Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Au revoir, l'enfant terrible!

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.


Cindy said...

I have T-Mobile, and I've had very little problems with them. Good luck!

As far as the infinite cat project goes ... it might be the greatest thing to ever be invented. GENIUS!

Sven said...

you had a date with Mark Ferris! jigga wha!!! i used to frequent the gentry often when i wanted to escape my roommate and not have to worry about people coming up to me asking... "why are you sitting alone?" nice guy. plays the piano so i will have to give props. as for the jitters... thats just him. maybe you made him nervous? ever think of that?

RcktMan Rick said...

1. T-Mobile (formerly VoiceStream) is awesome. Love them... been a customer for years.

2. Mark Farris. I hate you.

3. The Infinite Cat Project. I am at work, and I am DYING. I'm laughing so hard I am SNORTING. And I don't DO that. GOD that's funny.

I am so going to make one of my cats do this.


SAMerican Revolution said...

Do tell us how to get one of those secret shopper gigs out here in California!

OnlyInTheSouthEnd said...

I have AT&T Wireless, soon to be Cingular, but unfortunately I have another year on my contract. I wonder if I can get out of it if they become Cingular, because I've always known Cingular sucked ever since they were CellOne.

Anonymous said...

I have T-Mobile and I get reception EVERYWHERE. I think I could climb up an elephant's butt and get reception. They're that good. Plus, I feel like I own a piece of Catherine Zeta-Jones.


Joe said...

i have been cell-free since Pride sunday, when i threw my handset into the Hudson River. i am just SICK TO DEATH of my whereabouts being triangulated via satellite by friends. 'where are you now?' still on my way to meet you, just like when you called 10 minutes ago. 'where are you NOW?' it's not like i'm unreachable. email. home phone. work phone. you'd think i've become a druid or Amish or sumpin', but the boys are just NOT having this cell-free thing. but i'm loving it. so far.

Jake said...

What's it like to have friends WHO ACTUALLY CALL ONCE IN A WHILE? It must be nice.


Anonymous said...

Mark Farris ? Who * hasn't * been on a date with him ? Let me guess. He found you through one of your Internet profiles. Complimented you to high hell. Invited you to stop in at Gentry to "check him out". The reason he was nervous was because he was busy constantly scanning the area to check for the other guys he's currently dating. Or trying to .....

no milk said...

yay! i'm on t-mobile too!

but if we really want to talk about hated service providers, i want to tell the world that I HATE RCN!!!


whew! got that out of my system.

no milk said...

also, am i the only one who hasn't dated mark farris? i feel left out... :)

Anonymous said...



Ryan said...

I switched to T-Mobile from Sprint PCS about 8 months ago, and have completely loved it.