The List: Why carrier stores are the worst

thelist carrier stores primary
Credit: Flickr user Mike Mozart

Trying to get your wireless bill sorted out over the phone is a pain, so why do we do it? Why do we spend three hours on hold with Verizon and another two hours arguing with a customer service rep just to avoid going into a physical store and talking to someone face-to-face?

Because carrier stores are the worst, that’s why. A five-hour phone call with your wireless company is nothing compared to actually walking into a store and trying to get your problems fixed. Here’s why you (and everyone else) justifiably hate going into a wireless carrier’s store.

You’ll have to wait forever

This always happens, without fail: I get to the store and ask how long the wait is, and a rep tells me it’ll be “15 minutes at the most. Would you like to sign in?” I say yes, and they say, “Whoops, we just got an influx of customers. It’ll be an hour and 45 minutes.”

...and possibly even longer than that

“Oh, I’m sorry, you’re here to change your plan? This is the line for people signing up for a new phone. I’ll put you in the plan-changing line...it’ll be another 45 minutes.” What is this, the DMV?!

Nothing is ever free

A rep will tell you that you can add something on to your plan for free. Then five months later, you’ll get a bill for $500. It’s a trap, duh.

They’ll always try to sell you a new phone

“Oh, you came in here to switch your data limit? You know what would go great with a different data limit? This brand-new smartphone!”

Then they’ll try to sell you a new plan

They’ll try to distract you with Kim Kardashian, but repeat after me: You do not need a new data plan.

...that is more expensive yet gives you less data than your old plan

Okay, so with this new plan, I’ll pay $100 more than I’m paying now...but I’ll get 2GB less data. Why...why would I switch to this? Oh, right. Because the corporate office wants to get me off this grandfathered-in unlimited plan. Yeah, no thanks!

Everything has a fee

thelist carrier stores fee

“If you want to change your name from ‘sarah’ to ‘Sarah’ on your account, you’ll pay a name-change fee of $20.” Wait, what?

Are you sure you want to cancel?

“I know you haven’t used this phone for two and a half years, but are you sure you want to cancel?”

Are you sure that you’re sure?

“If you cancel this line, you won’t be able to reactivate it without paying the reactivation fee. Are you positive?

”Unfortunately, I am unable to cancel your service at this time.”

“Oh man, my system’s down. Looks like you’ll have to call the hotline to cancel this phone. Also, I accidentally added three extra lines to your account. So you’ll have to cancel those too, and there will be a $35 cancellation fee per line. That cool?”

Don’t even think about asking them to fix anything

thelist carrier stores noidea

“Having a problem with your Galaxy S5? Have you tried...turning it off and then turning it back on again? Hang on a moment while I email Samsung customer service...”

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