Brief cellphone update

Saw the policeman who took my stolen phone report the other day. He stopped in at McDonald’s to talk to me. I surmise he must’ve been driving around and saw me sitting in the window.

Turns out the three kids were runaways from East Cleveland. They were trying to get one of them back home to his family. (I had received a voice mail from someone’s mother, asking that her child be returned to her… but I thought she said she lived in Lorain County.)

Now I’m thinking I’m not going to prosecute. Had these kids surrounded me on the sidewalk and mugged me for my phone, prosecuting would be a no-brainer. But I don’t see thugs here; I see three scared children who needed to get in touch with someone but had no phone, saw an opportunity when I left my phone sitting unattended, and took it. It would’ve been better if they’d asked me — I would’ve placed a call for them if necessary — but of course, kids that age often don’t think things through.

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Today I got this month’s phone bill, and it appears AT&T is doing the real attempted robbery here. There was a “one-time” $30 charge on my bill I had never agreed to, plus some additional “surcharges and fees”. Last week at the phone store I made a point of requesting specific details on every applicable charge for my switching phones, and I had not been informed of any of this. I was livid and knew I needed to fight back.

First I tried calling Customer Service, spoke to a rep with a very thick accent (I could hardly understand him). I was irate and it showed in my voice, I’m sure, but I was definitely not abusive. For which I got hung up on!

Even more angered now, I left the library and marched down to the AT&T store several blocks away, telling someone out loud on a streetcorner, “AT&T is the Great Satan. Pass it on.”

But I had success when I got to the store. I saw the same young, well-muscled guy who handled my order last week, and without hesitating he agreed to go into my account on the computer and waive the extra charges. In fact, he credited my account a full $40, which means this month’s bill will actually be about $7 less than I was expecting.

Sweet. It pays to fight back.