Thursday, December 17, 2009


All because of a free holiday ringtone offer that I received in my cell phone statement last month, I just spent an hour on the phone with ATT. Several days ago I texted "gift" to a number as instructed on the free holiday ringtone insert. There were several holiday choices. Each one I chose told me "unavailable" until I was down to two: Jingle Bells and the Dreidel Song. I went with Jingle Bells. Hooray! Jingle bells downloaded. It costs $2 to access the media mall to get the free ringtone so in this case, free wasn't really free. And to top that, Jingle Bells was nowhere to be found on my phone.

I finally had time before 5:00 p.m. to call ATT. It was 4:45 when I dialed the 1-800 number. I explained my dilemma to the first guy. He had me look around in my phone. I found the confirmation text saying I'd purchased a ringtone, but I didn't find Jingle Bells. He removed my web connect charge. He discovered that Beth and my phones are listed backwards in their system and he fixed that. He tried to figure out where the ringtone could've gone and finally sent me to Isaac the Tech guy.

After much deliberation, Isaac tried to find Jingle Bells on his computer. He thought he could send it to my phone. He found two versions of Jingle Bells, one by the Chipmunks and one by George Straight. I chose George. When that plan didn't work, he walked me through going to ATT Media Mall and getting it myself. Jingle Bell Rock by George Straight, nowhere did it say free. I clicked on "purchase for $2.99" per Isaac's order and it downloaded. I even did a couple of things to store it in my phone. I was on the landline with Isaac and he called me on my cell phone, George started singing to me. Everything was good. Isaac assured me that he would get all charges removed so that this ringtone would really be free. He said it might take a month or two to get them removed. I should call back if it was still there after 2 months. He said he put a note in my account about all of our transactions.

I had flashbacks of phone calls with ATT when we bundled our cell phones, Internet, and landline together for the low monthly price of $135, but were charged $275 a month instead. I had to call every month for 4 or 5 months to get the bill corrected and was assured every month that the bill would be correct the following month. I was not very nice to the last person I talked to. I didn't believe him when he said, "The bill will be right next month," and I told him so. All the others said the same, and it never got corrected. Sometimes do you have to mean to get stuff done?

We're only talking a few dollars for this ringtone and I'm not sure I'm willing to hassle monthly phone calls again. My time may be more valuable than the few dollars. But still it's the principle.

And speaking of time, it was 5:45 when I said goodbye to Isaac. There went an hour of my life. But I think I'm going to enjoy hearing George sing to me whenever someone calls. I think I'll go listen to it right now.

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