Let’s start with this premise:
I don’t use my cell phone much.
So I was puzzled by the “Roaming Minutes” I was charged for on my most recent Sprint bill.
I went online, and while I can review my bill there, it doesn’t detail when the roaming charges were incurred.
So I called the Sprint. I know – pain in the butt, right?
After listening to 15 – yes, 15 – options on their phone tree, I was connected with a human, Daniel. I explained that I wanted to know the dates and times the roaming charges were incurred. Seemed simple enough.
Of course it wasn’t. Daniel asked me to hold three separate times while he “researched” my account. After the third interminable wait he finally retrieved the information, and advised that some of the roaming charges were as follows:
Three calls, all between 5:34am and 5:38am, all on December 29, and all to the same number.
My own cell phone.
Sprint was saying that I incurred roaming charges because I called myself three times in five minutes.
Is this as stupid as it sounds?
(Sidebar: When I call my cell phone from my cell phone, it goes directly to my voicemail box to retrieve messages. I’m pretty sure one of the options is not, “If you’d like to talk to yourself, press…”)
I questioned this, and Daniel said it required further research. He put me back on hold, where I sat, and sat, and then…
You guessed it. I was disconnected.
Super pain in the butt.
So I called back, and this time spoke to Allie. I explained about talking to Daniel, learning what the roaming charges were for, sitting endlessly on hold, and getting disconnected.
Allie read Daniel’s notes, put me on hold (of course) to do her own research, then returned and said a credit would be issued for the roaming charges. She also said something about, “Since you’re such a great customer, you’ve been with us since 2000,” or some such nonsense, as if that’s the reason Sprint is being so “generous.”
Like Sprint is doing me a big ?#@*&%! favor, issuing a credit for calls I didn’t make.
Seriously? Why would I call myself three times in five minutes?
I never did get an answer to that one.
Now, you may sneer – I went through all this for less than $5.
But why should any service provider have one penny my hard-earned money – or yours – when they don’t deserve it?
Unless you’ve got money to burn, which I sure don’t.
Is this the first time it’s happened, but I just haven’t been paying attention? If it happened with Sprint, maybe other phone companies as well?
And how will you know, unless you check?
Sure, phone bills are ridiculous – on mine there are seven categories of charges in addition to the monthly plan and the infamous roaming charges. What the heck is “Federal Univ Serv Assess Non-LD” for $1.81?
But those roaming charges – those I understand.
And I’ll be looking at them from now on.