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The Art of Getting Over

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Milton is back from a year of law-school and an extremely easy summer job that left me with a lot of time to figure out how to get major corporations to do what I want.


It was a warm Wednesday morning in July, the birds chirpping, the sun shining. The splitting headache from a fiasco the night before was slowly waning as the energy from a cup of potent brazilian roast kicked in. My clothes were in a pile at the foot of my bed. I reached into my pocket for a cigarette and my cell-phone to see if work had called. And to my utter astonishment, my phone was nowhere to be found. It seemed that in the prior nights debaucle, my phone was stolen, dropped, or given to a strange woman. In any event I was phoneless. No sweat I thought, I'll have an insurance policy on the phone, I'll get all of it sorted out in time to catch the next bus to work. The time is 10:15 AM.


I call cingular from the payphone outside of my apartment building. Cingular informs me to call lockline insurance. Lockline insurance says they have no record of any insurance on the phone, they transfer me back to Cingular. Cingular says they have no record of any insurance and that it is my problem. The time is 11:35 AM. I make a decision, not only will I get my phone back, I will talk them into upgrading me to a better phone.


I call Cingular again, they say they have no record of any insurance on my contract and that the authorized agent "probably ripped me off." I hang up. I find the authorized agent's number online, and call them. They assure me that I have insurance and that I should call cingular. I call cingular who transfers me to lockline insurance who transfers me back to cingular who is unhelpful. The time is 1:15 PM.


I think of a plan of action and call Cingular back. Here is the course of our conversation.


Milton: Hello

Service: Hello, can I help you?

Milton: I hope so. I lost my cellphone, I purchased insurance with the cellphone, no I'm being told I have no insurance. Is there anything you can do?

Service: Sure, I'll transfer you to lockline, please hold.

Milton: No, do not transfer me to lockline, let me speak to your manager.


Manager: Hello, what seems to be the problem.

Milton: I've been on the phone with you all for the past 3 hours, that is the first problem. The second problem is that I purcahsed insurance with my phone, I would like for someone to make good on it.

Manager: I'm sorry sir, did you purchase the phone from a cingular store?

Milton: Yes, from a Kiosk store, I found it on your website.

Manager: Your record shows that it wasn't a Cingular store, but an authorized agent?

Milton: So, what are you telling me?

Manager: Your insurance is between you and them.

Miltion: But you said they were Cingular's agent?

Manager: Yes...

Milton: So Cingular the company is going to make good on the agreement right?

Manager: I'm sorry to be rude sir, but like I told you, this is your problem?

Milton: Let me talk to your supervisor...

Manager: I don't have a supervisor sir.

Milton: So you're a freelance customer support manager?

Manager: No, I have a team leader, but he's not here.

Milton: Let me talk to his supervisor...

Manager: He isn't here either.

Milton: Listen, I'm getting tired of this shit. I know that you are not the highest ranking Cingular official in the office today, so whoever is a person with more authority than you transfer me to them...


Manager: Cynthia my team coordinator is joining the line...

Cynthia: Hello Mr. Milton, I hear that you are having some trouble.

Milton: A great deal of trouble. I've been calling you, your insurance, your authorized agent for the past three hours. I am no longer going to call anyone. You and I are going to take care of this right now.

Cynthia: I don't know what I can do, your account shows no insurance. You could be lying about the insurance. Like we have told you, this is your problem not ours.

Milton: Excuse me?

Cynthia: I don't mean to be argumentative, but this is not our issue.

Milton: Thats exactly what you're fucking and let me tell you: this IS your issue. I'll tell you why. Your "authorized agent" sold me insurance, whatever deal your agent enters into Cingular the company enters into, period.

Cynthia: I'm sorry, but thats not the law --

Milton: -- Oh, you're a contracts lawyer, tell me how it is then...

Cynthia: If I go into Wal-mart to buy a pair of Levis, I don't entere into a contract with Levis.

Milton: Is there a sign outside the store that says "Official Levis store?" Do you sign a "Levi's contract?"



2:30 Pacific Daylight Time. I will have my new phone.

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Cingular did the EXACT SAME SHIT to me. I went into a bright orange Cingular building and got a phone from them. My phone broke, and when I tried to get cingular to replace it they said that I got it from a authorized retailer and not from the Cingular company. Note, this is not a kiosk, but a building devoted to cingular service and phones. I siad then I'd like to cancel my service, they said ok, but the agent has a 300 dollar termination fee and cingular itself had a 150 dollar termination fee. I ended up just paying for service without a hpone for the next 4 months cause it was cheaper than terminating my account. FUCK THESE PEOPLE. It's wrong how they take advantage of people like that. I'm a student not a millionare, I can't afford these fees.


On another note. Sovereign Bank. My brother cashed a check i wrote him without seeing if I had the funds. The check bounced and it cost me a 30 dollar fee. I went to the ATM the same day to take out cash,unknowing that money had been removed via my check. My account was at -57.00 dollars, I took out 100 bringing it to -157.00 dollars. Plus ANOTHER FUCKING 30 DOLLAR FEE. Not once did the atm ask if I would like to overdraw my account "I had the propper funds the previous day." Not once did it tell me of a fine. I always assumed that an atm would not let you take out the cash if you didn't have the funds. Now they do, but they charge you 30 bucks. All and all Im out 60 bucks of my own fucking money due to trickery by the bank.


Corporate america is fucking us on so many levels, it's a matter of time before we pick up our tourches and storm the mother fucking gates.

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I don't want to juggle both threads, but there is a way to fix cingular; and the bank actually. I'll post it in the other thread.

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