Wednesday, June 6, 2012

You Might Be Surprised

Would you be surprised if I told you that the word "unlimited" means "you have definite limits and you need to watch out closely to keep within those limits".   That's not what you thought it meant??? As it happens, until last Friday, I too, was confused.  I am clear on the new and improved definition of "unlimited".  So as a PSA, let me clear things up for you as well.

A little side note: Did I happen to mention that Witchy Cheryl is back and undergoing some type of transformation?  I have noticed that my witchy persona turns more green as I get more aggravated IE more witchy.

The reason I bring up Witchy Cheryl is that last Friday, I got a text message from my cellular service provider.  (I use the term "service" loosely, in this scenario) and it brought out the worst in my alter ego.

The text said:  You have currently used 4 times your allotment of roaming.  You need to call us IMMEDIATELY, to resolve this.  (something to the effect..1-800-URN-TRBL)

HUH???? Roaming???? Allotment?????

I have no roaming constraints (or so I thought) from the company I have been doing business with for the past 16 years. I hesitate to name them at this point, but I have mentioned them plenty of other times, so I am pretty sure  you can figure it out, if you would be so inclined. This particular company offers an "UNLIMITED ONE RATE PLAN".   On top of the "unlimited one rate plan" (which refers to cellular phone calls) I also have "unlimited media" and "unlimited texting".  All of this "no need to ever worry because it is unlimited" usage comes with a price.   $$$$$$....indeed a hefty price that we have been paying  for quite a long time. 

So...imagine my surprise that I went over my allotment of "unlimited".

This little debacle started when  I was coming out of the gym, and I noticed the offending text. Needless to say, I drove directly to the store where I bought my latest incarnation of the IPhone (hint, hint) and asked Stuart,  the guy that hubby and I bought our phones from, "Hey, how is it possible that I am 4 times over my allotment??? AND .... How much is this going to cost me???? 

Stuart looked puzzled.  Partly, I suppose because of my deepening green coloring and partly because he too thought "unlimited" meant "unlimited".  (poor delusional Stuart) So, Stuart tells me that I have a one rate plan and as far as he knows they can't charge me but he thinks to be on the safe side I had better call the 1-800 number that was contained in the text message.

Another surprising twist to this...last week when all my service  (phones, Internet, and TV) was on the fritz, I had to wait my turn for about 30 minutes each time on the dozen or so calls that it took to get the problem resolved.  Now that I am hogging media bytes, I go right to the front of the line. 

I explain to the CSR that I was under the impression that the "unlimited one rate  plan" meant I could use it unlimitedly.   That is not the case. As it happens, we haven't abused the number of phone calls or the number of text messages.  We have, however, been abusing the "connecting or trying to connect to the Internet".   Because, hubby is working in  the dead zone of Nebraska (remember last week I was talking about having "next to no" connection to service in Nebraska) he is using the tower of another company ( be totally accurate on that point..hubby is TRYING to use the tower of another company) So, it is hubby that is racking up media useage because his smartphone has a Facebook app that is constantly trying to update. Whether it is successful isn't the point.  It is TRYING all  the time.  So CRS person says, turn off the apps, ESPECIALLY FACEBOOK,  set the fetch setting to manual, and turn the WIFI on so that if we are brazen enough to try to use the Internet on our phones in Nebraska, we had better be in a hot spot to latch on to someone else's server.  Turning off the phone isn't the answer, in case you are wondering.  The apps work even when the phone is off.

Also, it turns out that because they can't charge us for our excessive use, they have told us that we need to make the aforementioned changes and if not...they will cancel us. 

REEEEAAAALLYYY....We have been paying them on time every month for 16 years....mega dollars a month and because hubby is working in a state that they don't have coverage, they are threatening us with suspension or cancellation.  From what I understood we have 30 days to repent and mend our ways.

