Blog Entries

Love/Hate Relationship with My Cell Phone Carrier

My 91 year old mother lives in an assisted living facility in Florida. Recently, every time I tried to call her, her phone would go straight to voice mail. After about two weeks she called me to tell me that her phone won’t hold a charge for more than a few minutes. Understandable because the phone is something like 7 years old.

So, being a good daughter who has paid for her cell service for the last 20 years, I decided to upgrade her current phone to one that would hold a charge.

The criteria was very simple. It had to be compatible with wireless charging, because a wireless charging pad seems a better solution for her than having to remember to plug a phone in, and not cost a lot of money. She only uses the phone for phone calls. She doesn’t check email, or text. Just phone calls. She doesn’t NEED a smart phone, but a flip phone isn’t wireless charging compatible.

Photo by Neil Soni on Unsplash

My cell phone carrier that I have used for the past 20 years is not, as it happens, very helpful unless I want to purchase the latest, best, brightest and most colorful smart phone. I sent my son to the store to try to pick a phone on the spot and take it to his grandmother since they live in the same city. He was reluctant to do this because of her overall demanding nature and her tendency to lay on heavy guilt trips… which work on him and irritates him when it does. However, I laid a quilt trip on him and he agreed to take on the mission.

But, a phone that matches my current criteria was not available at the store, so after another phone conversation with my son, I told him I would get one online, send it to his house and then he could make sure it was set up properly, gather his wireless charging pad and take the items to her.

The first person I chatted with online got the shipping address incorrect, so I contacted the carrier again and that address was changed to the correct one. But that time, I couldn’t get the credit card info to go through. I called to talk to a human being and got everything set up for the new phone to be sent to my son, but the call dropped and Will (The CS I was talking to) didn’t save any of the info, so I had to start over.

Ditto the same scenario with Cameron.

Finally, my son, who was going to pay for the activation fee because he felt sorry for me for having taken care of my mother’s cell phone for 20 years, sent the money directly to my bank, so I could use my debit card to pay for the freaking phone.

By this time, 4 hours have gone by while I tried to get a preowned iPhone XR, 64 GB in Blue to be sent to my son’s house. I was frustrated, irritated, exhausted and angry. While on the phone with my son, I said, “Jingjah!,” loudly, which is Korean for “Seriously!!!” My son asked, “Did you just swear at me in Korean?” I replied, “Yes, I did.” No English swear word seemed to fill the bill at that point.

The 3rd CS I talked to at the cell phone carrier actually was competent enough to handle my request which I thought initially should be a simple one. Eureka! An iPhone XR 64 GB in blue is on it’s way to my son’s house. Of course the delivery truck could be hit with a meteor or the package be stolen from his front porch. I am hopeful that 4 hours of dealing with a cell phone carrier has netted us a phone for my mother.

Now we wait.

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