Bureaucracy, Exhibit C: Wireless Network

JULIE: Hi, I need to add an international plan to my phone for these dates, please.

SERVICE REP: Okay. I see that your account was recently transferred to your name. I’ll need to ask you a series of identification questions.

JULIE: Really? Even though it was only transferred from my husband’s name to mine? And the billing address never changed?

SERVICE REP: Yes. Here come the gazillion questions…… thank you for answering those questions. Aaaand now: I’m afraid I can’t handle international issues. May I transfer you to the International Department?

JULIE: Sure.

INTERNATIONAL REP: Hi, what can I do to help you?

JULIE: I need to add an international plan to my phone for these dates, please.

INTERNATIONAL REP: Okay. I see that this account was actually transferred to your name from… David?

JULIE: Right. He’s my husband.

INTERNATIONAL REP: Okay. Well, this account needs to get treated as a new account in that case, and I need to ask you a series of identification questions.

JULIE: You know that the other service rep went through this already before she would transfer me to you?

INTERNATIONAL REP: Yes. Here are those very same questions all over again……. thank you for answering those questions. Now, how can I help you?

JULIE: …….I need to add an international plan to my phone for these dates, please.

INTERNATIONAL REP: No problem. You can choose between this plan, which punches you in the face for each text, all data, and every minute of every call– or we can add a preposterous surcharge to your monthly bill and then just open-hand slap you for text, voice, and data. Which would you prefer?

JULIE: …I really feel like, the last time we did this, we got a better deal than that from you. Do you mind if I just talk to my husband for a second and see what he remembers?

INTERNATIONAL REP: No problem. I’ll just put you on hold and add the option to your plan in the meantime.

JULIE: Wait–

[hold music]

Just asking: are there any wireless networks in existence that don’t turn the smallest task into 45 minutes in hell?


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