Saturday, December 08, 2007

Grand Forgobismot

That's Grand Forks, Fargo, Bismarck and Minot, North Dakota in AT&T Wireless speak.

I'm sure you've seen those clever commercials showing various professionals being craned and dollied into different locations, all the while using their AT&T Wireless phones to conduct business and stay in touch. At the end of the ads they mush all of the town names mentioned into one hilarious hybrid, thus proving how well the AT&T phones work all over the globe.

Well, bulls&%*. This fall I have been to many places (50+ cities in 17 states) and though I'm supposed to have a nationwide AT&T plan that includes free roaming and long distance in all 50 states, when I got a bill recently I saw that they had charged me $99 for three incoming calls I received while in North Dakota.

When I called customer service to explain my problem, the rep on the phone listened, paused for a moment, then said, "let's see, North Dakota is one of the 50 states."

I seriously think she had to look that up.

She said they'd take the charge off of my bill (never did get an explanation why it was on there in the first place) and when she was doing her mandatory summation of the call I almost had to stop her because she said, "you called to inquire about roaming charges on your bill, we discussed that North Dakota was in the 50 United States..."

No, we didn't 'discuss!' This call is being recorded for quality control purposes and I don't want anyone out there thinking we actually had to deliberate on whether or not North Dakota was one of the 50 states. What, were we like "I know South Dakota's a state, but North Dakota? That doesn't sound right does it? Isn't it part of Saskatchewan or something?"

I think Consumer Reports should give me a cell phone from every major carrier and let me take them all on the road with me for a year to see which one can hack it. Then we'll know who has the right to mess with our town names.


At 4:14 PM, Blogger Cranky said...

HA! That's awesome.

At 9:19 PM, Blogger Pauline said...

LOL! Wow.. that's just.. wow.

(Thanks for the great show last Thursday at NMU! We don't get a lot of comedians up here, I wish they had given you a bigger space to perform in!)

At 9:52 PM, Blogger Jude said...

My cousin in Alaska says that she frequently has to explain that Alaska is one of the 50 states. A former student told me he was tired of fellow college students asking him if the Netherlands were near Japan. Geographic ignorance is rampant.

Rats. My two blogger accounts got mixed up somehow, so all I can sign in with is my depressive blogger account. Ignore that, please. Maybe the right one will magically appear.

At 3:39 AM, Blogger riin said...

I still love you (even though you live in USA) ;)

At 7:01 PM, Blogger Jamie said...

haha jeese, I know what you mean, I got charged over £200 (thats like...$400 or something, I dunno lol) for making 4 calls to my girlfriend, because they all lasted a second over 60 minutes or else it was seconds after midnight!

Bloody phone companies...

At 1:27 PM, Blogger siomaguire said...

Rob: I just saw your idea that a phone company (seriously, you want AT&T? aim a little higher, my friend) would give you a phone and let you test it as your travelling. Have I got an idea for YOU. My brother, who is in some kind of sale (zzzzz ... oooh, sorry, I dozed off there for a second), carries a phone that monitors what media he's exposed to (TV shows, radio new, sattelite radio , blah, blah, blah), sort of a walk-around Niellsen SP? rating. And here's the best part: he pays nothing for this phone. If I understand correctly (see, snoozing, above), his phone works on more than one platform (none of this proprietary Verizon/ AT&T / Sprint) and he rarely has trouble getting a signal ... except when he's at corporate headquarters.


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