Mobile Madness

By: Katie Austin

Like so many people, I own a smartphone and find that I am becoming more attached with each passing day.  I love being able to read emails, interact with Facebook, catch up on my favorite blogs (Every Woman Blog is at the top of my list!) and browse the Internet for information at the time I need it.  But, as I have discovered, instant access to this technology comes at a cost that is climbing upward with no end in sight.

Excuse this brief interruption while I pull out and step onto my soapbox…. Feel free to take a bathroom break, grab something to drink or eat, or stretch if you want to take a turn on the soapbox 🙂

Is it common practice now for the mobile giants to have incredible phone offers available and then once they have you locked into a contract, increase their fees and/or make plan changes with little to no communication?!  Have they forgotten who it is that has helped them to achieve their success?? I will share with you our recent upgrade fiasco which you may be able to relate to.  For some, it will give you the information you need to ask questions of your own mobile provider to prevent the same happening to you.

Recently, my husband was eligible to upgrade his phone and what better time as we were going on vacation. He went online, placed an order for his new smartphone (aka toy), purchased the needed accessories, and then eagerly awaited the UPS truck to stop by our house.  He was like a kid on Christmas as he checked the front porch daily hoping Big Brown had stopped by!  Haha!  The accessories arrived a few days later with the phone to arrive soon after that.  Then it happened – a phone call telling him that due to a change with the cellular company policy, he would have to upgrade his plan to something new or pay retail for his new smartphone.

You see, we were told a few months earlier by the same company that as long as we upgraded to new/kept our existing smartphones, that we would be grandfathered into the unlimited data plan.  Obviously, the company quickly realized that this would not be good for their bottom line!  So, they changed their policy that you could keep the unlimited data plan, but that we would have to pay full retail for the phone.  I needed a bag to breathe into when I heard the retail price – which is approximately $799!!  Plus, we found out that the policy change occurred the day before the was upgrade eligible.  We did not receive any form of communication from our mobile provider explaining these changes and spent hours on the phone trying to understand our options.  In the end, he kept the old phone and now has accessories for a phone he didn’t receive.  It’s like getting the keys to a new car, but you have to wait for the car to be delivered and you don’t know when it will get there 😦

When did good customer service and keeping customers happy become a thing of the past?  We have been with the same company since phones became smart.  For the first time in several years, we are thinking about switching. If we do switch, I think I will write them a letter explaining why we left and ask “Can you hear me now?” 🙂

Have you had a similar experience?  What do you like/dislike about your mobile provider?  Feel free to share and if we get enough posts, we can send them a link to show them what their customers are thinking.