So the jackasses at Qwest lost $274 of my money (which I sent to them on the 22nd!), and as of this morning my three mobile phones are off. They had to launch a freaking "payment investigation" and everything. Six hours of my damn day wasted, and it's *still* not resolved. They can't even get this crap figured out until tomorrow.
The reason it happened: My girlfriend usually pays the phone bill (along with others) through her online bill pay feature. I know she's been doing it regularly, because I gave her $500 just last week to cover them. I've been asking Qwest to (RE)consolidate my home phone bill with my wireless phone bill for almost a year now--it was originally combined--but they haven't done any more than "sure, we'll look into why it's not...." Did I mention that a key selling point to my originally choosing qwest was a combined--and therefore simpler--bill? So, sometime this last month, they finally made it happen. They didn't tell us; they just sent a combined bill. We didn't notice.
Yeah, the bill has my home phone at the top instead of the wireless number, but in four pages of billing, this is a small detail to notice. Furthermore, the amount ($274.90) is the same amount of the WIRELESS bill alone every month since I purchased unlimited minutes in June. The phone company's billing invoices are the most convoluted I've ever seen, so--I seriously doubt I'm alone here--I look at the total, and if it's a number that "feels" reasonable, I just pay it without looking at the rest. I realize that's not the most responsible way to go about dealing with one's finances, but the phone bill is SO tedious, I generally make an exception with it. And of course, in retrospect, looking at the phone bill for five minutes seems tame compared to hours of phone calls and stress, but it shouldn't be my responsibility to ensure money my bank tells me I no longer have is sent to the correct department, when the information accompanying that money has not changed, including the account number that has worked for months. We had a sick toddler and Christmas coming up, so we cut a corner.
One phone service rep mentioned that "to me, the fact that the last bill shows home phone-related charges would be a reason" to realize that this was my consolidated bill, and I therefore should have recognized that the money should be sent to payment representing the "new" account number.
WHAT?!? I have been unsuccessfully trying for a year to get two bills merged into one; what has changed that I should suddenly assume that it has finally happened? Should I simply awake one morning and say, "I'll bet today's the day Qwest will at long last consolidate two bills that have come separately for nearly a year." If I see the same amount I always expect to pay, WHY SHOULD I ASSUME THERE'S A REASON FOR ME TO SCRUTINIZE MY BILL?!?!? I really have a hard time imagining the logic that says, "Sorry, Zedmelon, but you really should have noticed that this past bill was for both your wireless service as well as your home phone, and there is no reason to assume it was only wireless, not even the fact that this is a bill for THE SAME AMOUNT TO THE PENNY AS THE LAST FIVE MONTHLY WIRELESS BILLS."
She said she'd call me if they updated my account (meaning they had received the fax we're expecting from the bank stating, "Yes, you have this guy's money, and here's proof."). I asked, so if you'll do that, why didn't you call me when you consolidated my bills and eliminated my old billing account number? Her reply was that if Qwest made time to do that, they would have no time to answer incoming calls from customers. So does that mean that Qwest is so dedicated to horrendous service that the vast majority of Qwest customers are calling every month or so (as I have) to wait on hold for fifteen minutes for the sole purpose of accomplishing NOTHING?!?? Does it mean that it is mundane for a Qwest customer to not be billed for four months, and then have a phone bill nearly NINE HUNDRED DOLLARS (it happened earlier this year) and then get their service suspended? Damn. A minute ago, at least I felt special.
And I'm not even going to tell you that right before this, I talked to a guy named Dave for around 90 seconds, he put me on hold (hang on I'll be right back), and I finally hung up when the display on my phone had surpassed a 46:35 call duration, because that would be depressing.
So anyway, my $274 was sent to the account for my first wireless number instead of the account for my home number. And since it took Qwest a year to incorporate billing for one phone into the same Microsoft Word Document as billing for the other phone, it would be FAR too complex to do anything with that old account number except immediately disable it and indefinitely abolish any payments to the Merry Christmas Qwest Bank Account Interest Building Program until someone completes all nine copies of their "missing persons" report. Oh yeah, and let's disconnect the phone too, because fuck the customers.
I can certainly appreciate the suggestion that Qwest is billing me for a service that they provide, contingent upon my continued payment, but I'm not even 20 days past due yet. Not even the water department in my former town can top that, and they wore the Fascist Billing Crown for YEARS. Besides, I SENT THEM THE MONEY OVER A WEEK AGO!
When it's all said & done, I plan to tell them I want some heavy concessions, or they'll lose three mobiles and a land line. Just for good measure, I'll tell them I've been considering Qwest DSL too, but they're ruined their chances of winning my (customership?). Now that I can take my phone numbers with me, I'll simply find a provider who can compete. Competently.
I should have been out car shopping (did I mention I finally got a czech yesterday? Three months to the day after the accident), but I had to spend six hours playing phone tag with three different companies. After that, She had to go to work, so I was left to watch the boy. Not a good time to attempt much more phone haggling; it scares the children.
Ugh. Today was *SO* draining, and I got absolutely nothing done. I'm not sure if all the horrible scenarios that played themselves in my head today make me a freak, or if the fact that I chose not to act upon any of my deviant thoughts makes me normal. I have no idea what sort of reasoning people like Timothy McVeigh have for doing things that they do, but I'll wager good money that just as much BULLSHIT comes my way as any of them (barring permanently crippled people and cancer patients, of course). Today, I'd really love to challenge the president of Qwest to a knife fight.
Of course, I won't, since
- It's illegal (translated: there'd only be some new cut-throat jackass with even more fascist policies up his sleeve, and in some weird twist of sick Karmic humor, billing for my account would be switched with my former employer's).
- I'm sure there is software on the Internet that scans emails just like the government spyware that scans phone calls for words like "Hussein," "McVeigh," and "daffodil," flagging this email (this journal entry was copied from an email -- zed) as suspect and me as a terror^H^H^H^H non-patriot.
- And the most important reason, I'm sure that the president of Qwest would have a huge body double that would sneak around the corner at the last minute, jump on my back with a 35-pound broadsword (that's not a knoife... THAT's a knoife!), and I'd never even know that the knife I had brought for the occasion would have turned out to be a recalled model until I fell upon the blade and it only scratched my arm and made it itch real bad until I lost consciousness from blood lost through all the sword wounds.
Hopefully, part two of this will be so uninteresting that I won't feel compelled to post it at all.