My roommate and I have finally found an apartment, but she is on vacation right now so I’ve been trying to get everything set up before we move in next Thursday. I called the gas company to get that switched to our names and that worked out smoothly. I called the electric company next and they had me on hold for thirty minutes.
I finally spoke with a representative and she couldn’t find our apartment in their system. The street we are going to live on has a number (like 50th street) but it also has an actual street name. I gave both addresses and still no luck. The representative said I would need a meter number then.
So I called my landlord (which I had a few other questions for her and she’s very helpful so it wasn’t a huge deal) and she was able to send me the meter number. I called the electric company back and waited for another fifteen minutes on hold. Finally I spoke with a friendly woman and everything was worked out accordingly. She then told me she was going to transfer me to another person who would make sure that my address and information, etc. was accurate.
I was transferred and my information was relayed back to me and it all sounded correct. Then this guy started to ask me some questions about moving in. It was kinda random but they were innocent enough questions.
“How many TVs are you bringing with you? And how many laptops?”
I replied with one TV and a laptop for both my roommate and myself.
“What do you use the internet for? Do you stream or download or anything else?”
I don’t know. I use the internet like any other normal person does. What kind of questions is that?
“Okay so mainly just streaming then. That plus the tv will be $79.99 a month and when would you like to set that up?”
He explained that a TV and internet bundle would be $79.99 a month and again asked what day we would like to have someone come set it up for us. I proceeded to tell him that I would not be needing cable. Me and my roommate both don’t watch much television and we really don’t have the time or money for it.
“Oh okay then just the internet will be $44.99.”
My slow brain was finally realizing that he was trying to sell me internet. But then I was confused because don’t you do that through the internet company? Since when do you set it up through the electric company? But since I’ve never done this before I figured that maybe that’s how they did it here in Kansas City. So I asked, “Do you have to get internet through the electric company?”
“Well,” he responded, “We are partners with Time Warner so you get a discount if you go through us.”
In other words, no, I do NOT have to get internet through them. “Okay, then I don’t want to set up my internet right now. I haven’t even talked to my roommate about it yet.”
“We’re already halfway through so you can cancel the order later if you decide you don’t want it. There’s no cancellation charge and it is hassle-free.”
Okay, buddy, but you’re missing the point that I don’t want it and it would be a hassle to continue talking to you and to have to cancel it later! At this point I was beginning to get flustered. I tried to tell him again that I didn’t want it when he continued to ask me more questions. “Do you have a computer modem? If not, you can lease one from the company and it’s actually not that expensive. Let me add that on to your order and…”
And this is the point where I just burst into tears. This guy was making me get internet that I didn’t want and it was expensive internet. Plus, he was starting to add on other charges that I didn’t need and I was very uncomfortable and didn’t know what to do. I felt like he was already stealing money from me and I felt even worse because it wasn’t just me he was screwing over but my roommate, too. So crying is the obvious answer to all of my problems.
Thankfully my mom had walked into my room about halfway through the conversation to ask me something. She could tell that I was flustered and getting upset, so she sat on the bed and was waiting for me to get off the phone to talk to her. When I started crying I just handed the phone to her.
She very aggressively said, “All my daughter wants is to turn on her electricity. She doesn’t want internet or cable or whatever else you’re selling.” The guy started to rationalize what he was doing and my mom repeated, “All she wants is to turn on her electricity.” She had to repeat that four or five times before the man finally stopped trying to talk her into it. Or maybe my mom just hung up.
I love my mother.
Normally I could handle this situation fairly well. I know what I want and you selling me crap I don’t want is not what I want. But the fact that he was so persistent and wouldn’t listen to me just left me feeling so vulnerable and I had no idea what to do. Growing up us hard and people are rude.