Fearless Leader on Consumerist July 2, 2007 6:19 PM   Subscribe

Our fearless leader stars in "Recording Of Tmobile Trying To Prevent Matt Haughey From Cancelling For An iPhone" a chilling adventure of talking to a guy named Vic.
posted by tiamat to MetaFilter-Related at 6:19 PM (64 comments total)

Those who want more materials to synthesize Matt's voice, here you go.
posted by tiamat at 6:20 PM on July 2, 2007


So, can I call TMobile and tell them I got an iPhone to try to get a $20/mo plan? For serious - would this work?
posted by tristeza at 6:23 PM on July 2, 2007


Are we tracking matt's every move here on MetaTalk?
posted by jonson at 6:38 PM on July 2, 2007


Where else should we track him?
posted by item at 6:46 PM on July 2, 2007 [2 favorites]


Are we tracking matt's every move here on MetaTalk?

Well, it clearly doesn't go on the blue.
posted by Many bubbles at 6:47 PM on July 2, 2007


Curse you, item!
posted by Many bubbles at 6:47 PM on July 2, 2007


No comment.
posted by Dave Faris at 6:48 PM on July 2, 2007


Are we tracking matt's every move here on MetaTalk?

No, we're tracking the iPhone's every move. Keep up. :)
posted by mediareport at 6:51 PM on July 2, 2007 [1 favorite]


Everybody loves Matt, well, he actually is pretty lovable, but jeez, this is getting to be a bit much, no?
posted by caddis at 6:51 PM on July 2, 2007


Oh please, let's stop it before the Matt pottycam.
posted by The Deej at 7:10 PM on July 2, 2007


If only he had a blog or something where we could keep up with his life...
posted by mediareport at 7:17 PM on July 2, 2007


Next thing you know people are going to post pictures of Matt picking his nose.
posted by grouse at 7:26 PM on July 2, 2007


I'd like to take this opportunity to express my lack of sympathy for Durfurian iPhoners.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:26 PM on July 2, 2007


You're a bigger man than I am, gungatex.
posted by Dave Faris at 7:38 PM on July 2, 2007


I'm like seventy feet tall with fangs and red glowing eyes. There's four Japanese films about me, and another one about a mechanized librarian where I show up near the end for no apparent reason.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:46 PM on July 2, 2007 [1 favorite]


He called Matt "Mr. Matt."
posted by Tuwa at 7:47 PM on July 2, 2007 [1 favorite]


$600 phone + 2 years @ $60/mo + $200 cancellation + some of the unamortized cost of a new blackberry pearl, unless you sell it on eBay, assuming it's unlocked = upwards of $2240. What phone is worth that? But it's AT&T that's the dealbreaker for me.
posted by George_Spiggott at 7:48 PM on July 2, 2007


You people might be creeping the poor guy out a bit by now.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:53 PM on July 2, 2007


Dude it's MetaTalk, not MattaTalk. Threads about me are starting to feel weird.

Also:

- Yeah, it's expensive, but I write it off as my business phone.

- Consumerist.com people mocked my dead tone and lack of pleasantness with the retention guy, but I did this with Skype and was reading email at the same time

- it's not that exciting and the guy doesn't yell at me or anything, I just recorded it because retention people are an odd bunch and I knew I'd get a pitch to keep the account alive at almost any cost.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 8:04 PM on July 2, 2007


I used to work in customer service for a cell phone company (back in '98, when $49.99 would get you a whopping 30 free minutes *per month* Uphill. Both ways. In the snow. With a fucking worthless Li-ion battery. And god help you if you got a first generation Ericsson digital phone, because we sure as shit couldn't.)

Every few months most people had to do a two week rotation in the retention department. I, but by the grace of having minimal computer skills at the time, managed to sidestep into the tech department ("That phone you bought of that jittery guy on the street is stolen. It has an electronic serial number that will note it as such and route you to customer service number anywhere in the country when you try to use it. You might want to reconsider your street corner-based consumer product purchases in the future...")

