Friday, January 25, 2008

In cell phone news

I returned my fancy schmancy cell phone. On the last day of my monthly trial period.

Here's how it went down.

I walk into my local Verizon store with my original bag, packaging, receipt, every little item even down to a twist tie.

Me: (all friendly and organized) Hi! I'd like to exchange my phone.

Verizon Sales Clerk: (peeks in bag, then looks askance at me like I might be slightly crazy) Why? That's an amazing phone.

Me: (who has practiced her litany of grievances)
1.) I'm not sure if you've counted, but it has SEVENTY-FOUR buttons.
2.) It's kind of thick and it's making me look lopsided in the hip area.
3.) It crackles and has generally unclear reception.
4.) It only has fake-o Verizon internet, which means I can only go on certain Verizon websites. Which means I can't even check out my friends' blogs.

Verizon: (looking around to make sure she's not alone with me because I'm obviously more than slightly crazy) Okay, m'am. If you really want to you can exchange this superior phone for a thinner, simpler phone. It'll only cost you $129.00.

Me: $129.00???? You told me this phone was totally exchangeable if I came back within a month.

Verizon: Yeah, well, last month your phone was on promotion. This month it's not. That's why you have to pay for the exchange.

Me: Surely you can see how that doesn't make sense at all.

Anyway, to make a long story short, Verizon finally caved. I think the fact that I could recite my litany of grievances by heart played into their capitulation. I am now the proud owner of a small, cute, don't-need-to-be-a-brain-surgeon-to-operate cell phone . And I got a refund of $2.08!

Next time I go into Verizon for an exchange, I'm bringing along one of my talented-with-a-video-camera kids. And I will upload the experience to YouTube.

Can you hear me now?


Monnik said...

I'm glad they finally caved. I have to say that Verizon has one of the best call center customer service departments I've ever dealt with. Never took the trouble to actually go there in person, though. :)

Don Mills Diva said...

Ya - you really have to hold your ground with these places. I always get my way in those situations - I'm like a terrier.

PJ Hoover said...

I so need to bring you with need next time I have a grievance!
Actually I'm not too bad, especially on the phone. My co-workers think I'm nuts, but that's beside the point.

Anonymous said...

ROFL! That is all too funny. Mostly because I have arguments with the cell phone company from time to time and I can see that exact same thing happening. I think it takes a special kind of person to work at those places. I am happy you now have a more user friendly phone. xo


Laura said...

congrats on winning a customer service battle...cell phones are out of control now!!! Glad you even got a refund!

Anonymous said...

That's hilarious! Good work! I especially love your first grievance. That's more than enough reason to want to exchange the thing.

Moanna said...

Can you hear me now...made me laugh. Love it. Congrats on your victory.

Eileen said...

Look it you sticking it to the man.

My cell phone company was advertising this swanky phone for new customers. I went down and asked if I could get it as I've been a customer for over five years. I could if I would pay $300. However, I could have it for free if I cancelled my account and then signed up again. uh-yeah.

Larramie said...

Does anyone else remember when the customer was always "right," no questions asked?!

Sandy Levin said...

You weren't complaining - you were merely manifesting your destiny to have the phone of your dreams. :-)

Rebecca said...

I hate to tally up the number of hours I have spent dealing with renewing my cell phone service and getting new phones. Gross.

J.K. Mahal said...

Good for you! May you and your new phone have a long and happy friendship. :)

Laura said...

I need a nap after reading that...those cell phone people exhaust me. (Okay I'm sure SOME are rational and straigtforward I've just never met any.)

Beth said...

Good for you!
Knowledge & confidence (sometimes) = power and success.
Your video idea is brilliant.

Kelley said...

Ha! I have a phone like that. My hub got it for me two years ago but then promptly LOST the reciept. So it's still in the box in my drawer...waiting...for me to evolve I suppose.

Travis Erwin said...

I need a new phone in the worst way. I'd love to find one that I could use to post blogs with but I'm not much of a texter so I doubt that happens.

Sherry said...

Woo Hoo -- you rock Barrie!!! And I love your closing line!! I'm still laughing!!!

Trace said...

Obviously based on the amount of responses that you received on this post...cell phones are something we all have something to say about. I will be honest. I have a hate/love relationship with verizon. We have 6 phones on our plan and pay way too much for the services we have. Even Verizon says so but they have no way to help our "problem".

It is just about co-dependency I believe.

Congrats to you for are my forever hero!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Good idea! buying a phone has become like buying a car!

Alyssa Goodnight said...

Good for you! Did you really say that 'lopsided in the hip area' part? Hee hee.

At least now you're happy!

Barrie said...

Monnik: Verizon is the third cell phone company I've dealt with. And, I totally agree with, they have the best call center customer service.

Don Mills Diva: Love the terrier image. Especially with those shoes you bought with your mother! :)

PJ: I would love to accompany you on your next grievance trip. :) (I think we could have lots of fun!)

Hello little Psychic Niece of mine! You, of all people, can probably imagine me in the Verizon store!!

Laura: I think the whole cell phone industry is out of control. For eg., the fancy phone I returned went UP in price $50 two weeks ago. You just know the price of these phones is totally arbitrary.

Booklady: 74 buttons is so over the top. It's a phone, for goodness sake! I'm not trying to send someone to Mars!

Barrie said...

Moanna: Thank you for the congrats! Glad I made you laugh!

Eileen: I'm sorry, that's just ridic. And $300 for a phone? Yikes!

larramie: Yes! I'd like to know what happened to those days.

Sandy: You're too funny. See you manana!

Rebecca: I agree. We've probably lost "days of our lives"!!! Ha! Ha!

JK Mahal: I hope I don't do something crazy like drop this phone in the pool!

laura: You're right. It's a huge expenditure of energy.

beth: I'm glad you like my video idea. Maybe I can just use it as a threat next time? :)

travis erwin: My husband has a Voyager from Verizon. You can definitely do blog posts on it. But it's pricey and has even more than 74 buttons. ;)

sherry: I am always happy to make you laugh. ;)

trace: I don't think I've ever been somone's "forever hero"! You made my day!

meredith teagarden: I think buying a phone can be as stressful as buying a car. What a crazy world we live in!

alyssa: You'd be surprised at what comes out of my mouth. :) And I must say that I'm happy to be happy with my phone. :)

kim said...

Yeah, and you could offer them the video for training purposes!

icanseeclearlynow said...

barry, nice negotiating, girlie. i love when the little guy/girl kicks some big-company butt!