While I was working out, my wife came downstairs, handed me the phone, and said, “AT&T won’t give us our rebate. Tell this lady to give it to us!” Without any prep or preamble I took the phone hesitantly and said, “Hello?”
Sir, can I have the last 4 digits or your phone, your address, your name, your…”
So I told her everything, including what prescriptions I’m currently on, where I was the night before last and who I think I am.
Actually, she was a nice lady, and after talking to my wife and not giving in, she must be pretty tough too. Apparently, when I bought my wife her Blackberry Curve, the $100 rebate came in the form of a restrictive debit card that expires in 120 days. Who knew? They discuss this on O’Reilly.net as well. But I didn’t know about that until 15 minutes ago, and well after I spoke to Mrs. AT&T. So I find that it’s just over 120 days and this is a lost cause. She starts reading from her script the details about how the card expires, what a moron I am, and stuff like that. Somehow, it didn’t make me mad. I sensed a shred of humanity in her voice, just a drop, mind you, and I took that occasion to beg, “I understand what you’re saying, but if there is anything you can do for me, I’d really appreciate it.”
She thought about it, and I knew there was a chance. “Sorry sir, our policy is clear.”
I was about to tell her my policy, but discretion took over. “We have a huge monthly bill, and a big part of the reason we bought that phone and went with AT&T was because of the rebate. I would really appreciate if you could help me.”
She responded, “Well, I’ll do it just this one time. It’s against our policy, but I’ll do it.”
I thanked her and really appreciated the fact that I held my anger in check. I actually can’t believe how nice I was. And really, huge faceless corporations are serviced by people. This lady, Mrs. AT&T, probably has a family and is feeling the pinch of $3.50 gas, interest only mortgage rates turned into nightmares, and all the pain we are about to feel when companies like Bear Stearns can be bought out for pennies on the dollar, because you know who’s going to pay for that, right? Maybe it was her way of stickin’ it to the man. I don’t know. But for a moment in time, her and I connected and we both came away better for it.
Now, SHOW ME THE MONEY!