Last night I called the 800 number for Alltel to see how much I would need for activation & to see about possibly getting my contacts transferred over. I only get access to my parents' car once a week and only for a few hours, so I like to have everything planned out so that I can make the most of my time. They said I could do the activation either in-store or over the phone but of course, that I'd have to take the phone in to get the contacts transferred. No big deal.
There are two Alltel stores at our mall. One is a kiosk in the mall which I try to avoid because there are two men working there that have turned it into one of those smarmy T-Mobile stands (y'know, where they chase you down the mall asking you how your cellular service is). I know that the lady who used to manage the kiosk is now working at the other location, which is in a plaza across the street from the mall. They happened to be crazy busy. I have plans, but at this point, I'm early enough that I think that I'll make it. There were a few people who came after me that totally turned into horrible customers, but that's for another community.
Finally, it comes to be my turn. Unfortunately, I'm not with the awesome manager. Oh, well. I explain to the store rep the three things I want done:
1) Obviously, my phones switched.
2) My contacts transferred.
3) ProductGuard put on my plan so that in case something like this happens again, I'll only have to pay a $50 deductable for a new one from Alltel.
Easy enough? I thought so. She had trouble transferring my contacts. A little bit of a bother because I can only remember my parents' and siblings' numbers, but I wasn't surprised. My phone turned on and could be connected but was in pretty bad shape. The computer wouldn't even read it, so after the third try I told her to forget it. She programmed the new phone, tested it, and I was on my way.
I had to get my nails done, so while I was waiting, I was texting and using the internet to make sure everything was working OK & to redownload some of the stuff from my old phone. Strangely, my friend was silent, so I texted her again when I was done asking her if it was okay if we moved our plans to 8 instead. I got an error message. I tried several more times, to several more error messages. Confused, I called my parents to see if I could dial out. Nothing. I was getting a male voice prompting me to call *611 for customer care.
So, I headed back to the store. I got to talk to the same CSR again, who re-programmed it, and sent me back out. I got to my car and tried sending a text. Still nothing. I go back inside and she pulls up my account. She says all the numbers and settings are right so it's obviously my phone.
Yeah. I don't think so. It's pretty much brand new. So she basically pushed me off onto customer care. I had about a half-hour drive from where I was to where I should be, and by now, I'm running late and getting pretty stressed out because I was already on edge due to some other things going on. After thinking for about two minutes in the car, I realize that it can't possibly be anything on my end because I wouldn't be getting the message to call customer care if it was the actual phone. I'd more than likely get nothing, or visual error message when I try to dial out or something.
So, I phone customer care and they do the little automated message about how much your current bill is, when it's due, when your bill prints before they transfer me to a CSR.
My bill was $73.43 when I checked earlier so that I knew how much to pay on Friday.
Now, magically $200 has been added onto that.
Yes, I'm sure most of you know what happened with that by now, as I did when I heard that.
Still, I connect to tech support like the CSR in the store told me to do. I was near hysterics at this point because I realized that whatever she did, she totally screwed shit up in a major way. I explain to the CSR that I went in to get my phone switched and now I have no service whatsoever. She takes a look and confirms what I was thinking.
Somehow, when the CSR in the store switched me over, she cancelled my service entirely. I'm still not sure WTF she did, because I could redownload the ringtone I bought the other day & as I said, my phone worked for about twenty minutes. Either she needs some serious re-training or she knew what she did and couldn't be bothered to fix it because the minute she pulled my account up on her terminal was the minute I got shoved off to customer care. How could she not notice?
The tech support CSR was wonderful. She apologized profusely (even though it wasn't her fault) and transferred me to billing.
The billing CSR was basically the last straw for me. He asked me what my problem was. I told him and he asked me again. He asked for my name. I gave it. He then asked for my last name, then first name. Neither are common, so I'm not sure what the issue was. He just didn't seem to be listening very well to me. It took him about four times to get that I really didn't want my service cancelled when I was in the store and that I was JUST SWITCHING PHONES. I know there wasn't a language barrier, he just seemed to not care very much.
To top it off, I'm apparently froze out of the online account service. It won't let me use my old information and it won't let me sign up for a new account, either. They better pray that when I do that they didn't start my plan over from today's date, which is my thoughts.
I ended up e-mailing them just now. I don't want anything, I just wanted them to know that they need to either train their employees better or to get more help into that store.