Battling With the Giant: I confess I’m an Irkist

From simpler times in my youth

I admit it. I try to believe that I think kindly about all people and corporations. I try to believe that if I have a legitimate complaint that the representatives to whom I speak are actually there to help me. I try not to complain. I try to be a Polllyanna and not let things IRK me in the time I have left on this planet.

My resolve is growing thin. For three months I have reason to be IRKED by my telephone service. I have had paperless billing ever since it first became available. I have tried to make it a habit to pay the bill on line as soon as I receive it. Unfortunately, I don’t often pay total attention as to whether or not the bill has appeared in my inbox.

That is why I was so IRKED, not only at the phone service but also at myself, when last month I received a letter in the mail  that my service would be discontinued if I did not pay the previous month’s bill immediately and last month’s bill was due within a week. We are talking about a bill of over almost $166.00 for two months’ service.

Hold the phone!  I looked at the bill. That would mean my bill was averaging $80 for my  computer and phone service when ordinarily it ran close to $61.00 a month. Something was definitely wrong.

The first thing I noticed was that there were two months of charges at $12.95 for a fax service opened in my name. Whoever did that had to know my birthday and my email in order to do that. When I called the company, (thank goodness they were legitimate) I was told they had to respond to a confirmation email as well.

I assured them that I have a printer with the ability to fax. I have never had a reason to fax. I would not sign up for a fax service. They agreed that they would credit my phone bill and would cancel the account. I was curious the next day to find out if anyone had actually used the service. When I emailed them they said the records had already been deleted and there was no way to retrieve that information. Sigh!

I called the phone representative. She told me that after I contacted the fax service I should notify the phone company and they would set aside that charge for sixty days to give them time to issue a credit. That was taken care of.

The next thing I questioned her about was a $6.15 late payment charge. I asked her a question. “If you did not send me a bill causing my payment to be late, why is it that I am responsible for paying a late charge? If it were my fault I would gladly pay.” She removed the charge from my bill.

I asked her why I had not received the bills. She said, “We had to reboot the system. It happens periodically. I asked her to PLEASE reinstate my email address in the computer so that it would not happen again. She assured me she had.

Just because I was not sure that was done, I went on-line and reconfirmed I wanted paperless billing and signed up.

I then phoned the bill payment center and paid the revised bill. I had just enough time to pay my last month’s bill with my on-line bank. My balance was now $0.00. I was satisfied.

Today I began to get a nagging feeling that I should have received my phone bill by now. I went on line and discovered the bill date was February 11. Today is February 22. The bill is due March 7. I was IRKED.

I called the phone company. I had four concerns. The first one was that I had not received my bill. She checked. I was not in the system. Duh! She keyed me into the system. I can only hope.

The second concern was that there was a “pay convenience fee” for $5.00. I asked if that was a new charge. “No,” she replied, “that was for the convenience for paying by phone last month.” I asked, “Whose convenience was it for? I was sent a disconnect letter because I have not received a notice of an on-line bill for three months. I had to call to keep from being disconnected. It certainly wasn’t for MY convenience.” I think I sounded IRKED. “I think as a good will gesture, the company should remove that charge since it was NOT my fault the payment was late.” She listened. I heard keystrokes. The charge was removed.

My third concern. I said, “Even with that charge removed, my bill is still $5.00 more than usual. What has happened?” She replied that the charge for my service was raised. My service was limited calling no long distance. I really make very few calls in a month. If I do make more it is 8c a minute.  I asked her if she had any bundles that were less. It turns out that for $6.00 LESS than I was paying, I could get limitless local AND long distance service. I changed my plan.

My DSL has been very slow. I asked how much an upgrade would cost. $5.00. I upgraded.

To recap, they ditched the convenience fee, upgraded my internet, now provide unlimited local and long distance and signed me up once again for paperless billing.

There is only one more thing that IRKS me. Have you ever noticed that there is an $0.18 charge every month for touchtone service? Is there a choice NOT to have touchtone? Can you imagine how much that minuscule amount adds up to if they charge $2.16/year of EVERY customer who uses their service?  If they only have 10M customers, that’s 2.16 M a year gained.

There is an opportunity to sign up for automatic payment with the company for my convenience. There is NO way I will let them do anything automatically. Not when they are accepting charges I do not make, and don’t send me my bills. But at least I was able to tell her the answer to her greeting. She made me a very satisfied customer at least for today. Namaste. Attic Annie



Filed under Casual conversation, computer glitches, diary, economics, general topics, life, musings, Uncategorized

2 responses to “Battling With the Giant: I confess I’m an Irkist

  1. atticannie

    I agree!

  2. I think it’s a general problem all over the world, the prices are kept down so they try every kind of trick to get money out of you.