Which came first: 0 or 9?

Nothing comparable to George Vaccaro’s encounter with Verizon Billing department, I used to have conversations like the one below quite often with various Customer Care executives. As per !dea’s latest mailer, I’m a privileged customer now, and hence has direct access to Senior CC executives. This was my first call after that, after finding a minor problem with my billing.

After the initial hello-hi’s; The conversation is not verbatim.

Me: So, I changed my rate plan on 20th of this month, and had activated this particular GPRS plan. As per the plan I’m supposed to have lower ISD rates to US, and as per the GPRS plan I’ll get the first 2 GB data transfer free. Can you confirm this?

CC: Yes, sir. As per your current plan you have a lower ISD rate to US, and as per your current GPRS plan, you have 2 GB of data transfer free.

Me: I’ve a mail from you confirming that the rate plan change and GPRS activation has been done effective 20th of this month. Can you confirm?

CC: Yes sir. The change in plan and GPRS activation is effective 20th Nov 2010.

Me: Okay. Today I’ve received my monthly bill. As per the bill I’ve been charged premium for an ISD call to US, and GPRS usage, both on 20th around 9 PM.

CC: Yes, sir. That’s correct.

Me: Well, since my plan change is effective 20th, why am I not charged accordingly on 20th?

CC: The change of plan is effective 20th means, that it will be effective 00 hours of 20th.

Me: Yes, that’s what I’m saying too.

CC: But you made the call around 9 PM.

Me: Yes, that’s correct.

CC: So it has been charged based on your old plan.

Me: Wait, did you just say the plan is effective 00 hours of 20th?

CC: Yes.

Me: And I’ve made the call on 9 PM of 20th.

CC: Yes.

Me: So?

CC: You’ll be charged as per old plan.

Me: What? Why?

CC: Because you made the call on 9 PM. You are still on old plan then.

Me: But you just said I’m on new plan on 00 hours of 20th.

CC: Yes.

Me: Well, 9 PM, which is 21 hours comes after 00 hours.

CC: No sir. I meant the 00 hours which comes after 9 PM.

Me: Errr… oo hours of a day cannot come after 21 hours of a day. Did you mean 00 hours of 21st?

CC: No sir, I meant 00 hours of 20th.

Me: That should come before 21 hours of 20th for sure.

CC: No sir.

Me: It’s basic math. 21 should come after 00. See if you count 00, 01, 02…

CC: I know counting!

Me: Then please count till 21 and tell me what comes first.

CC: We meant your plan is activated on 00 hours of 20th which comes after 9 PM.

Me: Then you should’ve told me effective 21st.

CC: No, effective 20th.

Me: So, you mean to say, my plan is effective 00 hours 20th, but I’ll be charged as per old plan any time during 20th?

CC: Well..

You got the point. The whole iteration continues for next 5 minutes. End result: I gave up. One, it’s an insignificant amount to fight for; Two, my time is much precious than this; and Three, they charge the customer for CC dumbness now.

If you want to hear a role reversal, head to Not Always Right. Awesome user dumbness there. And yeah, Randal Patrick Munroe’s awesome response to the Verizon’s Math.

Comments (3)

Puneet GoyalDecember 14th, 2010 at 3:02 pm

Riyaz, Njoyed reading ur blog, just to add, I always get messages from CC stating my unbilled amount as on 13/12/2010, 00Hrs, which is actually 14/12/2010 00hrs.

NoopurDecember 27th, 2010 at 10:20 am

Too gud πŸ˜€ . U were too polite πŸ™‚

Riyaz UsmanDecember 29th, 2010 at 11:48 am

@Puneet, Noopur – Thanks for dropping by. Almost all my encounters with Customer Care goes like this.