Frankie and Slim

Frankie and Slim
Happy New Year

Saturday, October 26, 2013


What call center would you say this is?  I say US Cellular.
On August 9, 2013 I began what I thought would be a very simple process.  It was time to change from a two phone family plan with US Cellular to a single phone line.  Just cancel Ron's phone, right?  Wrong!

Multiple phone calls to a different agent every time were followed by four trips into town to talk to eight different representatives who ended up putting me on their phones to the call center.  Most of my phone calls mysteriously disconnected just as they would answer after I had been holding for 15 minutes or more.  Never once did I speak to the same person twice.

Ron's phone was not turned off.  Instead they kept the account for him as a single account and opened me a new account as well.  This was after I had taken in proof of death to their office as required.

I had to get a new credit line because they said the other phone was primarily Ron's, though I had originally opened it as a single phone in 1998 and added him in 2000.  Never had one single payment been missed as they debited our checking account monthly. That didn't count for my credit history and I had to start over. 

We have over 12,000 reward points that they were supposed to transfer to my new account.  That was not happening either.

They owed us a refund then they billed us $216 in error when I showed the automatic payments had been made but that didn't keep them from closing my account for several hours before I realized why I wasn't getting any phone calls.  They apologized.

There is not room to list all the problems, but I did finally get "almost" everything resolved by threatening in an email to file an informal complaint with the FCC to then be followed with a formal complaint if matters were not resolved.  Results began to pour in that very day. 

So far they owe me $52 credit balance on our original account.  I can only knock on wood that everything else if finally resolved.  It is time for me to get a new free phone but you can bet your sweet bippy that I'm going to wait at least a year before I contact these people again for any reason.

(Oh, why don't I change carriers you ask?  Well US Cellular is the only cell service that can be accessed in my area.  When my family visits no one can use their phones. Not Sprint, Verizon, T-Mobile or AT&T.)


  1. It sure makes you wonder how we get anything anywhere....

  2. LOL!!! "but you can bet your sweet bippy"~~~I had a friend, Debbie, really my BFF, that said that all the time. She died last year. We had known each other for over 50 years and was more like a sister to me. When I read "bet your sweet bippy" it brought back wonderful memories. But on to the cell phone people....good grief! Why is this such a hard concept for them? You would think these things would be fairly easy to accomplish but from you and a post Olga did I see that is not the case. God bless widows and widowers who have to deal with these things at a time when they don't need extra things to tackle. I understand about service from one company only. Where I live I can only get internet from Clear. Luckily I haven't had any problems but it cost twice as much as my kids in town pay for other providers.

  3. I miss the dog but your pumpkin display is lovely!

  4. Changes in the wind
    Yes it certainly does.

    Aunt Betsy
    Glad to remind you of your friend. Can tell we are from the Laugh In generation. Dealing with US Cellular was the hardest thing to manage after Ron's death. Don't worry, "the dog" my faithful companion Slim will be back often as my blog header. She is my BFF.

  5. I hate fighting the bureaucracy. It is not just govt (local and federal) offices that make us dance and dance until we pick up the knives and threaten them. Perhaps you remember my post on a credit company that kept calling for me to pay a months rent that I had paid. I called, I visited, finally a letter with a cc to everyone and their uncle brought results. I have Verizon...but they have some nasty history that makes me wish I had someone else.

  6. Good grief that's terrible!

    Glad it's almost sorted out now. It's hard enough without all this dross to deal with.

  7. We've had ongoing problems (years) with Comcast. The only time I ever lit their fuse was when I wrote to the Better Business Bureau. There is no excuse for what you're going through. Can you imagine people who are not able to advocate for themselves. It makes me angry!

  8. I tell you - we have been in some doosy of problems too! I am sorry - but I do hope that it gets straightened out.

  9. Anonymous8:20 PM

    This website might help you find out how to contact companies when you are having a problem.

  10. I am so sorry you had to go through all that to accomplish what should have been a simple task. "Interesting" that your calls to a phone company kept getting disconnected.

  11. It is too bad you don't have a choice of carrier. We have Verizon and have never had a problem at all. I sure hope you don't have to contact them for anything.

  12. Just what you need when your heart is still raw. Hugs.

  13. Argh. I can feel my blood pressure rising just reading this.

  14. Ugh.

    Reminds of a phone call that I had to make to an insurance company a few months ago.

    They had sent my son a refund check for a payment that I had made to his medical account.

    First call: told me I had the wrong number and gave me the proper number.

    Second: got put on hold for 7 minutes before I hung up.

    Third: got my number and promised to call me back. Never did.

    Fourth: Actually started questioning my parenting skills as it applied to my son before she gave me a mailing address to return said check.

    I can see an upcoming major headache in five or ten years when my mother passes away and we have to change the accounts.

