Thursday, March 28, 2002

I'M TIRED...AND A TIP TO BEAT THE MAN OUT OF $100
Remember yesterday I told you Jake passed out at 4:15 in the afternoon and simply drifted into his night sleep without ever waking for dinner? After Natalie posed the questions Did he hit his head? Is he in a coma? I started to get nervous. I began checking the boy every 30 minutes, making sure he was breathing and no blood was streaming from his ears. Jeeze, being a parent is tough.

Anyway, he was fine, but I stayed up until 3:30 am. Just three hours later, young Jake stumbled onto my bed, tapped me on the forehead and announced Daddy, I want brecksticks (yeah, that's what he calls it). So I got three hefty hours of sleep last night and a few more after Natalie relieved me at 8 am. I'm kind of a mess.


Before I collapse for the night, I want to share a little tip on how to beat the man - the man named Sprint. The phone company. I have a Sprint cell phone and a few months ago, it got messed up with scratches on the window. I wanted a new phone, but let's face it - nobody but business suits pays big bucks (or even close to retail) for a cell phone. Everybody gets theirs for free when they get new service.

I brought my damaged phone to the Srpint store and asked Can I get a credit for $50 toward a new phone for turning in this one? "Ha!" they smirked. "No way. A new phone costs at least $99."

Fuck that. I'm not in love with Sprint and I could care less about keeping my number (btw - to avoid incoming calls, I purposely never learned my cell phone number). So I figured, Screw Sprint, I'll switch carriers and get a new phone in the deal!

And here's the trick - I decided to give Spring one more chance. Last time I dropped Sprint (for home long distance), I got about a dozen phone calls from them begging me to come back. We'll do anything they lied, even match other deals (which they'd refused to do before I switched). This time, before switching, I called Sprint's customers service, got a manager on the line and laid it out to them.

Dude, I'm about to switch cell phone carriers to somebody other than Sprint because I need a new phone and I don't want to pay for one. Would Sprint like to give me a new phone and keep me as a customer?

Shock of shocks, they bought it. The Sprint guy said Okay and proceeded to give me a $100 credit on my Sprint bill with the understanding that I would buy a new phone. By simply by threatening to leave, I got $100. Even though I did purchase a new phone, I was under no obligation. I could have simply taken the $100 credit and moved on. Not bad, huh?

Considering that phone companies eagerly lie and cheat to win or steal customers (ever hear of slamming?), I have no problem hitting them back for a $100. Anyway, it makes good business sense. It probably costs Sprint more than $100 to win a new customer. They might as well spend $100 to keep a current customer happy, right?

That is your business lesson today. Everybody with a cell phone go out and demand $100 from the man.

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