Sometimes They Just Phone It In

, , , , | Working | June 15, 2020

My husband and I wanted to switch wireless providers. We have already talked with an agent online, had a quote and package all set up, and reserved the phones we wanted for our upgrades. We arrive ten minutes ahead of our appointment, so we browse the store. When our appointment time comes, we approach the only available representative.

Me: “Hello. We have an appointment to set up a new phone plan.”

The representative glances at us but says nothing. My husband and I look at each other.

Husband: “Do we talk to you or is there a specific person?”

Representative: “No.”

Husband: “Uhh, no, we don’t talk to you or no, there’s no specific person?”

Representative: “Try the kiosk in the mall.”

Me: “No, we have an appointment here.”

I show him the confirmation email.

Me: “See?”

Representative: “Sometimes the online system doesn’t work right. You don’t have an appointment but I can squeeze you in now.”

Husband: *To me* “That seems odd.”

Representative: *Sighs* “Look, man, I’m just going by the computer. What are you trying to do, upgrade?”

Who calls customers “man”?

Me: “We want to open an account and upgrade our phones. We’re currently with [Other Provider]. We have a—”

Representative: “Okay. I need you to fill out this information. Is your husband in charge?”

Husband: “The account will be in my name, yes.” 

Me: “We have a quote from [Employee] on your website. It’s $30 a line per month.”

Representative: “I don’t think we can do that.”

Me: “I have screenshots of our conversation.”

Representative: *Shrugs* “Sometimes the robots are wrong.”

Husband: “It’s also on the sign in the window.”

Representative: *Glances at the sign* “Okay, we’ll try it.”

He collects our basic info. We are silent for a moment while he clicks around. 

Representative: “All right, so, I don’t know who you talked to, but we can’t do $30 a month.”

Me: “Why?”

Representative: “So, see, it’s like this. If you’re upgrading and your phone is, say, $500. You’re trading in a phone that is $100. That’s $400 per phone, spaced out over the contract, so you’re paying more than $30.”

Husband: “That’s not right.”

Representative: “Yeah, it’s called leasing so you don’t have to pay everything up front.”

Me: “Maybe I wasn’t clear. We’re buying the phones outright.”

Representative: “Right, so you buy it today with your activation and then you make little payments every month.”

Me: “Why? We’re not leasing the phones. We want to pay for them in full.”

Representative: *Speaking slowly* “Okay, listen to what I’m saying. You can’t—”

Husband: *Puts his hand up* “No. Get your boss.”

The representative throws his pen down on the desk and walks into the back room. My husband and I stand there for a few minutes before someone else approaches us. Her nametag has the word “MANAGER” on it, so we assume the first representative went to get her.

Manager: “Hi, I’m [Manager]. Are you being helped?”

Me: “We’re actually waiting to speak with a manager. [Representative] was here but he left a few minutes ago when we said we wanted his boss.”

Manager: “Oh, I’m the manager on duty. [Representative] actually went to lunch. How can I help?”

We are quite upset to learn that the first representative just left like that. We tell the manager what happened and she listens, her face getting more serious as we go on. 

Manager: “I am very sorry about that. I will have a word with [Representative]. In the meantime, please let me try to make this right for you. I can certainly set up an account using the quote you brought with you. I encourage you to fill out the customer satisfaction survey offered at the bottom of your receipt.”

The manager set us up without a single issue. A week later, my husband and I were walking around the mall and saw the first representative working at a kiosk for another cell phone provider. He glared at us as we walked by.

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