Cingular can’t count

I have switched phones a few times recently… most recently to the Siemans SX66. After starting my new job a few weeks ago, I found out that Cingular has a corporate discount of 40% off phones. So, I called them up and said… “gimme my discount!” They told me to buy the same phone, return my current phone and everything would be fine. What? They would rather send me another phone, take the return, and do all that exchanging instead of just crediting me the price difference? Whatever. So I call in my order for my new (same model) cell phone and they say it’ll take a day or so for FedEx to deliver it. Luckily, I still had a few days left on my 30-day return window for my current phone. I finally get my new phone yesterday and attempt to return my old one… on day 30 of my 30-day return policy. Turns out Cingular can’t count.

They tell me I’m on day 31… not day 30. I’m counting a day as 24 hours, so I purchased the phone in the afternoon 30 days ago, but was returning it in the morning…. hours before my 30-day grace period ended. I feel like i’m explaining astrophysics to a 2 yr old when telling this guy that a day is 24 hours, not calendar days. I told him, “if I had a one-day grace period, would you give me from 4pm today till 4pm tomorrow? or would i have to return the phone by the time your store closed today?” Yeah… he looked at me like I just told him that Santa Claus was a myth. So even though I was within my (30 days x 24 hours = 720 hours) grace period by at least 5 hours, they wouldn’t take the phone back.

Now, cell phone companies typically have small margins when it comes to phones. A bunch of their phones are free or pretty damn close, just to get you on their calling plans. My phone, however, isn’t cheap. I’m not their bargain basement customer with a $7 phone and a $20 calling plan. My phone costs over $500 and my monthly service plan is a Ben Franklin each month. You’d think they’d try to be nice and accomodating for a customer like me….. yeah, right. For a company that makes money by counting the minutes you use, I figured they could count bigger units of time… like hours and days. I figured wrong.

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