Monday, November 24, 2003

Do they get it yet?

Today is wireless number portability day, being hailed by one and all as a one of the few occasions when the Bush Administration will actually do something for consumers. Today, the threat of mass switching is supposed to make the cell phone companies see the light and finally start providing customer service.

In the spirit of contrarianism, I decided to change my phone number today! Actually, my last financial tie to Austin has ended, and I no longer feel the need keep a local number there, so I wanted to get a Pittsburgh number since it is easier to give to businesses here.

So I called Sprint, and after two voice mail systems and about five minutes on hold, I find myself talking to a person. Who tells me that my wife needs to call them since our mobile service account is held in her name rather than mine. Oh, but she needs my phone when she calls so that she can reprogram it. OK, so she can't easily call during business hours, since I have my phone and she is in her office.

She calls anyway, and that old customer service really kicks in. What it boils down to is that the best date for us to change my phone number is the fourteenth of any month. If we don't change it then we are going to incur a raft of fees and prorated charges and so forth because we will be off our billing cycle and they don't like that. Oh, and to get a new phone number on our second phone on the account, we need to sign a new contract locking us in for another year, because we will need to get a new account. Customer service of this caliber really makes me start looking over at Verizon and thinking that we can just carry her number over there, and get me a new one with no more hassle than we are experiencing trying to stick with our current provider.