So I have been using Straight Talk for almost a year now and in that time the service has been pretty amazing but renewing each month is a chore. Let’s start off with I never set anything to Auto-Renew or Auto-Bill because I just do not trust the companies to be honest and we have all heard about billing mistake nightmares. I am not even sure if I can access my account online and getting through to a live representative who not only speaks English but truly understands it is difficult at best.
So I know tomorrow is the last day for my cycle and decided to pay today. Well, the automated system wanted to ask too many questions to verify my identity to pay with a credit card that they had on file and that I had previously used to pay for my service. That personally identifying information, the zip code for the billing address is often asked for in Pay At The Pump situations, where they business does not know you. I have never had this problem with any of the other carriers or service based businesses in my life. So I asked for an operator, who in the middle of the transaction says she needs to verify my security information and my account information. I ask her why she is wasting my life and making this transaction so difficult. She says she is following procedure and I ask her how their procedure could require me to go through these hoops just to add airtime to my plan when I can go to the store and purchase them, and add them without providing any additional information. So I ask for a supervisor.
The supervisor comes on the line and asks for my phone number, keep in mind the automated system asked to verify it. The first operator asked for it again as well. Three times I have had to provide the same information. Why? I know that call monitoring software and help desk tracking and customer service software all allows for this to be done, I worked for a company that wrote software like this. I explain that I just want to add air time and I do not want any automated payments or anything else, just a one time $45 Unlimited Monthly Airtime to add to my account. I tell him the last 4 of the credit card and that I can provide the security code but I am not going to provide anything else. He says ok. Then he tells me that my service will expire on June 29. That is when I decide that to hang up is better then to continue to waste my life. I tell him I am done wasting my life and hang up. Rude, yes.
He calls back. Asking if he can please explain. I tell him there is no reason to explain, either he does not understand something or he is being dishonest. There is no way that I am going to pay for a month of cell phone service and get less then a month. He explains that the service is only for 30 days and that it will be added today, the last day of the month and there are 31 days in the month. I sit in stunned awe as he explains this to me. My friend was sitting across from me and I made eye contact and he looked as bewildered as I did. Now keep in mind, oral agreements like this can be contractually binding if all of the requirements for a contract are met. I explained this to him and then asked him why he was wasting my life that it had now taken more then 30 minutes of my life to not refill the service on my account. That I did not want to hear his explanation and that I would call the American Office tomorrow where I can speak to someone who understands how this works because they do not discount the service for February and that means they owe me two days. Please do not call me back. And I hung up.