16 November 2005
The Phone Bill Also Was a Disaster
Well I lost the battle, but won the war with Alltel. I went to their office to seek some lessening of the damage from a huge bill, that came after 2 months of roaming in Katrina-Land. Their Local clerk had no help. Local Manager had no idea. District Manager offered 25% only on roaming, but no adjustment or back date, as some other phone companies have been generous with.
But when I kicked this up to a Regional Manager I got some results, sort of. His position was that Alltel had done great and wondrous things, for survivors and displaced people and workers, AT THE TIME of the hurricane, first week of September. Therefore no further wondrous things could be done. Not even for wonderful people like me.
Now I didnt ask him for a cash refund, All I wanted was credit on future bills, and I intended to stay an alltel customer, which of course weakened my haggling position somewhat, because my threats with Boo-Boo Wireless of course represented a nuclear option.
Their policies on DR work was that one should have switched plans and made arrangements previous to traveling to any affected areas, and that one has to watch scrupulously whether one is roaming or not. I couldnt trick him into calling me stupid, but I almost had him.
Anyways I did get a small break, and I got the best plan now (Yorktown, Indiana, for example, is now a local call for me), from anywhere. But they didnt take (what I thought was a good faith gesture) paying the first huge bill (Sept), but almost no breaks on the Oct.bill.
So I'm still with Alltel, because the service has been good, but they apparently used up all their charity last month. The regional manager wasnt quite a corporate drone, you could see vestiges of a personality. He was quite diplomatic in telling me that other people had kept an eye on their phone usage AHEAD OF TIME as they did DR work. Plus other people (implication: the smart ones) used the free Red Cross phones when they were out and about. Call it a lesson learned.