Last night I tried to get a lot of things done. One of the things I was going to do was turn my iPhone 5 into my daughter’s iPhone 5 since I wasn’t going to be using it any more. A nice rep at the AT&T store had sent me home with a MicroSIM for the iPhone so I could “do it online.” I looked around and didn’t find anywhere on the web site to do that, so I did what any person would do: I clicked the link to chat to a technical representative. I admit that the conversation started off weird, because it was late and I was tired, but when I got no response something else kind of took over. Here’s a screen grab of that first conversation:
My favorite part of the entire (non) exchange was the fact that the representative just ended the chat session without saying a single thing. I thought it was a perfect ending to a silly little story, but I still had to deal with the iPhone. So I set aside better judgement and I got another representative on the phone. Even though I had a legitimate purpose to the chat with an actual objective to be obtained, the id still took over. Here, dear reader, is the transcript of that chat:
Welcome! You are now chatting with ‘Ailen Jxxx Yxxxx’
William Wilkins: Hi ‘Ailen Jxxx Yxxxx’! Do you know ‘Joan Mitchell’? That was my last chat rep but they didn’t say anything.
Ailen Jxxx Yxxxx: Hello there William! This is Ailen and I see that you are chatting with a representative earlier
Ailen Jxxx Yxxxx: I see that you need to change your SIM card for the line. I am more than willing to help you. Let’s work on that as a team.
William Wilkins: I chatted with a few.
William Wilkins: Unfortunatly I kept moving to other windows.
William Wilkins: I’m not this time though.
Ailen Jxxx Yxxxx: I understand that William
William Wilkins: Remember, safety first, and then team work.
Ailen Jxxx Yxxxx: Yes you got it right William
William Wilkins: I have the brand new iPhone5 MicroSIM in front of me, still in the business card size holder.
William Wilkins: It has SKU, UPC and ICCID on it.
Ailen Jxxx Yxxxx: Can you provide the SIM card number?
William Wilkins: Ailen Jxxx Yxxxx, I think we both know that I can. I believe what you mean to ask is if I would give you the SIM card number.
William Wilkins: Is that the ICCID number or one of the others?
Ailen Jxxx Yxxxx: Yes that is the ICCID at the back of the SIM card
William Wilkins: Thank you for the guidance Ailen Jxxx Yxxxx. May I call you Ailen for short because that’s a lot of name to type.
William Wilkins: 89xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx9
Ailen Jxxx Yxxxx: Yes you may William
Ailen Jxxx Yxxxx: Thank you for the information
William Wilkins: Well played, Ailen.
Ailen Jxxx Yxxxx: Thanks, let me check this further
William Wilkins: 89xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx9
Ailen Jxxx Yxxxx: I may also need to send you a PIN validation
William Wilkins: Sorry, retyped to make sure I had entered it correctly.
William Wilkins: At this time the SIM card is not yet in the phone.
Ailen Jxxx Yxxxx: No problem William
William Wilkins: I have held off until I knew what to do.
William Wilkins: Ailen, we’ve been through a lot together already. Feel free to call me Will.
Ailen Jxxx Yxxxx: Yay thanks Will
Ailen Jxxx Yxxxx: Do you have the line xxxx or line yyyy with you?
William Wilkins: xxxx is with me right now.
William Wilkins: yyyy is with my wife and she won’t know what is going on .
Ailen Jxxx Yxxxx: Great!
Ailen Jxxx Yxxxx: I will send the PIN validation on the line xxxx
Ailen Jxxx Yxxxx: Please provide it once you got it
William Wilkins: #####
Ailen Jxxx Yxxxx: Awesome Will
William Wilkins: That’s what all my friends call me.
Ailen Jxxx Yxxxx: That is a nice name Will I have successfully validated the PIN
William Wilkins: I wasn’t aware my PIN required validation.
Ailen Jxxx Yxxxx: So I will update the SIM card number for the line 4590 right?
Ailen Jxxx Yxxxx: That is for additional security Will
William Wilkins: Yes, that’s what I’m trying to do.
William Wilkins: Well, sorry, it’s what you are attempting to do. I can do very little right now except try to figure out what way this card goes in the tray.
Ailen Jxxx Yxxxx: No problem, I am going to do this for you
Ailen Jxxx Yxxxx: Were you able to insert the SIM card to your phone?
William Wilkins: Thank goodness. My medication says I shouldn’t operate heavy machinery and I know that this phone isn’t very heavy but that’s one half of the thing I’m not supposed to operate so I was getting concerned.
(Editor’s Note: For the record, I wasn’t really taking medication… as I said before, the id had taken over.)
William Wilkins: Oh, I can put it in now?
Ailen Jxxx Yxxxx: No problem let me check that
William Wilkins: Does the hole go towards the bottom or the top? I don’t want to put it in wrong and make a mess of this.
William Wilkins: The phone is also not powered on so it doesn’t know what we are doing yet.
Ailen Jxxx Yxxxx: I see that you have LG Optimus G Pro right?
Ailen Jxxx Yxxxx: The SIM type for this phone is a Micro SIM
William Wilkins: That’s the phone that we moved my xxxx number to. Now we are putting the #### number into the iPhone 5 that the xxxx number was on. We’re swapping them, like baseball or pokemon cards.
