Friday, April 20, 2012

My phone is back & a consumer tip

In an effort to save money after combining our accounts, I "downgraded" my iPhone about a month ago. In its place I purchased the cheapest, simplest phone I could find. It wasn't long ago that I used a basic phone, so how hard could it be to return to one?

Truth? I made it a couple weeks. Not being able to check my e-mail when I was out was a tad bit annoying, but the kicker was not having navigation. I got lost on the way home from one of Carina's playdates. Momma clearly needs her Google Maps.

But, I didn't want to have to pay for the extra crap they require you to have for the iPhone. So, I Tweeted at AT&T and asked them to call me (so much easier than waiting on hold for 45 minutes - I swear I die a little inside each time I have to listen to an automated answering system). I explained the issues and frustrations we have had with AT&T lately (long boring story), that we are both {very} long time customers, and that we'd hate to have to switch to another carrier with much cheaper plans but with another baby on the way money is really tight. They said they'd have their business office call me the next day.

And call, they did. Magically, they were able to get M's Yale discount applied to our account (which wouldn't go through previously for some unknown reason) and they offered us unlimited texting (a $30 value) FREE for 2 years. After these changes, we could go back to exactly what we had before, and still save >$20 a month. At least for the next 2 years. We can revisit this all then.

No more crap phone, Mom?
My iPhone 3G is on its last leg - it takes about 5 minutes for Facebook to load, so I opted to upgrade to a new smartphone. Since it was free, I ordered the brand new Nokia Lumia 900 which just arrived, and is currently charging. Can't wait to try it out.

Consumer tip - in my experience, if you call or e-mail customer service for any company/service, there is a high likelihood that you will not be satisfied with the outcome. If you have a Twitter and/or Facebook account, I recommend Tweeting or making a status update tagging/@mentioning the company. When you voice your complaints and concerns in a public forum, {again, in my experience} you are more likely to hear a response in a timely and pleasant manner.

Example: when we moved from Wisconsin to Connecticut we were quite surprised to see that we don't get any cell phone service. I e-mailed AT&T and they told me I could purchase a Micro-Cell signal enhancer for $200. I told them they were crazy; no way we're paying that much money because their service in the middle of a populated city is sub par. I told them it should be free. No dice. They didn't even respond to my e-mail asking them who else I could contact within the company. Then, I tried Twitter. After @mentioning AT&T telling them I thought it was wrong that we had to pay because their service is lacking, within a week, a free Micro-Cell was on our way to us. Score 1 for social media.

Have you had any luck contacting companies via social media?


5 words of geekdom:

Allison said...

I have had success with OtterBox. I tweeted abiut how I screwed up my screen protector. They tweeted back to contact CS. Wham, bam... new screen protector for me - easy peasy (& free). I love Twitter :)

Mishu said...

Hey I don't know what you did with your old iPhone but you can trade it in at Target. We did and got a $150 gift card. We had an iPhone 3?? Anywho, I think you just get a giftcard to Target but I figured I'd let you know. We got the new iPhones with our credit lol

Kristin said...

Totally agreed. I complained about Dominos on twitter for my pizzas never arriving...BAM. 2 free large pizza coupons.

Laura said...

Wow, it would have never even occurred to me to do that. Great idea! Unfortunately, in Canada (where I live) there are so few cell phone service providers that they all charge an arm an a leg due to lack of competition. I just have a regular old cell phone, and I've avoided getting a smartphone, partially because I know once I had one, I'd never be able to go back. However, I DO have a GPS in my car, and it has helped me immensely!

Laura said...

I was inspired by this post, and I tried to complain about my phone bill on twitter AND facebook. My phone company recently started charging me for text messages (incoming and outgoing) out of nowhere! Unfortunately, it didn't work. They did respond, but gave me the same shpiel they gave me over the phone. Oh well. At least I tried! I would definitely try it again with another company if I needed to because you never know! Also, I'm in Canada where there are only a handful of cell phone providers, and they know they can charge an arm and a leg, because there is hardly any competition.

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