The Times brings us the sad story of Brandy McDowell and Kezia Chandler, two longtime friends whose relationship was shattered when they signed up with rival cellphone companies. The prospect of free mobile-to-mobile minutes has baited many friends groups to sign up or stick with the same carrier, ruining some friendships in the process. The Times article is rife with accounts of people who lost contact with friends banished to wilderness of nights and weekends. Are you loyal to your friends or your wallet? Tell us in our poll, after the jump.
nights and weekends
Verizon accidently charged Michelle $480 for nights and weekends that should have been free; correcting the problem was a nightmare. Michelle worried the erroneous charges would be deducted from her account through Verizon’s autopay. Verizon told her to cancel autopay and assured her no money would be withdrawn, even though her online account showed a pending charge. Two days later, worried about the charge that was still pending, Michelle tried to stop the payment through Verizon; she was referred her to the bank, which promptly sent her back to Verizon.
Sprint gave Seth a terrible plan when he tried to activate an old phone onto his account. Seth had enjoyed a $105 per month retention plan that provided unlimited text messaging and 2,000 minutes. In November, Seth noticed several charges for text messages. He called Sprint and spoke with Kiyana, who made several changes and gave Seth her direct number in case there were any additional problems.
In December, my bill came in at $450. I called Kiyana’s direct line, which was actually a number for a sheet metal company or something similar.
January’s bill was $500. Seth paid the minimum and was told Sprint would fix the problem. By February, the bill was $600.
I called Sprint and spoke to Jason, he offered a 28 day credit to keep my service from being cancelled. I wanted an investigation – something wasn’t right. I scanned the bill while on hold and noticed something: nights and weekends weren’t mentioned at all. Jason, there’s no way Sprint would charge me for nights and weekends, right? No, sir. Sprint doesn’t offer a plan that charges for nights and weekends, but it looks like that’s what’s been happening. That’s why I was 1500 minutes over each month — because they were charging me for free minutes. When Kiyana changed my plan around back in November, she left off nights and weekends completely — and nobody had noticed until now.
The investigation, and Seth’s email, after the jump…