Anyway, retention. It sucked. We had to do a few day stint during my initial training and I had to offer the exact same kind of deals Matt was offered. My experience in the field is a tad rusty, I'll admit, but there's no end of promo codes that can be tagged to your account. Tell 'em what you want and they'll probably give it to you if you hold out long enough.

Any, hey, at least they're not calling you when you're trying to have dinner.
posted by Cyrano at 8:05 PM on July 2, 2007 [1 favorite]


Yeah, it's expensive, but I write it off as my business phone.

Can you write one off for me as a business phone too?
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:06 PM on July 2, 2007


You people might be creeping the poor guy out a bit by now.

He's a celebrity now. This is the price of fame.

ON PREVIEW:

OMG IT'S MATT—DUDE YOU RULE AND METAFILTER TOTALLY CHANGED MY LIFE—I CAN'T BELIEVE IT'S REALLY YOU—WAIT UNTIL I TELL MY FRIENDS ON METAFILTER ABOUT THIS THEY ARE NEVER GOING TO BELIEVE IT!
posted by infinitywaltz at 8:06 PM on July 2, 2007 [1 favorite]


I need a new business guitar, fwiw.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:19 PM on July 2, 2007 [4 favorites]


Are we tracking matt's every move here on MetaTalk?

Wait, what? I thought this subsite was called MattTekk. Mattestalk?
posted by Eideteker at 8:24 PM on July 2, 2007


Come on, this is funny. BTW, was there a line?
posted by RMD at 8:31 PM on July 2, 2007


$600 phone + 2 years @ $60/mo + $200 cancellation + some of the unamortized cost of a new blackberry pearl, unless you sell it on eBay, assuming it's unlocked = upwards of $2240. What phone is worth that? But it's AT&T that's the dealbreaker for me.

You can't just add 2 years @ $60/mo without taking into account the difference in cost between the monthly cost of his monthly T-Mobile bill. Plus, there's intangibles such as perhaps AT&T having better coverage than T-Mobile in his area or the additional enjoyment he has using an iPhone over is Pearl.
posted by gyc at 8:37 PM on July 2, 2007


[dons grouchy-pants]

For all these fuckwit so-called "A-list bloggers" having an iPhone probably IS a necessary cost of business. "Heavens! However will we look like pretentious twats without one??"

Bah!

(Okay I'm jealous I can't afford one for a few months yet. Soon, precious, soon...)
posted by Ryvar at 8:45 PM on July 2, 2007


gyc, sure you can; and if you've any sense you must. That kind of slippery slope "oh, but for only $x more you could have such and such" is salesperson talk. You look at the total price of ownership of one phone+plan, the total price of ownership of another, and you decide what it's worth to you. We've developed a lot of ways to talk ourselves out of looking at what things really cost.

(disclaimer: I paid over $450 for an unlocked grey market phone and am currently paying $55/mo for an unlimited data plan. But I just don't kid myself about what I'm spending.)
posted by George_Spiggott at 9:44 PM on July 2, 2007


He has clearly eaten the brain of someone with powers to inspire awe and reverence.
posted by absalom at 10:04 PM on July 2, 2007 [1 favorite]


I need an over/under on the first packaging-design-taped-to-cover-of-Moleskine "Hipster iPhone" sighting.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:17 PM on July 2, 2007


All I've got to say is that Matt's got a lot more patience than I do, I would have been screaming "Just cancel my @#!*ing contract!" within 30 seconds.

