Saturday, March 24, 2012

Operator, Give Me Number....

I love being a consumer in today's world. I also love being assertive enough to get what I pay for and know when I'm entitled to a refund.  My savvy sister, Michelle, is the same way. Recently, due to a local outage, Michelle's and her husband's phones did not work for 13 days.  They could do almost everything else on their smartphones (internet, games, etc), but could only talk on them when outside of their home area. Guess what? They live in their home area. Since they don't have a landline phone, this was especially inconvenient (and Michelle missed talking to her favorite sister, of course!). Finally, after receiving numerous unfulfilled promises to correct the matter "within 24/48 hours," they finally got things back in order.

Here follows Michelle's conversation with the "Slippery" Customer Service Department after her phone worked again:

Michelle - I would like a credit for the 13 days I had no phone service and limited texting services due to the local outage.

Slippery Rep - Let me talk to my manager.   Please hold [insert boring hold music].
Slippery Rep - We apologize and would like to offer you $25.

Michelle - Is that for the whole 13 days? How did you come up with that amount?   

Slippery Rep - Yes, based on the fact that you had partial usage of your phone during that time, it's a partial amount.   

Michelle -  Okay. So, my husband is a car salesman.  Would it be okay if he sold you a car with a $200 a month car payment, but you could not drive it within 15 miles of your home?  When it was near your home and in your garage, you couldn't drive it. You could, however, sit in it while it was in your driveway. You could listen to music in it. You could even watch a movie on the drop-down DVD player. You just couldn't drive it. I don't know about you, but I buy cars to drive them.  I bought a phone so I could TALK on it.  You can call it a device, but it's still a portable telephone.  

Splippery Rep - Please hold, and I will see what I can do [insert boring hold music again]
Slippery Rep - I am able to increase the offer.  We are offering you $83*.

Michelle (in her head) - Thank you for realizing I'm not a fool.  Sorry I just cut into your bonus with my amazing logic.  Enjoy your car ride home (all the way home).

Now, I would have asked for Pain and Suffering compensation (She didn't get to talk to her favorite sister, remember?) Overall, though, I'm very proud of you, Michelle. Well done!

*This is a prorated amount based on a proportion. See, you do need math in real life! It was the figure Michelle was prepared to accept. 

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