  15. I know. You try to do the right thing and let companies know that you will be responsible for bills and they act as though you are trying to pull a fast one.
    At one point I felt like telling the gas company. "Uh oh, you caught me. I made up this story about my husband's untimely death just so I could grab control of paying the gas bill." And that was dealing with a live person who was very sweet, but following company policy. Phone center people are all on scripts. God help you if your question request is off script. All they can do is cycle back through the same canned spiel. And then there are the places that have a computer generated response system so you have that aggravation before you can get to the call center aggravation. Oh, Annie, you have touched a nerve here!!

  16. Well, you have just informed the public at large about how things can go so wrong getting proper service from a famous company-

    Hope a ton of folks read it!

    Sorry about your only available carrier nightmare! Crazy no one can use other service there! Situation is so tough n they make it so much worse...

    It's against the law here to shut off phone service to folks with medical conditions- Wonder if you should report this anyway- I prob would. Attorney General!

    I had similar problems like Tabor with Verizon - I hate being forced to use their service!

  17. That is despicable! Honestly, it used to be that a customer (especially one who's been loyal) was handled with the utmost respect. Now companies are so concerned with their bottom line that all semblance of customer service is gone. I've noticed, too, how much everyone is trying to lure in new customers with these amazing entry level fees and such...while their existing customers continue to pay top dollar. Makes absolutely no sense to me. I don't own a cell phone, though, so I haven't had the displeasure of talking with one of these carriers. They better give you the full amount you are owed, Annie, or I'll kick their you-know-what! :)

  18. I understand your frustration too well. Hugs and good luck.

  19. oh yes ... USCellular was having a mess around here a month or two back... I think they have finally got things sorted out... I hate changes!!

  20. And we think we have problems with the phone companies down here lol
    Hope you are well on your way to resolving your communication nightmare
    Take care

  21. Anonymous3:47 AM

    How awful. I think you were smart to threaten them the way you did. It sure got results!

  22. This makes me crazy! I am so sorry you have to go through that. I used to work for a large corporation that had many divisions and the president of my division when I left, had at one time worked for the cellular division. He told us a story one day of trying to call into the cellular customer service about an issue he was having with his phone and couldn't get through / kept getting cut off. So he went down there and banged on the door, got inside and scared them all. Loved that.

  23. What a hot mess. I hope you can get it cleared up to your satisfaction.

  24. Tabor
    At least we will fight. Just think of all the people who just give in and wind up paying or leaving without any restitution.

    I so hope it is over. Will know when that $52 refund check arrives.

    I have never written the BBB but have wondered if it really did any good.

    Chatty Crone
    Thanks, I think it is about over.

    That is a great site. It didn't have a lot of help with US Cellular but it did suggest that I select “new customer” to get through quickly. I shall do that in the future.

    Once I actually started in with the rep by saving “If we get disconnected please call me back” and the call disconnected. They did not call back. I had to call and hold another fifteen minutes.

    I seem to be in the Twilight Zone right here for so many things like my internet and television. Only certain carriers will work and that is it.

    Exactly! That is what makes me so mad.

    I felt my blood pressure rise just writing it. Loo

    G.B. Miller
    Oh please don't get me started on insurance companies. That is a whole nuther ball of wax.

  25. Olga
    May I steal that line? “Uh oh, you caught me!”

    Snaggle Tooth
    My son once worked for a call center and it was only for a short time when he was desperate and out of work. It seemed that everyone he worked with was in the same boat. As soon as they could they they got out of there. These call centers hire anyone willing and desperate and the reason you never get the same person twice is because that person is usually gone when you call back. Maybe if they paid a better wage and made it a career type job, more people would stay and take some pride in what they do.
    Only one person acknowledged sorrow for the loss of my spouse and that was a customer service rep by email named Dustin. Of course I never heard from him again.

    It has been over two months since they have owed the $52 refund on our old account. Not sure how much time I am supposed to give them but I'm betting this will go until the first of the new year. I have received a letter (form letter to all customers) telling about problems they have been having since the first of July and apologizing for any concerns we might have encountered. That letter had the CEO's name but no return address or phone number.

    Yes very frustrating. Where are you by the way. You haven't posted in a while.

    ancient one
    They have said they were having problems overall. Guess my husband picked a bad time to die as far as US Cellular is concerned.

    I hate to look back and remember better days but honestly it seems we were much better off before banks and phone companies were deregulated.

    It is good to know there federal regulating agency. FCC for phone companies and OCC for banks.

    I love this story so very much. If only more CEOs would do something like that.

    Red hot mess!

  26. Oh gosh! Aggravation! I'm so sorry, Annie. That's just terrible! I'm certainly going to avoid US Cellular.

  27. I found the sentence:
    'Do I have to write about this on Face Book to get some satisfaction?'
    The last time I used it £20 was immediately deposited in my bank for my being inconvenienced.

  28. Somehow I missed this one - oh right, I was in Chicago! Well, Ann, FUCK THESE PEOPLE. I mean truly, your WTF! stamp would fit well here. Like, stamped all over their employees' foreheads.