I had a rather horrible experience today and need to have a minor rant about it.
I was on my way into town with Nipper to meet a friend for coffee and a catch-up. I could hear my phone beeping and noticed I'd missed a call which was from my Dad asking me to get in touch asap. Now, my parents hardly ever ring me, and never on my mobile, and they don't leave messages of the 'phone home' variety. I was quite alarmed as my Mum hasn't been very well over the last month, and from the tone of my Dad's voice I thought she'd popped her clogs!
I tried to ring home but realised I didn't have enough phone credit. I don't use the phone very much and haven't needed to top-up since I got it. I usually top-up online so have no idea how to top-up otherwise. I ran the rest of the way into town, pushing Nipper in the pram, and went to the O2 shop (my network) figuring they'd give me a hand. There was a huge queue so I dashed across the road to the Phones4U shop as that's where I bought the phone a couple of months ago (after Nipper dropped mine into a cup of tea!). The shop was empty - hurrah - so I explained my situation: new-ish phone, run out of credit, don't know how to top-up, 'emergency' message, help help!
The chap at the counter asked me where I bought the phone. Every phone shop is able to do a top-up, and Phones4U isnt tied to any network, so why he needed to know this is beyond me. Then he asked how much I wanted to top-up. Great, I thought, we're getting somewhere. When I said £20 (possible long phonecall to Dad required) he then asked me how often I topped up with £20. I said not very often...emergency phone...first top up since bought it...etc, etc. And guess what??? Instead of helping me with a top-up...HE TRIED TO SELL ME A CONTRACT!
This image came to mind (photo from Google):
I nearly shouted "I don't believe it" a la Victor Meldrew! I'm sweating like a pig having run pushing a pram, and having palpitations because I'm thinking the worst, and he's trying to get his days' commission! I nearly lost it, but figured that wouldn't help, so very politely said, through clenched teeth, that I couldn't think about a contract now as I was in dire need of the top-up so I could check if my Mother had snuffed it! He then took my money, fiddled with the till, and shoved a handful of papers at me saying "follow the instructions". He couldn't even be bothered to give me the top-up voucher on it's own and explain what I needed to do. When I bought my phone from them they were falling over themselves to help, presumably to get the commission, but clearly just selling a top-up isn't worth their while.
When I finally managed to speak to my Dad he said that Mum had been taken into hospital yesterday with a suspected stroke. However, the hospital aren't sure what's wrong as she doesn't have 'classic' stroke symptoms. They sent her home this evening with a multitude of tablets and she's now waiting for an MRI scan. Presumably she's not at death's door or they wouldn't have sent her home - though you never know with the NHS - lol!
So the moral of this story is make sure your emergency phone has enough credit for an emergency phone-call, and don't expect someone to help you unless there's something in it for them!