One of my job duties is to purchase and renew cell phone contracts for the guys here at work to use in the field. Recently a couple of them complained their phones weren't charging right, so I looked and discovered 5 of them need new phones. I always like when we are buying multiple phones because sometimes you can get good deals that way.
You'd think it'd be easy to get new cell phones, right?
I grab the card of the Cellular One sales girl who helped me so well last time, about a year ago. I dial the office phone number from the card, and a little girl answers, "Hello?"
I say, "Is Candy there?"
"Candy. I'm Lisa from ***Construction and I need to order new phones."
"I need to order some new phones. Is this Alltel?"
"Alltel? Who's that?"
"Is this Alltel or Cellular One?" During the year Cellular One was purchased by Alltel.
"Moooo-oom, someone wants to talk to you about Alltel."
A woman picks up the phone and says, "Are you trying to call the Cellular One sales person? This is a private phone."
I say, "I'm sorry, I have this business card from Alltel with this number as the office number. This card is fairly recent...Why on earth would they give out an Alltel business number to a private customer so soon??" She agreed. She said she gets phone calls at least 5 times a day for that old salesperson. I'm wondering why she doesn't get her damn number changed.
I pull out my phone book and call the Alltel location that is located about 6 blocks from my work. The phone rings and then switches to a voiced recording saying "You have reached the Alltel Retail Store located on Broadwater Avenue. Our hours are from 9am to 8pm, Monday through Friday..." Shit. It's only 8:45 a.m. They aren't open yet. Gotta remember to call back in 20 minutes.
I call local Alltel location again. The phone goes thru recorded times and such, and I press 3 to speak to a sales person. It rings and rings, then it switches over to a recording that "all sales representatives are currently helping other customers. Please wait while we connect you to our national call center" where you have to choose between all sorts of menu options like Press One for Billing Questions. Press Two for Account Balance. Press Three to Speak With Customer Service. I press three. I get another 5 options to choose between. I screw up and push the obviously wrong thing, because the damn recorded voice is telling me to enter my 10 digit phone number, area code first. SHIT. I hang up.
Same as Attempt #3, including getting phone book back out because I've got to look up the local store number again, dammit. I finally get through to someone.
I say, "I am a business in Montana, and I need to buy 5 new phones."
She says, "I'm sorry, we're the national call center. We can't help you with that. All I can do is give you the local numbers so you can call them and they should be able to help you." She gives me the number from the phone book. I say gee thanks and hang up in disgust.
ATTEMPTS #5 - #15
I dial local number again. Get same recording. Same thing over and over for a few minutes. Wait 2 hours and try again. Wait until next day and next day and next day for a week and a half, same thing each day. Have lunch plans each day so am unable (and UNWILLING) to drive 6 blocks to finally get someone to talk to me.
ATTEMPTS #16 - #35
Finally one day while I was on the computer, I was fed up, so I sit and work on my computer while dialing over and over on speaker phone until suddenly on attempt #35 I hear "Thank you for calling Alltel, this is Marcie." I damn near pushed 3 out of habit, but thankfully I got it together and said, "Wow! I've been trying to get through to you guys on your phones for WEEKS, but you don't even have voice mail so I could leave a message! I need to get some new phones brought to my business so I can order 5 new phones from you." She says, "Here's a number you need to call, we don't do that but our business salesperson handles that." I get another number to call. I half expect this to be outdated and a residential line now too.
I call the phone number they gave me and I get a voicemail ~ leave a message and I'll get back to you as soon as I can.
I get a phone call the next day from someone else, who said she was the business sales person and she got the message that we need new phones...I couldn't help myself, I told her how bad Alltel sucks and why. She was very kind and understanding, and I felt much better after my rant.
She agreed to bring me an assortment of current flip phones to choose from. She instead shows up with a laptop computer and tells me that they no longer are allowed to bring sample phones in to us, but we can see on their website the current available phones. She then attempts to log into her sales website using all sorts of codes and passwords. This took her at least 20 minutes. I was NOT impressed. Then she finally gets the screen up, and we look at the different phone pictures and wonder "WHAT THE HELL?" Finally she says, "I can bring you these phones if you'd like to look at them." Uhhhh, yeah. That's what we asked for in the first place.
Then she admits that Alltel wants them to do the laptop spiel because they are promoting the little do-hickie that plugs right into your laptop and makes you able to access the internet from anywhere without a wireless connection. I'd be impressed but I'm LOOKING FOR PHONES. I have a computer already, WITH internet. Thanks.
She brings 4 different phones to choose from. I call her and tell her we're ready for her, all picked. She's busy, will come in the morning.
She comes, and takes phones and tells me she's really busy today, but that we should have them by the end of the day tomorrow.
The next day she calls me and says that there was a little "Glitch" and that she ordered the phones and they'd arrive by Friday morning, Fedex. What? That's 3 days away! She says that's the way the company requires they do business orders. I say, "What? If I'm a single customer who pays $30 a month on my phone bill, I can walk in the store, and walk out with a new phone in less than 15 minutes. But a BUSINESS who pays over $350 a month on my phone bill can't get their FIVE phones immediately? Makes perfect sense." I get another, "I'm sorry. It really doesn't make sense, does it?" Uhhhmmm, NO. She says to call her when Fedex shows up on Friday morning, and she'll come right over and activate them all and take care of the rebate stuff and everything.
She shows up at my office at 11:45am. I say, "I told you I'd call when they show up. Did you ACTUALLY think they'd really be here by Friday at 10am? I've only been waiting for 2 weeks for these phones. What's another weekend??
Fedex came at 2:30 pm. She came right over, only now I have to activate them, because they weren't pre-activated as she thought they would be. Of course they weren't.
She tells me she's NEW AT THIS, she's only been doing it since JULY. I'm sure I'm her first sale since July, and that's why nothing goes like she thinks it should.
Remember how I told you I never drank alcohol before? Tonight just might be a great night to begin.