01-12-2018 06:14 PM
To my friends at the Henrietta, NY Best Buy:
I would like to begin by stating that I am a very sarcastic person, but not in the sense that I am demeaning or dishonest. I genuinely hope you find the sincerity behind the words that knit this story together.
It all started when I had the brilliant idea of switching my phone carrier right before a business trip. As in, my suitcase was waiting patiently by the door and my car was melting snow as it warmed itself in the driveway. I promise the business trip wasn’t me running off to join the circus after dropping out of high school – although after making such a bold decision, even this classic fallback plan may have exceeded my level of qualification.
I would almost bet the value of the SIM card in my phone that the gentlemen in Best Buy would have found the circus to be much more entertaining than the problems that arose from said technology. The first person I spoke with politely showed me the selection of SIM cards for Total Wireless, but I quickly clarified that I had already purchased one. The problem was that it was giving me… well… problems.
(Side note: I am truly sorry to admit that I purchased the SIM card at Walmart. I don’t even like Walmart. The lady in the electronics section explained that this $10 SIM card would be better than the $.99 SIM card purchased directly from Total Wireless, because this one would pick up signals from ANY tower, whereas Total Wireless would give me JUST Verizon towers. Whether or not this is true, I bought both her allegations AND the card because I thought I was a big girl and could figure the rest out on my own. Why was I in Walmart again?)
Looping back around to the story, I explained to the Best Buy representative that I had bought the SIM card, switched my phone number over from Verizon to Total Wireless like the cheap traitor that I am, and tried activating my phone after several restarts and twice as many sighs of exasperation. I decided to just give up and put my old Verizon SIM card back into my phone until I returned from my business trip, but alas: the damage was done. Verizon had banished me. So with no way of using my phone to contact Total Wireless to solve the mystery, or Verizon in order to beg them to take me back for another few days, or even 911 in the event someone stole the running car right out of my driveway, I did the only thing I could do: I accepted my fate of having to travel without means of calling AAA in the event I blew a tire and I didn’t feel like changing it in the salty slush on the side of the road.
Upon hearing this (greatly boiled down) story, he took a quick look at my phone and called over a second gentleman. From now on, I could probably get away with calling these guys Batman and Robin, that’s how heroic they were. For the record, this second guy’s name was Zach, but he’s totally Batman because he really took charge. He spent a solid ten minutes trying to solve the issue on his own before succumbing to calling Total Wireless, where he spent the next fifteen minutes growing more and more upset with the foreign woman who claimed it would take two days before Total Wireless could kick my activation back and allow me to try again. “No, no, no; that’s not how this works,” he firmly replied. He then asked to be transferred to a manager, but when he was instead passed on to yet another representative that didn’t know what they were talking about, he insisted that he speak with a manager and nearly lost his religion and his temper with a few choice words. As he waited on hold, he asked for the account information to both my Verizon and Total Wireless profiles. We signed into them on the Best Buy computer to check the status of my quickly deteriorating relationship with said carriers.
Robin (I’m so sorry, but I don’t know his actual name) checked on us every now and then. He grinned at Zach’s less-than-fortunate involvement with my issue, but did not hesitate to assure me that they would get me taken care of. And you know what? His genuine smile and caring attitude left me with no doubts that they would.
Zach was then informed by the Total Wireless representative that the PIN to the Verizon profile was incorrect; which we found rather amusing (maybe not the right word, but much “cleaner”) because he had used that PIN to sign into the profile and was looking right at it. Back on hold. As Zach got passed along lines of Verizon and Total Wireless representatives like a hot potato, listening to French and Spanish advertisements in between bouts of bad hold music, I tried my best to not awkwardly hover over his shoulder. I wandered over to the Samsung tablets and watched a few videos about cake decorating, wondering whether or not it would be acceptable for me to use some of these techniques to create some great masterpiece for the Best Buy heroes when all of this was said and done. Unfortunately they seemed to be heavily focused on unicorns, and by the time I found others that might have been more appropriate for the technology gurus, I realized I may have been deterring actually-paying customers from perusing the selection to its fullest extent. I stepped away and returned to play clumsily with my phone case, which had been stripped away from the device. The gloves were off.
Zach’s nametag stakes the claim that he is an Apple Master, but I contend you could scratch off the “Apple” part and just leave it at “Master.” I imagine that would make a stellar business card, but may be off-putting to coworkers. In either event, Zach got the calling feature to work and didn’t (appear to) judge me for my ringtone that I took straight from Zombies on Call of Duty. Then he got the data to work, sending me a random photo of the base of the Best Buy computer that was (fortunately) screwed into the table. After a grueling thirty-ish minutes of arguing with incompetent Total Wireless representatives; terribly repetitious hold music; foreign advertisements that could have been promoting all kinds of illegal paraphernalia; and humoring my feeble attempts at lighthearted conversation as a means to convince him I wasn’t the scum of the Earth for putting him through this; the transition was complete.
I would have gladly given Zach all the money in my purse for his efforts but thought better of it; I figured it would be insulting to pass him a handful of dirty change, but not before sorting out the wheat pennies I’ve been saving for no real reason. Plus, that would have left Robin with nothing but a few sticks of Polar Ice chewing gum. So instead, I hope that this letter can serve as a testimony to their incredible work ethic. Maybe they can even park the Batmobile in the Employee of the Month parking space.
In all seriousness: thank you, Zach. And thank you, Robin. You turned what could have been an incredibly frustrating experience for me into an incredibly frustrating experience for YOU, and the fact that you took that burden from my shoulders and loaded it onto yours means so much more to me than you could ever know.