Loft Life: That Sounds Like Anita - Spinning Straw Into Gold Blog at - 297750

Spinning Straw Into Gold

LOFT LIFE: That sounds like Anita 
Feb. 19, 2013 11:14 am 
Updated: Feb. 21, 2013 3:29 pm

Funny how some things you think are going to be bad experiences can turn out to be life lessons that improve you.Our great T-Mobile saga, which I have to tell you became a source of great irritation and another big corp, impersonal bureaucracy disappointment, turned out better than expected for a couple of reasons. But, first the saga:We had been T-Mobile customers for more than five years. Thought that might mean something. Wrong. 

When their reps repeatedly made our upcoming upgrade date sound more like bad news, more fees, and not the devices we really wanted, we made a decision. But, we first confirmed, in the store, and over the phone, that our contract expiration date was September, 2012. 

We waited until October, 2012, and spent the extra month researching phones, and companies. We did this in our usual super analytical style. We visited both AT&T and Verizon stores, cornered a knowledgeable salesperson, and asked away at our many questions.

When we found out that Verizon would soon be switching their platform to the one AT&T uses, that made our final decision for us. We didn’t need to go through that transition with them, so opted for the company that had already established that platform.  

Then we had to choose phones. We were excited. We seriously considered the Androids, but after much prayer, thought and comparison, we decided to jump into the new world full bore and get the iPhone 5’s. We were elated, we were giddy. This was a big step for old folks. Now we had better phones than our children--for once. We could now sync with our Macs, our iPads, and we could Face Time, and access the iCloud (once we figured out how to to that), and many other amazing feats of modern America, modern Globe.

We merrily used our new devices, and even whittled down our monthly bill to only double what our T-Mobile one had been. (See changing my reality post).
Then we got the bill from T-Mobile--in November, informing us that we had broken our contract and owed them almost $800. Our elation burst like the proverbial hot air balloon snapping in mid-air and falling to the ground.
We did NOT AGREE that 2013 was the end of our contract. That was big news, and so we went to war. I immediately went in to my heretofore really friendly T-Mobile store and found them less than friendly--almost hostile. They couldn’t access my account, so they said. They suggested I call customer service. I did it right there. It ended badly. They couldn’t help either. They insisted our contract had been extended two years from August, 2011. I insisted I had no knowledge of that. They insisted I had to now work with their contracts department.
My son-in-law suggested eHow’s recommendation of certified letters to the company explaining my dilemma. I certified all my mail to them after that.
                                       How to Win a Complaint Dispute With T-Mobile
                                               By Alexander Cequea, eHow Contributor

I also went online to read about T-Mobile contracts department. Amazing how many published letters of complaint were posted that sounded exactly like what I was planning to write.

In my utter frustration, on one of my trips to Costco, I stopped at the customer service desk for an unrelated question and found myself talking to Anita, who was kind, listened, even though she had nothing to do with this, and said, “Why don’t you work with the Attorney General’s office.”

I would have never thought of that. I went home, drafted my letter to the AG, and copied it into my email to T-Mobile’s contracts department.

To shorten the story, I eventually, after another email and two certified letters, received confirmation that, amazingly, yes, I was right, and now if I would please pay the final bill of $211, we could part ways. They credited the other $576.

So I returned to thank Anita, but couldn’t remember her name, and she wasn’t in that day. I told the customer service person there that I wanted to thank the kind person who cared about my problem, even though I did not get my phone at Costco. I said I didn’t remember who it was. After explaining how much she listened and helped, the rep said, “Oh, that sounds like Anita."

You know, that stopped me short. Imagine being the kind of person people can identify just by the description that you listen and are kind and helpful. Not only did she save me almost $600 with her wise suggestion, but she taught me an important life lesson.

I want to be like her. I want to listen better, be kind, be helpful, even when it isn’t my problem. Thank you again, Anita. Bless you.

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Feb. 19, 2013 1:09 pm
I have used AT&T since 1999 and I have had good customer service from them consistently. My one complaint, or comment really, is the franchise stores don't have the same specials and interaction with the corporate office that corporate owned stores enjoy and one can't tell which a store is just by looking. That has led to some less than stellar encounters, but I simply transact all my business either by phone or online. AT&T also waived their normal billing for November and part of December for those of us in areas severely impacted by Sandy which was such a blessing for me because I would have well exceeded my minutes since that was the only means of communication available to me. Many of the other carriers had no service in our area so I was often lending my phone to others.
Feb. 19, 2013 1:49 pm
Wow. What a great story. Thanks for reading and sharing your experience. You might enjoy the "Changing my reality" post that I did post on AR, I think in November. Thanks again. Marjorie
Feb. 21, 2013 12:52 pm
I've had terrible problems with phone companies. Verizon has been exceptiionally bad for us. I got a 'hotspot' on 2 week free trial. It didn't work here (as we told them we didn't think it would but they insisted it should). It was returned immediately. They began billing me $211 a month for service I didn't have and never even connected to, after they recieved the hardware back!! I finally paid a $35 restocking fee that had never been mentioned previously, got a letter from their book keeping office that they reversed all the charges as it was their error. I still get monthly bills from them and now they have turned me into collections. I'm done with cell phones!
Feb. 21, 2013 12:53 pm
oops, before I started raving, I meant to say I would like to be like Anita too. :)
Feb. 21, 2013 3:29 pm
Petey That is so awful. I feel your pain. Thanks for your comment.
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As a freelancer, I write about food, travel, entertainment and health. Publishing began as business/health writer for Orange County Business Journal, drama critic for Orange County Register, LA Times, and Irvine World News, and food critic for Orange County Register's 13 city papers. I follow hubby around the country, so next destination in IL/WI was freelancing for Stateline Business and Rock River Times (my Lunch with Marjorie column is still online there). Now in CT, I write about life in New England, travel, continue Lunch with Marjorie, and have other ventures happening. I have consolidated all my writings at Click on MENU for the growing list. Please leave comments! Thank you so much for reading. Marjorie
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