Me and Straight Talk/NET 10 and why I cannot call...
On Monday, March 15, I went to Wal-Mart and purchased the ST phone, a LG290C for $79.99. While at Wal-Mart I also purchased a ST service card, one that would give me unlimited phone service for 45.00.
I returned home and tried, using the prompts on the phone, to activate it. After about 10 minutes of being on hold and/or responding to computer generated questions, I received a recorded message that “due to unusually heavy call volume” there would be an additional 10 minute wait before a customer service rep will become available. I hung up with the intention of activating the phone by internet.
Little did I know that my problems were about to escalate.
At the Straight Talk web site I completed all the required forms prior to activating a new phone, including the radio button that I wanted to import an existing phone number from another carrier.
After providing all the requested information and following all the prompts, the last entry started, but did not complete. I waited and waited, for what seemed like 30 minutes; it was probably 15. Eventually I restarted the process at the beginning including using a different browser. Once again, when I got to the very last step, I waited patiently and nothing happened.
I tried a third time, this time after shutting off and restarting the computer. Instead of waiting for the last entry to be accepted, I took the dog for a walk. I returned to the same problem. Once again, I shut off the computer, restarted it, returned tothe Straight talk web site and started all over. This time there was a different result: as, at the Straight Talk web site, there was a message that the site is closed for maintenance along with an apology for any inconvenience that it may have caused. I wish that I had received this message earlier which would have saved me well over an hour of my time. Armed with the knowledge that their web site was not operational I waited a few hours before trying again, each of my subsequent attempts were without success.
Eventually the Straight Talk web site was up and running. (Unfortunately, and I did not realize it at the time, the web site was reactivated after all their Customer Service Reps had gone home for the day.) Again, I followed all the prompts, including the radio button entitled, import an existing number from another carrier.
When finished, ST assigned another number to my phone. This is not what I wanted or requested. I called the customer service number which was answered by an outgoing recorded message which said that if you desire to speak with a Customer rep to call back tomorrow as we are now closed. I did.
Next I called Straight Talk customer service the morning of Tuesday, March 16. The first rep I spoke with was a heavily accented lady. I only mention the accent as she was very difficult to understand. She repeatedly put me on hold saying that she had to “talk to her supervisor.” At the time I believed the Supervisor statement but I no longer do as there were too many of them and the next ST Customer Service Rep said the same thing when he placed me on many and frequent holds. I believe that “going to speak with a supervisor” is euphemism for taking time to look up the answer in some kind of manual.
After about 45 minutes, during which she kept asking the same, non specific questions she said that she was going to transfer me to someone who was going to complete the process. I found this statement to be somewhat peculiar as, during the 45 minutes that she had me on the line, she never asked what carrier I wanted to import the number from (AT&T); the number itself, my account number with AT&T, or the password associated my account with AT&T.
Next, I was transferred to a man who began the conversation by asking for the serial number on my phone. I responded by saying that I had just provided this information to the lady who transferred me to him. He informed me that she did not transfer any information and that we had to start from the beginning. I asked “what was the point of her asking me all those questions, repeatedly for 45 minutes?”
By this time my frustration level had increased although I complied and began the process anew. After about 30 minutes, which included several breaks prefaced with “is it OK if I put you on hold for up to three minutes while I speak with my supervisor?”I was informed that both the AT&T phone andthe Straight Talk phone would be disconnected for a period of anywhere from 2 hours to 7 days. At this point I felt that I had no other choice other than to say “yes.”
That was about 11:20 AM. It is now 11:35 PM and I still do not have phone service of any kind.
Tonight, about 7PM, I attempted to activate my NET10 phone. Little did I know that another disaster was awaiting me. At the NET10 web site I also tried activatingthe phone several times without success, each time getting to the last step and having their web site refuse to go to the next step. Does this sound familiar?
At this point in time I was willing to forfeit the 300 free minutes that were supposed to come with the NET10 phone because I desperately wanted phone service, any phone service. Not only could I not activate the 300 free included minutes but I also was unable to purchase and activate additional minutes. After about 45 minutes of repeated frustration I decided to return to my local Wal-Mart with the three phones in hand and seek their help.
Upon arrival it seemed that everyone working in the phone department was gone on a break, etc. Eventually I located and contacted the store manager who, on the loudspeaker system, asked for personnel to report tothe phone department. A lady did. I told her my story, she volunteered that what Straight Talk did was both stupid and unnecessary as, to the best of her knowledge; they do not have to disconnect the AT&T phone until shortly before they activatethe Straight Talk phone.
I asked her if she could import my contacts from my AT&T phone to my Straight Talk phone, she said it couldn’t be done by her or anyone else.
Next, I asked her if she could get my Motorola Bluetooth earpiece to work with the LG Straight Talk phone, she responded by saying that could only be done afterthe phone is activated.
Next I told her of my having a NET10 phone as a backup plan and the problems I had encountered with NET10; that their internet message said that I needed to call from a telephone, but due to ST disconnecting all my phones that I did not have a phone that worked.
She volunteered to call NET10 for me. She called and received an automated system; she responded to all the questions appropriately, she then received a message that my sim card was not valid. She verified the validity of the sim card and started over. During this time she informed me that her shift ended at 9PM and that she was going home.
Despite her obvious expertise in activating phones eventually she gave up.
Next she informed me that I, or someone in my behalf, must call the NET10 customer service when there are live persons working there. Upon inquiry she revealed that she did not know what hours NET 10 had humans working as customer service reps.
I returned home, nothing accomplished and I am still without telephone service. It is now 11:40 PM.