Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Time to hang it up

I think I've successfully kept my cell phone carrier billing woes off the blog thus far, except for a few oblique references and a not-to-be-published post titled "Hell hold".

But today I may have reached the end of the (metaphorical) telephone cord.

USCellular has provided wonderful cell service to me for the last six years, but over the last four months their billing service has gone to hell in a (computer system driven) handbasket.

Short summary: In June, I spent well over an hour on the phone to (I thought) correct a discount to which I'm entitled (and have been receiving forever) that did not show up on the bill. In July, no bill is generated because their computer system upgrade...did not proceed in an optimal manner (read: total screw up). In August, three hours on the phone with customer support (because they dropped my call - twice, and I had to sit on hold for over 45 minutes each time to reach a live person) to try to resolve, yet again, the missing discount, since the July 20th bill finally posted around 8/24.

There's a bit more to the story, but you get the picture.

Today, I checked my account, and saw that the August 20th bill has finally posted.

And once again, the discount is missing. So is the $15 credit I was given at the end of the three hour ordeal last month.

According to the rep I spoke who supposedly fixed the issues last time, the on line customer account system is still rather...broken. There is no way of telling if that information is actual truth...but the automatic payment function still tries to take whatever the "balance due" is shown on the system from my bank account.


I should note that each and every month, in spite of not receiving billings, I've gone ahead and paid my usual amount on the usual due date, canceling out any auto payments the system tries to foist on me. Were my bill correct, I would have a zero balance due on the August bill, since the payment was made a week before the bill actual generated.

This time, I've e-mailed customer service, even though they say on the site it's a three to five day response time (they suggest calling customer service for "faster" service - no, thank you - been there, done that, never again). I've cancelled out the couple bucks they say I owe (the not-applied discount plus tax).

Now, I wait. If this isn't resolved by the next billing cycle (which ends 9/20), I'll be looking for another carrier. While I do understand the vagaries of system upgrades, and do have a bit of sympathy for their customer service reps dealing with over four million messed up customer accounts, I'm not willing to waste anymore time on this.

Get it fixed, people.


melissa said...

Not sure if you talk to Americans when you call, but usually we're ferried to India. When Indian boyfriend and his dad ate here last week, I mentioned to his father how difficult it was to understand Indian operators, and how frustrating it could be. He was full of praise for them (understandable) but did find it funny when they use American names. It's a broken system. End of story.

Diane said...

Their call center is in the US. They are dealing with 4 million confused customers, and I get that. Even our business account (thousand of $ per month) hasn't been billed since June. I can't imagine how this has stopped up their cash flow.

But my particular issue predates their conversion woes...