Sunday, June 25, 2006


A friend from Minneapolis came down to visit this weekend. She's a very busy businesswoman who travels all the time. Since Best Buy is just a mile or so up the road (a piece) she asked if we could stop in for two things - an IPod (more in another post) and to pick up a new cell phone. Hers was years old and broken. After a browse and some questions asked, she settled on a free phone.

The helpless sales woman turned to a colleague for help.

The cell phone would be in the company name - "how do I do that?"

The saga begins. LOTS of confusion, form filling, calling for help and transfer of number from one phone to the other.

Years later (okay, a little exaggeration) the clerk asked for her credit card and rang up $205.

"Two HUNDRED five dollars? For a free phone?"

Guess what - it isn't free. Only if you open a new account.

(Note: This makes no sense to me - if, after the two years standard run of contract, you want a new free phone - cheaper model, not a Razer - they should give it to you. If not, why wouldn't you just cancel the service, switch carriers, pick up a new free - really free - phone and be done with it? Anybody know how they keep customers? This was Verizon, in case it matters. I thought you got a free phone (cheaper one) every two years. So did the neophyte sales girl.) Wrong.

Now we have to get the number back into the old phone because our friend doesn't WANT to pay $200 for a FREE phone and is cheesed off. I don't blame her.

But then the salesfolks couldn't get the right person at Verizon to authorize the decommission of the new phone old number to get it back into the old phone. They tried and tried.

We left the store and returned later. Still working on it.

And later. FINALLY done.

As our friend says, and as you think about it, it's true in today's world - there's no "JUST" (as in, "Just pick up a new phone.") There are complications (try to collect a rebate then get back to me!), forms, circumstances, time limits, fine print and general crap to fight through. Nothing is simple. Read the blog on the IPod if you haven't.

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