Pacifica (autumnwinds) wrote,

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Lots of whinging

Yesterday was not a good day.

I biked to class early in the morning, at some point coming to a very busy intersection. I pushed the button for the pedestrian crossing and waited. Across the street were some people waiting to make a left turn onto the street I was crossing.

I cross this street often and usually the turning people wait while I cross. But today, the first two cars in line went straight ahead, and the third car didn't look as she made the turn and came () this close to smacking me. She zoomed around the corner and made a screetching halt just before hitting me, as I legally crossed the intersection. She was talking on her cell phone.


Classes were okay yesterday, and I did really well on my botany exam. But I'm still sick, and I'm tired of it. I've got nasty bad-colored fluids seeping out of my face, my throat's sore, I'm blowing my nose all the time, my eyes are crusty, and I just feel bad. And tired. And my friends have the stomach flu and yesterday my stomach started hurting. I hope it's just sympathetic. I wanted nothing more than to take a nap when I got home from school yesterday, but I couldn't sleep, because I was so angry, because of this:

So, Tyler and I have a cell phone that we share because Doc and Carrie don't have a land line (it stays in the house). We got it from Sprint. It costs us about $200 (the cheapest one), and we pay about $50 a month for the basic Free and Clear plan, which means we have 500 minutes a month but calling after 9pm or on the weekends doesn't count.

Naturally, we call off-peak as much as possible. But this month was different because I had to make a lot of calls to the insurance company and pharmacies, and Tyler's been making a lot of calls for fire lookout employers, both of which have to be called during weekday business hours. In order to compensate for the use we'd make of the phone at that time, Tyler used a phone card so it wouldn't count. Also, whenever he calls home, he uses a special 800 number his Dad set up so all the kids can call free of charge.

We have an online page that we can check to monitor our phone minutes. I checked it this month and we were getting precariously close to the limit, so I stopped using the phone altogether, and Tyler restricted himself to the phone card. But we went over...100 minutes, 200 minutes, and I just now realized what was happening.

I called Customer Care (lies) yesterday and found out the truth--those minutes run by whenever our phone is in use on weekdays, REGARDLESS of the mode of call. If we call an 800 number, we're charged. If Tyler uses a phone card, we're charged. If I use my phone card, we're charged. And all the times I asked Mom to call ME so we wouldn't rack up minutes...charged.

The customer service guy was a complete asshole. He said I should have known (maybe this is true, but I don't remember reading anything about this in the fine print or in my booklet, and I've never had a cell phone before, so how should I know?). I asked to talk to his manager, he demanded to know why, and refused to let me talk to him when I told him. The only solution he suggested to this problem, which was incredibly insulting, was to try and sell me a bigger, more expensive phone plan. I'm not giving Sprint another dime.

And this has been going on all along, of course, this waste of money and minutes...but we never realized it before because we never had to make so many calls in a month, so it never caught up to us.

But I was so upset I cried. I was angry that I explained the whole problem to the guy and he basically told me it wasn't his problem, then tried to sell me a more expensive plan (which wouldn't take effect until after this billing period, so we're still screwed). I'm upset that we've been trying to do the responsible thing, like using phone cards if we need to call on-peak, and that hasn't counted for anything so we've been paying TWICE all this time. I'm upset that we tried to do the responsible thing and it got us in worse trouble because we thought it was the right thing to do. And I'm upset because this month's phone bill is going to be about $130. We pay $50 a month, which is more than my parents pay for their two unlisted numbers, and every call past the limit is $0.40 a minute.

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