Thursday, October 21, 2010

Responsibility Is Subjective

I wrote this awhile ago when I was still working for a cell phone company. I was going to submit it as a freelance article (after I quit) to consumers about their idiotic behavior towards cell phone companies...I may still, but I just came across it and thought I would share.

1)Please refrain from calling into a local store to discuss your bill. This is extremely irritating to the commissioned sales representatives whose time is money. This is why there is a customer service number provided to customers. Besides, there are at least seven people waiting patiently at the store for a representative to become available.

2)Do not…and I repeat, do not ask a sales representative to explain every single phone to you. There are at least 30 different phones on the sales floor at any given time and each phone is different yet the same. A blackberry is essentially a blackberry with minor differences like the megapixel of the camera or if it has global capabilities. Research your options before you come into a store and have some sort of idea of what you are looking for. Even if it’s a vague notion, perhaps you want a full keyboard? That’s a start. Expecting a detailed explanation of each phone is extremely time consuming and disrespectful of your sales reps time and to the other people attempting to wait patiently in the store. It is mainly your responsibility to know what type of phone you are looking for. Your sales rep can help narrow down your choices and get you the right device to fit your needs…but don’t expect them to be thrilled to spend an hour with you for you just to choose the free flip phone with no accessories and zero data capabilities. Sales rep get paid of accessories and monthly data charges and it’s costly for them to spend time with someone who is just interested in the basic phone but still wants a detailed explanation of every aspect of every phone. Get smart people.

3)Don’t get mad at your sales rep if you’re not eligible to upgrade. They have no control over this. They are not trying to ruin your day. In fact, this is just as disappointing to them because they aren’t making any money either. Sales reps have quotas to make and if you’re are not eligible to upgrade then they are not making any money. And get this, if you do throw a fit and are allowed to upgrade early, the sales rep is still not making money. You have to be out of contract for the sales rep to get credit for the sale.

4)Do you know why you are only eligible to upgrade every two years? Cell phones are expensive. Yes, that free upgrade you got actually cost the company $199. Cell phone companies loose money on their equipment every single day. This is why you are required to sign a new two year contract, they aren’t just going to give you a phone without some sort of assurance you are going keep their services. Stop complaining about the length of the contract or the fact you can’t upgrade whenever you want. Be thankful for the price of that phone. For example, Verizon Wireless sells the Motorola Droid for $199 with a two-year contract. That phone is $569.99 at the full retail price. Get over yourself. You got a killer deal!

5)Data plans are there for a reason. Why get a Blackberry or an iPhone if you can’t use the data services? The phone is a pointless novelty without it. $30 a month to access the Internet wherever you go, have instant access to your emails, the applications, and navigation is a great deal. That’s a $1 a day. Come on now, you spend more than that on coffee at Starbucks. Don’t whine to your sales rep about data packages, they don’t’ care. They have ZERO control over their price plans and data packages. Spare them the pity party. If you don’t want a data package then pick out a phone that doesn’t require it. IF you don’t like the phones that don’t require data packages then suck it up and buy a data package.

6)Pulling the “I’m going to switch services if you don’t bow down to my every want” doesn’t work. Give your sales rep a break. Frankly, they don’t care if you switch services. It has absolutely no negative effect on their paycheck. In fact, now they don’t have to deal with you. So screaming, yelling, threatening, and just being a jerk is only making you look like an idiot and they will have a laugh at your expense after you leave.

7)If YOU go over YOUR minutes why should the company pay for that? It’s not the companies fault you were irresponsible with your monthly minutes. Track you minutes, people. Most companies have a number programmed in your contact list that you can call that will let you know where your minutes are at for the month. Use it. Don’t call up and whine and cry because you didn’t use your head. Oh, and if you call Canada there will be international charges on your bill. “What do mean Canada isn’t free to call?” รงseriously

8)If YOU break or lose YOUR phone why should the company pay for that? A manufactures warranty is only going to cover software issues. Don’t bring a damaged phone into a store and expect a free replacement. Warranties don’t cover stupidity. Most cell phone companies offer insurance. Sales reps don’t’ offer this to you for their health. Insurance is useful in situations where you’ve lost your phone or it is broken. And, don’t get mad at the rep behind the counter if you have to call to get a phone replacement. You broke your phone, you take the time out of your day to remedy the issue. It is not the reps responsibility to call the insurance company. If you crashed your car would you take it to the dealership and have them call the insurance company? No, you wouldn’t. Oh, and always have a back up phone just in case. Buy a cheap flip phone off ebay or craigslist so if your phone is stolen or broken beyond repair you aren’t out of contact.

9)That $56.70 data charge on your bill IS your kid downloading ringtones. Don’t lie to the rep or try and act like you shouldn’t pay for it. It’s virtually impossible to just create data charges on a bill, not to mention illegal. Cell phone companies have safe guards in place to prevent this from happening. Talk to your kids, the company knows they did it, they know they did it, it’s time for you to wise up and realize they did it. Block their downloads and web access. SHOCKING, take a deep breath. If they can’t handle the responsibility of having Internet access then don’t give it to them. Don’t expect your cell phone company to credit data charges and ringtones that your kids downloaded. This is parenting 101.

As you can see, it wasn't an easy or enjoyable job. People have no sense of personal responsibility. I'm blessed to have stumbled upon the job I have now. I was making quadruple the amount of money working at the cell phone company but I was so unhappy it was damaging my relationships.

Lesson: Do what makes you happy.

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