Yesterday I spent an unreasonable amount of time on the phone with my former cell phone company, whose name rhymes with Hell. This cell phone saga is just out of control. Although I had cancelled my services with them at the end of September by switching to another company, they decided to bill me all the way until Nov. 21 anyway. Prior to switching, I had phoned to ask if there were any cancellation charges, fees, or penalties I should be aware of, and had been told that no, all you do is get the other company to port your number over and then byebye! After I made the switch, I phoned again to ask if there would be any further charges or problems, and they said no, and byebye.
I did get a bill in which I paid up till Oct 21 (since the billing is always a month in advance), and as it isn't a huge amount, I figured it wasn't worth my time to complain.
But then I got another bill for the following month!
So I phoned and spoke to a rep who really had no idea what I was even saying. She told me that there is a 30 day notice which I must give when I am cancelling. I pointed out that two separate reps hadn't told me about this when I called, and she said, "Sorry, but they were wrong." So I asked to speak to a supervisor, and she took this to mean that she should be the go-between between the supervisor and me. Finally, she told me that the supervisor said because I wasn't on a contract, I didn't have to give the 30 day notice, so good news, I only had to pay up to the end of October. I pointed out that no, that would mean I wouldn't have to pay past September, so in fact, "Hell" owed me money, not the other way around.
She didn't get it.
She finally sent me over to the supervisor, who then backtracked and said in fact, I do have to give 30 days notice. She said I should have referred to my terms of service agreement (given to me in 2003) and when I explained that I don't have this mysterious agreement, which is why I called way back in September, she agreed that the reps back then should have told me about it. I called her on this, saying that if they were both wrong, why should I pay the price for their mistake. She said "Oh, well all of our reps are different and will say different things." (That's reassuring.) She then got kind of nasty and I actually had to say all of the following:
- Stop. Just stop talking.
- Please stop talking.
- Will you let me finish?
- Please stop talking AND LET ME FINISH.
- Excuse me, I was not finished talking.
- So you told the other rep that I didn't have to give 30 days notice, yet you are telling me I do have to.
- STOP TALKING. LET ME FINISH. I AM TALKING. NOT YOU.
She tried to tell me she was being generous in waiving the early contract cancellation fee. Of course, THERE IS NO SUCH FEE since I was not even on a contract. I pointed this out and she said, "Yes, so the fee has been waived." NO. That is incorrect usage of "waived".
She then tried to tell me she was being generous in waiving the Oct 22-Nov 21 bill ... and I said again, there is no 30 day notice, so that bill is really wrong to begin with.
At the end of the day, I possibly called her a dumbass (not the way to approach conflict, I know... but in the interest of full blog disclosure...) Oh, and I'm getting about $5 back from them.
It's the principle.
But I will admit that sometimes, strict adherence to "principle" just isn't worth the time and effort.