24-48 Hours. I went in on June 22 fresh from Firefly to file a claim on my phone that was stolen at Firefly. By fresh I mean music festival fresh. I just drove 4 hours after living outside and showering via water bottle for four days.
My phone is an extremely important part of my life. I got my first phone in 8th or 9th grade and I have had the same number and carrier since then. When I got married it wasn’t a hard sell to get our family plan with my carrier instead of his. I have always been fairly happy with T-Mobile. Their plans are cheap, they finally got the iPhone (lol), their customer service is good, no major issues. I don’t get service once I leave the bigger towns/cities. Thankfully, I don’t live in a rural area so that really isn’t a deal breaker. I use my phone for everything. It is my alarm clock, calendar, e-mail, TV, play room, photo album, camera, e-reader, iPod, GPS, secretary, accountant, my comfort blanket, and sometimes my sanity. Some say it is an addiction, but I think it is just a characteristic of my generation and definitely the generations to follow. They are too functional NOT to overuse.
I went to Firefly Music Festival June 18-21. On the second day of the festival I reached for my phone and it wasn’t there. I honestly don’t know what happened if it was my fault or if someone was shady. Either way, my phone was in someone else’s hands. I survived. It was weird not having my lifeline, but music festivals are such an escape from reality it was the perfect environment to detach from the phone. The Monday after the festival I went to TMobile before picking up my dogs or even going to my house. The guy who helped me was very nice, but much more interested in selling me an upgrade to my existing plan vs replacing my phone. He then told me if I wanted I could file my claim online or I could CALL them. (Really, you are going to suggest I call them… with what phone?) So I chose to file my claim online.
The process was so easy! Just a few drop down bars and a fill in the blank and they said my phone will be shipped out 24-48 hours after my claim is approved. GREAT! I figured it may take a day or two for the approval, then the shipping. I expected my phone would be here around Friday-Mondayish.
Not a big deal. I have my old iPhone. The battery life is weak, it doesn’t always ring, text messages just don’t come through sometimes, plus it is just an older model so in general the features aren’t as updated as I am used to. But it is better than being completely unplugged.
A week goes by… no phone. Claim pending.
I wait until that following Thursday to make a call. Turns out my claim was not approved, because I filed it as “lost”, but then wrote “theft” in the comments. Makes sense… but you couldn’t reach out and see what is up? Or just change the status of the claim to rejected, messed up, something that may catch my attention and I’ll make the call. So that claim was closed when I was on the phone and a new one was open. That claim was approved by the next day! Sweet! It was a holiday weekend so I wasn’t counting on it until Monday/Tuesday.
We are starting week three if you are keeping track.
No phone. BUT I have a tracking number! UPS shipping label created and they have the package. Then nothing. It was in I think PA, just hanging out. So holiday weekend. Monday nothing. Nothing Tuesday either. So I call Assurant Solutions (the company that deals with claims) and point out that it may be lost in transit. July 7th. For the past two weeks I have been calling them every few days begging for an update and then the obvious… a new phone.
I am trying so hard to be understanding. It takes coordination between TMobile, Assurant Solutions, and UPS. One person can’t see all systems and aspects. I’m sure this kind of thing happens every day, especially with a $900 phone with the serial number in the tracking info. They have their procedures to follow for this. I am just a number. There isn’t anything about me that makes me more of a priority in their eyes. That is very clear each time I talk to them. I have worked in customer service for ten years, I try to hard to be patient with the people who are really just trying to do their job. Most people that have been keeping track of my story told me that they would have pitched a fit by now. That really isn’t my nature. I fill out customer service surveys when I have something positive to say. I am not a user of the cynical, sarcastic phrase “well that’s what being nice gets you.” In most situations that is so far from the truth. I have just had it with this situation.
At the beginning of the month I was given the opportunity to advance to a MUCH higher position with a MUCH higher pay. Part of that job is dealing with customers. I am the person that comes in and puts smiles back on faces when sh*t hits the fan. I also coordinate between about 6 different companies for different aspects of the job. Eventually my company will give me a (verizon) phone for this purpose. But I can’t get the promotion until I prove that I can do the job. I can’t do my job without a reliable phone. I need to access a database, but I don’t have the space to download the app even after clearing everything from my phone. Since phone calls are spotty I can’t give out my number to customers or contractors in case I miss a call. Right now I am actually putting MORE work on everyone by not being able to effectively perform my job. This could ruin the promotion for me. I am beyond stressed about it at this point.
I am frustrated that UPS lost my phone. That I lost my phone. That TMobile “can’t do” anything to compensate me. That Assurant Solutions won’t communicate with me. Tonight I called Assurant Solutions and I was upset. I tried to keep an even tone and not be “that customer.” I mostly succeeded. I kept getting the same information. They can’t close the tracker without UPS confirming the package is lost. The tracking number shows that the claim is closed, package unrecoverable. It is done. It was done yesterday. He keeps telling me the same script over and over. Again, I am trying so hard to be patient and understanding. Finally after I stopped controlling my indoor voice he said he was going to get a manager or customer something… someone that I could talk to that may be able to help. Where was this person five minutes ago when I was still calm? After a few minutes of hold music… the call was dropped. I know they have my phone number, but I guess returning dropped calls isn’t a procedure they follow. My spite wants to think he hung up one me, but it was probably just my crappy back up phone.
Normally when I am upset I just want to be heard and I want whatever product/service I wasn’t getting. With this situation though I want compensation. I pay extra money each month for this equipment replacement insurance JUMP something thing. The selling feature is the quick turn around time for replacement devices. I have been without a reliable device for a month now unable to use the service I am paying for. But how can I get anything done in this electronic world we live in??
Again, I get it that I caused this mess by not having my phone in my hand at all time at the festival. I understand it isn’t TMobile or Assurant Solutions’ fault for me losing my phone, then UPS losing my phone. However, I am just so upset about the last of communication, understanding, and urgency.
This is mostly just for me to vent. I was shaking when the call was dropped, I don’t need to be that mad over anything and writing helps calm me. If you have any real advice though, feel free to pass it my way. Otherwise I’ll accept your validation that I should have a phone right now and it is okay for me to be so upset. That is what social media is for right?
Also, Verizon or AT&T?