August 28, 2008

How AT&T & Apple suck and a birthday wish for my wife

Dear Beautiful Wife,

First, happy birthday Honey. You are just as beautiful today as the day I first met you. I’m so glad that I’ve been able to share the last decade of your life with you. You are such a strong woman that I feel so grateful that you are the mother of my children and that you are my wife.

And for such a wonderful woman, on her birthday, I thought I would get you a gift that you’d remember for quite a while. I thought I’d get you a gift that would push you ahead of me in the cool technology department. I thought I’d get you a gift that would make you want to get frisky with me every time you held it in your hand. Yes, I was going to get you an iPhone.

At this point, you have probably noticed, in that last sentence, that I said “was going to get you an iPhone.”

Yeah, about that.

You see, I thought since we are already AT&T mobile phone users that it wouldn’t be much of a problem upgrading you to an iPhone. So, today after work, I waltzed into the Apple store and told a cheerful young lady that I wanted to purchase an iPhone, take it home to present to you on your birthday as a surprise and a sign of my eternal love and devotion, and then return to activate it once you had been sufficiently surprised.

The lady looked at me and said, “Uh, yeah, you can’t do that. They make you purchase the plan and activate the phone right away.” [And by "They", I'm assuming she meant AT&T because Apple would never, ever do anything to inconvenience their customers.]

I asked her if she was serious and she said, with a great “customer service” smile, “Yes. Sorry, we can’t help you in surprising your wife. How about a nice gift card?”

I’m thinking a gift card isn’t going to get anybody frisky with me so I quickly tell her “I guess she won’t be getting an iPhone, then.” And I turn to leave. The girl shouts out to me, “Don’t blame me, okay?!” I reply, “Of course I’m going to blame you. It wasn’t MY fault!”

So, I’m a bit pissed. But I see a way out of this. I figure, I’ll run home, sneak your cell phone out of your purse, and take it to the AT&T store down the street and see if I can get the phone changed over to the iPhone. I’m certain this plan will work. I’ll plop down the $199 for the phone, switch your old phone over to the shiny new iPhone and we’ll be gettin’ frisky faster than you can say Steve Jobs.

That’s when I hit snag #2. The lady at the AT&T store checks to see if your phone is due for an upgrade. This worries me because I know that it’s not and I’m not sure how it’s related to me purchasing an iPhone. “Well,” she says, “Because your phone isn’t due for an upgrade, the iPhone will cost you $399.”

Whoa, Whoa, Whoa. “What happened to the $199?! The one that’s advertised all over the store?!” I ask incredulously.

“That’s for new lines or phones due for an upgrade. We don’t care that you have been a customer for years, you’ll have to pay $399 for that iPhone while anyone who has never been our customer and we have absolutely no relationship with, can get it for $200 cheaper. We want to screw you, our long and loyal customer, as hard as possible.” [Okay, maybe she just said that first sentence. Everything else is what she was thinking, I'm sure.]

So, even though with a little arithmetic in my head showing that with the price difference between the monthly plan you currently have and the monthly plan we’d have to pay for the iPhone, they would have made up the $200 difference for the phone in approximately five months (and considering we have 19 months left on our current contract, they would have made $560 more from us than they will right now by just selling us the phone for $199), I walked out of there agitated, angry and a little bit pissed.

As you know, I don’t have a lot of patience for businesses who claim they are all about the customer but then create policies that, in fact, are totally anti-customer. It drives me insane.

I say we just play out your contract, switch to Verizon, and use the new LG Dare. You’ll still be cool and we’ll be $760 dollars richer. A win-win.

Okay, now back to your birthday. So, I didn’t get you an iPhone. However, you know I didn’t leave you empty handed. You know I love to take care of you. So, I got you what you asked for. I got you, via Maggie’s shopping blog, your very own Fall Lunch bag, via The Gap. I know $10 is a big difference from $199 but it’s the gift that keeps on giving. And it was like, $17 with shipping, so I did splurge on you a bit. You deserve it babe.

The kids got you some chocolate that you’ll have to share with them because they’re three and think all chocolate is for them.

But most of all, you get to bask in the knowledge that you are loved by a doting husband, two beautiful kids, and one very vocal cat.

If that doesn’t get you frisky, I don’t know what will.

Happy Birthday, my beautiful wife! I love you!


  1. I’ve heard similar complaints about the iphone from other people. Sod ‘em, that’s what I say (I’m still getting one as soon as I can though)

    Comment by Dan — August 28, 2008 @ 12:52 am

  2. I don’t feel so bad now that Sprint charged me $17 to upgrade.

    Happy birthday to the wife. Did she like the like the lunch bag? I probably would have been yelled at for waiting until the last minute to shop.

    Comment by Darren — August 28, 2008 @ 5:46 am

  3. Happy Birthday to your beautiful wife!!!

    And I’ve had nothing but trouble for pretty much ALL the cell providers here. I loathe them with the heat of a thousand suns.

