04 December 2013

Customer Disservice

Before I'll work with any company, I want to know that when I'm with them, I'll be taken care of. Even if my initial investment of money will be fairly small, I want to feel like they've got the infrastructure to support me when things go wrong. So far, Net10 has been struck off that list.

I tried to contact them with a question regarding some wording on their contract. Who reads the contract? This guy here. Why? Because I want to know what it is I'm getting myself into.

I am currently with Sprint, and am looking to go with a monthly plan carrier. I've been satisfied with Sprint's customer service, because they have handled all my issues in a timely fashion. I would like to keep my phone number, because it's the one that almost 100 people have, and I really don't have the time to reach out to every single one to have them update their contact list.
I read on your terms of service that if the calling zip code doesn't match the area code for the phone, you would be considered roaming. I'm currently living in New York, NY but will be moving around very frequently for the upcoming year. I'll be in Florida for about four months, in Virginia for a couple of weeks, Phoenix AZ for a couple of months, and possibly California for a couple of weeks in the middle.
Because I'll not have a stable address (but will certainly have income and money with which to pay for my service), I'm not sure what will happen to me if I go through the time, expense, and headache of buying the SIM card kit, porting my phone number, and taking chances on an unknown service provider's customer service and phone coverage (I rarely talk on the phone, and usually text or use Internet) to be slapped with roaming charges would be upsetting, to say the least.
Essentially, I'm nervous, and want to be reassured that everything will be OK. My friend does live in my current address, and will let me continue to receive the post here for as long as I need, if that's any consideration?

I used their web email form to let them have time to find someone who's competent, or can handle my situation, and get back to me. However, after trying to send the web form (as a non-existing customer, so it shouldn't require anything more than my name, my email, and my issue), and having the form error out every time, I clicked on the "live chat" option. Which had a 3 minute wait. Sigh.

I read this part of the porting contract, which said this:

If the ZIP Code associated to the phone number is not the ZIP Code for your local calling area your NET10 phone will be roaming in your local calling area.

That worried me. I don't like it when there are these sneaky clauses in contracts where they can jack up my rates for innocuous things like moving around a lot. If you're getting paid, shut up and take my money, and give me service.

So the agent starts copying and pasting giant chunks of the contract, that I've already read, stating that service is not guaranteed in all areas, bla bla bla. I explained that I'm not worried about coverage, because the map shows great coverage in all the places I'll be heading. More contract copy paste about how I can be denied service for any reason, and that roaming is not supported on Net10.

So I said, "Let me try again. Clearly I can't get frustrated with you if I'm not being clear enough."

I went slowly. "I'm living in New York. My phone number has a NYC area code. I can keep the billing address I'm in, because my friend(s) are happy to let me get my post at their place. That way, the billing zip code will match the phone's area code that I'm going to be porting from another company. What will extended travel do to my phone service? Will I be charged roaming?"

"Sam" replied, "We don't support roaming."

And then more copy paste about how service is not guaranteed in any area.

At that point, I knew that the people running this company are incompetent fools, because they let morons be the first line of defence to customers coming to their website for a live chat session. If this is how they are when I'm NOT giving them my money yet, and they want for me to do so, I shudder to think what'll happen if I am dumb enough to go through with getting their service. No thanks. The search continues.