I finally changed cell phone carriers yesterday. After four relatively happy years with Cingular, I'm now a T-Mobile customer.
I had no real beef with my Cingular service -- except for lots of dropped calls and a chronic inability to use my phone in my house or in my office. But I live on the 24th floor and work in a concrete-reinforced bunker, so deep down I know I'd have the same reception problems with any cellular carrier. Deep down.
But Cingular was always just short of helpful every time I had a question or problem. For instance, this one time when my phone was on the fritz (doesn't that sound like German porn?) I took it to a Cingular store and the guy behind the counter snippily told me I had to take it to the store where I first got it. NOT helpful. And when I tried to renew my contract two years ago, the guy at the store gave me all kinds of attitude because he KNEW I wasn't quite out of my old contract just yet. Turns out he was wrong. Turns out he had no intention of apologizing for being such a scabby little butthole. Turns out two years later his little bitchfest cost his company a customer.
There was also that issue with the orange. I hate orange. I hated getting orange bills in the mail. I hated the orange logo on my phone. I hate orange. (Not that T-Mobile's electro-'80s pink is much of an improvement, but I hate orange more.)
And then there's the issue of Cingular's corporate parent company. When I moved to Chicago four years ago, Ameritech was the local phone carrier. At the time, Ameritech was in the middle of a long, painful fit of baaaaaaad customer service. As in the whole city wasn't getting phones hooked up for months and months. As in Ameritech would NEVER show up when they promised. As in every time they did show up there was suddenly some need for some extra $100 charge. As in the whole city -- present blogger included -- was PISSED.
As in things got so bad Ameritech eventually changed its name to SBC to try to distance itself from its well-earned reputation.
As in to this day, I refuse to do business with Ameritech/SBC/whatever it changes its name to next. So when the SBC logo suddenly started appearing on my Cingular bill, I vowed to change carriers as soon as my contract expired. Which happened Saturday.
And just as I was starting to wonder which carrier to switch to, a secret-shopper opening came up at work for T-Mobile. See, Sprint PCS is one of our clients, so we have various employees doing business with Sprint's competitors to monitor what's going on in the non-Sprint marketplace. And when I found out the company would pay my cell phone bill, I jumped at the chance to jump on the pink-logoed bandwagon.
And I'm already impressed. The people at the T-Mobile store were totally cool and totally helpful last night. I've discovered I can update my phone address book OVER THE INTERNET. And my new phone seems to work pretty well at home and at work. Woo-hoo!
Wow. I've blathered on and on and on and on about fucking phone service. And you've read about it. How sad are we?
To reward you for your tenacity, I'll tell you I had a nice date with an adorable guy last night. But he seemed awfully jumpy and distracted. Witness-protection-program jitters, adult-onset ADHD or alphabet drugs? The jury is still out.
To further reward you, I direct you to The Infinite Cat Project. Which is exactly the kind of Web site the Internet was invented for.