Phone Drama

            I wanted to tell Camp about my recent experience with my cell phone provider. I’ve been a subscriber to Telus for the past 25 years and I’m not the kind of person who switches banks and utilities at a whim. I’m too lazy and a bit cynical, thinking that they’re all the same but claim to be different then all the others. 

            ‘Here is my drama of the week,’ I said to Camp as soon as Vicky set a fresh pint in front of us. ‘While on the road I got a text from Telus that I’m over my data usage and they dinged me for an extra $ 20 for a measly 250 megabytes of data. I was not happy. Time to make a call to old Telus. I looked at my plan to see what I really have and it turns out that my current bill would be in the $90+ range. That’s way too much for what I get.’

            ‘Well, what did Mr. Telus have to say? I know that every time you call them and bitch and complain you get something out of them,’ Camp said.

            ‘Instead of waiting on hold for an hour I opted for the call back. I then explained my frustration and threatened to pull the plug and opt for another provider. ‘I completely understand where you’re coming from,’ the polite female voice assured me. ‘I’m paying too much for too little,’ I told her, ‘that is my basic issue,’ I said emphatically. ‘Let me connect you to our loyalty team,’ she offered and within a few beats I was connected. ‘Hello, I’m Joseph, how can I help you?’

            ‘Oh, my dad’s name was Joseph. You can give me more for less,’ I said jokingly, ‘and I’m about one click away from leaving Telus.’

            ‘We can do something, just give me a couple of minutes,’ he said politely with a Spanish sounding accent and then left me listening to country music.’

            ‘At least it wasn’t hip-hop or opera,’ Camp said.

            ‘Guess what: Joe came back with the deal.’ ‘Right now, you have nationwide unlimited calls and texts for $ 40 and half a giga byte of data for another $ 15, add to that international calls for $ 3 and you pay a total of $ 58 plus tax per month.’ 

            ‘Exactly Joe, considering that I only use data for e-mails or news when I’m not at home and never watch sports or movies, I’m not at all happy with the current plan and price tag.’

            ‘Here is what I can offer you,’ Joe said. ’$ 40 for unlimited national calls and texts and 1 giga byte of data, all in for $ 40. How does that sound?’

            ‘You kidding,’ I said. ‘The same as I have now and more data for $ 18 less? How is that possible and why do I have to call you guys and fight for this?’

            Joe ignored my rant. ‘Does that mean you’re happy with the new plan?’

            ‘Where are you Joseph?’ I asked.

            ‘I’m not supposed to answer that.’

            ‘Come on Joe, humour me.’

            ‘Guatemala City,’ he said after a short pause.

            ‘The lowest wage country in the world?’ Camp piped up.

            ‘Yep, that’s what I thought as well,’ I said. ‘I had another encounter with a Telus rep from Guatemala City about ten years ago when I owned the restaurant.’ I said.

            ‘I seem to remember that. You overpaid by ten thousand dollars?’

            ‘Yes, I forgot about the decimal point and hastily paid a $ 111.56 bill,  thus overpaying by eleven thousand dollars. It took me three months to get the money back and a guy by the name of Charly helped me out. From Guatemala City, which must be a major Telus outpost.’

            ‘Long live Charley and Joseph from Guatemala City,’ Camp toasted and emptied his mug.

            When Vicky brough by the second round Camp asked her about her phone provider.       

            ‘It’s Mint,’ she said ‘Ryan Reynolds company.’

            ‘Oh, and how much do you pay?’

            ‘Twenty bucks a month for 5 gigs of data and unlimited calls and texts.’

            ‘You’re kidding right?’

            ‘Nope, best deal anywhere, and renewable for the same amount.’

            Camp laughed. ‘You should have checked with Vicky before calling Guatemala City.’


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