Friday, December 19, 2008

"Knowledgeable Sales Assistance" *

Several weeks ago my mobile phone contract reached two years of age. I immediately received an email from declaring that my account was eligible for an upgrade. The email was frantically urging me to buy a new phone at a reduced price and to return my old phone for a paltry sum. I was pretty excited over the idea of a new phone, but not too eager to pay any money for it. I spent my days daydreaming about a fancy new phone, and I spent my nights nightmaring about paying for it.

I decided that my phone was good enough, and that I didn't need a new one. My phone *is* pretty good. It works perfectly, it keeps a good charge, and it does everything I want and even a bunch of stuff I couldn't care less about and never use. Still, it was hard to fight the urge to buy a new phone because the call of new gadgets notwithstanding, called me twice and emailed me twice more, and sent me a letter all within a three week period. It was hard not to think about new phones. Eventually I put the idea of a new phone so far out of my mind that I made it two weeks without thinking about it even once.... and then my internet went out.

I called Sasktel, and they said they thought my modem had died. They gave me a choice of waiting all day for a repairman or driving 5 blocks to a store to pick up a new router on my own. I opted to pick up my own router and within minutes I was in line at the store.

While I was waiting I looked at their phone demos and I saw a beautiful phone, the LG Reveal. Not only does the outside look great, but it opens up to a qwerty keyboard and a big screen on the inside. It was pretty and geeky at the same time - just like me. Suddenly I wanted a new phone again. I asked the girl at the counter and she apologized and said the demo had just arrived, and they really didn't know anything about it yet, including when they were coming in.

The LG Reveal: pretty and geeky
at the same time, just like Sarah.

I went straight home so I could look up information about it. Unfortunately the new router did not fix my internet so I had to wait a couple days before everything was working again. When I could, I looked up the specs. Except for the silly 2.5mm headphone jack I liked everything about the phone. I called to see if anyone knew yet when would be in. Nobody did. I asked what price it would be. Nobody knew.

A week or so later I checked the website to see if the phone was listed. It was! There was also a banner ad saying that it was on sale for $0 if purchased before December 31st. I drove down to the store only to find out that it wasn't in yet, and still nobody knew when.

This morning I checked the website again. This time it was there and it even said it was "available now". I didn't want to waste another trip, so I called to make sure it really was there before heading down. The woman on the phone said that they had some of the black model in stock. I don't want black though, I want purple. I asked her a series of questions, and received terrible answers in return.

I said, "Do you know when the purple one is coming in?"
The woman said, "Oh, we don't know."

I said, "Do you think it will be in before Christmas?"
The woman said, "Very doubtful."

"By the end of the month though for sure right?"
"Cannot predict now."

"If it comes in after the sale is over, can I still get the sale price?"
"Ask again later."

"...Ok, is there anyone else I can speak to who might know something?"
"My sources say no."

"I feel like I'd get better information from a Magic 8 Ball."
"Signs point to yes."

Ok, I admit it, I re-worded some of her answers to make a joke, but I didn't strip them of any information. She was exactly that vague and non-committal. One thing that she said didn't need to be converted to a joke was right at the end of the conversation. I asked if they even knew if they are even going to carry the purple model. She replied, "Yes, we are going to carry it, but I doubt they'd be in within one or two weeks. Probably more like the end of December."

Sorry lady, but two weeks from now is January 2nd.

Maybe she means next December.

* From the website: "Our service strategy is to provide our customers with prompt, knowledgeable sales assistance and enthusiastic service"


dykewife said...

i left sasktel and moved to rogers pay as you go. the phone holds a nice charge, takes photos and is fairly idiot-proof (a good thing in my hands). though the rogers site sucks donkey naughty bits, the customer service i've gotten on the phone has been stellar.

Glen said...

Haha I got half way down the comment list and thought to myself "this sounds like one of those magic 8 balls" then when I got to the end I laughed. Good story :)

Glen said...

Oh and that is a cool looking phone. Maybe Santa will bring you one.

Anonymous said...

At least they didn't accuse you of wanting to "rent" the phone like Jose at Future Shop.

Sarah J M said...

I did end up 'renting' it. I ended up buying one and then after discovering how lame it was I returned it and bought an LG Voyager instead. That phone is a lot more fun.

Romanice said...

I bought a second hand one from this guy that was desperate for cash. I gave it to my son for his birthday. I don't have one, don't want one, my driving record is much better for not having one