They Just Won’t Let Go

A couple of months ago, we decided to switch from 3 Mobile to another mobile phone company. We just felt that we would save some money if we move to another provider like Virgin Mobile. We originally went with 3 only because they have this feature where we could make free 10-minute calls to one another provided we’re both using 3 mobiles.

However, this feature was only really useful when we worked at two different workplaces. Now that we work in the same office, we almost never needed to use our phones to talk to each other. We only use it now for sending text messages and calling up friends and family. Since most of them aren’t with 3, we’re not really getting any freebies. In fact, we end up paying more each month than if we just switch to another mobile company that has cheaper text and call rates overall.

We’re now with another mobile company and I no longer need to keep my 3 mobile activated. So I called up 3 Care (3 Mobile’s customer care people) to have the phone disconnected last week. Instead of getting it done, the operator practically begged that I look for another person to whom I could just transfer my phone to. I wasn’t really in a big rush so I said I’ll try.

Of course, I didn’t really. I mean, most of my friends already have mobiles. And to friends who still don’t have a mobile, I feel that they’ll be better off with another mobile service anyway.

So today, I called up 3 Care again promising myself to be more adamant in getting the service cancelled. Again, the operator tried to convince me to have the phone passed on to a friend. I told him that I already tried (not) and I wanted the phone disconnected. He said he’ll look at my account details. Right after that, he reminded me again that it will be a lot easier if I just transfer the phone over to somebody else. I reiterated that I don’t have anybody to pass the phone to.

He placed me on hold while he checks on my account balance. He came back saying that I had indeed paid for the handset repayments. He then reminded me yet again that I could just transfer the phone to somebody else. I said no. He asked me why I wanted to leave 3 Mobile. I gave him my reasons.

I was placed on hold while he talk to his supervisor. He came back and asked (again!) why I wanted to leave 3 Mobile. I gave him my reasons yet again. He asked what about 3 Mobile I didn’t like (which was just another way to ask why I wanted to leave them).

After that, he told me that he was going to put me on hold again and transfer me to their accounts personnel. The accounts operator confirmed that I indeed wanted to cancel my account. I said, yes. Then she started telling me that I could transfer my phone to a friend instead of having it disconnected.

What the hell is wrong with these people?! I wanted it disconnected. End of story.

I politely told her that I was already “advised” by two different 3 Care operators of this and that I wasn’t able to find anybody to transfer the phone to. Then she asked why would I want to leave 3 Mobile. Well, their customer care is certainly one reason why! Although I didn’t tell her that.

Lastly, she asked if I wanted to disconnect my 3 mobile phone. I remember saying yes to this question earlier. In fact, it was the reason why I was talking to her. At last, she said that the phone will be disconnected in 30 minutes and that I’ll be getting a note in the mail confirming that I had indeed cancelled my 3 account.

Whew! I thought I’d never get the phone disconnected. The entire phone conversation took about half an hour. I just hope the people in the office didn’t mind that I was on the phone for that long. Anyway, I’m just glad that was all over with. And now, I’m glad I’m no longer with 3.

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Published in: on September 12, 2005 at 11:11 pm  Comments (5)  

Confessions of a directionally challenged mind

Several weekends have passed spent on the road, with me desperately trying to read the map while Gabriel keeps on driving with no idea of where we are. Our house-hunting excursions would have been a lot easier if I’m not so hopelessly directionally challenged. You see, I often get lost because I couldn’t read a map properly and can’t tell where I am in relation to the map. On some occasions when I’ve figured out where we are, I often get confused as which direction to travel in. Often, I go to direction opposite to where I want to be, realise my mistake and retrace my steps. Map reading wouldn’t be as painful if we’re travelling slowly as this would give me more time to figure out where we are in the map and which way to go next. However, that is not at all possible if we’re travelling in a car and there’s a long queue of cars behind us. We’d have to keep moving (getting lost fast) thus making it more difficult for me to figure out where we are in the map and having to ask Gj to find a quiet street, park and handing him the map.

You’d think that something as important as map-reading would be taught at school. This generation, after all, travels more than the ones before it and being able to decipher a map is a skill that could benefit anyone. Yet, the first time I had to read a map was when I finished university when I had to show up in unfamiliar places for job interviews. In those cases, I had to consult the map, write out the directions to get from point A to B in a piece of paper and follow these directions. I’d then allocate a time one day before the scheduled interview and make sure that I could find the place the next day. Yup, sure-fire signs of a directionally challenged mind here but is map-reading something that comes naturally or is it a skill that could it be learned?

I’ve picked up a book by Linda Grekin titled I’ll Never Get Lost Again: The Complete Guide to Improving Your Sense of Direction during a recent visit to the library and read through some of the chapters. The book discussed several symptoms of directionally challenged people like not being able to tell which direction is which when inside a building without looking out the windows, having to rotate the map in accordance to the orientation of the street while travelling, people not being able to tell where they are or where they are going without the aid of landmarks and having to follow a set of instructions to get where they would like to go instead of consulting a map. It was interesting to read about the experiences of other people and know that hey, I’m not a freak of nature after all, but the book disappoints in its promise to improve my sense of direction. The author believes that one’s map reading ability is highly dependent on a person’s ability to mentally rotate objects but that’s as far as she went. Although I’d admit that the capacity to mentally rotate objects may help in map reading, I don’t think it is the end-all and be-all of it.

Now, I’d be the first to admit that mental object rotation is not my strongest suit. I’d have to struggle through these exercises on intelligence tests but I do get average, and even on rare occasions, higher than average scores. Still, that doesn’t prevent me from getting lost or heading in the opposite direction from the one I intend to be in. And if the past weekends are any indication, practice and experience doesn’t help much either as my sense of direction doesn’t seem to get any better with the number of U-turns we have to make. I guess some people just have a natural knack for it and some people, like me, don’t. I do hope we find the house we’d purchase soon as I’m certainly not looking forward to another weekend trying to decipher the map when all I want to do is rip out its pages and burn them one by one.

Published in: on September 12, 2005 at 5:45 pm  Comments (10)