(And I predict Matt's going to rue posting the recording when everyone starts calling him Mr. Matt.)
posted by blm at 10:58 PM on July 2, 2007


*phone rings*
Hi, may I have a word with Mr. Cortex.
Speaking.
I hear you want to stop playing your CAN-JO dulcimer and use a Blackie Strat instead.
That's right.
It's pretty hard to get and quite expensive.
Work bought it for me.
Well, I hear that the Blackie requires a lot more dexterity to play.
That's okay with me.
I could send you some genuine, high-grade CAN-JO replacement strings.
No thank you.
Did you say 'Yes please'.
No.
Oh! Is there someone else you could pass the CAN-JO on to?
Actually I'm already using it as a shoe scraper, so I don't think so.
Okay then. Thank you for your time and God Bless America.
*click*
posted by tellurian at 11:38 PM on July 2, 2007


I am still waiting for somebody to take up my VIDEO CHALLENGE.
posted by wendell at 12:21 AM on July 3, 2007


I love these retention people. Every time a fancy new 'phone comes out, I ring up and casually mention an offer from another company to get said 'phone for nowt, then sit back and listen to them scramble to please me. Last time I did this, I started in the position of having to pay £300 for a Nokia N95, but after uttering the 'magic words' I got that 'phone for free, £50 off my next bill, was allowed to stay on an unlimited data plan which they no longer offer, and was put on a call plan that means I will never ever go over the bundled free calls and texts based on my past usage patterns.

It's such a bizarre ritual - they know their customers are bullshitting them, and we know they know it, but as long as no one admits the fact, our monthly bills go down year-on-year, and we always have the 'phones we want.
posted by jack_mo at 2:03 AM on July 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


here's intangibles such as perhaps AT&T having better coverage than T-Mobile in his area

There is no where in the world where this would be true. AT&T uses squirrels to power their network.
posted by drezdn at 6:08 AM on July 3, 2007


The "Wing" costs $50 from TMobile, and they are comparing it to a $500 device? The Iphone may not be all that, but at least it might prompt the US carriers to start subsidizing more of the nicer, hithertofore unavailable high-end Asian and Euro phones in the North American marketplace.
posted by meehawl at 6:26 AM on July 3, 2007


You can actually unlock your iPhone and use it with T-Moble.

As far as I know T-Moble is the only U.S carrier that allows you to use totally unlocked handsets, I'm not sure though, but the iPhone should work fine on their network if you can unlock it, which you should be able to do.
posted by delmoi at 6:38 AM on July 3, 2007


George_Spiggott writes "You look at the total price of ownership of one phone+plan, the total price of ownership of another, and you decide what it's worth to you."

Yeah, but then you're using the word "it" to refer to two unequal things. Apples and oranges, as it were.

For example, if you were presented the offer "I'll sell you an orange for a dollar. Or, I'll sell you a new BMW for 50 dollars.", you wouldn't look at the total costs (1 and 50) and decide what "it's" worth to you, because the "its" are different.

On a less abstract level: lets say you're comparing a phone with a camera for $300 versus a phone without a camera for $200. The "it" here is ostensibly a phone, but really it's "$200 for a phone and $100 for a camera, or just $200 for a phone". If you need a camera anyway, and you'd carry around a separate camera with the second phone, and that camera cost $200, what you're really comparing is not "$300 for phone A versus $200 for phone B", but "$300 for phone/camera combo A, or $400 for phone/camera combo B".

And to make it even less abstract, you have features which cannot really stand alone. For example, a few years past, you'd have a choice of a black and white screen phone or a color screen phone. You couldn't really buy a black and white phone and carry around a second screen all on its lonesome.

Do, yeah, you have to look at the total price of ownership for each, but you also have to look at the feature sets, and factor that in. You can't just look at the product type name and price and make an evaluation, or you'd be one of those folks who buys a $200 mp3 player that can only carry one song instead of a $210 mp3 player that can carry 10,000 songs.
posted by Bugbread at 6:43 AM on July 3, 2007


You can actually unlock your iPhone and use it with T-Moble.

I believe this is a theory not an actuality at this point. Link?

You look at the total price of ownership of one phone+plan, the total price of ownership of another, and you decide what it's worth to you.

