Jun 232009

A lot of Apple fans are whiners. I suspect that spoon-fed sense of entitlement gets reinforced when your computer does what it’s supposed to do without having to have an advanced degree in comp sci. It breeds a sense of getting what you think you deserve‚ even when the average company would tell you to get fucked. That’s why Apple wins customer service awards every year. It has to appease some of the bitchiest customers on the planet.

I try not to whine about things like the AT&T subsidygate (I know the Macalope thinks it should be called a loan. Love for the horny one‚ but I’m going with convention here). When the first torrent of hellfire was unleashed by the panty-knotted crybaby contingent‚ my first reaction was “get fucked”. You got a subsidized phone while still in your 2G deal‚ ergo you should get one every time one’s released? AT&T said I’d get my $199 16GB model in December. I shrugged and moved on.

Then AT&T backtracked on their upgrade policy and the tear-soaked halls of Bitchhalla rang with song. I gave myself the mandatory facepalm.


Then I thought to myself: “I think they’re retarded‚ but I’m all for cheap shit.” Being the Apple lemming I usually am‚ I got a 3G the first day it was available. Despite what the Apple upgrade site said‚ I was sure a call to AT&T would rectify my status as a loyal‚ upstanding AT&T customer (via their exclusive agreement with Apple‚ but being enrolled in autopay = loyalty‚ so shut it). I’ve been with AT&T/Apple since the release of the original iPhone and I’ve even been able to inflict an Apple product on my wife. The straightforward exchange between myself (TMA) and AT&T:

TMA: “Hi. I’ve been an AT&T customer for 2 years and purchased the 3G the second day it was available. There seems to be a mistake regarding my eligibility for a fully-subsidized 3 GS”

ATT: “I see here you’re not eligible for the full subsidy until December”

TMA: “I too have the knowledge required to navigate the pages of your arcane web presence‚ hence my use of the word ‘mistake'”

ATT: “The full subsidy is available to people whose upgrade would have been in July‚ August or September”

TMA: “We’re apparently both familiar with the nomenclature. I’m not sure how much earlier I could have bought the 3G‚ given that it was the second day it was available. Is there another population who would benefit from your company’s revised upgrade policy that I’m missing?”

ATT: “You also have to spend over $99 per month on the line for which the full subsidy is requested.”

TMA: “Ah. Well‚ thank you. Now‚ it’s time for something I call ‘manager time’. It’s where you and I agree to disagree and you hand me over to someone with more power. Nothing personal.”

At this point I was put on hold for about 5 minutes. Instead of a manager (apparently they were all engaged with other loyal‚ satisfied customers)‚ I was transferred over to a “Resolution Specialist” who would “clarify the policy” for me. My immediate thoughts were 1. This person was diverted from the Gaza Strip just to deal with my issue? How flattering! 2. “Clarify policy” means “use smaller words on you and regurgitate the same thing”. Hang up now and spare yourself the surge in blood pressure. So now you know I’m sticking around‚ because I’m stupid.

ATTRS: “Hi TMA. I see here that you’ve been a loyal AT&T customer for 2 years and we appreciate that.”

TMA: “What can I say? I’m very brand loyal.” I explain briefly that both my wife and I are with AT&T and have spotless payment histories. If we’re doing the math‚ we spend close to $200/month with AT&T. LOYALTY.

ATTRS: “As a consumer‚ I understand where you’re coming from with the upgrade issue‚ but as much as I’d like have latitude on this‚ Apple provides zero wiggle room. You have to spend $99/month for the fully subsidized price”

TMA: “Why does Apple care how much I spend for service?”

ATTRS: “It was part of the revised subsidy agreement.”

TMA: “Oh. Thanks for clarifying. For a minute there‚ I thought you were trying to lay off a monthly minimum on the party in the agreement that couldn’t care less about how much I spend a month for service.”

With my understanding now complete‚ and my desire to insert a couple of gratuitous sarcastic comments satisfied‚ I concluded our call with kind words and thanks for the explanation. And a feeling that even though I had not thought that AT&T was the fucktarded company that everyone was bitching about before I talked to them (aside from the obvious stuff like shitty call quality‚ lack of tethering or MMS)‚ a firm belief that they were once I hung up.

If only they hadn’t double-clutched in the first place.

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