Today I got a call from an indirect agent who had a customer in front of her who wanted an explanation for her bill. Why didn't this customer call us directly? I can only guess, but my guess is that she figured talking to people on the phone about her account is their job, not hers.
This person had gone on a cruise around Europe in December, and had come back to a bill which was higher than she expected. It took me a little bit to explain to her that the $40 she paid for international calling did not give her unlimited minutes, and that when you use 175 minutes of a 100 minute plan, you must pay the overage.
She had upgraded to an iPhone 6S a couple of months before, and at the same time she also bought a tablet, which naturally incurred an activation fee. At the same time her plan had changed from 2GB to 3GB, and there was no way she was going to pay the partial charge for the on-demand plan change!
It took the combined efforts of me and the indirect agent to get this woman to understand that the partial charge was in lieu of the former plan. Which would you rather pay--$29, or $17, for twelve days' service? I know how I'd answer, and at that point her entitled asininity and flat-out refusal to accept anything different than what she wanted had left me all set to tell her that I could easily put the old plan back in place and charge her $12 more if that's what she wanted.
Then we came to the tablet. She had decided she was going to cancel it, because she'd been told her bill wouldn't go up and her bill was $50 higher than normal. Besides, she already had a tablet and didn't need this one. Whenever someone says that, I always want to ask, "Then why did you buy it, you idiot?" Regardless, there were some one-time charges which happen whenever there's a plan change, and this anus naturally resisted every attempt at explanation. Her reaction to the fact that these charges would only appear once on her bill was to complain that she didn't expect a $200 bill because it was only supposed to be $150. (I can guarantee you that bill was supposed to be exactly what it says.) But the tablet was outside the return period and well past the "worry free guarantee" time frame, so I gave her the facts: "That device has a $175 early termination fee, which will be due if you cancel that line."
...again--as I frequently must--I resisted the urge to say, "Afraid so!" Instead I explained the terms and conditions and so on, and that's when she hauled it out:
"I'm disabled and I'm on a fixed income!"
I love it when people tell me that. Especially right after they've told me they took a luxury vacation the month prior. I especially love it when they claim they're "disabled".
Look: when you're on a fixed income you don't have money for $750 cell phones and European cruises. If you're disabled, you're not able to do things like go on cruises. At least, that's not what it's supposed to mean.
Our government has a program to help people survive who are incapable of earning a living. It's not meant to enable layabouts to go on luxurious vacations and buy expensive technotoys. Unfortunately a lot of people game the system so they don't have to work, but instead can fap around the house all day. And then yell at the working stiffs who tell them they don't get international talk time for free just because they don't like paying for it.
Because of course they're on a fixed income, don't you know. Because they won't work.
If you're disabled and living on a fixed income don't get a brand fucking new iPhone, then complain to me about how high your cell phone bill is. I've been using a $7-per-month Tracfone since 2002; I am careful with my money and I choose not to spend $100 per month on cell phone service. I don't care if you do, but I'm not going to have any sympathy for you when you complain that your bill is too high. You chose this.
It annoys me because like most people I work, and I do an annoying and thankless job in order to pay my bills; I don't sit around whining and expect Uncle Sam to pick up the tab for my existence while I watch daytime TV and buy useless crap. If I have a problem I face it and solve it, rather than finding reasons to do nothing; and I certainly don't call up utility companies and yell at their reps and expect them to give me handouts to fix my problems.
But let's face it: if you're disabled, doing anything about your problems would mean the end of the gravy train. And then you might have to go to work to pay your bills.