Sunday, February 10, 2013

Oh, India

As our friends are well aware, John and I have a very un-smart phone, and a no-texting plan.  We are cheap.  We got grandfathered into a super cheap T-Mobile plan that we have stuck with for years.  But recently, we have been tossing around the idea of upgrading our plan . . . maybe even adding in some texting (gasp!).  I've done lots of research, and we finally settled on Straight Talk, the trac phone plan thru Walmart.  $30 a month for 1000 minutes, 1000 texts, and a little data.  Big step up, people!

For now we decided to go with their free phones, to see how we like the plan.  I ordered them on Tuesday, and was excited when they arrived a day earlier than expected, on Thursday.  Time to charge and activate our new phones!

Except the charger didn't fit into the phones.  They sent the wrong charger!  Grrrr.

The only negative I had heard about Straight Talk was that their customer service was terrible, but we knew that going into it, and decided that it would be worth it.  How often do you have to contact customer service, anyway?

Right away, apparently.

I called up customer service, and after the loooooooooong wait time to get an actual person, I explained my problem.

"Go ahead and charge your phone," she said in a lilting Indian (as in India) accent, "and then you can call back about activating it."

"That's the problem," I said.  "The charger is the wrong one, and doesn't fit the phone.  I can't charge it."

"The phone will work once you charge it," she told me, pleasantly.   "Once you have charged it completely, then you can call back or go online to activate it."

We continued our conversation, me trying to find new ways to explain my problem, her very pleasantly not understanding what was wrong at all.  The conversation ended with her telling me to take the whole package to Walmart, and they could sort it all out at the Straight Talk counter.

Funnily enough, after I purchased a new charger at Walmart (they said they couldn't help me out since I purchased the phones online) I actually found that the charger that came with the second phone was the correct kind.  I had looked at it, but thought it was the same as the first phone's charger.  What can I say, it was a Thursday.

Over the weekend, I have been on the phone with Straight Talk customer service quite a few times.  It seems there has been an issue transferring one of our phone numbers.  Another 24 hours, I am told, and it will be all sorted out.  At least one good thing has come out of all this, though.  I have mastered a great Indian accent.  I can do Indian customer service speak with the best of them.

"How can I help you, ma'am?"

"May I put you on hold for a few moments?"

I am pretty excited that maybe in another 24 hours I will be able to text.  I asked my sister if she had a texting plan, and she looked at me with pity before saying, "Laurel.  Everyone does."

Does everyone?  Are John and I the last holdouts?  The remaining two people to not have had texting? I'm not sure if I am on the verge of something great or just selling out.  Another 24 hours and a couple more conversations with my pleasant Indian friend and we'll find out.

1 comment:

swedisheik said...

I do not have texting and until the first of this month actually had texting blocked on my phone. Starting Feb. 1st, my service provider will no longer provide that "free" service, which means I will have to keep my phone perpetually locked (from the kids) and hope that no one texts me lest I have to pay for it. Maybe I will break down when my kids are tweens...

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