At the end of the day though, if you're going to be a cell phone owner (and that could be a big if I know, but for most people at this point it's not) you have to decide between cell phone A and cell phone B, not between a $400 phone and a $0 phone. I get all the salesman talk explanation, but for something where the bottom of the line option is not "do not buy any version of product X, go without product X" then you do have to make some sort of comparison. So in this case it's $2240 (or whatever) minus whatever the previous plan was costing to equal the cost of ownership for New Product X over Old Product X.

Don't get me wrong, iPhones are too expensive for me and I only have a cell phone for emergencies (and I go without things like cable tv that other people might think of as necessary) but there's manufactured desire and then there's just what people consider a baseline necessity in a given product in a category theyve already decided is non-optional in their life.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:57 AM on July 3, 2007


I know the iPhone is insanely expensive, but for me it works as a mini laptop whenever I'm away from home. I didn't just get it for the movie/music player or for some imagined a-list hipster reason, I got it so I could read email and do stuff on the mefi admin side while I'm out and about. I could read email before on my pearl and I could load a few plain text web pages, but yesterday while I was waiting for my lunch at a local restaurant I read an email from a member and updated their ask mefi question in about 30 seconds using my iPhone.

I could never do something like that before. I also learned I could add favorites, delete posts, and do other sorts of admin things I normally wait until I get back to a computer to do. For me the iPhone is really like having a computer with me at all times. The music in my car or movies when I'm sitting on a plane are just gravy, I got it so I could keep up with mefi anywhere.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 7:58 AM on July 3, 2007


Jess, it might not be unlocked yet but I think it probably will be soon enough, and anyway, is it really reasonable to pay $200 rather then wait a few months for a hack to come out?
posted by delmoi at 7:58 AM on July 3, 2007


I could never do something like that before.

Could you have done it on a Symbian phone?
posted by Kwantsar at 8:08 AM on July 3, 2007


the iPhone is really like having a computer with me at all times.

You almost make that sound like it's a good thing.
posted by Dave Faris at 8:11 AM on July 3, 2007


Resistence is futile, Dave.

*alerts Cube*
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:36 AM on July 3, 2007


All I've got to say is that Matt's got a lot more patience than I do, I would have been screaming "Just cancel my @#!*ing contract!" within 30 seconds.

Agreed! The call was hilarious and I'm glad it was resolved, but it's a case study in why you just never engage customer service folks. Just repeat "I'd like to cancel my contract, I'm not interested in discussing it." until they get down to business.
posted by mkultra at 9:04 AM on July 3, 2007


Matt sounds like Ray Romano
posted by shmegegge at 9:18 AM on July 3, 2007


Resistence is futile, Dave.

That's Locutus to you, Mister Tex.
posted by Dave Faris at 9:27 AM on July 3, 2007


Could you have done it on a Symbian phone?

I'm writing this comment on one - the browser that comes with the latest Series 60 OS is based on WebKit, just like Safari on the iPhone, so I assume anything that works on one works on the other.
Unfortunately, SE60 devices don't tend to have amazing gestural interfaces and whopping great screens, though!
posted by jack_mo at 9:40 AM on July 3, 2007


iphone wiki
posted by acro at 9:59 AM on July 3, 2007


Resistence is futile, Dave.

Full disclosure : I actually just picked up a little internet doodad off of woot the other day (for less than half of what amazon is selling it for) and it lets you do a lot of the stuff Matt talked about. Unix OS with Safari, I think. It's wifi enabled, so I'll be at the whim of open ports in the ether, but I can understand the desire to be plugged in away from home. I bought it as an alternative to lugging around a whole laptop rig on an upcoming road trip. We'll see how that works out.
posted by Dave Faris at 10:15 AM on July 3, 2007


So, while we're talking about the iPhone, is it really true that you can only delete one email at a time? Because that would drive me totally insane.
posted by myeviltwin at 10:19 AM on July 3, 2007


Hm, it's not worth quarreling about and perhaps I expressed myself badly; I was asserting merely that one should look at the TCO for anything and everything, rather than follow the "in for a penny, in for a pound" approach that salespeople have trained us to use. I would have thought that was pretty uncontroversial.

