Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Excellence in Customer Service

Here's a bit of PSP trivia: I have never owned a cell phone. OMG, wild, right?

But finally I decided that the new iPhone is just such a desirable object that I had to get one. Unfortunately I then found myself practically begging for somebody to take my money!

First I went to ATT's web site to order the service. Now, here's another bit of PSP trivia: I don't have a credit card; haven't since college! I do have a debit card, of course, but I simply don't use credit. So at the ATT site, they did a "credit check" and found me wanting, and decided that the iPhone wasn't for me. So I "spoke" to an online rep, and the conversation went something like this:

Me: Hi, I want to get an iPhone, but failed your credit check.
Rep: Sorry, then you are ineligible for the service.
Me: Really? Just like that? But I was going to pay with a debit card.
Rep: Sorry, if you fail the credit check, you're ineligible.
Me: Seriously? What if I pre-pay for the whole two-year plan?
Rep: We don't offer that.

Basically: no iPhone for me!

This morning, I decided to actually call ATT on the phone and find out if this was really true. And, of course, it isn't. The person on the phone said I could, indeed, get iPhone service, but I'd have to go to an ATT store and would probably have to tender a $750 deposit (!!) as a punishment for being sensible with my money and not buying things I can't afford.

That seems a bit steep, but OK. iPhone for me!

So I jumped on the Metro (scary!) and went all the way to the Apple Store in Pentagon City to purchase the fabled device. Imagine my chagrin when I arrived to discover that they're all out of them and have no clue when they'll be getting more.

No iPhone for me.

Dear ATT and Apple: I would love to divvy up many, many hundreds of dollars between the two of you, but I've gotta say, you sure aren't making it easy.

UPDATE: Lord phone and savior achieved.


Kevin said...

You've demonstrated that you can control yourself with credit since you've lived without it since the days of Jesus. Go forth and splurge. Get yourself one of those awful pieces of plastic and use it. Pay off the balance online BEFORE you get the monthly bill and then you won't accrue interest. You'll have credit history and you'll be screwing the credit card company at the same time.


Michael said...

Love the graphic!

John said...

How do you rent cars?

Not using credit is totally fabulous (& I do the same) but not having a credit card is, sadly, a bit like carrying around a pocket watch and telling the youngsters to turn down the darn phonograph. Carrying a balance on one is stupid, but they do make life easier for these sorts of occasions.

Princess Sparkle Pony said...

How do you rent cars?

Well, I don't drive, so I don't.

Fabulana said...

The way to beat The Man is to get the credit card, activate it, and THEN don't use it. Just put it in a coffee can and forget about it. Then (I believe) you can begin to harvest magic invisible merit points.

You can also use credit card rather than debit for daily expenses, and set up automatic payment each month from your checking account. And that way, you get credit history, never carry a balance or pay interest, AND get cashback or frequent flyer miles. That's the way to beat and flagellate The Man.

Yeah, how stupid is all that? Gah...fucking stupid. Well, what do you expect if you want to own a magical iObject. Some senseless social ritual must apply. Make you One Of Us.

Karen Zipdrive said...

You don't drive?
Hmm that proves once again that you are a supernatural being, sent to blogworld to entertain us.

Jay Simser said...

I have a friend who says the Palm Pr(or is it Pri) from Sprint is far superior to the Iphone. Perhaps you should investigate what they will do for you. j

Ensign Steve said...

You're too good for the iPhone, peteykins. Don't do it.

T D Coleman said...

Initially, I wanted an iPhone, but I was too cheap to buy it. I also did not want to drop T-Mobile (I have received flawless service from them) for AT&T.

Instead, I settled for the other fruit-phone (Blackberry) and I am quite pleased with it. While it does not have the wonderful GUI and functionality that the iPhone has, it does what it is supposed to do well.

Anonymous said...

Used to be able to rent cars with debit cards and Budget but now they ask for your SSN if you, like me n PSP, don't use slavery er credit cards. Claim is that people were getting debit accounts with little money and stealing the cars. One cannot pay cash for cheap, by the hour, cellphones either unless you don't care if it works or not... the bigger price is being paid whether we know it or not. PSP rocks, even when she falls for the iphone.

