Thursday, the Bean went in to the friendly neighborhood Cingular/ATT store in order to get an issue with Pasty’s phone taken care of… at least that’s the main reason. She happened to come out with a brand spanking new celly from Palm. Since we’re on the same plan, I was surprised to hear that she had been able to upgrade her now old phone already, as its usually at least 24 months between ‘free’ upgrades. (Don’t get me started.) BTW: it’s a Palm Centro that has just joined the family.
Seems that the local neighborhood ATT guy helped her get around the little “24 month til you can upgrade for free” by using one of the other lines on the account that WAS NEWLY ELIGIBLE for the upgrade to get her a new phone for just $***, (after the 356 month rebate, of course.) Guess who’s newly eligible line was appropriated? If you guess anyone other than me, you’d be wrong.
So what’s the rub? It’s not like I was looking to get a new phone – though I was enjoying my status of being “out of contract.” I have found ATT to be very willing to negotiate group rate & feature prices, as well as offering free stuff, good phone upgrades etc in order to “woo” you into signing over your life for Yet Another 24 month period of time.
The catch in this process came when i was on my way home to the little woman, & thought I’d bless her with a warning call – one of those, “Hi Honey, I’ll be home in 20 minutes…” calls. My line went directly to ATT Customer Service where I was told that in order to use my phone, & as a part of the upgrade that I had just received, I would need to agree to surrender my long-awaited “out of service” status to be once again, enslaved by the corporate giant that is ATT. And, until I did, my phone privileges were suspended.
I arrived home to find only Cubby (the nickname I’ve given to the 13 year old after a recent bout of In-School Discipline for something that Wasn’t His Fault.) I used Cubby’s phone to call ATT & talk to a live person. 2 different people took 30 minutes to describe the WHY behind my line suspension. Why MY line suspension? Because “i” had recently upgraded my phone. I tried to explain that no, I hadn’t upgraded my phone, but someone in their retail store had pulled a switcheroo. As you can probably imagine, they don’t care.
So now – I have a cell phone that is suspended until I agree to the 24 month contract extension. And, to me, it makes perfect sense that I will not agree to that contract extension. On principle.
If you’ve tried to reach me by cell, it’s not that I am “not taking calls” as the nice lady with the psycho-recording voice stated – its that unbeknownst to me, my right to freedom from a celly contract was violated in the name of getting the Bean an upgraded phone. And my line is suspended until I do agree. Which might be a while…