Day’s Verse:
Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.
James 1:2-4

Since I’ve started my new job, and in general lately, I’ve started to get annoyed with my cell phone. After some discussion and a lot of research, Ian and I decided to switch his individual plan to a family plan and then add me (using my old number) to the new line created for that family plan. At the same time, I’d get a new phone at a discount. It wasn’t quite that simple; because my cell phone was originally on Ian’s dad’s family plan, Gary had to confirm the transfer.

After calling T-Mobile a few times, we thought we got that sorted out, and my new phone arrived on Thursday. Ian commented that oh, incidentally, one of the T-Mobile people we talked to had transferred my phone line to our family plan, so now we have three lines. No big deal, right? We’ll just cancel the old one, and make sure the new one is assigned my phone number. The SIM card with the phone came associated with the new number, so we’d also have to get my phone number connected with that SIM card. OK, we’ll just call and do that real quick.

WRONG. Oh, how very, very wrong we were. In fact, as it turns out, “just” doing anything that’s any harder than putting pie in your face is, in fact, excessively complicated and difficult for T-Mobile. After numerous horrible phone calls talking to probably 2/3 of the T-Mobile help line staff (at least they all did speak English very well), we established the following:

  • We can’t just cancel the new line and assign my old number to it because we got the new phone at a special low price with that new line. We’d have to pay an approximately $250 difference for the phone if we canceled the new line it was associated with. Also, it costs $15 to reassign a phone number.
  • In order to cancel my current number and transfer that to the new line, it will cost $200.
  • We’re still in the “buyer’s remorse” period (which ends shortly, so we’d have to do this quickly) for the new line and phone, so we can cancel and return those for free, leaving us with my old crappy phone, now associated with a very expensive data plan that it can’t use.
  • If we return the new phone, cancel the new line, and then wait to do anything else until September we will get down to two lines. In September, when Ian’s current contract expires, can get a new phone with an upgrade price discount. Hard to say how much that would cost, but we’re guessing in the $250 to $300 range.

None of this was explained to us before we started changing accounts. It took an entire evening of either me or Ian on the phone with T-Mobile to understand the situation and what our options were. Also, I continue to be astonished that the T-Mobile people first gave us an extra line we didn’t want, then can charge us tons of money to get rid of the very unwanted line they gave us. Most frustrating, though, is that every help line employee tells us something different: Oh, we can just reassign the SIM card to your old number, no problem. Oh, no, sorry, due to [complicated rules involving phone prices, new phone lines, legal contracts, and dates] it will cost [X gajillion dollars] to do what you want. Oh, yes, you can reassign a phone number to a new line, sure. Oh, no, it’ll cost $200 to get rid of the line and free up that number for reassigning… etc.

I will say: I think both of us have managed not to yell at the T-Mobile employees. So that’s good.

The original two T-Mobile help line people Ian talked to made it sound complicated, but not that complicated, and definitely not involving us paying at least an additional $200 no matter what happens. But at this point, there’s no way for us to avoid paying more money while also upgrading my phone, which was what we originally talked to T-Mobile about doing. In short — I know, too late! — I’m feeling petty ill-used by T-Mobile at this point and if I could throw in the towel, I would. But even that would cost hundreds of dollars, so we have to keep working on it until we figure out a way to upgrade my phone for the minimum cost, knowing that it will inevitably cost even more than what we’ve already paid.

Now I remember why I don’t like cell phones.

2 thoughts on “Easy as 1-2-Root Canal

  1. Absolutely anything one does with cell phones is horrendously complicated!!! I guess that’s why Ian was calling Gary yesterday, huh? Sorry. 🙁

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