Saturday, February 20, 2010

Cell phone debockle

I posted a few weeks ago about our new cell phone plan that we were so excited about.

Got our first bill (which was the first issue...since we were told we wouldn't get a bill until March).  And it was double the price!  WHOA!!!  Stop the presses.  I read over the bill very carefully, and found all the errors.  Some were bigger, some were smaller.....some were a surprise.

1)  No text plan on G-man's phone.  Charges:  $14.80 vs $5
2)  Speaking of the text was for 250 texts.  We were told it was the same as what we had with another carrier.....400.
3) No insurance on G-man's phone (and he already damaged it, hence the reason we got the insurance)
4)  $10 charge per line data package....what the???  No one mentioned this!!
5)  Activation charges....they were supposed to be waived!

So we went back to the store and spoke to a manager.  At first he was reluctant to do much, but I worked my Mysti Magic with him.  The easy fix...adding on the insurance (which was $2 higher than we were originally quoted).  The text plan....that got harder.  Long story short, I had to upgrade G-man's package because of his usage in the first 3 days.  The number of texts....nothing they could do for me.  G-man now has more, but mine will remain the same. 

The activation charges....he was being a pill.  We had the original business card where they wrote down the agreement, and he started questioning us:  Who wrote this?  Can you describe the man we talked to?  Turns out that the sales associate wrote the wrong name, but she was there and confirmed that yes, the activation charges should have been waived.  So he had to give it to us.

Which leaves us with the sticking point....the data charge.  Apparently all phones that have internet capability (which we didn't even know we had) has this charge.  This was in no way shape or form mentioned.  At all.  Total surprise.  We get 25 megabytes of internet usage (more on this in a minute) per month.  Some neat features are part of this..but again, we were unaware.

Manager offered to allow us to exchange for a phone that didn't require the package...but there was only one option.  And we hated that phone.  We agreed to the keep what we had, if he would waive the first month's charges.  He reluctantly agreed.  All in came to $93 in credits.

Now, this megabyte thing.....please explain this to me in detail.  Without boring you bloggy friends (assuming you are still reading!) this is a very sneaky thing that I am not too happy about.  The quick version:  every 10 pages of internet that you access = 1 megabyte.  If you go over the 25 allowed, it is $0.25 per megabyte.

I had used 9 megabytes....what?  How?  I didn't even know I could access the internet!!

When we got the phone....we got a text message from the company inviting us to try a free demo of some applications.  Ok, we will try.  Didn't buy them...but it was fun to play for a few minutes.  That access was charged against our usage.  Wait.....That isn't "free."  I said this to him, and he more or less agreed.  No, we didn't get charged cold hard cash, but we did get "charged" as part of our usage. 

I really was tempted to cancel the whole thing. Except....we had already shopped around, and didn't like most of what we found.  So it was either deal with this, or deal with something we didn't like at all.  I am hoping that once the credits are added back in, and the dust settles, things will be ok.

The biggest thing I am going to have to watch is G-man.  He tends to happily go down the path and not pay attention to what he is doing.  So I am going to have to monitor his usage to make sure he doesn't go over his allotment.

Why can't these things just be simple????

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