I Have Witnessed Purgatory, And It Is Speaking With Customer Service

I was extremely proud of myself. I put in a lot of research on this week’s piece concerning the American Education system. The goal was to put the finishing touches on that piece today and publish it. However, when I got off work and tried to text my daughter’s mother about our plans for the day, my texts wouldn’t go through. When I tried calling, my calls wouldn’t go through. Instead, I received an automated voice informing me that my phone had been deactivated.

I don’t want to out any phone providers, so suffice it to say that my phone provider company rhymes with Straighttalk. Yes, I’m that guy who prefers a flat monthly rate in lieu of taking a chance on hidden fees just to be able have a good phone and a little self-respect. My plan is all-inclusive. It’s cheap. It has a solid connection. I have never regretted it for a moment. And then I got the random deactivation message.

Ten days ago, I renewed my plan. The service worked. Nothing more was needed from me. So, to avoid adding “hoarder” to my list of undesirable qualities, I waited three days and then threw away the card with the PIN number and the receipt for purchasing that card. Did you just smirk sadly and shake your head at that last sentence? Yep. I’m an idiot. Naturally, because I threw the evidence away a week ago, the phone provider suddenly decided that they hate me.

This should have been a simple process. I’d call the company and explain the situation. Nope. My phone had been deactivated and wasn’t able to make phone calls to the number provided if I found any issues with my phone or service. Fine. I’d find the nearest wi-fi and use the internet to contact them in an online chat. Enter Isodora. Isodora needed only my phone number to “fix my issue,” which she would be “happy to do.” Of course, my phone number didn’t locate my account because the phone number had been deactivated. Could I please provide her with one of the unlabeled five sets of numbers inside the back of my phone? Certainly. We figured it out. After twenty minutes on hold while Isodora sent the same message of “one moment please” over and over again every few moments, she had a brilliant idea. I should simply tell her what the PIN number was for the card I purchased. Nope. Then I should just locate my receipt. Sure. And that is how I found myself digging through my garbage. I found junk mail. I found old napkins. Those, of course, were all buried under the pieces of raw fat I had cut from the chicken breasts I cooked for dinner a few days ago. I found the chicken with my bare hands only seconds before I found it with my nose. Still no receipt. Still no real fury from me. And then Isodora messaged me while my hands were covered in unspeakable things to inform me that if I didn’t respond to her within the next two minutes, she would have to end our interaction. Isodora did not like being on hold apparently. I told her I had no PIN number or receipt. She told me she couldn’t help me, but that I could simply go buy another phone card. I told her I had just dug through garbage. She said she was “sorry to hear that.” I told her I wanted to speak to her supervisor or someone who could actually help me. She told me that I could only speak to a supervisor over the phone, which I could not use because it had been deactivated. She was also “sorry to hear that.” But could she do anything else to assist me? “Yes. You can go f**k yourself.” Her previously-scripted responses did not seem to have anything for that. Our conversation ended. Am I proud? No. Did I feel a little better? No. But if I found out that I made her day worse, I would be sorry to hear that and offer to assist her in any other way.

And so, I borrowed my daughter’s phone to call a supervisor. Enter Pita. Pita and I had a much longer interaction than Isodora and myself. Unfortunately, this was because Pita heard my original issue, took my information, and put me on hold for twenty-two minutes and thirty-four seconds before disconnecting the line with nothing else said. Maybe she and Isodora chatted. The next phone call found me talking to a man whose name I could neither pronounce nor spell here. He seemed genuinely concerned and was very polite in his efforts to fix my issue. He at least took the time to come back on the line occasionally during the thirty-eight minutes he kept me on hold before yet another gentleman picked up the line, thanked me for holding, and then asked how he could be of assistance. Gentleman #2 also possessed a name I couldn’t pronounce, but that foreign bastard got my phone turned back on after only a twenty-minute hold. Thank you, Hindi Man #2! Would I like to take a short survey about the quality of my experience? No, Hindi Man #2. That is that last thing your company wants me to do. And I want nothing more to do with any phones right now.

I shouldn’t complain. I appreciate that the “customer service representatives” at least used their given names as opposed to butchered versions of “Steve” or “Sally.” Plus, blind rage does wonders for increasing heart rate. Cardio comes in all forms. And if nothing else makes me feel better, I can sleep at night with a smile knowing that Isodora will never go to Heaven.

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