The result is twofold. First, the cellphone rings a lot with calls for American Express, the New York Times, Medicare, Blue Cross and Nextel, which is not the carrier that sold the phone.
Thing Two: customers of American Express, the New York Times, Medicare, Blue Cross and Nextel are (a) frustrated, (b) unable to reach the people they want to call and (c) befuddled.
How does this happen? The Carrier doesn’t seem to know. They just apologize “for the inconvenience.”
If it happened once or twice or even ten times, it would be annoying, but possibly understandable. But it happens every day. That’s not a metaphor or an analogy or a figure of speech. It happens EVERY day. Usually more than once.
The Carrier says it’s all to do with the routing of toll free “800” calls to local numbers and the computer missing a number or two and sending the call to the wrong phone. Some techno-babble that no one can understand, apparently including the engineers at the Carrier.
Many new friends, now. Anonymous phone friends. People who want to check their credit card balance or buy travelers checks or find out why their newspaper wasn’t delivered this morning, or whether fixing their ingrown toenails need pre-authorization.
A typical call goes like this:
Caller: “I want to know why I didn’t get my paper this morning. Is it because someone’s stealing it or is it just that your deliveryman doesn’t know what he’s doing. You ought to be ashamed of yourself.”
Callee: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but this isn’t the newspaper. It’s a private phone, a cell phone and…”
Caller: “Is this 1 800- 245 67…”
Callee: “It’s not 800 anything, ma’am, it’s just a telephone and….”
You’d think they could fix this, but apparently they can’t. Not after years and years of allegedly trying.
Since each incoming call costs one of those precious “any time minutes,” this new form of recreation mounts up.
There’s a strong preference for the customers to call during daylight hours. That’s good because who wants to be awakened at for a balance check? But it’s bad because incoming calls at off hours are not billed.
Maybe the Carrier has a room full of callers (probably somewhere in
Given the wage scale in
Either that or the call center and the telephone service itself are on two different budgets, budgets that never meet and don’t talk to one another… and they rake in the sheckles or drachmas or whatever they use for money in Afghanistan.
And who is the “Carrier?”
In the interest of fairness and a level playing field, there will be no actual identification. But you already know it’s not Nextel. It’s also not Sprint. And it’s not AT&T. And it’s not Cingular.
I'm Wes Richards. My opinions are my own, but you're welcome to them.™