GREENSBORO, NC -- Sometimes a busy signal can be a pain. But what's worse is when the busy signal is the only response you get from a business - when you need them to fix a problem. For a Triad mom and daughter, the problem was with their cell phone. So it's a good thing our Call for Action volunteers can be just about as persistent as a busy signal. Check out how this situation was solved.
Angie Cain loves her flip phone.
"It's neat. I don't have to worry about hitting the buttons," she said.
It's her communication link to the outside world for Angie Cain.
"I keep the minutes on there so I can keep it for emergencies. Say for instance if my daddy has a heart attack or if I'm in Walmart and I can't find Mama I'll call her on my cell,"she said.
In April Angie got her phone from Safelink Wireless. That's a government supported program that gives Medicaid patients and food stamp users free cell phones. But Safelink didn't give her the 125 monthly minutes she needed to be able to make calls.
So in June her mom Judie called Safelink and they corrected the account or so she thought. Until she checked Angie's phone in September. No minutes had been added since June... she was out 375 minutes. So she called Safelink again.
"I stayed on the phone for hours," Judie said.
Judie says she called every number she could find online and from the Safelink commercial. She even filled out the web form and wrote a letter.
All Safelink said they could do was add the September minutes, not the other 250 minutes Angie was owed.
Judie said, "They don't have a written script for that problem."
When Judie e-mailed Call for Action, we got on the phone with Safelink. After three long phone conversations, Angie had all 375 minutes.
Judy said, "I just appreciate ya'll working with us."
Why were we successful and not Judie? To be honest, we're not sure. The call center wasn't here in the US, so we don't think they were scared into action by the "WFMY". Our Call for Action volunteers did stay calm and followed a process.
Now we know that can be challenging when it's your problem because we all get frustrated. The key take aways here: after explaining the issue, have the person you're talking to explain how the problem occurred and how they were correcting it. That way everyone has all the details and you can trouble shoot. We also demanded to talk the person's manager whenever we hit a roadblock.