Tuesday, March 15, 2005

The Cell Phone Fiasco

The dad and I went to the cell phone store today to upgrade my mom's phone and start her new plan. It was a trip to say the least. First off, barbie cell babe seemed to not have any idea what we were asking, and acted like it was killing her to help us.

After we got the plan switched, we went to look at the phones. I had been in to get my phone about a month ago, and had looked online, so I knew what they should cost. My mom needs no bells and whistles, so we were looking at the basic phones. The one we were interested in was $29, but only with the 2 year agreement and some special features plan for $10 a month. Without the features plan, the phone was $49. Except I had been online the night before and knew it was free there.

So I asked barbie if it's cheaper to buy online. And she informed me that they were the corporate store so *cell carrier* set their prices and she didn't know who set the prices online. Interesting, since it is www.*cellcarrier*.com. After confirming that we could come back at any point to get the new phone, we left.

When we got home, I checked online, and sure enough, same cell phone was free. I tried to upgrade via internet, and kept telling me it wouldn't. The dad calls customer service to explain, and they say they can upgrade for him. Phone is now $99. Dad explains the situation, tells him that online we can get it for free, and the guy actually works with us and is willing to give it to us for $0. Only his system is down. So transfers us to another lady, whose system is down. She gives us a new number to call, and long story short, they're willing to sell it for $49. The dad then explains the situation, and new guy agrees and is all excited that he's giving us the phone for free.

At the end of the day, the mom's new cell will arrive in 3 days and all we had to pay was $5.95 in shipping. And this is all from the same company, not like a Best Buy that handles many carriers. This cell phone thing is such a racket.