How I got f***** by AT&T and how I learned to switch the story

This is all drama, so I’m sorry for that. But this is not just a post about complaining out loud, so hear me out. Don’t tune out just yet.

In December, I updated my phone. I am one of the few who have the ever coveted grandfathered unlimited data on my shared plan with my brother. So I went into my local store by my work and told a very nice and seemingly well-meaning young lady my story. I HAVE to keep the unlimited data. I told her multiple times how important this was to me (and my brother who trusted me to make the account changes). She assured me that they brought it back and that I could get my phone upgrade along with two tablets, keep unlimited talk, text AND data and that it would be just a little bit less then what I’m paying now. Fantastic. Sounded too good to be true. Too good to be true, but hey, I have been really feeling like the universe is with me lately so… let’s believe in the good of people. I leave the store beaming and happy with my new toys and quite proud of my adult decisions and happy that my phone carrier is finally looking out for me.

The next day my brother sees the changes online to our account. Not good. We only have 10GB of shared data per month? I didn’t agree to that?  She knew our plan last month was 18GB of usage, almost double that. So I call her cell. No answer, no voicemail set up. I email, no response, I know that it isn’t good when the email address is a random mix of letters and numbers, looks like those reps aren’t too permanent. So me and my brother decide to go into the store. During this visit we are assured that even though technically now we only have 10GB shared per month there are no overages (that’s the unlimited part?) and even though it says that I will be throttled to lower 2G speed, making my streaming apps unusable that it won’t happen and I won’t notice any difference in my speed or performance. See, I was right, she did have our best interest at heart. Faith in humanity restored!

Well, she lied. Let’s not say lie, but omitted truth. Here I sit, the 18th of the month, with a text message telling me I’m through my data, I’m throttled, and I can’t use any social media, half of the websites I try to go to won’t load. Pandora is spotty at best. I’ve been streaming Spotify with no issues at least I have something. Please don’t fail me now Spotify.

Loud Sigh.

Well, naturally the first thing I had to do is write a yelp review. It’s long, and I’m not going to name names or curse or whatever. I’m just going to express how sad I think it is that companies force their sales people to lie to their customers in order to meet numbers, or to get rid of features they otherwise just can’t remove. It’s shady business. On the part of the company and the people involved not only sales people but their managers and the other higher ups who persuade them to lie. There’s pressure in sales, people have families, need money to live, etc. I don’t hate the sales people themselves, but I just feel that it’s so awful that they are put in these positions and that they don’t have another way out. Maybe a select few don’t really give a crap about lying to people, but I’ll say most probably don’t like it. Business. It’s all business. I highly dislike big business. But you know, the yelp review is to warn others, and address the broader ethical dilemmas brought up by big business while questioning who has the power to change these awful structures. I’m sure nobody really needs to hear about it all, but give me a soapbox and I’ll get up there.

So now here’s my way to change my sad story above. There are two ways that I thought I could spin it, whether I decide to pony up the extra cash for data or not.

  • Pay an extra 20$ a month to get things back the way they were (or close to it). Money is tight for you, yes. But how about you drink 2 less bottles of wine from the grocery store, OR skip going out one night and getting beers. You’ve been trying to drink less anyways right? AND/OR
  • Lessen your screen time. I know this seems scary at first, but I am way too connected, and have been for some time. Only check your social media at home on the wifi, or *gasp* maybe take a break for a couple of days at a time. You really just need the music, that’s the important part. Haven’t you wanted to unplug more lately? Use the time you would be sucking down data to suck down some more books, or write something. Take up a new hobby.

I guess either way really isn’t so bad. I was super mad at first. But the more I think about it, the less mad I actually am. There’s so many times these days when we are forced to take a cheek one way or another to some act of greed, or manipulation for no more than the interest of people in power, or companies. You can say your pieces, and stand up against the injustice of course you should. Say what you need to say, put it out there, know that you are not alone when stuff like this happens. I’m by no means saying lay down your swords forever, but there comes a point where you have recognize it for what it is, shrug, and think of solutions that are plausible WITHOUT working up your blood pressure, stewing, or sulking about it all night. With age you realize that there is a small amount of times in life when hey, sometimes, you just get f*****, and here I think I did. So, one feels the anger, naturally, and lets it pass. Then you can think of possible solutions and make the story not so frustrating. So I didn’t get f***** here, I think that AT&T is just pushing me to meet some goals in my life that involve two of my biggest addictions… social media and booze. Thanks AT&T.

You get a sense of empowerment when you realize that nothing in this world has the power to alter who and what you are inside, and how you feel. Don’t let this crap in your head, you make your story anyhow so make it good.

 

 

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