It’s been awhile, hasn’t it, Journal? September 11th has come and passed, and I apparently had little to say. That’s actually not the case, but on one hand, what is their to say that hasn’t already been said? The outpour of feelings was everywhere: TV, Radio, newspapers… For me, it was all a little overbearing. So I sat in my apartment on September 11th with the TV off, the radio off, thinking I could get away from everything for a little while by playing some Yahoo Pool. Much to my welcome surprise, parts of the internet “shut down” as well. One of the sites in particular shut down all of it’s traffic and rerouted all it’s visitors to a remembrance movie from 8:47 to 10:29AM in memory of the tragedy. Needless to say, I was incredibly moved. I’ll move on to a different topic now. It’s not that I don’t have anything else to say- it’s simply that putting words on a screen doesn’t come close to matching my feelings.

In other news, my handy Treo 180 cell phone became defective two weeks ago. So, as instructed by Handspring, I returned it and got my $400 back. Upon attempting to purchase a new one, however, I was told I’d have to pay $600, since I won’t be signing up for a new cell phone service plan. Why not, you ask? Because I already have one… I’m halfway thru a 12-month contract with Voicestream. So why should I sign up and pay ANOTHER $45 a month on top of what I’m paying now, just to replace a defective phone? I shouldn’t… Unfortunately, as of this moment, neither Handspring nor Voicestream (now T-mobile) have the capacity to understand my predicament. I’m currently on Hour 84 of the second 72-hour “Guaranteed Callback Period” from Handspring, and this one is from their Corporate Customer Care, which is theoretically an escalated version of their standard system (quite possibly named the Lowly Peasant Customer Care). What kind of customer-oriented world do we live in that requires the customer to pay an extra $200 just to replace a defective phone? Voicestream won’t let me out of the contract, either- at least not without paying the penalty fees. Their reason? Because they’ll send me a phone- not the $400 Treo 180, but a $50 standard nokia cellphone. That’s like turning in your ’03 Beemer Z3 for repair and getting a ’70 Nova hatchback for a loaner. Thanks, but no thanks.

I’m calling Handspring in the morning, with the intention of chewing arse as professionally as possible. Last time I demanded to speak with someone in their “Corporate Customer Care” I was told by the shift supervisor that I would HAVE to wait the 72-hour Guaranteed Callback Period because “there is no other way to contact them except through our computer system.” Wait, so the company who makes my cellphone has yet to install phones? All sarcasm aside, I actually wouldn’t be that surprised if that were true. At one point, early in the Customer Service Battle, I asked to speak to a particular employee at Handpsring who was familiar with my case. I was promptly told that I was speaking with someone at an Inbound Call Center and that they had no means whatsoever to transfer phone calls. I finished explaining my saga 20 minutes later, upon which the same person replied, “One moment while I transfer you to my supervisor.” Just how stupid do they think I am? Wait, don’t answer that…