It’s true, I am angry. I am not irrationally angry. I would gladly kill the wrong thing if it stumbled across my desk right now, but it’s not like I’d kill puppies. I’d kill insects. Maybe business majors. But not puppies or siblings.
I’m not actually surprised, in retrospect. It all started with a bit of fun talking to Jaylee, but ended with no fun talking to Ebony. Most of it is Verizon’s fault. And, sadly, I can even understand their motivations in this whole thing. Maybe I should blame Ben, because he was always a flawless phone plan administrator, and then had to bail as though he really believed the Emperor could get him with those lightning zaps.
What I can say is that this is not resolved, and this is going to suck.
I’m debating whether or not I should chronicle the whole thing. I probably should, because it’s so terrible and I’ll forget it. And we should remember the terrible things that happen to us.
Jonah, Ben and I have been off-contract for awhile now. Over the summer, I was sure that Google would announce the new phone any day, and it would be available on Verizon. I was right about it being available on Verizon, wrong about the timing and completely unprepared for the fact that Google thought it would be okay to ask me to stick a television in my pocket.
Ben bailed for Confederate Wireless sometime over the summer and left us to put the phone account in our own name. Like a murder mystery, this detail becomes important. I nominated Sydney to be in charge of the phone plan. Between her attention to detail, her inescapable devotion to doing the right thing and her general need to be in charge, I thought that we’d be much better with her in charge. Also, I just couldn’t bring myself to care, and feared I had just enough Jim Nash in me to result in none of us having phones.
Sydney broke her phone, and I wanted something shiny. I wasn’t about to sign a new Verizon contract, because Sprint had the Nexus 5, which was a good standby, and possibly worked at my house. Verizon had mostly laughed with glee while they dismembered my Galaxy Nexus and refused to keep it updated.
I was prepared for the new Nexus to not be on Verizon. I was prepared to switch to Sprint to get my Google fix. And then there was a third possibility I had not counted upon.
Google wanted me to put a television in my pocket. Some investigation, research, and self-reassuring later I decided that I would just get a Droid Turbo. Same innards as the Telenexus 6, but with a 5.2″ screen, and exclusive to Verizon.
I told Sydney. Sydney went to New York and had a few drinks.
But eventually she decided to make that happen for me. She punched a few keys on her computer, acted like it was all going to happen until it didn’t. Some web glitch, she assured me, she’d just go down to the Verizon store and make it happen.
A Droid Turbo for me, I said, but don’t do anything with Jonah’s phone because she wants to see if she likes it first. What’s the hurry?
Sydney spends some time researching the inscrutable phone plans. We can save a lot of money if we get a bunch of people together on the same phone plan, she determines. She invites the Kliz. She is, after all, sleeping on their couch and surfing Verizon plans from their apartment.
The Kliz are not, traditionally, terribly responsible people. I’ve worked hard to change my unfair predispositions against them, but mostly I’m surprised they navigate what can only be a parallel universe to mine unscathed by all the things that scathe the rest of us. Sure, more people is better, and it’s unfair of me to judge them by their reckless, needy, teenage past.
And then Mom. Mom is underpaid, is spending way too much for the phone service the rest of us have amortized across multiple people, and we could do this little thing to help her out, right? Should we be doing more?
That puts 6 of us on the phone plan. I warn Sydney that we can only have 5, but she says that was an old plan, and she can actually have 10 people. So no problem. We can call be on the plan, save money, and have shiny new devices.
Sydney goes to the Verizon store with the Kliz. The Kliz do not get new phones, but do get to join our phone plan. The Kliz have shiney newish apple phones which don’t have quite the same smell as that new apple crack, but it’s okay. Sydney walks out of the store with a new Droid Turbo (because I told her it’s what I wanted, and buying what I want is way better than researching for herself), and gets a Droid Turbo shipped to me.
Sometime before the phone arrived, I remember that Verizon ships phones signature required on delivery. I asked Sydney to send me the tracking number so I could leave a note for the FedEx guy with the tracking number, pre-signed. That usually works.
Sydney wrote back saying that it appears they shipped my phone to her in Nashville, instead of to me. And that it was the wrong phone. So she called Verizon to straighten it out, and they sent the right phone to the right address instead.
I liked the phone. Jonah tried it out as well as others at the Verizon store and decided that since they were all too big, she was perfectly happy with mine. In any case, her Galaxy Nexus had crappy battery life and terrible radios, so why not?
I tried to order her a phone online. Verizon demanded a payment of $0.00, but wouldn’t accept any credit card I gave it. I spent an hour or so chatting with Jaylee from Texas online, but it was no good. I decided to just go to the Verizon store the next day.
The day, I waited a really long time at the Verizon store. The Verizon store looks exactly like someone walked into an Apple store, stoned, and tried to recreate the experience for Verizon. Only, they somehow failed, and wound up with couches that fuck you in the ass and terrible sales people that offer you water. Because, while torturing someone, it’s always good to offer water. Water will keep you alive longer.
At the Verizon store, we discovered we were no longer qualified for “Edge”, the plan that was going to allow us to get new phones at a totally reasonable rate. After an hour or so, we determined that we were no longer eligible for “Edge” because Sydney had added Mom to the account that very same day.
I talked to Verizon on the hour-long drive home. Eventually we decided that Jonah was going to have to wait 3 months for a new phone. This was a bit absurd considering that she was eligible for upgrade in May, but credit is a weird thing and 6 phones is TOO MUCH (even though Verizon said we could have 10). She could do the normal upgrade thing, but after adding a 6th line on the account, Edge was no longer available.
I then engaged in regular harassment of Verizon customer service. After work on Monday I talked to them for several hours, 7 representatives, and eventually they put me on hold for long enough that I fell asleep.
Sydney sent me a message Tuesday asking what the assumption of liability request Verizon sent her was. It was a remnant of the previous night’s demands that Verizon remove Mom’s line from our account, upgrade our phones, then put Mom’s account back on the line. Because when dealing with stupid rules, you should always play by them.
I was dealing with an incredibly boring SAS/SATA class rather than normal work, and had an hour for lunch. So I called Verizon.
I got an incredibly sane woman named Ann. Ann listened to my story and offered me something very reasonable: a free upgrade with 2-year contract instead of the $199 fee. All I had to do was wait until tomorrow when her supervisor was around. She said she was available from 6am EST to 2pm EST. I told her 6am EST was just fine. Because EST was 2 hours from CST and that would be 8am.
I realized my mistake the instant my phone rang at 4am. I didn’t answer. I emailed her back and asked if she would call me at 9:30am instead. She said she would.
She didn’t. She said she was busy with another customer and offered to call the next day at 9:30am. She didn’t.
So after work I called Verizon. Ebony answered after half an hour of holding. I tried hard not to judge her on her name, and eventually conveyed part of the misery, and asked her if she could just make the deal that Ann had offered me. She informed me that I wasn’t eligible for an upgrade on that line. I told her that was ridiculous as that line had been off-contract for 6 months. She made me wait around for about half an hour and then informed me that was true until this afternoon when the phone had been upgraded with an iPhone 6.
There was only one of two people in the world who could have upgraded Jonah’s phone with an iPhone 6.
Kliz upgraded their phones. Nevermind that Kliz wasn’t eligible for an upgrade in any way as their phones were very new. There was new Apple crack about and Verizon decided the account had upgrades available.
So, Jonah, who has a 3-year-old phone doesn’t get to upgrade because Kliz gets brand new Apple crack. Never mind that I’ve finally reached a deal with Verizon after hours upon hours of dealing with them.