I mentioned that Tyler got a cell phone for Christmas – a pre-paid phone. The phone he REALLY wanted was $300, and since I am still relatively sane, there was no way he was getting that phone. So, his second choice was one he found online at Alltel. I was a little hesitant, because I had dealt with them when I worked for the City and did not have a very good experience. But, around here, they are the main carrier because they have the best reception (I do love the Verizon wireless "people" but even they have quite a few dead areas down here).
He loved his new phone, and started checking out the features as soon as it was out of the box. I got it all set up so we could see his charges & calls on line. As I started looking at it, though, we saw that there were several "Data Airtime" charges. It appeared initially that they had happened as he was finding all of the songs that he could download for his ring tones, so we told him he better just stick with the one he picked or he wasn't going to have any minutes left.
Since he had already said he would mainly be using it for texting, we decided to go ahead and add the option of 300 texts a month for $5. When I called to set that up, I also decided to ask exactly what the Data Airtime charges were for. I got a pretty vague answer about it having something to do with web access from his phone from a person who's first language was certainly not English, so I just let it go, figuring I'd call again another time and hopefully get somebody who spoke my language a little bit better.
I continued to check his account online, and came across more charges for Data Airtime, and this time there were nine of them all at the exact same time, totaling over $4.50. So I called again, and discovered that their call center must be located in another country, because this person also had a pretty thick accent. But I proceeded to ask her to tell me about these charges. She just kept repeating that it was for Web Access and we were charged .15 per minute for web access. But when I continued to question her about how we could possibly be charged for that nine time in the same minute, her answers again became very vague.
I asked her to tell me exactly what sites were visited during that minute, but she couldn't tell me that, and just kept repeating that it was .15 per minute and he must have kept going on and off to different links. I asked her if there was somebody else I could contact to find out what sites were accessed, she said no. Finally, I asked her to turn off the web access for that phone.
I checked the phone a day later, only to find yet another data airtime card, so I was forced to call again. The first time I called, I think I was pretty nice. The second time, I started out fairly nice, although, I admit by the end I was getting slightly irritated. I really do usually try to remember that the person answering the phone is just that, the person answering the phone; they really have no say in what or how things are processed. But, the more often I have to contact a company, the less friendly I get. So by the third phone call, I was not all that pleasant. This person did at least agree with me that the nine charges at the same time were obviously erroneous (his word, not mine) so he did credit me back $4. He did also confirm for me that the web access had been turned off. But he could not explain then what the data airtime charges were for.
I'm quite certain based on the times the charged hit the account that they are charging him when he turns on the phone if he has a text message waiting for him, because most of them have been at 3:07, which would be when he turns it on after school to see if I texted him changed with who is supposed to be coming to daycare after school. But, I still want them to admit that he is being charged for basically turning on his phone. No, the .15 per day is not going to break us, but by now, it's the principal of the matter.
So, I decided to turn to emails. At least then, every time I email, I can just add to what I've already said instead of having to repeat myself again. My first response from their email customer service? Sorry, we can't help you because that number is listed to another person . Huh? Who do you think set up that account? Me. Heck, Tyler doesn't even remember the log in information! And, they didn't seem to care whose name was on the account when they accepted a credit card for payment that had my name on it. But now, when I'm asking for an explanation & a refund, they can only speak with my 13 year old son???
I've emailed twice since them, the last time was earlier today. I just don't get why they make me be a bitch to them in order for them to resolve my issue. Although, after I've been trying to resolve an issue for a long time, it sometimes feels good to let off a little steam in their direction, but really, I'd much prefer to simply resolve it the first time I contact them in a friendly manner.