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Chris Metcalf

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Deep breaths, Chris, deep breaths…

So my Sony-Ericsson T68i is dying. Its less than a year old. Over the last 3 weeks my reception has gone from bad to horrible.

I get a postcard from Sony. They’re sending me a “free upgrade” to a Sony-Ericsson T226. “AT&T has upgraded their GSM network to the new 850mhz frequency so you can get better coverage”.

Great! I say. I needed to replace my phone anyway. I check out the specs. Shit. No Bluetooth. I’ve got several hundred dollars worth of Bluetooth gear now. This isn’t going to work.

So this morning I call up the number on the card. “We’re sorry,” Sony says, “we’re just offering the upgrade to the T226, you’ll have to take that up with AT&T Wireless.”

So I call AT&T. On my first call, I get disconnected shortly after the representative gives me the purchase price on a new T226. Apparently he couldn’t understand me. Goes to show you how much the old GSM network sucks.

On my second call, I get a very helpful (sounding) woman that admits that a lot of customers have been complaining about the fact that the new phone doesn’t have Bluetooth. She says she’ll forward me to a “representative” who I can talk to about “warranty replacement”. I’m on hold for another ten minutes, and guess who answers? Sony-Ericsson. “We’re sorry, we can do nothing other than replace your phone with a T226 or repair your T68i. You’ll have to talk to AT&T.”

So I call AT&T again. I explain everything I’ve gone through in the last 2 hours to “Angel”, representative #5768, who goes to her supervisor. “I’m sorry, we’re not handling the T226 upgrade, you’ll have to talk to Sony-Ericsson.” I explain again that that won’t work. I can’t stay on a T68i because it won’t work with the new network, and I can’t accept a T226 because it doesn’t have Bluetooth. She refuses to budge on any sort of discount on the price of a Sony-Ericsson T616, the phone I’d prefer to upgrade to. “You can purchase the T616 phone for $219.99.” I ask to talk to a supervisor.

I get forwarded to “conflict resolution.” Apparently by this point I’m considered a “trouble customer.” The “resolution specialist” explains that I “can’t expect to get anything for free.” I explain that I’m not asking for a free phone, just the discounted price ($99) listed on their webpage for the T616. She tells me I can’t get that price. If I want to sign up for a 2-year contract extension she can lower the price to $189. I already sold my soul on a contract extension to get the T68i, I’m not re-upping again for a measely $40 off. Obviously its her job just to get me to hang up the phone. Unlike the other phone reps, she’s not polite on the phone, she’s downright mean.

So it looks like I’m stuck with the T226. Which is crap. Thank god for the new cell phone number transfer laws, now I can finally dump AT&T when my contract expires this summer. I’m done with AT&T. They’ve pissed me off the last time.

Update: More on this developing situation in this blog entry.