I fell off the turnip truck a long, long time ago (Part I)

I was having a periodic annoyance with my home wireless system that was increasing in frequency, so I got onto the chat line for the company to report it. Turns out I needed an equipment upgrade, which took about 45 minutes to figure out.

As that was being ordered and set up, the kind person at the other end of the chat pulled out the standard company playbook.

“While we are waiting, I noticed your current service, and I think you can definitely get more for less money. Would you like to hear about it?”

I fell off the turnip truck a long, long time ago. So there was only one reply to give.

“I assume this is a promotion that reverts to a higher price after a while. What is the deal, how long does it last, and what does the cost go up to at the end?”

Silence.

“Let me get that information. Hang on.”

Bottom line: for more service (some of which was interesting), I would pay about $30 less per month for a year, compared with now, then $10 less for another year, then it would be $15 more thereafter. That was a pretty easy calculation. 12 x $40 in reduction is $480 relative to what I am paying now, which would offset 32 months at the higher price. So that is more service at the same cost for 5 years. Not that bad, and the increased services looked good. So I agreed. Five years is next to forever; I might get run over by a turnip truck by then.

And it came packaged with phone service, which means -$60/month by cancelling the current service into the house.

There was a two-part online contract to sign to authorize the new service. And, I read it, which is another part of the lesson here (after understanding that you do not get something for nothing).

As it turns out, their contract read that the lower price ($30/month savings) was in effect for all 24 months, not 12, and it looked like the final price at the end of the promotion was not +$15, but -$10, from what I am paying now.

Maybe you can get something for nothing.

So I signed it and sent my chat buddy the authorization. Once that was confirmed, I pointed out the discrepancy.

“Before we end, I do have one more question…”

What I got back was a non-answer… a cut-and-paste repetition of the numbers from before, an uninformed answer.

Big mistake.

So I dug in through two rounds of this stonewalling, and finally got the person’s attention.

“I just signed a contract and here is what it says (quote/unquote). I know what you told me, and I even agreed to it. But now I have another thing that contradicts it. That is a discrepancy and needs to be resolved.”

“Hang on. I need to check with someone.”

Stonewall wall.

Rinse and repeat.

“Hang on. I need to check with someone else.”

“Sure, no problem.”

“Sorry for the misunderstanding. Yes, the lower rate is in effect for 24 months and the total price at the end of that time is lower than what you are paying now.”

“Thanks. Can I have the confirmation number and the chat reference for our conversation today?”

“Sure, no problem.”

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