07 March 2008

AT&T sucks.

I got a Blackberry earlier this year. I used to have both a PDA and a mobile phone, but when the PDA (which stored my calendar, contacts, friend's birthdays, oh, only my whole life) died last year, I decided that carrying around 2 bits of electronic gadgetry was silly, and when I replaced the phone, I'd get something that was capable of doing both tasks.

The first few days with the Crackberry were frustrating, but I got the hang of it eventually. Set the phone up so that it could receive e-mails from 2 accounts. Figured out how to sync it with my computer. And then, I was totally hooked. Hilariously, the gadget even eased some of my anxiety, because I wasn't missing e-mails when I was away from the computer. I was reassured by that. No, no, I'm not addicted, why do you ask?

Yesterday, I got home from yet another frustrating day of no new sales (have I mentioned before that this job I don't like is outside sales? I think I have. If not, now ya know.) and found DH wrapped up in blankets in front of the teevee. He's fighting off a second round of the creeping crud. I turn the phone off sometimes when I get home from work. If I don't turn it off when I get home, it shuts itself off automatically at 8 PM. Something I learned was necessary after it woke me up once at 2 AM for a listserv e-mail. I hate when anything interrupts my sleep. That's grounds for justifiable homicide, right there.

Anyway. Home from work, phone shut off. I was exhausted, and we chatted about what to do for dinner, deciding finally to order pizza. I reached for the phone, turned it back on, and instead of making the call right away, I was scrolling through the pre-loaded pictures on the device's hard drive, wanting to show DH a pic that I hadn't noticed before. Suddenly, the screen went white, and the following message appeared.

JVM 454 error.
Device must be reset.
Scroll trackball for options.


So, like an obedient drone, I hit the reset button, and the same message appeared. When I scrolled the trackball, dozens of other options, including a 'sanity test' (WTF?) appeared. I tried most of them, and nothing worked. So I took out the battery, which is how you do a 'hard reset' on this particular phone.

Unfortunately, that didn't fix it. I got the white screen back, and then an hourglass appeared, then the screen went black, and the indicator light, on the upper right corner of the phone, started flashing red. Uh-oh.

So we took the phone to the closest AT&T store.

The heavily made-up chickee that waited on us did the same thing we'd done. Twice. Then she went to the computer and looked up our account information. Slowly. Then she grabbed a pad of sticky notes and scribbled down an 800 number, telling us, "We don't have any replacement phones here. You'll have to call the Warranty department."

I purchased this phone on January 17th. It isn't two months old. I can't be without a phone; besides being the only one I've got, my entire ability to make a living is based on this mobile phone. Outside sales=being in the car, on the road, all day, every day.

Nope, I'm not dependent. Not at allllll.

I think it perfectly understandable that my next action was to bitch at this 22 year old snot. I ranted and raved about the phone being brand new. I hollered and fussed about needing it for work. I pointed out that they DO have plenty of phones in the store, and that she could give me a new one out of the box. No replacement phones, my ass.

Perhaps not surprisingly, she was unmoved. She wasn't rude, but she was very firm that there was nothing further she could do. Also not surprisingly, we left. Without a new phone. Fuck!!

I dutifully called the 800 number from DH's phone, and spent the next ten minutes on hold. The young man who finally came on the line informed me that they'd send me a refurbished phone, and that they'd send it express shipping at no cost to me, but no, they weren't able to do anything other than that.

Here's why this pisses me the hell off. I've been with AT&T since 2004. My whole family, and DH's whole family, plus most of my friends, use AT&T as their wireless provider, meaning that it is free to call all of those folks, because they're within the network. So switching carriers is out. Additionally, I pay my bills on time; my wireless bill is anywhere from $110 to $170. A month. Every month. The phone has been in my possession for almost 2 months; what happened to it is that the hard drive died. DH, trying to amuse me, said, "The crackberry OD-ed."

I called customer service when we got home; I was on the phone for another half hour, explaining to 2 people what had happened, and why I was upset about it. Being nasty to them serves no purpose, so I was calm and polite, but I made it understood that I was less than impressed. How is this good customer service?

I'm without a phone for at least 2 days, even with express shipping, it is unlikely that I will have the new phone before Monday. When, incidentally, I'm supposed to leave to go for that job interview in a state far, far away. Goddam it! I need that effing phone.


Anyone care to lend me an uzi so I can shoot the one that died? I think that'd make me feel better.


Dawna said...

Oh man that sucks. And I may seem like some sort of techno-phobe *snorts*, but I rarely rely on my computer for anything that can be lost. I have a paper trail (literally paper) for everything. Sure, it takes up space... but if there's one thing I learned is that computers die. Hard drives die. I'll be damned if I lose anything important. Which reminds me... I have a butt load of pictures to back up.

Lucy Arin said...

Oh, I learned my lesson when the PDA died last year. I have backups of everything for the crackberry. Thank Dean that I haven't lost everything. The problem is that I'm without a phone. Completely out of touch unless I'm in front of the 'puter. Urgh.