Operator, this is an emergency!
Blog subscriber, reader, follower, friend, phone nerd, countryman, lend me your ear!
I come not to praise U.S. Cellular, but to bury it. The evil that companies do lives after them…
“That’s really great service,” I said. “Now let me assure you of something. At the earliest possible moment when my contract is up, which isn’t too far away now, I will be terminating my service with your company and you’ll never see another penny from me as long as I live. Is that enough quality for you?”
At last the circle is complete. Now I am the Master.
Maybe it wasn’t the “earliest possible moment” but at long last, the long dark nightmare of the Abyss is over. I am no longer a U.S. Cellular customer!
I called U.S. Cellular recently to cancel my account. Oh God, this was gonna feel so good! Even so, I decided to take the high road, keep it mature, and, of course, no gloating!
I think I started off the phone call with, “Neener neener neener!”
Note: U.S. Cellular “quotes” in this post are paraphrased from memory and may not be 100% precise.
The greeting message seemed to have changed. “Your call may be randomly monitored for quality assurance.” Interesting! Nothing about “recording” calls? Perhaps they had changed their policy?
The customer service person on the other end of the line was downright cheery. “How can I make your day better?” she asked in the way of a greeting.
Oooh. This was gonna be good.
I informed her I was calling to close my account. “Oh, I’m sorry to hear that,” she said. “And you’ve been our customer for X number of years, too.”
I had resolved not to bring up the past, but she really wanted to know why I was contemplating such a crazy course of action. I may have mentioned something about how U.S. Cellular did nothing for me when I originally called about being charged a different rate than their sales rep had said to my face. And that we’ve been paying that higher rate ever since then.
We went over a few details, then she said she had to transfer me to someone else to finalize the termination. This person was even more cheery!
She was nice enough. As I would expect from a retention specialist. But she had met her match. Short of sponsoring my blog to the tune of $79,500 a year, there was nothing she could do to change the outcome. Yes, I can be bought. Nike? Call me! Well, maybe not call. I no longer have a phone! Maybe you could have Tiger stop by with a check?
She practically groveled for a reason. I may have mentioned the whole recording incident, too. She said brightly, “Oh, we never know when a call will be recorded. The people on the phone are unable to control that.”
What the hell? The automated message said nothing about even the possibility of this call being recorded. Are they being up front about that? I wouldn’t be surprised to find out they reserve the right even if they don’t announce it. (That’s just my hunch, not a factual statement.) Either way, that’s the sort of thing that should be against the law. And, by no small coincidence, a reason why I no longer have a phone. Heh.
In the wholesome pursuit of voluntary simplicity I will not be getting a new phone. Perhaps, maybe, a prepaid track phone for the singular function of keeping in touch with Mrs. Abyss. Hell, no one besides bill collectors ever tried to call me, and why should I pay $70 a month to enable that?!?!?
One step closer to living off the grid… Victory!
You’ve Got Wail
It was just another Friday at work. I felt the need to touch base with my better half, so I dropped her an innocent little email. Some of you may be shocked that the word “hopeful” was actually used…
Sent: Friday, August 05, 2011 4:17 PM
To: Mrs. Abyss
How are you doing? My mood is fine. Only 1:15 to go.
Do we got plans tonight? Anything going on? Dinner? Just curious.
My car started twice in three attempts so far today. I’m hopeful I’ll actually make it home.
This what I received back…
From: Mrs. Abyss
Sent: Friday, August 05, 2011 4:23 PM
Subject: RE: Babes
Hi honey. Doing ok. Ready to bolt out of here. I had a great vision during my appt today. Scrounging for dinner tonight.
Hope you make it home. If not get a taxi or room with someone over night. I’ll come get you tomorrow.
What the hell? I work three miles away!
Hopefully it is now clear the spring from which the river Abyss flows…