My goodness, when it rains, it pours! (Or for those of you who read French, jamais deux sans trois!)
I have had another battle over a payment, this time about my mobile phone bill.
Now, just for the record, this does not happen to me a lot. Normally, I look over my bills and everything is fine and the payment is made and life goes on. Only rarely is there something that doesn’t make sense to me, and most of the time, when I think about it long enough, I figure it out and it’s okay. I almost NEVER have to contact the company and ask them why the hell they are trying to rip me off.
But I have had to do this twice in one week!
I was looking over my recent mobile phone bill, pondering the fact that I almost never even come close to using up my allotted minutes so I should change to a lower cost, fewer minutes plan. Then I realized that the bill was about thirty dollars more than what I thought it should have been. I clicked to get further details.
Now it got interesting. There was a roaming charge for data to the tune of – you guessed it, almost thirty dollars. It was in the US, so of course the cost was exorbitant even though there was only 981 kb used. Yes, I was in California with PG on that particular date. But I don’t have a data plan on my phone. I never have had. In fact, when I accidentally hit the internet button on my phone, I immediately get a message that access is forbidden. (Forbidden. When I hear that word, I always feel like a little girl who just got caught with her hand in the cookie jar, and then got slapped and sternly scolded. I find it a bit of a frightening word, to be honest.)
So, how on earth could I have a charge for data on my mobile phone when I don’t have access to the internet on it in the first place?
I called the mobile phone company and explained the situation. The woman I spoke to insisted that my phone with my SIM card had definitely been used to access the internet in the US on that date. I insisted that this was impossible, that I have NO access to the internet with my phone and never have had. She asked if someone else may have used my phone and gotten on the internet with it without my knowledge. I repeated that I had NO ACCESS to the internet with my phone, that I always get that scary “Forbidden” screen if ever I tried. She said that because I was in the US, their systems are different, so I may have gotten a screen asking which internet provider I wanted to use, then I would have been able to get on. I countered with the fact that I did not do that, I had never seen such a screen, and why would I even try, because I KNOW that I have NO access to the internet with my phone and never have had. She went back to someone else using my phone. I said that I always had my phone with me, so that could not have happened, and besides, my travelling companion had his own phone.
We went back and forth like this for a while, strangely remaining calm and polite with one another (well, strange for me, at least). I finally told her to check my records, that I have NEVER had a data plan or accessed the internet with my phone, and that while I had indeed purchased a US roaming package for my phone before leaving on my trip, it was only voice and texting, not data. If I would have wanted to get on the internet while I was away, why wouldn’t I have purchased a roaming data plan, too? That just didn’t make sense. Also, I was hoping that she could see in my records that I have been a loyal customer of this company for ten years, and I have never had any issues before nor have I caused them any problems.
She offered that I only pay half the money for that roaming data.
I replied that although I appreciated the offer, I still didn’t think that I should pay any of it, because as I had already explained, not only did I not use the internet with my phone in the US, I was not even ABLE to do so with my phone.
She waived the money, “this one time only”. I thanked her sincerely.
And then I changed my monthly mobile phone plan. That was way easier.