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This Representative Is Really Phoning It In

, , , , | Working | March 15, 2020

(I have been saving up for a brand new phone. On the day of release, I go to the store to purchase my fresh-off-the-line phone. Unfortunately, I am told it is a no go: they’re all sold out. Stock is incredibly limited locally. I give up for the day. I decide to go in two days later, with a relative who needs a new phone, as well. My relative picks up their new phone and the representative charges me for a phone that will be delivered to the store within three days. I walk out happy, thinking I will have my new phone soon. Four days go by and I am still without a phone. I am somewhat bothered by this but figure they may just not have gotten it yet. Day five comes around and I decide to go into the store. I end up talking to the same representative as the first day.)

Me: “What’s the situation with my phone?”

Representative: “Oh, we now have the phones in stock. Since we got them before your order showed up, they just cancelled the order.”

(I am a little annoyed that I wasn’t called to be informed of this, but I decide…)

Me: “Okay, well, I guess you can hand me my new phone right now.”

Representative: “Well, no. We can’t do that right now. You can’t get your phone today, or any day, until the cancelled order is cleared. Or, I suppose you can pay for the phone.”

(I have to take a few seconds to process this. So, if I am understanding her correctly, they charged me for the new phone and took money out of my account immediately. Then, they turned around and canceled my order without my say-so, leaving my money somewhere in Narnia, where it is playing the role of Schrodinger’s Cash Pile. It both is and isn’t mine, both spent and refunded. I am obviously furious about that and end up getting into an argument with her, flat-out telling her that her line of reasoning makes no sense.)

Me: “You have my money.”

Representative: “It is being refunded.”

Me: “I ordered the phone. I paid for the phone. You cancelled my order without even contacting me. It makes no sense for you to do that.”

Representative: “There was no point in continuing with the order. We got a shipment of phones. They’re here. Your special order was no longer necessary.”

Me: “And you never contacted me. If you hadn’t cancelled it, my special order would be here, today, having arrived after the three days it was supposed to have taken.”

Representative: “We had no way of knowing that you would come in today.”

Me: “You would have called me when the order arrived, I would hope! That is the promise you people made me when I made my order: that I would be called! You didn’t call me, and you cancelled my order without my permission. But you know what? Fine. Just give me a phone.”

Representative: “We cannot do that. You’re being refunded the money, which means you have no longer paid for the phone. If you want the phone, pay for it.”

Me: *eye twitching* “I already paid for it! Look, I just want my phone. When will my money be back in my account?”

Representative: “It will be processed in a month. You can always pay for it now and the refund will be processed in time.”

Me: “I don’t have that kind of money to just throw away a second time! And I absolutely will not give you more money while you’re holding my first payment hostage!”

Representative: “If you’re going to be unreasonable, please leave. I will not be helping you anymore.”

(I stormed out, furious. I called customer service and got told the same thing on the phone. Basically, “tough luck.” I got even angrier. I decided that it was time to give them a right hook straight to the social media kidneys. I went online and made a public post on one of their sites. I laid everything on the line, detailing what they had done to me and how they were holding my money hostage for a month, all the while refusing to give me the product I had paid for. I detailed everything as clearly as I could. Not even five minutes after posting about all this online, the company left me a comment on my post. They asked for the exact store number, the names of the representatives I’d spoken with, and so on and so forth. I told them everything in detail. Their next reply arrived within minutes, telling me to go into the store the next morning — since it was about 10:00 pm at this point — and that there would be a phone with my name on the box waiting for me. They said that they were sincerely sorry about the entire situation and that everything the representatives — both in the store and over the phone — had told me was not even remotely in line with policy. They told me that processing refunds took mere seconds to process, and that the “wait a month to get your money back” spiel was something that they were absolutely going to look into. I was reassured that the cancelled order was being handled by someone who would personally oversee the proper transfer of money through proper channels: the cancelled order was cancelled and the money was being redirected to a purchase. They promised that I was paid up and that the phone was mine. “We’re so sorry this happened. Please enjoy your new phone.” My mind was blown, but I was wary. I wasn’t sure what had happened on their end, but I wondered if I had uncovered something bigger than I had suspected, and that some people were about to be jobless. The next day, I went in and there was my brand-new phone waiting for me. A note had been taped to it apologizing for the inconvenience. I didn’t see the representative I’d dealt with that day, and I — finally — walked out a happy customer.)

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