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Mark Atwood
"policy says" and dealing with droids
I just replaced my Edge modem. I misplaced it somewhere in San Francisco.

This time the AT&T store didn't want to sell it to me.

What's your phone number?

You don't need my phone number.

We have to link it to your account.

No, you don't.

We have to do it so people don't unlock and resell the device.

I'm paying full retail already, and this device isn't locked!

You might not have a data plan.

If I don't have a data plan, then you all will bill me for usage.

We still need your phone number.

No, you don't, because you didn't need it last time you sold me this exact same device.

Let me check with my manager. (wait) Policy says I can't sell it to you without your phone number.


Do phone company executives understand why they are hated so much?
16 comments or Leave a comment
docorion From: docorion Date: November 11th, 2008 08:39 pm (UTC) (Link)
Where's Alec Guinness when you need him? :-)

(inspired by "What's your phone number?" "You don't need my phone number..." Apparently these weren't the droids you were looking for, either).
rhonan From: rhonan Date: November 11th, 2008 09:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
So, is the 'droid the manager, or the guy at the counter who has no say on policy at all?
fallenpegasus From: fallenpegasus Date: November 12th, 2008 04:15 am (UTC) (Link)
Both of them were droids.
rhonan From: rhonan Date: November 12th, 2008 05:15 am (UTC) (Link)
So, because the worker refuses to budge from the company policy because he wants to keep his job more then he wants to please you, he's a droid? Just because you were not able to bully the sales clerk into doing things your way is no reason call him a droid. You don't like AT&T's policies: tough. Go to another store. You chose to deal with the Death Star, you should expect fucked-up service. Just don't take it out on someone who has no say in the policy, nor how it is applied.

Edited at 2008-11-12 05:16 am (UTC)
fallenpegasus From: fallenpegasus Date: November 12th, 2008 07:39 am (UTC) (Link)
When someone is executing a stupid policy, they are a droid. Period.
moechus From: moechus Date: November 12th, 2008 10:36 am (UTC) (Link)
So the American soldiers in Iraq are droids?
rhonan From: rhonan Date: November 13th, 2008 02:29 am (UTC) (Link)
Hell, I follow stupid policies all the time. Some of them are called laws, others exist because that's the cheapest way upper management has come up with to comply with other laws. Hell, some of them have just been because some arrogant code-monkey made a bad assumption when he was coding a tool. Case you haven't been paying attention to the news much lately, the employment market is not looking any good, so that clerk was probably being pretty intelligent in following that policy.

Now, the big question is whether you recognize and can admit that you are just as much of a 'droid as he was?

Edited at 2008-11-13 02:30 am (UTC)
jezel From: jezel Date: November 26th, 2008 07:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
Being a droid is not necessarily a comment on the stupidity of the employee in question, merely commentary on the policies and culture of a company that encourages (or forces) its employees to follow policy blindly without resorting to common sense. Some folks are a better fit for that corporate culture than others, say, those that wouldn't know common sense if it bit them on the ass.
awfief From: awfief Date: November 11th, 2008 09:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
You should figure out why they sold it to you before.

Or order it from the apple store online perhaps?
krow From: krow Date: November 11th, 2008 10:39 pm (UTC) (Link)
So end up at a radio shack to buy another?
fallenpegasus From: fallenpegasus Date: November 12th, 2008 04:18 am (UTC) (Link)
None of the ratshacks in the city had one in stock.

We shall see how badly AT&T fucks up this cellphone account.
mouser From: mouser Date: November 12th, 2008 02:14 am (UTC) (Link)
That's insane, but that kinda policy usually has an ulterior reason - like people can crack it and use some other phone number on it or something.

Either that or the story manager is just stupid.
fallenpegasus From: fallenpegasus Date: November 12th, 2008 04:17 am (UTC) (Link)
Probably its the company is just stupid.

There is no "cracking" to "use some other phone number". These devices are completely unlocked, and will take any 3G SIM from any vendor.

If I was paying a subsidize rate in exchange for a more expensive dataplan, that would be one thing. But I wanted to just pay the full retail price, and be done.
mouser From: mouser Date: November 12th, 2008 05:25 am (UTC) (Link)
Okay - Institutional Stupidity strikes again.
moechus From: moechus Date: November 12th, 2008 10:36 am (UTC) (Link)
Is there any reason you have to give them your real number? I usually don't bother arguing and give them my number, with two digits "accidentally" transposed. It's unlikely they'll ever check or find out. If they do, they get a wrong number.
From: neocuriosity Date: November 13th, 2008 03:11 am (UTC) (Link)
It's been working on my Safeway "Club Card" account for years. They call me Mr.Ching or something when I use it. That's okay by me. Nobody needs my phone number so I can get the sale price on lettuce.

Edited at 2008-11-13 03:11 am (UTC)
16 comments or Leave a comment