Many people close to me have learned that IM and specific email accts are the best way to reach me. I have a hate-hate relationship with phone companies. Worse if they are cellular.

My recent cell phone bill was about 4 times the amount it was supposed to be. This sent me on a calling brigade of the company to get it straightened out. I made about calls over a month. During this time since I hadn’t paid the inflated amount they’d billed me, they started shutting off ‘components’ of my service. One phone could now only make calls, one phone could only receive calls. It was nuts.

5 calls gave me 5 different answers. Overall 3 agreed that I should go to a local Carrier branded store and have them help me out.

Yesterday I found myself in said store. After 15 minutes of explaining they found the problem. When I added a second line in October my business data plan (which included unlimited internet) was removed. I didn’t ask for this to be removed. <sarcasm style=”dripping”>I mean, I’m only a software engineer? Why would I ever need unlimited internet</sarcasm>

As a result of this unplanned (and unrequested) plan change, I started getting an addition $75-100 / month in data usage. This from my phone passively checking Outlook.

Then the store rep looked at me and said the worst thing imaginable, “We can’t help with this here. You have to call our ‘customer retention’ office.”

My initial response was, “Breaking straw… Get me my iPhone”.. But now let me explain “Customer Retention”

The CR department is the department of, “Hi, our company is so convoluted, that we f’ed a customer so bad, we’re going to probably lose them. Let’s see how far we can bend at the waist and take it up the a&# for the customer so that they will reconsider.”

Translation: I got a customer service rep who was not only one of the nicest, but probably the most genuine sounding that I’ve ever dealt with. They removed all the charges, removed all fees, overages, and reconnect costs. They fixed the account as I outlined.

So… for now. My cell works correctly. I am less annoyed with cell carrier.

Afterward: How best to reach me.
1) IM: My primary AIM is the best (It’s not hard to figure out the id)
2) Email: My primary email (ID same as above)
3) Calling me at my office number
4) Text messaging me at my cell

#3 is the best phoning method because if I do not pick up the phone the call will be recorded and mailed to my work acct.

Why is calling Andrei’s cell a bad idea. My office security is high to prevent people from accessing our internal network. As a result, they’ve taken pains to dampen signal for cell phones. I get no signal at the office. Phone calls get shunted to voice mail which on my Carrier has never worked right at all. At home… For some reasons I’m just not close enough to a good tower. Signal quality is horrid.

Pulling into the bus station now. I hope to elabourate on contact methods later in the day. But then again.. when have I ever been good about LJ followups.