What time is it now, anyway?! Oh, I see… It’s now 5:46 PM. That means I’ve now been on a call with T Mobile, my very soon to be former cell phone service provider, for 45 minutes and counting…
This process of re-activating my cell phone account, which should have been a transaction that would take one customer service representative ten minutes to complete, has now taken three customer service reps over 45 minutes to attempt to complete without success.
Since I am now on hold, and waiting for a fourth T Mobile customer service rep to do successfully what the other three could not do, and since I’ve been waiting for so long, I’ve decided to blog about my experience – to give me a more productive way to spend my time, while I sit here and wait…
I am willing to admit that yes, in one way I did bring this situation upon myself, because I was a bad boy and didn’t pay my bill on time, and so my account got suspended. That is my fault and I am willing to own up to my own fault being the original cause of the problem.
BUT… after it took the first T Mobile customer service rep or CSR, approximately five minutes to process my payment for my balance owed in full via my debit card, then THEY became the problem, and have been the ongoing source of the problem for over 45 minutes now since they took my money, because of their inability to answer two very simple questions:
1. Do I get to keep my original phone number?
2. Do I get to keep my original calling plan, with the same number of minutes I can use before incurring additional charges, and for the same regular monthly amount that I have been paying for over two years now?
When the first CSR who processed my payment, couldn’t answer my two questions, but then promised to transfer me to someone else in customer service who could answer my questions, I was patient and understanding, since I understood that she might not know the answers, and my time on hold was only less than two minutes.
But then when the second CSR picked up my call, and had no prior knowledge whatsoever of my situation, I was mildly irritated. She began the call by asking me how she could help me…
But I was still polite and explained to her that I had paid in full a past due balance, with the first CSR that I had spoken with only a few minutes earlier, but before my phone was reactivated, I needed to verify some information first, and I again asked her my two questions.
It was like she didn’t hear or understand a single word I said, because her reply was “Yes, Mr. Sheridan, I can see that you have paid your account balance in full, so thank you very much for continuing to be a T Mobile customer, and I will now go ahead and reactivate your phone.”
Me: “No, do NOT reactivate my phone. Do NOT reactivate my phone, until you first tell me if I can keep my original phone number and the same calling plan that I have had each month, before my account was suspended for nonpayment.“
CSR # 2: “We have processed your payment, Mr Sheridan. T Mobile thanks you for your business and I will now be happy to reactivate your phone for you.”
Me: NO! Do NOT reactivate my phone yet! Did you hear and understand the two questions I just asked you? I need to hear the answers to both of my questions first, before you reactivate my phone. (I repeat both questions for her again)
CSR # 2: (long pause… deep breath.) “I understand just how you feel, Mr Sheridan, and I apologize for this delay. But I will now transfer you to someone in customer service who can help you with your issue, and expedite the reactivation of your T Mobile phone.
Me: “But, wait a minute!” (suddenly back on hold again – this time for over ten minutes)
CSR # 3: “T Mobile customer service – How can I help you?”
Me: “Do you have any knowledge of the two previous conversations I have had with the two previous T Mobile customer service reps, within the last 30 minutes?”
CSR # 3: (long pause…) “May I please have your name, sir?”
Me: (all my patience gone now, but still keeping my voice in a low but deeply menacing monotone…) “If you need to ask me my name, well then I guess that you don’t have any knowledge of my two previous conversations with the two previous customer service reps within the last 30 minutes, now do you?”
CSR # 3: (long pause…)
Me: “I don’t hear your voice… Are you shaking your head from side to side, to answer my question ‘No’? Or are you nodding your head up and down to answer my question ‘Yes’? Neither way of answering works very well on a telephone, since I can’t see you… I suggest that you try using spoken words as a more effective way of communicating with me.”
CSR # 3: (long pause…) “It would help if I could have your name, sir…”
Me: “You are obviously the second T Mobile rep in a row, to know absolutely nothing about the previous information that I have already just repeated two times in a row, or the issue that I need your help with. Why is that? Don’t you people ever talk to each other at T Mobile? Apparently not!”
CSR # 3: “Uhmm… I… I understand just how you feel, Mr. uhh, sir, and I apologize for this delay. But if you can give me your name, I will try to expedite the reactivation of your T Mobile phone.”
Me: “You understand nothing. And you know even less, but let me explain once again, for the third time, who I am, what my situation is, and the two questions that I need answered, and just maybe your “expediting” will actually be successful this time!”.
So, for the third time, I repeat everything that I previously told the two other CSRs, including asking my two questions, and the third CSR puts me on hold for five minutes. When she returns, she says cheerfully, “We have processed your payment, Mr Sheridan. T Mobile thanks you for your business and I will now be happy to reactivate your phone for you.”
Me: “Stop! Don’t DO anything! I need to ask you another question… You seem to speak English very well, and I have no trouble understanding your English as you speak to me…
BUT… Do you understand English when I use English to ask you a question? Because for the third time now, you are the third T Mobile customer service rep in a row, who can speak English clearly in a way that I can understand, and yet when I speak English to ask you only two questions, you seem to not even begin to understand what my questions actually mean, because you give me an answer that is no answer at all, and irrelevant to the questions I have asked you! Do you understand spoken English or not?!”
CSR # 3: (long sigh…) “Mr. Sheridan, I do understand your questions that you have spoken in English, but I am not qualified to answer them… and I cannot…” (I interrupt her) “Finally!” I almost yell into the phone! “Finally, an answer that actually makes sense! Thank you so much! Now… Can you please transfer me to someone; maybe an account supervisor, who IS qualified to answer my questions? Could you please find a way to DO that for me???”
Okay, to make an already very long story somewhat less long, after waiting another 15 minutes on hold, I was finally able to talk to someone in enough of a position of authority at T Mobile to not only answer my questions, but to also give me the answers that I wanted to hear. Yes, I got to keep my original cell phone number and yes, I got to keep my original calling plan with the same number of minutes, and at the same monthly rate that I’ve been paying for over two years.
And yes, after over an hour and ten minutes spent on our land line phone… my cell phone was reactivated!!!
And then 20 minutes later, something curious happened… My recently reactivated cell phone rang. When I answered the call, I heard an obviously automated voice say “Hello. This is T Mobile. According to our records, you recently contacted T Mobile customer service, and we would like to offer you the opportunity to comment on your T Mobile customer service experience.”
I normally don’t waste my time on this sort of thing, but this time was different. Ohhh…. Was it ever soooo different, this time around!!!
I drew in a very deep breath as I prepared to really let fly with all of my frustration about my recent T Mobile customer service experience!
But before I could say a single word, the call dropped out…
No, they didn’t call back, and no, I have no intention of calling them…
At this point, I just want to be DONE with all this!