So to continue from where we left off, I had told Orange that I appreciated their offer of a free Blackberry Bold, but I was not willing to commit to a year and a half of Blackberry service since I know I will probably be switching phones within the next year and a half and Blackberry service is useless if I have an iPhone. Now let me backtrack a little so you can understand what happened after this. When Orange originally offered me the Bold, I had called Cellcom, my current provider, to enquire how much the fine would be for leaving. After four days of waiting for an answer, a manager called me back and told me it was 1500 N.I.S (around $400). Remember that fact!
Now, after I refused Orange’s offer due to the Blackberry service, I told them if they canceled that contract and just gave me the Blackberry service with the option to cancel at any time, it would be a deal and not only would they make my day, but between my blog posts and my tweets, I would make sure to spread the word for them. Anyway, to make a long story short, a few days later, I got a call saying they have agreed to give me the BB service with the option to transfer it to a regular data plan at any given time, something that would enable me to get an iPhone or any other phone, and not worry about paying extra money toward BB service every month for no reason. I thanked him and told him I was interested. Here is where it gets humorous.
I then called Cellcom and told them I would like to pay my 1500 N.I.S fine, to which I was told “Sorry but your fine is 2400 N.I.S”. Let’s just say that at this point I did not know whether to laugh or cry. Once again, a little backtrack. A few days after I got my “Free” phone from Cellcom and was told it came with a data plan, I called to confirm I was not being charged for data usage. To my total and utter shock (100% sarcasm), I had a charge for data. I then called the rep and told them I was promised a data plan to which they responded that I have no plan and as such was charged an arm and a leg for the data I had used. I told the “nice” rep to go listen the recording of the conversation when I was offered the free phone and that will prove that I was in fact guaranteed that this would not happen.
Cellcom did exactly that and to my total and utter surprise (no sarcasm whatsoever) called me a few days later and offered me a full refund on the data charges. At this point, I was happy and impressed that they used their own recording to monitor their employees and refund a customer. Now back to our story. When I was told that the fine is 1,000 N.I.S more than I was promised, that was the second time in ONE week I was mislead by Cellcom and I was not happy, to say the least. I told them I was not willing to pay a cent over 1,500 (the original number I was promised) and I requested to speak to that manager’s manager.
I got that call and it did not involve any change of heart on the part of Cellcom, they had heard the recording, admitted that the rep promised me it was 1500 but said that since no loss of money was caused by this human error, I would have to pay 2400. This was of course unacceptable to me for so many reasons. For one, based on that number I had conducted an ongoing negotiation with Orange on the basis that they would pay the fine. Not only that but I am a strong believer in the fact that a company has to stick to its word. I told the manager I did not accept this and that I wanted to speak to HIS manager, and I added a little threatening to use blog posts as well as tweets to explain to everyone how Cellcom lied to me twice in one week.
After speaking to around 5 managers on different levels, I got the call notifying me that they were giving in and that they really want to keep me as a customer. Now, let me make this clear. My phone bills are NOT so high, the reason both providers “want” me so badly is 100% due to the popularity of this blog and my use of Twitter, so props to you, my readers, and anyone who follows me on Twitter. I told the nice Cellcom rep that I am not going to stay with Cellcom, as impressed as I was that they gave in, unless they matched Orange’s offer and gave me a free phone. This proposal was not accepted.
At the end of the day, Orange gave in and canceled the contract on the Blackberry service, and Cellcom gave in and canceled the extra 1,000 N.I.S charge. I have to say that both providers gave me headaches throughout this whole process but at the end of the day, it was clear and obvious that both companies did all in their power to help out a customer, blogger or not! In Cellcom, the rep who pushed for this extra charge to be canceled goes by the name of Samar and she could not have been nicer or more professional. At Orange, I was in touch with an individual by the name of Nir Ben Or and Mor Sztrozenberg, who at no point got fed up with my ridiculous requests and was always more than happy to accommodate me. Now, I have to tell you that as good of a negotiator as I might be, none of this progress with Orange would have been possible without Eti Suruzon (click that link and FOLLOW HER, it’s the least I can do), who works for Blink, the company that does Social Media Marketing and PR for Orange, so thank you Eti and I hope to return the favor one day soon.
Well, I got the Bold from Orange as promised and now I just need to familiarize myself with this powerhouse. Let’s hope that this is the final post of the series and my next post will be an in depth review of my new shiny toy, the Blackberry Bold.