Time for this wheel to start squeaking louder?

I’ve complained about my cell phone provider a few times. When I moved from Manchester to Lebanon, my reception was horrible in my new apartment. It was so bad that I could only barely get a signal when I curled up against my bed’s headboard — and if I moved more than a few inches from there, I’d lose it.

They eventually fixed it, but I was less than thrilled with their solution. They did it by changing my phone number — a fix that they neglected to tell me about, and let me find out a week later when I went to call the electric company to report an outage. So I spent 45 minutes finding out my number had changed, learning my new number, and reprogramming it with the new number before I could report my power was out.

Also, when I signed up, I specifically said I was NOT interested in any marketing calls. For over a year, they respected that. Then they started calling me out of the blue. I went off on the marketer, then on the customer service rep who apologized profusely, went back in and made certain I had my marketing preferences set right, and promised it wouldn’t happen again.

Then, on Saturday, I got another call.

This one triggered a 45-minute phone session, accompanied with more profuse apologies and promises that it would never ever ever happen again. I challenged the representative to put some substance behind that promise: if I got another marketing call from them, they would allow me to cancel my service that instant and waive the early termination fee. (Fool that I am, I’m locked in for another 15 months or so.) (And yes, Paul, I remember what you did for Spoons, and if I get really disgusted, I might ask you to do the same for me.)

You’d think I was offering garlic-flavored holy wafers to a vampire, served on a crucifix at high noon. The idea of putting their money where their mouth is, of actually putting substance behind their promises, was absolutely inconceivable to them. Instead, I should just trust them that this time they really honestly meant it, promise, and those two prior mess-ups should just be forgotten.

Well, it turns out that I should not give up on them yet. It turns out that one cell phone provider has decided that if you bitch at them enough, they’ll cut you loose from your contract.

And, coincidentally, it’s MY provider!

I think I’ll keep that story in mind the next time I get fed up with them. I think I can easily make as many complaints as these other people did.

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