(Posted 2-19-99) I've heard for many years people having issues with phone companies all over the United States. A few are over unjustified billing issues, others are questionable charges that appear on statements that are simply misunderstood, while some I'm sure are just like what I'm about to explain.
GTE is a phone company here in the United States. I wouldn't and don't really care where their headquarters are, but can only say that just like many other big wig corporations over here, they hide behind loopholes and technicalities and whenever they can, simply shit all over you.
Where we live we have no option but to have GTE as our carrier as it's the only one that covers our area.
Receiving our phone bill in mid February I went over some of the charges. One that caught my attention was a monthly $1.50 fee to be "unlisted." I can understand being billed to be listed, but to be charged to be unlisted? So this coming to my attention I called up their customer service line (on 2/19), only to hear the usual bullshit that 'to ensure quality service the call may be monitored or recorded.' When Mary came on the line I of course requested that I not be wiretapped, taped or monitored. Returning, she assured me that I wasn't. I explained to her that we'd like our phone number to be listed, as we couldn't justify a $1.50 charge every month to be unlisted. "OK," she said, followed by, " and they'll be a $15 surcharge for that." "What?" I asked? "How can you justify $15 for listing us?" It was then that I asked for a supervisor.
Soon after a Mrs. Zack, (a supervisor of GTE) came on the line. I simply said, "I'd like to have our phone number listed opposed to being unlisted, but I'm told there's an unjustifiable charge to us peasants of $15 for doing just that?" "That's correct," she said. So I went on to say, "Shouldn't this outrageous charge have been explained to us when we first signed up with GTE? Shouldn't a representative have said to us on our first call to you, 'Well you have some options of being listed or unlisted. But if you change the chosen service at any given point then there'll be a $15 surcharge.' That's a pretty reasonable and not too much of a complicated thing to mention, isn't it? Her response was that 'GTE was under no obligation to tell us about this whatsoever and that if we'd have looked in the white/yellow pages, any billing questions would've been there for us to see.' (Which, by the way we didn't have when we fist moved in and the only one we've ever had was supplied by Pacific Bell and not them? Nor has GTE ever offered to give us one?)
My wife who was the one who opened up the account got on the phone and said, "If I'd of known about this charge from the beginning then I'd of had my number listed." From there on her conversation with Mrs. Zack was about as frustrating as what I'd just gone through. In disgust she handed the phone back to me.
Here's another classic example of another big corporation getting you with their bullshit-hidden charges and fucking lame excuses. Some of you reading this story could say that it wasn't hidden and like Mrs. Zack had said, it's simply explained in the telephone directory. Point taken! But in general I would say that most of us setting up a telephone account for the first time would either take what they are told (on the phone) by the representative the first time, or validate it by the literature that is sent to them relating to what it is that they've just bought or purchased from whoever it may be. But to be told later down the road that "GTE is under NO OBLIGATION to tell you this when you first call, is blatant undeniable crap if you want my opinion.
I'm sorry but I personally feel that the above situation is wrong. If you agree, disagree or have stories of your own I'd love to hear from you.
What you've had to say about this so far.
(Posted 8-10-99) I've certainly heard of some pathetic phone card issues in my time. Here's another one. I had 3 minutes on my GTE phone card in early August of 99. Calling the 1-800, I then punch in my PIN. I'm told that I have 3 minutes remaining. I then dial the phone number (also Californian based) and am told that the number I've dialed is wrong? (This is a valid phone number by the way.) So I try again. After the third attempt I called the customer service. Get this one, after ringing about ten times I get this message. "There is no one answering your call. Thank you for using GTE." What a load of shit? This is their customer service. Wouldn't one expect a message like; "Please hold, someone will be with you shortly," or "There is no one available right now, please leave a message." I was pretty disgusted. When I called back a few minutes later I get Velisia, who took my information and put me on hold. One minute later I was disconnected from her. On my next attempt, Trista informs me that the card does not have enough units to call another number in California. "So how much is the connection fee? I asked. "Oh it's 49 cents she informs me." "Why doesn't your card simply say that then, opposed to trying to tell me that the number that I have dialed is wrong.?" That's GTE's great customer service for ya? Self explanatory, end of story.
Back to Some really Pathetic people.
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