Tuesday, December 13, 2005
Dial M for malcontent
My descent into rage against the cellular began almost 2 years ago. Tired of AT&T Wireless, Cingular had just moved into the tri-state area as the new kid on the block. The bouncing orange logo, the reasonable phone plans (at the time) and wide selection of Motorola models was a decided upgrade so I jumped ship to see what the rookies would have to offer. Little did I know an upcoming merger wouldn't have saved me from the never ending quest for portable perfection.
I ordered a Motorola V400 and a nondescript Nokia for Ma Dukes since a multitude of specifications and features meant about a bag of beans to her and waited for the delivery to be shipped. And waited. And waited. And waited some more. Two weeks passed and the lovely USPS truck had yet to make an appearance on my block. This now warranted a trip to their field office to cordially tear a sales rep a new asshole. First stop on the "Ya'll Bitches Ain't Shit" regional tour was Westbury, Long Island. After being trapped on the Southern State Parkway for over an hour and half, I finally sped onto Old Country Road only to find the branch location had just closed for the day. Strike one.
Next stop on the opposite end of the spectrum: way out in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn on 86th Street. I hadn't been 'round those parts since the days of ditching classes and causing a commotion on the R train. Come to find out, the online order was botched from the checkout and to get the activation mishap rectified, a full payment of 3 C-notes would be required. What. the. fuck. ever.
After straightening out a rough courtship, it was smooth sailing for about 8 months into the contract before I hit another snag. Unbeknownst to me, I had signed the paperwork without being made aware that I was entitled a corporate discount through my company's affiliation with Cingular. A little percentage off never hurt anyone and I was due for a much needed reduction. Or so I thought. After stating my case to the arbiters of Satan better known as customer service clientèle, I was brutally rebuffed. I was left no choice but to forge a shit-eating grin and bare it until the contract had elapsed.
Now I have never lusted after a phone before... but I get tingles in my nether regions over this one.
So, while strolling down Broadway, I pass by the local Cingular store at the corner of Fulton. A cluster of disinterested fellas in rumpled button downs until I sign my name at the service guest book. Then I'm greeted with an 800-watt smile. Playing along, I tell them I'm interested in the RAZR. They immediately morph into "the-cat-who-ate-the-canary" predatory stance.
Luckily for me, I had brushed up on my fine print reading homework so when they inevitably started trying to blow smoke up my bum, I was more than prepared for the full court press.
The phone feels great. Thinner than Lara Flynn Boyle's waistline but sturdy enough to feel solid. The buttons are relatively large which is one of the things I loathed about the V400 from jump - those Scrabble-sized buttons. The screen is to die.
It also runs about $300 with taxes, hidden fees and other anal assaults not spelled out in the storefront window. And that's with a 2 year re upping to Cingular. There is no return policy at all. Like the neighborhood Koreans love to utter, "you break, you buy."
But, they had a supposed bargain for the taking. They would extend a "get out of jail free" card from my old contract (which is up in less than 3 weeks) for $50.00. Or, I could purchase the phone with no strings attached to the budget conscious tune of $450.00.
If I could freeze frame this situation like live TV on a DVR, I would've double checked to see if "punk'd" wasn't taped to my back. While the one sales associate is trying to lock me into this "deal", the other guy is retrieving my account info. "Uh oh." He says. "You're not eligible to upgrade your phone."
Turns out, because I had bought the V400 at a discounted rate, Cingular wouldn't let me buy another phone until my contract was up. I was amazed to learn this wasn't some sort of wacky urban legend.
Pleading my case to two different managers who just couldn't seem to grasp my annoyance helped matters none. Well, luckily for me the nonchalance will extend to my intent to switch back to Verizon at the end of the year.
Hey Cingular... can you hear me now?
- Mealone commented at 12/17/2005 03:36:00 PM~
Cingular is a Mafia! I have them too. I am a slave to their azzes.
- Elle B. commented at 12/19/2005 01:33:00 PM~
yeah, i had at&t and then switched to cingular...but effing mistake. I loathe paying my phone bill every month, especially since i have like 123,134,565,324,676,435,667 rollover minutes I ain't never gonna use.
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