Despite all the above, I have to say that if it weren't AT&T (see here and here for a start) I'd have probably been in that line myself. It does look like an amazing machine, to the point where it could reduce the need to carry a laptop in many circumstances, something that's not generally true of any of the several PDAphones I've used.
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:33 AM on July 3, 2007


One iphone = 9,000 meals :(
posted by acro at 2:40 PM on July 3, 2007


"I got it so I could keep up with mefi anywhere."

A MefiPhone!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:27 PM on July 3, 2007


delmoi : Jess, it might not be unlocked yet but I think it probably will be soon enough, and anyway, is it really reasonable to pay $200 rather then wait a few months for a hack to come out?

T-Mobile is a GSM network, the iPhone does appear to have a SIM card slot (from what I've seen in photos of it disassembled) but I don't know that it's active. But the greater concern is that I'm not sure T-Mobile currently has the wireless data plan you would need to support an iPhone. At the very least, I'm pretty sure they don't have a high speed data plan.

Though I could be completely wrong.

And I would be happy to be proved such. I'm with T-Mobile now and would love the idea of getting an iPhone and keeping them. I just can't do AT&T
posted by quin at 3:36 PM on July 3, 2007


tmobile has edge and gprs just like cingular has, and they also do $20 unlimited data plans so hypothetically it could work but for the moment swapping SIM cards results in a non-working phone until you put the AT&T card back in.

Also, I knew the visual voicemail would never work unlocked and I needed a new number anyway, so I just upped and switched carriers on day one.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 3:41 PM on July 3, 2007


He sounds so gruff! *swoon*

But the support rep sounds like Microsoft Sam!
posted by oxford blue at 7:54 PM on July 3, 2007


Hating fireworks is un-American!
posted by oxford blue at 7:55 PM on July 3, 2007


iPhone is really like having a computer with me at all times

No Flash. No Java. I'm still unclear on how exactly you manage to load and store many programs on this? Your only option is to tediously bookmark online apps? No Google Gears? Is it true that the on-device storage is blocked from easy user access? It seems more and more like a Helio (ie, a constrained purpose device instead of a computer) but with less social features activated and with a rather single-minded focus on video playback as a primary function. Is this Gearlog entry true, that the virtual kb fails to trigger with lots of Web 2-ish apps? No expansion slot?

It does have a nice screen (except for the distressing and presumably cost-cutting lack of haptic feedback like, say this Samsung). However, I was reading about the Toshiba G900, which manages to pack in 800x480 into a 3" screen for what I figure is the highest pixel density short of e-ink devices. It retails unlocked for $700, and has biometrics, 3G, expansion slots, dual vids, etc. To me, that's a "computer".
posted by meehawl at 9:51 AM on July 4, 2007


question:

I'm an att customer, so in my personal case it's kind of moot, but is it actually easy to physically remove the sim card from an iphone and put another one back in without breaking the damn thing? It looks rather harder than just sliding off the battery cover on other phones.
posted by shmegegge at 10:41 AM on July 4, 2007


Taking out the SIM involves a paper clip, according to the user guide [PDF].
posted by Llama-Lime at 12:10 PM on July 4, 2007


Mat, does the mefi interface (and the admin interface) work properly in mobile safari? Did you have to tweak it at all?
posted by Skorgu at 12:56 PM on July 4, 2007


iPhone + EFF + ATT + NSA
posted by homunculus at 4:35 PM on July 4, 2007


Homunculus, that image kind of annoys me in a "Show you protest AT&T's rolling over for the NSA, by paying them $50+ a month."
posted by drezdn at 9:25 AM on July 5, 2007


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