Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Loose ends... Cancelling the cell phone plan

Last week, I finally got around to tying up some loose ends back in the States. For example, I still hadn't gotten around to canceling my cell phone plan...

Yes, yes, I know! It's been weeks and weeks and I sold the phones, but when I originally tried to cancel the plan they said the cancellation fee was $300! And that just wouldn't do... (I can hear Jace calling me 'Cheap Charlie' even as I write this...)

The only option to get out at the time was to transfer the accounts to someone, anyone, else. So, I tried to transfer the plans. To my amusement, I found a lot of sites out there that will put potential buyers and transfers together so that you can get out of your plan and you don't have to pay the cancellation fee. I would imagine these buyers don't want to be roped into the 2 year contract themselves, so they can take over a shorter term plan and perhaps your phone with no connection fees to pay and voila, you get out of your contract without the cancellation fee... but let's just say it's not as easy as it sounds. In the end, I did find someone to take the plans from Craigslist actually and I thought I was home free.

Then, when it came to the actual transfer, AT&T changed their story three times (first the person could have all my rollover minutes, then only 1000, then none; they also said it was free then there was a $29 changeover fee and a minimum 11 month contract, why 11 I have NO idea...). So again, easy it was not. And after I went through it all and spelled out the deal to the potential transferee, the person never came through. They just vanished. Go figure.

In the end, I resigned to pay the $300 disconnection fee and when I called to put it into action, I actually told them that I was moving to Switzerland and they said, "Oh, well then we can cancel that for you without charging you the fees, you just need to send us a copy of a utility bill from Switzerland as proof... and..."

At that moment, I think I literally proposed to the gentleman on the phone... actually, I did. This was the conversation:
Me: "Oh my God, are you serious? That is amazing! That is great! Oh my God, I think I love you. Did you want to get married? Now or later? Or did you want me to ask your parents first?"

AT&T Dude: (Laughing) "Ha, ha, what do you mean my parents? I am 21 years old, I don't need my parents' permission... but thanks. It's no problem. Let me just transfer you now." (Still laughing...)
Boy, that conversation still kills me. He's able to drink, vote, and decline random marriage proposals from happy customers without his parent's permission. I love it. God I feel old. Anyway, no doubt it was the happiest call he got all day and I was definitely happy so all was good...

And I finally sent through a utility bill to AT&T last week that hopefully they will accept... that's a whole other story...

Moral of the story, do as Swiss Family Mac did and just tell everyone, "We're moving to Switzerland" and revel in the 'Get out of jail free' pass... it's that easy. If only I'd known.


mrsmac said...

great news! i got a similar run around from AT&T but only because i wanted to keep my number (had it since 2001, i was a wee bit attached). ended up just canceling the darn thing. thanks for the shout out!

NickV said...

Background: we're on Sprint, my wife's phone is dying, and we're planning on moving to Switzerland in 4 months.

A nice customer service rep told her (in person) that we could get out of our contract this way. They did note that not all CSR reps knew of the policy and that it might be going away soon. He recommended that we get her phone 'repaired' instead, which ended up being much cheaper overall.


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