Tuesday, March 14, 2006

My new phone

I finally treated myself and got a new phone with an iPod built in. Michel wanted to get a line on our family plan for her dad. He has prostate cancer so Michel wanted to make sure that he can always get in touch with us if he needs us. So I ordered a new line and got to pick a new phone. So I ordered a Motorola ROKR which is considered old now so I was able to get it a bargain price. The phone only holds 100 songs which is not a lot but I love it. I use it in the car with an adapter to hook it up to my car stereo and at work I use the headphones so I can get work done without being bothered by all the talk around me. There were complaints about this phone because it is a little bulky but I have big, fat fingers so I like a phone with a little "meat" to it.

Of course, nothing is ever easy so Cingular gave me nothing but headaches about getting the order processed. I placed the order over the web and everything seemed to go OK but then I got a note advising me that I had to call them. So I called and after clicking through a dozen prompts I got put on hold and sat waiting for 30 minutes ("due to unusual call volumes...blah blah blah" - if they are so unusual then why is that every time I call I get put on hold forever?). Finally I get a real person and they tell me I have a business account so I have to use the business site. A business account? Whatever. So I go to the business web site to place my order and guess what? You can't add a line to the family plan at the business web site. It tells me that you have to call to add a line. Arghhh! So I call and get put on hold for another 30 minutes. Finally I get a person and they tell me that the phone I want can't be ordered for a business account. Fine, I say, then make the account a non-business account. So they change the account but now they can't take my order because they are the business account person. He transfers me and guess what? Back on hold again. Finally I get a person but they can't get my account information so they advise me to place my order on the web again. So it's back to the Cingular web site where I place my order again.

Everything looks OK but then a couple of days later I get another email telling me that the order can't be placed and I need to fax them a copy of my driver's license and social security card. Now there is zero chance that I will fax those to anyone. Again I call and again I'm back on hold. When I finally get a person they can't help because they can't figure out why the order won't go through and they want to transfer me to someone else. At this point I lose it, tell them that Cingular sucks, and slam down the phone. I have been on hold for at least 2 and a half hours. So I send an email telling them how they suck at customer service. I work in customer service (I'm in IT but I run the customer facing web portal for Symbol) and I would never allow a customer to get this kind of treatment. We have a policy that the customer's problem is your problem and you need to take responsibility and get it fixed. When a customer calls I answer them right away or I get their phone number and call them back with an answer. I don't leave customers on hold. I wrote all this and a lot more in my email and guess what? The person responding fixed everything. They got my order taken care of and sent me a brand new phone instead of a refurbished one. Later, when I had a question about my bill, I skipped calling and went right to email. I got a response back the next day that was clear and accurate. Cingular needs to work on training their people on the phone to be as responsive as the people on the email.

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