Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Hello, Customer Service?

Yeah -- this whole ... unnamed event thing ... that I'm planning is due to occur in two weeks.  Meaning I've got about fourteen more days of major insanity trying to continue juggling all of this planning while still doing my day job.  You know, the one they pay me for.

Every day, there seems to be another set of three crises.  We don't have insurance for the event; we don't have a liquor license; we don't have the rights to the music....  On good days, something NICE happens to balance out the crises -- a performer agrees to perform; we get a bid for a price we can actually afford; things don't seem as outrageously impossible as they were ten minutes ago....

I am not the best person on earth with stress.  (Who is, really?)  But, when I'm really stressed, I get actual Physical Manifestations of stress.  A twitching eyelid.  And this whole event planning thing is just six solid weeks o' stress.

So, today, something really good happened, and I was really happy about it -- and I shared my happiness with someone, pointing out that I was going to enjoy it while it was there, because I was sure there was another crisis right around the corner.  And then the crisis hit, and I was on the phone and IM for a few hours trying to straighten it out.

I've been on the phone a lot for this.  I'm trying not to use my work phone line for this non-work thingie, so I use my cell phone. 

My phone is with Cingular, but I'm one of those prior AT&T customers, and I'm not sure how integrated we are into the Cingular system.  I found out today that we aren't integrated enough to have Rollover minutes.  I know this because my cell phone bill is $388.

I'll say that again in case you missed it.  My cell phone bill is three hundred and eighty-eight dollars.  American.

I've never gone over my allotted minutes in my life.  This past month, I went over by, oh, a few hours.  At forty-five cents a minute.  I understand that most people have an experience like this before they realize they need to upgrade billing plans -- but I don't need to upgrade my billing plan.  After this month is over, I'll go back to using my cell phone for less than half the included minutes per month.  This Rollover thing -- where you bank unused minutes for 12 months and get to use them when you go over -- that's what I need.

D'you know how much it costs?  Wanna know?


See, I'm with Cingular on a Former AT&T plan of 450 minutes per month, for which I pay $39.99 per month.  If I was Cingular on a Cingular plan of 450 minutes per month, plus rollover, it would cost me $39.99 per month.  In short, the fact that I was transferred to Cingular about a year ago (or whenever their buyout occurred) but not a Cingular plan is the reason for my $388 phone bill.

I tried calling customer service, as a $388 phone bill isn't the sort of thing you just pay, without throwing yourself on the mercy of the nice people at the customer service center and seeing if something can't be done.  Especially because (thanks to working on this damn event) I missed paying some bills -- also for the first time in my life -- and I'm eating those late fees, no questions asked.  But a $50 late fee because I forgot to take ten minutes and make sure my damn mortgage was paid is one thing -- an extra $350 to Cingular because they didn't flick the Rollover switch is another.

Nobody is at their Customer Service Center -- they shut down from 1:00 - 6:00 in the morning.  (Unfortunate.  I tend to get the most helpful Customer Service people in the middle of the night.)  So now, I have to try to go to sleep while I'm all stressed over whether I'm going to have to pay this THREE HUNDRED AND EIGHTY-EIGHT DOLLAR PHONE BILL!

I'm calm.  Really I am.


1 comment:

helmswondermom said...

We have a Cingular, formerly AT&T, plan also, but so far we haven't gone over our minutes.  I hope they can do something for you.  Hang in there!