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Further adventures in corporate indifference and stupidity.

Transcript of  my chat with an AT&T ‘sales’ rep below.  I tried to by a Refurbed Smartphone today to cut into the cost of having to upgrade without the benefit of the rebate.  They really don’t want to take the extra $30 a month.  Brilliant.

Chat InformationThank you for your patience! An AT&T sales representative will be with you shortly.

Chat InformationYou are now chatting with Keiera, an AT&T sales representative.

Keiera: Welcome to AT&T online Sales support.  How may I assist you with placing your order today?

Keiera: Hello, I am happy to help you today.

Eli: Hi Kiera.  I just bought a quickfire from a Portables store and updated my contract with them, then work decided they wanted me to upgrade to a dataphone.  I was thinking I wanted to pick up a palm or a refurbed blackberry and upgrade to data service… can you help out with that?

Eli: Sorry I dropped that e in your name.

Keiera: Is this plan under a business account?

Eli: nope. personal account 443-621-0527

Keiera: Have you already upgraded this account?

Eli: To data/smartphone?  No

Eli: We did add unlimited text to my phone and my wife’s

Keiera: To upgrade (replace) your phone, please log into your account using the “My Account” button and choose “Check Upgrade Options”.  When a new phone is available for your account, an “Upgrade phone“ link will display in the list below.  Follow the directions to complete your upgrade online.


Eli: I’m fairly sure I won’t be eligible…

Keiera: If you are not eligible, you can go into the AT&T retail store and purchase the phone there.

Eli: What about this “No commitment pricing” I’m seeing on the website?

Keiera: This is the price you will pay in the AT&T retail store.

Eli: OK. Do they sell refurbs at the store?

Keiera: I do not have information on the stores inventory.

Eli: Well can I buy a refurb phone online?

Keiera: We do not sell the Phones, PDA’s or PC Cards online without a rate plan.  The online promotions and discounts are only for brand new activations (new accounts, or additional lines on an existing account), or customers eligible for an Upgrade (replacement) and willing to renew their contract.  To buy the device-only, you will want to visit one of our stores to do so at their retail price.

Eli: So you can’t pay the phones at the no commitment price as displayed on your site?

Keiera: Unfortunately no, you will need to do this at the retail store.

Eli: But you don’t know if they sell refurbed phones in the local stores.

Keiera: As far as I know there are no refurb phones sold in most retail stores but I do not have information on their inventory.

Eli: So the website that shows refurb phones with not commitment pricing is pretty misleading isn’t it.

Keiera: It will be the same as the new phones price.

Eli: Wow. That was a total waste of my time.

Eli: Not your fault mind you, but frustrating none the less.

Keiera: I understand your frustration, is there anything else I can help you with today?

Eli: I don’t reckon so.

Keiera: Thank you for choosing AT&T.  Have a great day


Further adventures in dealing with corporate ‘customer service’

I recently purchased a quickfire from Portables in Marley Station Mall, Glen Burnie MD.  Not only does the phone suck (touch screen you have to positively pound on, zero functionality in the Calls list, and crummy transitions between the keyboard and screen only modes) but work recently offered to cover a data plan, so I wanted to upgrade to a blackberry bold.  Swell, right?  You’d think these geniuses would want the upsell, but no, not really.  The jerk at the counter when I came in to talk about an exchange was…how can I say this nicely… not customer service oriented.  First he told me that if I didn’t have the box (which had to be cut apart to send the damn UPC for the rebate) he would have to charge me $25.  And If I didn’t have the charger he’d have to charge me $25.  If I didn’t have the manual her’d have to charge me $25.  Brilliant.  $25 for a cutup cardboard box with no remaining function.

And the charming counterboy had the audacity to reprimand my two year old for touching the paper christmas owner on the counter.  Actually snatched it from her hand. If he’d touched her it might have cost him a hand and a few teeth.

I’d like to contact management, but the only number available is for the store. And these charming affiliates of ATT don’t seem to have a website.  Or a grownup working in the store.  And AT&T doesn’t seem to have an actual customer service POC.  Looks like I’ll be finding a way to contact AT&T Vice Presidents.

P.S.  The ATT customer forums ban the words jerk and damn.   Really?


Awakening from a long nightmare I’m afraid to go back to sleep.

Eight years ago I was in Mexico watching CNN.  They announced that Al Gore was president.  I went to sleep knowing that the candidate I preferred (yes even though libertarians may claim otherwise they do have preferences) would be president for at least four years.  When I woke the next morning George W had been crowned king.  Eight nightmarish years followed.

Today I voted as Richard Pryor suggested, “None of the above.”  But I did have a preference.  When it comes right down to it, when CNN announced that Obama was president-elect, I was relieved.  A long nightmare is ending.  A new one may begin tomorrow.  But for the moment I’m afraid to sleep, for fear that the results will change overnight.

Congratulations, Senator Obama.  Good luck America.  Hopefully in the morning the results will remain the same.


I am Paint.

<a href=’’>Which house paint are you?</a>


Kevin Sullivan to eat shoe if Ron Paul wins nomination.

Thanks, Kevin for keeping things light. Whe RP wins I volunteer my gym shoes. ;-)

Kevin Sullivan“If Ron Paul gets the nomination, I will eat a shoe. You can hold me to it! Video and everything.”


“Frontrunner” Republican candidates are coming under pressure to attend the Morgan State debates.

Maybe they’ll decide to do the right thing and pitch their platform and candidacy to minority voters as well. After all, if their message is good for America it should be beneficial to all Americans. Ron Paul is planning to attend, but then we know his platform would be good for all Americans.

Well? Rudy? Gonna man up?

read more | digg story


This was worth reading for people who are procrastinators but don’t want to be.

 If the rest of what this fellow writes is this interesting/smart/well constructed then the whole blog is probably worth a glance.