all just HAVE ME BY THE BALLS. Y’ALL GOT ME BY THE BALLS!”

    (He grabs all his stuff and starts to storm out.)

    Me: “Have a nice day, sir.”

    Customer: “BY THE BALLS!”