Douglas has been a customer of Verizon Wireless and its ancestor companies for more than 20 years. He’s an executive at a company that cuts Verizon a five-figure check every month for employees’ devices. You’d think that they would be interested in making sure that he’s always happy, but not so much. When his phone stopped working, they didn’t send him to smartphone replacement purgatory: they killed him. Well, they suspended his account in a way that made it look like he had died.
Every year since 2007, Jim and his wife have celebrated the arrival of their federal income tax refund by going to the T-Mobile store, renewing their contract, and picking out shiny new phones at the new-contract discount. Year after year, they’ve done this, even though they’re renewing the 2-year contract every year. This was just part of what made being T-Mobile customers so awesome. Until, suddenly, the carrier stopped being as awesome, and insisted that the last five years and all of those discounted phones were all a dream.