Defining “Prepaid”

I am absolutely livid! I just got off the phone with my cell phone company, and my head feels like I’ve been beating it against concrete.

I should begin by explaining that I have prepaid service with no contract. Last time I paid my bill was for service from May 11th to June 11th. If I decide to discontinue service after that, no action is required. If I don’t purchase another month of service on or before June 11th, the service will be suspended on the 12th and terminated in thirty days. No harm, no foul; neither of us owes the other and we go our separate ways.

A little while ago, I called to find out about having a specific feature removed because I’ve had no use for it over the past two months. Since I have prepaid service, I should be able to do this and pay the reduced amount on June 11th, right? Pretty simple, huh?

So why the hell did I just spend the last hour on the phone explaining the concept of prepaid service and resisting the urge to swear and call people names?

It was explained to me that I could have the feature removed today, but that I would have to pay for it again on June 11th and stop paying for it on July 11th. Why? According to these geniuses, it’s because I have prepaid service!


I said I didn’t understand. Little Miss Brilliant said to me, “Well, [the company] has to assume that you’ve been using the feature all this time.”

Um, yes and that would be a fair assumption. But I’ve already paid for it! If they take it off now, then I can’t use it after June 11th, and should not have to pay for it for an entire month that I do not have it and can’t possibly use it.

Is this really difficult? Because I’m thinking it’s pretty damned simple and that this woman is just thick. So I called their corporate number to straighten things out, and to my dismay, they told me the same thing!

This is insane! It would be like paying admission to enter an amusement park, and then having to pay again on the way out because they assume you rode the rides while you were inside. But of course you did; it’s what the admission was for!

I should have expected as much from a company that charges me three extra bucks to leave my house and come pay them in cash rather than online with a credit card, and then calls the three bucks a convenience fee!


But you know what? It’s not even the money. It’s the principle and the fact that I don’t appreciate being ripped off and having my intelligence insulted at the same time.

Either these people are lying cheats or they really don’t get it. Either way, they don’t come off looking so good.

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