The fine print

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

Don’t you just hate it when businesses offer something to their customers, only to find out “the fine print” would exclude you from receiving the offer?

Over the last couple of days I have been considering an upgrade on my cell device, an iPhone 8 Plus. I have done my research and I am ready to make the leap and upgrade to an iPhone 12 Pro. I have been watching the sales, the promotions, and looking at a different carrier so see if that would make a difference in the offer. I am currently with AT&T, and honestly I haven’t had any issues with them other than the cost, which seems steep in comparison to some of the others at the moment.

Anyway, I finally decided to pull the trigger after talking to one of the people at the phone kiosk in Costco. They told me that I could get the iPhone 12 Pro, 256GB, for only about $15/month with a trade-in of my current phone. That basically worked out to about an $800 trade-in value for my 8+. WOW! That’s a pretty good trade, which I have never done in the past because it just wasn’t worth that much and I could get more from selling it myself. Trigger pulled…I started the process.

So, I spend about an hour with the guy and we were most of the way done with the process and then I got, “Oh, wait, I didn’t see in the fine print of the ad that you have to upgrade your phone plan. Are you wanting to do that today too?”

WTF.

Is it “bait & switch”? I don’t really know, but it sure feels like it.

Why the hell do these phone companies give deals to new customers but really don’t care much about retaining their current customers? That is what really rubs me the wrong way. They do very little to incentivize you staying with them. There is no loyalty program – I’ve been their cellular customer for probably close to 20 years. No discounts or special upgrade deals for those who have been with the company for a long period of time.

Ultimately, I am going to end up doing what I have always done. Upgrade and then sell my current device privately.

It could have been so easy, except for that fine print. That fine print always makes easy not easy. It gets you every time.

Ongoing saga

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Comcast/xFinity has some real nerve. Obviously, there is always an issue with the cost of their service. Too high for too little. That has never been in doubt. But, if you saw an earlier post (Thieving) about the issue I was having with their billing, well the saga continues…

So, brief catch-up if you haven’t read the other post. Comcast decided randomly that it wouldn’t accept payment from my bank. They have done so for years but suddenly have decided the payment last month wasn’t going to be accepted. Instead of notifying me of an issue, they just said I hadn’t made the payment and said my account was “past due.” My bank says and has proven the payment was made and accepted by Comcast (thus, money was deducted from my account.) Now you are caught up.

I have made several calls the Comcast and navigated their stupid automated system over and over to get to a live representatives, who quite frankly don’t know squat. I was told the first time I needed to get confirmation from my bank that the payment was made.

I did so. It wasn’t the “right” kind of verification.

So, I was finally able to get through to Comcast payment services who said that they did receive a payment couldn’t (read wouldn’t) apply it because they needed some kind of verification because it was paid by a “virtual credit card.” Say what? I am using the bill payer service from my bank and the payment is made electronically to their system. There has never been an issue before. They don’t me to contact my bill payer service at the bank to get the specific authorization they needed.

I contacted the bank. They did their research and communicated directly to Comcast with the information. Comcast’s response? The customer has to provide the proof.

#$%&#$$@!!!!

Listen, Comcast, I authorized the bank to pay you. You have an agreement with the bank to accept electronic funds payments. You have been accepting said payments for years. Now, you won’t accept the payment and want me to authorize a payment the bank made on my behalf?

What the F’n crack you smoking over there?

I haven’t yet sent the proof to Comcast yet, but I’ll let you know if need a couple of you to accompany me down the the office to voice my literal displeasure in doing business with them.

How about a peaceful protest involving some windows and flipped cars? I feel like burning something down.

Stepped in it

agriculture animal cattle close up

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I made the mistake of working with a client on an issue that was outside of my knowledge wheelhouse. It really wasn’t that big of a deal and should have been an easy solve for those who are more knowledgeable than I in this particular area. However, as it turns out, not only am I a “middle guy” but so is the client. So you have two middle guys passing information back and forth only to have two larger organizations duking it out above us as they blame the issue for each other.

As such, I was trying to keep my head down and just play my part in passing along information.

Well, as I was following up on this issue this morning (I hadn’t heard anything for several days, going back to last week), I found out that there were at least three other people involved, but didn’t now know that because I wasn’t included in the follow up emails as the issue continues to cause problems.

To add even more confusion, one of my colleagues who was trying to be helpful (though she often steps where she shouldn’t) saw an email in our customer support account that wasn’t addressed properly and started an completely new client ticket before looking to see if there was history on the issue. Now, the issue is in giant CF mode!

I didn’t want to deal with this issue in the first place, so I am going to do what anyone else in my position would do when they venture onto the farm and promptly step into a big pile of B*LLSH#$%…pass it to a colleague who should have been dealing with it in the first place.

Now, I need to find a rag to wipe off my shoes.

Car salesmen are the worst

closeup photo of vulture

Photo by Markus Spiske temporausch.com on Pexels.com

OK, I know this is cliche. I know this is a generalization. I know this has been my experience in EVERY car purchase I have ever made, so I am pretty sure others have it as well.

It is universally known that car salesmen are the worst! I am sure every comedian has probably covered this topic so I am not exploring any new ground here, but I am gonna throw in my two cents.

Car salesmen are the vultures of society.

They perch themselves up near the front entrance of the dealership, waiting and watching for any movement on the lot. They respond to email inquiries and bang out phone calls to people who have shown even the remotest interest in one of their cars. When a customer finds it’s way onto the property they flap their wings and decide who gets to approach the potential meal.

They leave the perch and saunter over near the customer trying not to look too eager. They circle, make small talk, and assess the situation. They wait for the customer to show signs of weakness or excitement about a vehicle.

Then they swoop in and land near their prey. As you fight to maintain the upper hand, they wait you out until you finally give in. You offer, they counter. You offer again, they counter again. Then, when you appear weak, another one swoops in to add more pressure. More offers, more pressure. You’re gasping, breathing hard and trying to hang on to the little life you have left, but there are now two vultures waiting, waiting to see last breaths of hesitation escape from your lungs as you agree to the purchase.

Now they feast! There is a flurry of feathers and papers and the next thing you know you are standing in your driveway with keys to a new car and buyers remorse.

Good luck out there!

Nothing reminds you of this fact more than when you begin your new car search. The process is the same on every single lot. Sure, the names of the dealerships change as you shop around and look for the best deal, but the process is the same. The behavior is the same. It is so predictable.