Jim said...

ATT's customer service leaves plenty to be desired, and Apple isn't happy with the partnership.

iPhones sell out immediately when new models are launched, but within a few days there should be a glut until next year. Apple wants your money, even if ATT doesn't know how to take it.

Have you gone to an Apple store? You'll be treated like a human being there.

I had a first gen iPhone. The latest one is really wonderful.

Nixie Bunny said...

Good for you for not getting a credit card! I used to travel using airplanes and rental cars, so I needed to get one. They are also handy for ordering electronic parts over the Intertubes.

We have an iPhone (Terry wanted it), and I can vouch for the fact that they help you waste time. And stay in touch if you need to. Still, on the whole you may be better off without it.

sjelly said...

Glorious sparkly one: I thought I loved you before, but I didn't know love. Til now. You don't own a mobile, you don't have a slavery/credit card, and you don't drive. I'm building your shrine now.

Matty Boy said...

They really don't want to tease you, Princess, but as the graphic shows, you are just too darn adorable when a desirable thing is dangled, so they have no power to stop teasing you.

No one can blame them.

sfmike said...

Though I have resisted getting a driver's license and owning a mobile phone so far in my life, I did break down and get a credit card some years ago for all the reasons people have been pointing out. It's easy to pay the monthly bill on time and I've gotten a few free airplane trips to New York City out of it. And if I ever do break down and get a frigging mobile device, it's definitely going to be an iPhone. The interface is intuitive and fab. The only drawback is giving a dime to the organized crime syndicate known as AT&T.

Iain said...

...being sensible with my money and not buying things I can't afford.

Does this make you sub-sub-prime in credit terms?
All these quaint, Luddite practices will just never do - Communist! ;)

Anonymous said...

Why do you hate America?

Karen Zipdrive said...

Here's the deal.
iPhones are cool, Petey is cool so it's a perfect fit. And an iPhone is lightweight, whereas a Blackberry is bulky and results in a lot of butt dialing.
Just do what you have to do to get one, and enjoy it.

Alex said...

If you really just want the iPhone for the 'tech toy' aspect, consider getting an iPod touch instead. It's almost the same thing, except that it's not a phone (and doesn't have a camera). 99% of the apps for the iPhone run on it just fine. You'll pay more initially, but you won't have monthly charges. Of course, you also won't have a cell phone, but maybe that's a good thing!

drew in sf said...

This is quite informative for me PSP. I've been considering the same lately... don't want to give up my Sprint account that I've had for like 8 years now, but do want my tunes, a GPS, and my email in my pocket at all times. It's been a bit of an arduous decision making process, and you may have just tipped me to going with "NO".... I'm also credit-card free and I don't want to put down that big a deposit considering I already have a cell phone account in good standing.

Alex said...

drew in sf: Note that the iPod touch GPS isn't as good as the iPhone GPS - that's because the iPhone can use data from the cell phone network as well as wifi networks, whereas the iPod touch only can use wifi, which is shorter range.

Princess Sparkle Pony said...

Alex, two problems: 1, I actually decided I finally do want a cell phone; 2, the iPod touch hasn't been upgraded to the awesomeness of the new
and improved iPhone.

Drew, I may have made the wrong impression in that I do still intend to get the Jesus Phone.

drew in sf said...

Oh, I know you do, Peter, but your story helped dissuade me for my own reasons. My lame story is I was looking at getting a GPS for a camping trip (in Hawaii!!), and drifted toward the iPhone. But with the high deposit for non-cardholders... I'm not prepared for a $1,000 start up cost when I could get a $100 GPS for my short-term needs.

I still want one, but I'm going to reserve the decision for another month.

cranberryzero said...

I had the same problem. I was all excited about getting an iphone, but I've only had one credit card ever back when i was in college that was a $500 card and other than that have just been living within my means and att wanted a $500 deposit, but i didn't give it to them. oh well, my samsung instinct has a way better real gps anyway.

Anonymous said...

Great Blog, I agree with you.Please keep at your good work, I would come back often.

Anonymous said...

Would you be willing to divulge the method by which you succeeded? A PSP benchmark might be useful in the Interstate Bakeries bankruptcy era.