Friday, December 2, 2016

Hold Please

My son wanted a smart phone. Understandable. This is a technological age after all.

He waited anxiously for Black Friday sales. He knew what he wanted and knew it would be available and affordable that day.

When the day came he went to the site online. There was the phone he wanted. He placed the order. Almost.

There was a problem with the order.  He did not receive the email confirmation of the order as the web site said he would.

Did they notify him that there was a problem? Of course    not.

He found a contact number so he could call them. He asked them why he did not receive notification. Oh they could not fill the order because there was a mix-up on the order itself. They were "so sorry".

Could they help him make the necessary corrections so the order would go through? No. They were "so sorry".

What they could do is cancel the order so he could reorder. Unfortunately the charge for the original order would not be corrected for up to 5 business days. He reluctantly agreed.

My son went back online. He reordered the phone. I helped with some of it. Everything went as it should. He received his notification by email. Yay!

The phone would arrive the following Tuesday. It did. Yay!

After thoroughly reading all the paperwork that came with the phone my son went online to activate his new phone.  Things were progressing swimmingly.

Then he entered the zip code for our address. Error. He realized he was supposed to enter the zip code his old phone was registered to. He entered that. Error.

He called again to find out what was wrong. Gee golly. They were "so sorry" he was having a problem. They did not know what was wrong. Did he try typing in his zip code? Perhaps he should use the zip code of the store for his old carrier and see if that would work. Guess what. Error.

My son was getting frustrated. I said I would call the new company. I spoke to a very nice young man who was almost understandable. His accent was that of someone who had not been speaking English long.

He was "so sorry" we were having a problem. He would try to see if he could help. He spent a long time but no help was forthcoming. He transferred me to someone else.

Now we were getting somewhere. This young man was easier to understand. He was "so sorry" but he would see how he could help.

I was becoming extremely exasperated. When he hemmed and hawed about not being able to do anything I began asking questions. He tried to give technical nonsense answers that meant nothing. I kept asking questions.

Then he said to give it some time and it might clear itself up. I asked him if he was just saying that to get rid of me. He answered yes. I hung up.

After composing myself I called again. A nice woman answered. I could not understand her at all. It was not an accent problem. She talked so fast my ears could not keep up with her mouth. I asked her to slow down. She was "so sorry". She would see what she could do to solve the problem.

I repeatedly had to remind her to speak more slowly.but she worked to try to find a solution. After a long time she discovered that I had transposed two digits of the zip code from the original phone's address.

Could she alter the order to reflect the correct zip code? She did not have the authority to do that. Did she have a supervisor I could speak with? She did. Now we were getting somewhere.

A nice man greeted me on the phone. He was "so sorry" we were having a problem. He could not alter the order because the process of activation was so far along. Perhaps they could help at the store in the nearest town.

I drove 30 miles in a mix of rain and snow to the phone store. The man there was so nice and he exuded a confidence I had not felt from anyone on the phone.

He informed me that even though they sold the phones there some things that could not be done. He would do his best however.

He went into his computer and tried to change the zip code. He said that sometimes he could make the changes and sometimes not. He could not. It would have to be done at a corporate store.

Where is the corporate store? The nearest one is in Omaha, Nebraska!

He did suggest calling the carrier for the old phone to see if they could change the zip code for the original phone. That might work.

I drove 30 miles in a mix of rain and snow to go home. I picked up some fast food on the way. I was in no mood or condition to cook.

After we ate I calle dthe original carrier and asked if they could change the zip code. Of course I did not mention that I needed it so my son could drop them because he was trying to activate a phone with a new carrier.

They needed to speak with my son since the phone was in his name. No problem.

They told my son to wait about 20 minutes to make sure it was complete in the system. No problem.

In the meantime I called the new carrier. I asked to speak to the manager who said I should call back if anything changed. Once again I was on an interminable hold.

While I was on hold I began to type in the information leading up to the request for zip code information just to be ready when I did receive assistance.


Did they even ask for the zip code? NO!

After approximately 6 HOURS his new phone is activated. I will not wait on hold for anybody for a while. I will hang up first.


  1. Good lord. Rocket science sounds easier, Emma.

    1. The really sad thing is that this sort of thing happens to me all the time. It is so frustrating. I have recovered.

  2. My God! I'm so sorry you had a problem... Whoops!
    I'm glad you've solved it.

    1. Funny. You got the sarcasm of the statement they are trained to make. Thank you for that.

  3. Replies
    1. A sincere apology is always welcome. The problem is when it becomes a standard approach to shut me up. Shutting me up is not as easy as they think it is.

  4. Oh, Emma!!! How frustrating can a day be!!!

    Congratulations on getting the job matter how it happened!!!

    You're a great mom to go through all of that "runaround" to help your son 📱☎

    1. You would be surprised at how often this sort of thing happens to me. I become stubborn and refuse to give up. I would do anything for my children so that does not make me a great mom necessarily. I think any mom would do the same.

  5. and that's just the half of it. This is now days known as progress. NOT!!! :)oh well...

    1. Right you are. I have to learn to shake off the frustration more quickly though. That I must do for my own sanity.

  6. Sometimes I feel they are doing it on purpose just to be mean. Then maybe they hope you'll wait long enough for the sale to be over.

    1. Sometimes I feel that their sole purpose of existence is to try to drive me nuts!

  7. Emma, I am so sorry (truly, without quotation marks) to hear about your no good, very bad, horrible day. I would have been pulling my hair out, if I had any left. I think it was John Lennon who said life is what happens to you while you're making other plans.

    1. Perhaps that is why my life has always been so flexible. The hospital where I gave birth to my daughter has all her records; they have no record of me being there. That is my life.

  8. Oh such an annoying waste of your precious time, Emma - and if you hadn't helped yourself it would mean you still would be waiting... It is so utterly frustrating when technology does not permit to clear things up.

    1. Time is the one thing we cannot get back. Perhaps that is why these things cause us so much distress. Technology is supposed to make our world easier not harder.

  9. You managed to mesmerise me.
    I am so sorry. I am so sorry.....


    1. You are so funny. If I give you a post-hypnotic suggestion to ask Alice to take some pictures of Wonderland would you be compelled to do it? It is a tempting thought.