So I finally have my magic card to get out of the Alltel Jail of Poor Service and Unrelenting Contracts

Last week I was down in Phoenix using the new UM150 USB modem they sent me. It worked fine for the first stop. Then, I had 5 disconnects in less than 2 hours, from 2 different locations. I left a message for Rick, the Executive Customer Relation Specialist who was following through – it was brief, “Hi Rick, this is Alan Levine, the guy with the new wireless modem. It worked for 2 hours and now I hve 5 disconnects in 2 hours. I want out of my contract”.

In the meantime I looked at my network settings and saw a bunch of unused connection types for the card. So I deleted them. And the thing worked for 2 hours.

So right on cue, Monday morning, Rick called, and said he talked to his supervisor and said for all my trouble, they’d let me out of my contract with no charge.

I was there.

I won.

But I hesitated since the thing was working. So i said I wanted to see if it was consistent with this week’s travel. After all, once out of my contract, I have to go to another carrier and start over. Maybe they are all crooks.

So tonight I came down to Phoenix. While waiting for my pizza I tried to connect. It tool 4 tries. I was disconnected twice after 5 seconds. Then I was in. Back in my hotel room, it took 3 tries to ger a connection. Then I was one for an hour. I was writing captions for flickr photos I was uploading. I went to upload and BOOM! Nothing. The damn thing had disconnected with no warning, and my photo captioning, tagging was lost.

Here’s a snapshot of my log- the pink lines are all “disconnected by peer” meaning they dropped me:

So I am ready to use the get out of jail card. I have had enough. I want to show that you can get companies to knuckle under. But it is utterly amazing the amount of effort it took to get to this point. Anytime you call the support, you will get a ceiling of support and no one there will acknowledge that it is even possible to escape. So they key is to persist until you hit this magic layer of “Executive Customer Relations” Those are the people to ask for.

I shall be free, than find another pirate ship that I will indenture myself to.

But I will revel in freeing myself from the Allhel Pirates

The post "Getting My Ticket Out of Alltel Jail" was originally slapped on the butt by a cigar smoking doctor yelling "It's a post!" at CogDogBlog (http://cogdogblog.com/2008/05/get-out-of-jail/) on May 12, 2008.

4 Comments

  • Devon dcamd.com

    WOOHOO! Glad for now…

  • Hi Alan,

    I’ve been following your Alltel drama the last few weeks. I’m glad to hear that they’ve let you out of your contract, but I wonder how satisfying it is in the end? Just the fact that you were willing to give it one last try at the very end indicates how frustrated you are not just with their abysmal service but with the entire situation — and how much at these companies’ mercy consumers are.

    Last fall, our cable internet service went down at the house for over two weeks. I spent countless hours on the phone with Comcast, and at one point was told it could take up to six weeks for a maintenance crew to get out to my house (since my problem was deemed a “maintenance” issue and not a “repair” issue I had to wait for them to be able to fit me in around all their other regularly scheduled maintenance work).

    In addition to the hours I spent on the phone with them, I spent a lot of time looking around at alternatives (including services like Alltel), but nothing was the right fit, in part because where we live (a bit out of town) there aren’t a lot of options.

    In the end, the only solution that really makes me happy in these situations is when the darn service I’m paying for JUST WORKS. I don’t want to fight. I don’t want to win. I just want to get what I paid for. And, increasingly, I feel like the companies who provide the services I pay for don’t really feel like that’s something they should care about.

    Grumble.

    In any case, I’m glad Alltel set you free. Here’s hoping you find smoother waters ahead. . .

    Martha

  • Glad you won the Alltel fight! I have a Verizon broadband card that works most of the time (unless I can’t get a signal or there is a lot of interference). I love using it in the car while my hubby is driving! I have noticed that if the hotel has wifi that they charge for (and I don’t pay for it), it interferes a lot with my Verizon. The Verizon tech support has been very helpful too and usually responds w/in 24 hours.

  • Ideas and Thoughts from an EdTech » Blog Archive » I like it when things just work ideasandthoughts.org/2008/11/26/i-like-it-when-things-just-work

    […] becomes such a small factor when service is exceptionally bad or […]

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