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Tuesday, June 09, 2015

The Idiocy, It Burns

Disclaimer: I received no compensation of any kind at any time for this post.

Let me tell you about my day yesterday all because of one idiot company's policy. It wore me out and it was just ridiculous.

Because there is no way I'm paying $80 a month for a cell phone plan, I have a pay-as-you go phone. I can get a year's activation for around $99 which works out to like $8 a month, one tenth the cost of a regular phone. This weekend I bought an activation card and decided it was time to replace the phone since it's like four or five years old.

If I'd been thinking smarter, I'd have bought one at the store or ordered from Amazon or something, but on Saturday I wasn't firing on all cylinders, not after a night of insomnia. I made the huge mistake of ordering a phone from the pay-as-you-go provider.

It wasn't until Sunday when I received the tracking information that I noticed the sentence that said: Direct signature required. I gaped at it, certain that there must be some error. Any signature requirement was silly, but a direct signature? That pushed it into the pure idiocy category. Why, you ask? Because the phone cost $19.99. That's right for less than $20, they were about to complicate my life to the nth degree.

Keep in mind that Apple will deliver a brand new computer to your door and leave it there if you sign a form and tape it to your door. I haven't taken them up on that option, but it's there. So with an indirect signature, I can get a $1500 MacBook Pro, but I have to sign in person for a $19.99 phone. The stupidity of the phone company is overwhelming me at this point. If I'm willing to indirectly sign and take responsibility if the phone isn't there, why don't they let me?

Contacting the company was not a real option. They had no way to do it online through their website and I've dealt with the telephone customer service before and hope to never have to do it again. FedEx was my only hope.

Before I go any farther, let me say that FedEx customer service was tremendous. I had emails and telephone calls from them trying to resolve this, but it didn't work. Let me tell you more.

FedEx found out what window the truck would be in my neighborhood, but I ride the van pool and couldn't get home by 1pm. They said we have a service that for a fee, allows you to setup a delivery time. Awesome, I thought. Even if it's $5 or even $10, it's worth it for the simple fact that I don't have to stress about signing for the package. I ask how much it would be?

And do you know what the woman said??? She said, Oh, I'm sorry. The shipper doesn't allow that option per our agreement with them.

Yes, you read that right. Not only did the shipper hugely inconvenience me by requiring a direct signature for a $20 phone, they won't even allow me to pay my own money to get it delivered at a time when I'll be home. For real.

I surrendered then. There's nothing left to do but drive to the FedEx facility and pick it up myself. There's one a few miles from my office, so instead of taking my van pool to work, I will drive myself one day this week and head over to FedEx to sign for the phone. I hate driving in Atlanta. It's like trying to commute through a NASCAR race.

My takeaway from this: FedEx did an awesome job of customer service even though it wasn't really their problem. I have warm fuzzies for them now and will use them to ship my own stuff in the future.

The people from the pay-as-you-go company have guaranteed that I will never buy a phone over their website again. If I could find another pay-as-you-go service with one-year activation, I'd be planning to switch over to them right now. As it stands, I do not have warm loving feelings for the phone company and it wouldn't take much for me to abandon them forever. I seriously won't be recommending them to anyone.