The one question, I forgot to ask CRS person is "if they cancel there a cancellation fee????"  I know if I cancel them it is $325.00 per phone (2 phones in our case)  but if they cancel us do we get a fee from them for $650.00. 

As for me not having their company name splashed all over this post.....I noticed when I was talking to the CRS person, they seem to know a lot about our Internet usage.  I probably don't want to tick them off any more than I already have by them seeing me bitch about their company.  (although, maybe another person reading my blog would be a good thing)

 Currently they are just mad because we have been using our smart phones (now that the apps are turned off they technically they are dumb phones) to access the Internet.  I better not give them additional reasons to text me.  But of course, in Nebraska, I probably wouldn't receive it.


Jayne said...

Yet another reason I don't have a "smart" phone. I refuse to give those criminal rat-bastards another penny. I will keep my dumb phone and use my laptop or Nook -- and I'll never ever go to fucking Nebraska.

I feel your pain. ;)

Thechubbychatterbox said...

So you're saying you don't work at the Oz Museum? Bummer.

Cheryl P. said...

Whoa, Jayne, let's not throw the baby out with the bath water...Nebraska is a really nice state with the some of the friendliest people on the planet. Whether AT&T and Verizon can work out a deal sharing their cellular towers certainly doesn't have any thing to do with those sweet people that are having my husband over for supper while he works there for 12 weeks.

I do agree about the cellular companies being rat-bastards though. I need a smart phone for how I work but I resent how the contracts and such and all the crappy customer service issues. Who else makes you pay if you decide you don't want to do business with them?

Cheryl P. said...

No, but I bet it is a fun job over there. Actually there are a couple of Oz museums and the closest one would still take me an hour to get to work. A shame really as I seemingly would make a spectacular witch.

Jayne said...

You're right. I'm sure there are some fine people in Nebraska. My bad...

L.C. Griffith said...

This post is a reminder of how small we are and how big companies hold all the power and use said power to drain our purses. Everyone has their hand in my purse! It makes me want to cut all ties with modern society and go live in a tent at the beach! Hmmm;)
So sorry you had to endure this aggravation;(

Cheryl P. said...

I am sincere when I tell you that I think that you and I would be best friends if we lived near each other. That is EXACTLY how I feel. Every company is trying to lure us in to up their profits but don't give a hoot if their product or service is beneficial to us. I think customer service from most companies point of view is just a huge pain in their ass. I agree about wanting to escape. If I didn't have my children and friends, I think hubby and I would go to some remote place and hang out in the sun.

Kathe W. said...

hoo boy o boy o boy did you hit my biggest gripe on the head (ouch)- why do they even bother calling it "customer service" anymore? You have explained to me why I resisted having a cell phone til we moved 350 miles away from many friends and family (I kept my 40+ year old home phone number for my first cell phone and to make it easier for those far away friends to call us )
So many well meaning friends/family tell me that I "need" a smart phone....hold on not so snappy-
I will remain happy with my lap top and digital camera (THAT took til 2006 for me to give up my precious negatives)
Just found your blog thanks to Chubby Chatterbox- I am enjoying reading it!

Cheryl P. said...

I just love it when we discover other blogs with the help of blogger friends. Thank you so much for coming over.

The thing about smart phones is that if you get one they are more addictive that crack (I assume..I haven't used crack but I am led to believe it's addictive...anyway as I was saying,,,) Having a phone that you can Google things when you want, make your grocery list, take pictures and record movies, watch TV, and write your blog, it just gets too easy to become dependent. Then when you run into an area where none of that works, its the worst kind of withdrawal. (again as I haven't really ever dealt with withdrawal...for me this is bad.)

Gene Pool Diva said...

I'd like to discuss definitions and data plans but I'm busy shouting at Siri. They should have named her Sybil.

Cheryl P. said...

Too funny!!! Siri and I are on the outs and currently not talking at all. (especially, when I am in Nebraska)

I think you might be on to something. Apple should give Siri multiple personalities to keep her more interesting.