Apparently, for my cell phone company, this is not a given. And not only does this company not communicate well with its customers, the several layers within the company do not communicate with each other.
I know this because on Sunday, I got to experience this problem first-hand, so that a problem that could have been resolved in, oh, five seconds, took more than an hour to fix. More than an hour!
I was all warm and cozy, laying in bed watching Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (more on that tomorrow), when Emma came upstairs telling me Chris was calling me on her cell phone. Well, my cell phone was laying on the bed next to me, turned on, and hadn’t rung all day. So, I asked him why he didn’t call my cell phone.
“I did,” he said. “I’ve been calling all day and it goes straight to voicemail.”
(That may or may not be an exact quote, but you get the idea.)
Very odd, indeed.
And then I remembered that earlier that day, I’d taken a photo at the mall and tried to send it to my e-mail (see my January 2 post for the rest of that story) and it wouldn’t go through. So, after hanging up with Chris, I call my phone from Emma’s. Voicemail. I try to call Emma from my phone. A man’s automated voice informs me that my account cannot be verified (or something like that). I try to call the cell company from my phone. Same automated voice. Same message.
So, I call from Emma’s phone. The girl on the other end has me dial *228 to reprogram the phone. It won’t go through (something about the wrong code). Then the girl sends me to tech support. He has me call *22899. Same result. He tries I don’t know what else (other than checking for any outages), but an hour later he wants to wipe out my phone completely (this includes asking me to write down the more than 100 contacts so I can re-enter them and I would lose all my photos, which would have denied my good blog readers the pleasure of my January 2 photo blog). At this point, I’d already reset my phone to factory settings, which meant that later I had to fix it all.
In the end, the techie concludes the problem is specific to my phone, it’s broken and I need a new one (I got it in September). He wishes me a good day, a Merry Christmas and sends me on my way. To a cell phone store. The Sunday before Christmas.
I resigned myself to spending the rest of my life in said store, but I needed a phone, so off I went. Pulling into the parking lot, I was pleasantly surprised to find it relatively empty. It was dinner time, so I suppose that probably helped. I walked to the kiosk to check in and wait my turn. An employee approached and asked the problem. I was flustered, but managed to get my point across.
“Try calling *22801,” she tells me.
She and another employee then informed me that they did something with the satellites Saturday night and it affected some phones, but not all, and it was only in this area. Nowhere else. They said they’d been dealing with it all day. They said the phone techie guys were not aware of it, but “probably will be tomorrow after we’ve fixed them all.”
Shouldn’t someone pick up a phone and let them know? Isn’t it that simple?