Friday, April 18, 2008

Addios AT&T!

The display on my little pink RAZR phone died yesterday. I took it out of my pocket to check for missed calls and it was dead. It resurrected briefly, long enough for me to frantically type my phone numbers into a text file... but now it's totally gone.

So, I called AT&T where I believe I've been a customer since before they were Cingular... I think since 2000. Figuring that since I'm an old customer, surely they'll cut me a deal. It turns out that I was only 13 days out of warranty. Surely, they could make an exception, right? Actually, not so much.

Here's what they came up with (the nice manager I spoke to said these were the 'out of the box' options):
  • I could buy a 'no commitment' phone for $40. This phone was not nearly as spiffy as the one I had, but it would not extend my contract.
  • I could get a 'no commitment' refurbished RAZR for $200
  • I could get a refurbished RAZR for $80 and extend my contract another year
After nearly 2 hours on the phone, through multiple levels of reps and management, each one was courteous and they genuinely wanted to help, I said addios AT&T. I can buy out my contract and get 2 brand new free RAZRS from Verizon (who has a better network in Boston anyhow) for about $20 more than the refurbished RAZR that you're offering me. I said, "I can give you $100 to walk away from this contract and you loose thousands, or you can just bend the rules and replace my phone without touching my contract. It just doesn't make sense to me that you can't help me more."

The manager said, "Once somethings out of warranty, that's it. You can't get it fixed for free." I said, "That's not true. My husband bought a car and his CD player died when it shouldn't have. It technically wasn't covered under the warranty, but they fixed it as a courtesy. And you know what? We bought our next two cars from them." I know a phone isn't a car, but at $75/month for ten years... it almost is.

And their hands were tied. It's not like they weren't trying, but the deck is so stacked against them. All the warranty and insurance services are outsourced to other companies that make the most money when they don't have to pay out, so their options for helping me generally fell within their ability to upgrade my phone at a relatively normal cost.

I really don't expect Verizon to be much better. But it felt good to just walk away.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Me and My Clone

Birthday Girl

A few family pics of my new two year old daughter...

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

A New ER

I'm sick. Fever, chills and it feels like somebody stuffed sweatsocks into my various sinuses. It was coming on yesterday when Eric was complaining about stomach pain after school. He put himself down for a nap, which is unheard of these days and he proceeded to cry in his sleep, also a first, so I took him to the doctor.

She pressed on his belly and sent us off to the ER to get checked out for appendicitis. We went to Children's where he is a gastrointerology patient -- it seemed like a good fit for stomach pain. We were there for five hours, and NONE of it, I mean NONE of it was spent in the waiting room. They triaged us right away and found us a room. The nurses took great care of us. His blood work ruled out appendicitis, but it took hours to figure that out. And then he ended up needing the nebulizer because he was asthmatic and wheezing. The only terrible part for him was getting an IV in his hand. I made the choice not to wait for anesthetics for his hand because it would take a half hour and I wanted them to start on his blood work ASAP. It turned out that this was CLEARLY not the way to go. My brave little dude who is usually so good about this kind of stuff cried and cried. They taped off the IV and didn't attach it to anything. It was more of a precautionary thing.

The hospital takes on such a surreal quality after a few hours. Especially in an ER with no natural light and an exam room with a broken wall clock.

He spiked a fever while we were there and they gave him some Tylenol and it came right down. After his third neb, I pleaded "Can we just go home now?" And the attending said, "Sure!" and they got us out of there pretty fast.

Today he is fine... All bounced back as if nothing happened. And I'm totally sick now. Grrr... Argh...