I have a really old cell phone. It is stupid, perhaps even all the way to dumb. It doesn’t do much other than connect calls from there to here or here to there. Once upon a time, that was all a phone was expected to do, but life moves forward.

I would love a smart phone. I was ready to go out and order a smart phone along with the expensive data package that would be needed to make having the phone worthwhile. Then my kitchen cost more than I had planned and there went the phone.

I got a very pleasant phone call from Verizon today telling me they were going to turn off my phone and possibly sell me into slavery. I was, according to the very nice woman on the other end of the phone, two months behind on my bill. I don’t pay the bills, so I had no idea what the real status was. I did ask her to make sure it was this number and not the other phone, and sure enough, my phone was delinquent.

We chatted for a few minutes with me being very confused. She offered to shut off my phone right then and there if I couldn’t guarantee payment by Saturday. Since I wasn’t even sure what she was really talking about, I wavered a bit. Then I told her she could have payment owed by Saturday. I knew I was safe with that. She asked if I had any other questions and I assured her that I did have questions but not for her. She offered to let me speak to her boss, but I told her I really just needed to talk to the guy who pays the bills at our house. We ended up laughing together and hung up.

I called home and asked Dick to look into what had happened. By the time I got home, he had the printouts. He had paid HIS phone bill and then he paid MY phone bill. Unfortunately, he used his account number, so the money he paid on MY phone was also added to HIS phone. Verizon had ALL the money, just ascribed to the wrong account.

So I called Verizon and got an automated system that I tried very hard to ignore until I could get to talk to a human being. I finally got one of those, after having to listen to an ad for a phone they don’t have yet and customer service agents don’t know anything about. But I had to listen to them tell me that.

This young man was helpful. He looked at my account and told me I could upgrade since my service plan was complete. I knew that. I have been able to upgrade for over a year now, but I haven’t done so. I just keep complaining about my pretty useless phone.

I told him how we paid my bill to the wrong account and so we paid it again to the correct account about an hour earlier. Dick said we couldn’t be two months behind. The gentleman on the other end of the line agreed. The bill had been due on September 26 and he wasn’t yet showing payment. I asked about turning my phone off.

He thought there was only a very, very miniscule chance that would happen. I was confused. Earlier in the day, I was two months behind payment and still had a phone, but now that I was ten days behind in my payment, they might turn my phone off. He pointed out that I was outside the five day grace period.

I pointed out that Verizon had all the money, just allocated to the wrong account. He was still pretty sure, but not 100% positive that my phone would not be turned off.

Trying to remain soft spoken, I pointed out the lunacy of this. I never use all my minutes because I have a stupid phone that I barely use at all. The kids call me on it. I use the digital phone for most things. But I have been paying them an obscene amount of money for years and years and even paid the money this past month, just to the wrong account. And yet, they might turn off my phone.

I told the young man that I sincerely hoped that the call was being monitored for quality assurance as I thought someone higher up should appreciate the irony. Here he was trying to sell me a “better” or at least more expensive plan and then threatening to shut off my phone, all in the same call.

He looked again at my account and lo and behold, the electronic transfer had shown up and my crappy phone is mine to keep. I did mention that if they did manage to shut off my phone, they needn’t worry about turning it back on. There are other service providers out there.

He said they wouldn’t turn off my phone. But that my bill was still sixteen cents short. We tried to electronically send them sixteen cents, but the bank said that was even dumber than my phone and they wouldn’t let us do that. I hope my phone stays live.

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