Duty · Fun With Suits! · Pains in my Fifth Point of Contact · Pre Planning Your Scene

FPC: Phenomenal Phone Company

A long, long time ago, in a state capitol city not so very far from here, I was seated in the basement of The Enormous Hospital System Mothership, where She Who Would Become TDW-Mark II was undergoing surgery of some sort. I was seated next to, well, let’s simply call him my father in law.

At this point in the celebrations, the divorce from The Plaintiff had concluded, and she and I had a week-on-and-week-off child custody arrangement. My adolescent children had cell phones, and had both me and their mother on speed dial.

So, Number Three Son had occasion to call me, but I could not make out what he had to say, and my attempts to re connect with him were for naught.

I did not know if this was generic adolescent ‘gotta call dad’, or something emergent. That latter was very unlikely, but, after all, I have kinda spent my life in the “this is sort of an emergency” business, and therefore considering that possibility is an occupational hazard. Therefore, since I was NOT at home, and, should my children need me, their ability to communicate that to me in a timely manner was mission critical, well, The Phone Company, and their inability to connect a freaking call something like 12 blocks from the freaking state freaking capitol, well, to understate the thing, I found it unsatisfactory.

Father In Law offered the use of his phone, on Another Carrier. I entered the number of my son, hit “connect”, and, par miracle’!, just like that, I was speaking to my son!

We concluded our conversation, since it was a generic “ought to call dad” call, and I asked Father In Law if I could make one more call. He assented.

I then called “customer service” (spit!) of The Phone Company. I explained my problem, and how this was not acceptable. Phone Company Minion asked my location, and I described myself as being one floor down from street level, in waiting lounge of Enormous Hospital System Mothership. Minion then regaled me with a bit of RF theory, to wit: “You cannot reasonably expect a cell phone to have a reliable signal when you are underground!”

I asked Minion, do you have caller id?


Could you tell me the originating telephone number for this call we are having, right now?

He read back Father In Law’s phone number.

Is that a Phone Company number? If not, what carrier services that number.

Why do you ask?, responded the Minion.

“Because, that is the carrier who is henceforth going to be receiving checks from me approximating $200/month, because my phone, my childrens’ phones, and the phone of every mo$%#r f@!%&er who will stand still long enough to hear this story, will be giving their business to this carrier, whose phone I presently hold in my hand, in this basement, as you and I converse!”

Having said that, I realized that there is no satisfying way to slam down a cell phone. I miss plain old wired phones.


2 thoughts on “FPC: Phenomenal Phone Company

  1. Full Disclosure: I have no interest, financial or through sales or otherwise, in what is related below, except as a satisfied customer.

    A similar story. I was a customer of the “we’re number one” wireless company whose name begins with a V for approximately 12 years. I was paying $55.00/mth for the service. In talking to one of my sons, he related that a competitor had a plan for $30.00/mth+tax. This new to me carrier is not one of the small, fly by night cell carriers. It is a large national brand with a very broad coverage map. They Invented and used to own the dial tone on wired phones back in the day. You’d be hard pressed to find an area where they don’t have cell service, even out in the pucker brush, shaded by a large hill between the test site and cell tower, where I have tested their coverage and found it to be just like at home.

    The only stipulation with the new carrier was to pay the fee up front every month. I’m not a big phone user. The new carrier’s plan offers unlimited talk and text and 5 gigs of data. The unused data rolls over, so that I’m now in a position, after ~18 months as a customer, to probably never run out of data cycles. As I said, I’m not a big phone user.

    I called my then current carrier before switching and asked them if they had a comparable plan. I related that I would be switching to a new carrier unless they could offer a plan at the same rate as the competitor. They of course replied in the negative.

    The dolt I was talking to had the audacity to reply with the quote above(“we’re number one”), to which I replied “Not for long” and I added that I would be telling everyone I knew about their competitor’s much more economical plans.

    The now not so new carrier also has other prepay plans that beat the pants off of my original carrier’s offerings with more data offerings, including one for Unlimited Data at slightly less than I was paying the original carrier.

    Not quite the same story as yours, but similar.


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