Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Your Balance Is...

Last month, on Chanukah, I caved. Months and months of kvetching and pleading from Flash and Wonderwoman led me to finally agree to add texting to their cellphones. I had resisted up until that point (despite the fact that all their friends have it and this is so unfair and OMG, Ma, it's not like it's still 1923 like when you were a kid) because I felt that they had enough high-tech distractions available to them already. Of course I was right, but like the good indulgent soft American parent that I am, I finally gave in and called our cellphone provider to add a text messaging bundle to our family plan (I was surprised at how inexpensive it is). The kids agreed to the rules that I laid out (no texting at the table, during homework, or after bedtime, and if I EVER hear that you were texting during class may God have mercy on your souls) and have, to their credit, stuck to the rules without a problem.

Then last week, I got the cellphone bill. I opened the envelope and was shocked to see that my balance was $1715.63!!! My mouth dropped open, I let out an expletive, and I grabbed the phone to call the customer service number. The representative who answered the phone made the following genius statement:
"Good evening, this is Maryanne, thank you for calling T-Mobile. I see that your balance last month was $84.72 and your current balance is $1715.63. Now what can I help you with?"
Take one freakin' guess, Maryanne.

Anyway, after nearly twenty minutes, I managed to convince the cheerful but dim-witted Maryanne that I did indeed add texting to my plan before allowing my children to send over 3000 text messages and that I did not, after 8 years of being a good customer, suddenly decide to go crazy and run up these insane overage charges. She agreed that the omission of my order from their computer system was their fault and not mine, and adjusted the balance and fixed the mistake. We eventually parted on good terms.
But the next morning, I couldn't resist. Knowing that most of the text messages were Wonderwoman's (she's got very little impulse control), I quietly laid the phone bill before her at the breakfast table, pointed to the $1715.63 figure and whispered ominously "What did you do?!" She gasped and spilled her milk all over her shirt. It meant more laundry for me, I suppose, but it was worth it to avenge the months of pleading that she and her brother had subjected me to.

17 comments:

SubWife said...

You are evil, LOL.

Jacob Da Jew said...

Haha. Reminds me of when i got my first celly back in the day, ran up a charge of 500 dolars or so in the first month. All legit.

Modern Girl said...

I'm glad you got that straightened away!

Mrs. S. said...

Ahhhh, 1923. {sighs nostalgically and sinks into a reminiscent reverie} That was a good year...
:-)

Mystery Woman said...

You're smarter than me. I set down the texting rules a little bit later in the game. I waited for it to drive me crazy first.

Eees said...

Y'know..not *everyone* has texting..my daughter doesn't even have a cell phone. :) Anyway, great anecdote..definitely Reader's Digest worthy.

tesyaa said...

Eees, my daughter has a [prepaid] phone that she hardly ever remembers to turn on! And I don't think she's ever texted. The first time our babysitter texted me, I really didn't understand what was going on :)

Sweet and Savory said...

Who learned a lesson you or your daughter?

Growing up is harder on the parents than the kids.

Thanks for the Martha Stewart salmon recipes.

BrooklynWolf said...

all their friends have it

I was going to point that not *all* their friends have it... but Eeees beat me to it. :)

The Wolf

nmf #7 said...

Oooh- that was really evil.
But, I'm glad that T-mobile, at least, recognized their mistake- many companies don't nowadays.

nmf #7 said...

Evil in a good way, of course. :D

Leora said...

We had a similar experience when we first got my son a phone. What is this great need for texting, anyway? You did the right thing by handing Wonderwoman the bill.

(And for the life of me I couldn't leave this message 2 nights ago, when I was at a hotel in the Berkshire mountains - Blogger kept saying "loading...").

SuperRaizy said...

Leora-
There was a Blogger glitch that night. I couldn't leave comments, either.

mother in israel said...

Glad the service is so good (unlike my former internet company).

Pesky Settler said...

We told my daughter the rules... she could use the minutes and SMSs in her plan. If she went over once, the money came out of her allowance.

The second time it happens, her phone gets taken away.

She's never gone over... although she did once leave her phone in her pocket and we had to get her a new one... insurance didn't cover 'destruction by laundry'...

hadassahsabo said...

what was Wonderwoman's reaction when you finally told her you had sorted it out with the phone company?

Priceless.....My boys have not yet worn me down. But I know the day is coming....

ilanadavita said...

Yes kids love texting, don't they? I hate it when my students do it in the classroom.
I love what you did to your daughter (maybe I shouldn't really) but there are times when it is the only way they'll get the message.