    Comment by sam {temptingmama} — August 28, 2008 @ 5:47 am

  4. And that is why Issa doesn’t own an iPhone either…stupid AT&T. Been a customer for years, makes no difference to them. So I got the Crackberry instead and I super love it.

    A lunch bag? Really? Hmmm. :)

    Happy birthday to Andrea, I hope she had an awesome one.

    Comment by Issa — August 28, 2008 @ 8:01 am

  5. I too have had similar sucky experiences with AT&T, that is why come December when my contract is up, I will be switching so fast to Verizon. I have been a BellSouth/Cingular/AT&T customer for over 10 years, and that has no value to them, WHATEVER!

    Happy Birthday to your wife!

    Comment by Christy — August 28, 2008 @ 8:19 am

  6. Happy Birthday, Andrea! I hope the kids got you GOOD chocolate!

    Comment by Deanna — August 28, 2008 @ 10:49 am

  7. Happy Birthday, Andrea! The lunch bag will last much longer than the iPhone.

    Comment by Grandmother — August 28, 2008 @ 11:01 am

  8. Happy Birthday to Andrea!

    So sorry about your experiences…. Unfortunately, Verizon isn’t much better to their customers. That whole new every two thing they tout is only good on the FIRST phone of the group. So if you have a family plan, you’re basically hosed as far as getting a good deal on the other two phones you have….

    That being said, you have a way to put a funny twist on such a miserable experience. Sorry to laugh at your misfortune, and hope that Andrea has a happy birthday anyway….

    Comment by Steph — August 28, 2008 @ 11:53 am

  9. Aw, you are the sweetest. Thrifty is the new sexy.

    Comment by UCM — August 28, 2008 @ 4:08 pm

  10. Happy birthday, Andrea! Sometimes it IS the thought that counts and you tried hard. Hope you get some frisky loving for trying.

    Comment by Anissa@Hope4Peyton — August 28, 2008 @ 6:48 pm

  11. Happy Birthday Mrs. Child’s Play!

    As for cell carriers? I’ve been exactly where you are before. My cell went through the wash, and so I needed to get a new phone, but my contract wasn’t up for another 6 months. Long story short, my choices were get screwed, or get screwed really badly. I chose C: jump ship, leaving my existing contract “on suspension” for the remainder of the term (you pay the SAF and nothing else… basically a “hold my number while I’m out of the country” deal) and getting nicer phones for both of us in the process.

    Comment by SciFi Dad — August 28, 2008 @ 6:55 pm

  12. Hopefully she gets frisky for the effort alone.

    Comment by above average joe — August 28, 2008 @ 7:31 pm

  13. Honey-

    You already know that any gift beyond you, the kids and the cat is just icing on the cake…(I’ve already got the best present anyone could ever want, with my family). And you know i really DO love a good lunch bag even if it doesn’t cost $399, just one of my lovable “quirks” that doesn’t need changing.

    And I’m right with you on the “businesses who claim they are all about the customer but then create policies that, in fact, are totally anti-customer.”

    As Barak states, “Change happens because the American people demand it…”

    Comment by Mrs. Childsplay — August 28, 2008 @ 10:29 pm

  14. Happy Birthday Andrea!!

    Yep, I loathe AT&T wireless, their customer service IN EVERY aspect, new phone or not, is horrid. All the other cell companies are pretty much the same, only they have trained their employees to at least smile and act like they are trying to help you.

    Hugs & Blessings!

    Comment by MamáChanga — August 28, 2008 @ 11:21 pm

  15. Happy Birthday to Andrea, and I don’t blame you one bit for not getting the iPhone. I love your statement about “businesses who claim they are all about the customer but then create policies that, in fact, are totally anti-customer.” My husband totally could have written that sentence verbatim.

    Comment by Amy — August 29, 2008 @ 7:19 pm

  16. You are awesome. You write a great story and you are just awesome.

    Oh and we switched from AT&T (Cingular) to Verizon and LOVE IT!!!!!!!!! And, we decided to really take it up the ass and cancel early and pay the $175.00 early termination fee despite the fact that we had been with them for like 5 years or so… but we just wanted to get away from them. Fast. It was well worth it.

    Oh, and for future information, when you are with Verizon and want a new phone, get it from eBay or Craigslist… that way you CAN buy it, take it home and show your deserving wife THEN simply activate the new phone online or in a store. It’s easy. I got a nice Samsung Alias for Mother’s day, as a surprise and it was very easy.

    Comment by angel — September 2, 2008 @ 7:47 am

  17. Happy birthday to your (much) better half.

    That AT&T stuff is crap.

    Comment by Whit — September 3, 2008 @ 11:37 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.


Get every new post on this blog delivered to your Inbox.

Join other followers: