(This story first appeared two years ago on our old blog, The Free Financial Advisor, but during a recent discussion with some friends, they’d completely missed it….so we’re bringing back the “Joe’s dumbass stories”. I know you’ve missed them…..)
Backstory: I’d just gone fishing with my dad and some of his friends in northern Ontario. I wasn’t sure if my phone would work in the Canadian wilderness, so I asked my dad.
Dad: Sure, it’ll work fine.
Me: You sure? I MUST be able to stay in touch with the office if something goes haywire in the markets or with my clients.
Dad: You’ll be fine.
The short story: I wouldn’t have a tale for you today if my phone had worked in northern Canada for even a moment. The fishing lodge owner ran into town about twenty miles away and bought me a phone card. He was nice enough to let me stand in his living room and use his personal phone for about 15 minutes each day.
It was ugly.
A couple months later I was headed to Toronto for a business meeting.
I’d learned my lesson.
Being the think-ahead-guy I am (you may recognize that as another joke if you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time), I decided to call Sprint to verify that I could keep in touch with clients and my office. This is where our story actually begins…..
Sprint: Thank you for calling Sprint. This is Betty. How may I help you?
Me: I’m headed to Toronto in the morning and I wanted to verify that I’ll have phone service.
Betty from Sprint: I’m happy to help you with that, sir. First, I need to verify some personal information.
It’s clear to me at this point that she didn’t even hear my question. We verify that I really am Joe Saul-Sehy, quite a sexy dude.
Betty from Sprint: Okay, now how can I help you sir?
Me: I have a work trip to Toronto, and I’d like to make sure my cell phone will work while I’m in Canada.
Betty from Sprint: Certainly. I can look that up for you. Where was that again?
Me: Toronto, Canada.
Betty from Sprint: Hold on a moment, sir. I’ll find out for you. Can you hold please?
She’s gone for flippin’ ever. I don’t mean “walk around the house” ever. I mean “fix lunch and dinner and mow the lawn before she gets back” ever.
Betty from Sprint: I’m sorry for the delay, sir.
Me: (I was starting to think she’d hung up on me) That’s quite alright.
Betty from Sprint: Where was it you’re heading?
Me: (amazed) Toronto. Ontario. Canada.
Betty from Sprint: Certainly, sir. Can you hold again? I apologize.
I remember her being very nice about it. Now I’m starting to think something is wrong.
It turns out, something was wrong. Very, very wrong.
Betty from Sprint: Sir?
Here’s where the Sprint woman gave me the awful news for Americans everywhere. You may want to sit down before you read the next line.
Betty from Sprint: It appears that Toronto, Canada isn’t a part of the United States.
I couldn’t help it. There was only one possible reply.
Me: (indignant) SINCE WHEN?
I hung up on her. What else was there to say?
(Not that it matters, but my phone worked. There were huge roaming fees…maybe so they could hire a couple geography experts.)
How about that? Canadians, are you sad you aren’t a part of the United States? Americans, are you sad the awesome city of Toronto isn’t part of the United States? What’s your best customer service story?