Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Cellular Frustrations

Okay, I'll say this up front: I do not use my cell phone for text messaging. I carry a cell phone just for safety's sake and use it only on rare occasion. I do not send text messages, therefore I do not have a cellular plan that allows text messages. If I happen to receive a text message (whether I want it or not), it costs me 20 cents.

Since everyone I know is aware that I do not text, this has never been a problem. Then, a couple of weeks ago, I began receiving text messages from someone who loves her aunt and felt the need to express this in a text message......but I'm not her aunt. I don't know her or her aunt. When the first message arrived, I thought, "Okay, wrong number, no biggie." But, since her aunt didn't reply, she sent me ANOTHER text message.

So, I dialed the number the text was coming from, and explained to what sounded like a pre-teen girl that her texts were going to the wrong number and costing me 20 cents everytime she sent an erroneous text to me. (Okay, so 20 cents won't break the bank....but it's MY 20 cents, right? If I'm going to throw away 20 cents, I'll throw it away on what I WANT TO. *grrrrrr*) She apologized, I hung up, thought it was over. Wrong.

Not only did I continue to receive fascinating texts from this young lady ("Are you goin 2 church" "Whats up"), but I began receiving texts from ANOTHER number as well. I dialed the other number and got hold of a man who was mystified that I received texts from his number. He had NO IDEA who could be texting me. (So lock your cell phone up and keep it away from your kids. Please.)

Because I was having no luck convincing these people that THEY WERE TEXTING THE WRONG STUPID NUMBER, I called my provider, T-Mobile, and asked that text messaging be blocked on my account. I had checked their website and learned that text blocking was a free service; I'd tried to update my account online, but their website was misbehaving that night. Their friendly customer service rep (and they really ARE friendly; it's a lovely change from some other customer service departments I've dealt with) assured me that she had updated my account to reflect text blocking and I shouldn't have any more problems. Wrong.

I continued to receive unwanted texts. A week after my first call to T-Mobile, I called again. I spoke with a young man this time and explained my problem and told him about my earlier call to Customer Service. He told me that the first rep I'd dealt with had, unfortunately, misinformed in. As it turns out, my cellular service was originally with SunCom. SunCom sold out to T-Mobile. Because my account was "grandfathered" into T-Mobile, the text blocking service was not available on my account. The only way I could get it is to convert my account to a T-Mobile plan. Same price, but with 100 fewer minutes each month.

Now, let me say here and now that losing 100 minutes on my plan is not a catastrophe for me. I never EVER use all my minutes and always have plenty to spare. But, as I told the rep, it just didn't make sense that I should have to give up 100 minutes (whether I use them or not) so that I could stop receiving text messages I didn't want in the FIRST PLACE. He transferred me to another rep (female) who confirmed what I'd been told, as nonsensical as it seemed. I told her I appreciated her confirmation, but didn't want to change my plan at this time.

About 10:30 last night, I heard the dreaded "bleep bleep" indicating that I'd received a STUPID TEXT MESSAGE. I checked the phone.....sure enough, the kid who's trying to text her aunt had sent me ANOTHER TEXT. I called T-Mobile, went through the whole story again, and asked them to convert my account to a T-Mobile plan and turn on the text blocking.

As I told the last rep I spoke with, to me it's the same principle as low-sodium canned vegetables. Why are "no salt added" canned vegetables more expensive that regular canned vegetables? There's an ingredient that's not been added, so why do I have to pay more to have something omitted?

Same with this cellular weirdness....why do I have to pay the same money for less service and fewer minutes? Nonsense.

But at least my text message notification "bleep bleep" has remained blessedly silent for the past 13 hours.

Let me say again that T-Mobile's customer service representatives are friendly and helpful. They were very sympathetic and just great to deal with. But I still think the policy is nonsensical.

Did I mention that I hate my cell phone? I do. I just hate it.

1 comment:

margee said...

take a page from my book...i don't have one and will NEVER have one! I don't need to communicate that badly *LOL*