Ailen Jxxx Yxxxx: I see lol
William Wilkins: I believe I have the microsim in the iPhone 5 tray correctly. It took a bit of figuring out but I’m pretty sure it’s right. Now the location of the hole has me concerned. I don’t remember if that ejection hole was on the bottom or the top.
William Wilkins: I don’t want to put it in wrong in case that will make me lose the sim.
William Wilkins: We’ve come too far, Ailen. Let’s not let me mess this up now.
Ailen Jxxx Yxxxx: No problem Will
William Wilkins: I’m sorry I included you in that statement. You can’t mess this up. I’m the one that has to figure out which way it goes in.
William Wilkins: Wish me luck.
William Wilkins: I’d ask Siri which way it goes in, but the phone is off so that won’t do any good.
Ailen Jxxx Yxxxx: To insert the SIM card to the LG phone, just turn your phone off then remove the battery
William Wilkins: No, the LG phone is the one that has xxxx on it. We’re putting this SIM into an iPhone 5. I’m sorry I didn’t make that clear enough earlier. I tend to get lost in the details of things and over-confuse the issues.
Ailen Jxxx Yxxxx: Alright
William Wilkins: It’s OK Ailen, I have the tray in correctly. I accidentally powered on the phone when i did that though so we’re committed.
Ailen Jxxx Yxxxx: With the iPhone 5 the SIM tray is at the right side of the phone
Ailen Jxxx Yxxxx: So were you able to insert the SIM to the iPhone 5?
William Wilkins: Yes, it’s in. Now there’s all of that useless Apple set up babble that I have to deal with.
Ailen Jxxx Yxxxx: You are funny Will
William Wilkins: Right now it says
William Wilkins: “No service” for the mobile service but it is on WIFI
Ailen Jxxx Yxxxx: Just to clarify, the SIM card number 89xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx9 is for the iPhone 5 that is for the line #### right?
Ailen Jxxx Yxxxx: Can you provide the IMEI of the iPhone 5?
William Wilkins: Give me just a moment. I’m trying to read black text on the back of a black phone to see if it is there. The setup screens are blocking me from getting into the phone.
Ailen Jxxx Yxxxx: Surething Will
Ailen Jxxx Yxxxx: I may need to update the IMEI and SIM number listed for the line
William Wilkins: ok.
Ailen Jxxx Yxxxx: Do you see the IMEI number of the iPhone 5
William Wilkins: I’m almost to the point that I can see it.
Ailen Jxxx Yxxxx: You can try to get the IMEI by dialing *#06# on the phone
Ailen Jxxx Yxxxx: You can do it Will
William Wilkins: That would be great if the fine folks at Apple would be willing to let you do things in a logical order like worrying about accounts and restores until after you verify the phone is working.
Ailen Jxxx Yxxxx: I understand that Will
Ailen Jxxx Yxxxx: You can also check the IMEI of the iPhone 5 from the Home screen, tap Settings > General > About.
Ailen Jxxx Yxxxx: You may scroll down to view the Serial number, IMEI, and ICCID information.
William Wilkins: ###############
Ailen Jxxx Yxxxx: Nice Will
William Wilkins: All of these numbers and details are starting to swim around in my head. This is far too late for me to try to attempt such things on this level of medication.
(Editor’s Note: Again, I wasn’t really on medication. Let’s move on…)
Ailen Jxxx Yxxxx: Its ok Will, we can get this done
William Wilkins: I have faith in you Ailen.
William Wilkins: Not absolute faith, there’s only one higher power that gets that.
Ailen Jxxx Yxxxx: Just to be clear, the SIM number 89xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx9 is for the iPhone 5 with the IMEI ############## for the line ####?
William Wilkins: Ailen, I thought we had an understanding about confusion and numbers and then that happened. Wow.
William Wilkins: Um, I can’t get the SIM card back out but if that is the number I gave you earlier and I know that’s the IMEI I just gave you… so I think the answer is yes.
William Wilkins: I apologize that I can’t give you a more concrete answer but at this time I think a drunken monkey might have a better understanding of what we’re trying to do here now.
Ailen Jxxx Yxxxx: Yes I do understand that Will, I just want to be sure
Ailen Jxxx Yxxxx: I will update this now for you
William Wilkins: I’m glad there is at least one responsible drive at the wheel.
William Wilkins: driver.
Ailen Jxxx Yxxxx: Surething Will, please stay in this chat with me
William Wilkins: I’m not going anywhere.
William Wilkins: I only looked away for a moment, I swear.
Ailen Jxxx Yxxxx: Yikes, thanks
Ailen Jxxx Yxxxx: Since I will change the phone from LG to iPhone then I will need to change the feature that will be compatible with the device
William Wilkins: Well that makes perfect sense. I can hardly get this thing to work with it thinking it’s an iPhone when it is an iPhone. Trying to tell it that it’s an LG Optimus G Pro would probably send it into a tailspin it couldn’t recover from.
Ailen Jxxx Yxxxx: Yeah that’s right Will
William Wilkins: Do I also need to power down the iPhone again?
Ailen Jxxx Yxxxx: Yes please
William Wilkins: OK. I will do that. Thankfully that is far less complex than the entire tray direction issue.
Ailen Jxxx Yxxxx: Thank you
William Wilkins: It is doing that now. I stated a restore thinking I might have a little more time. Now it’s restarting on it’s own.
Ailen Jxxx Yxxxx: You may need to power off the phones first Will
William Wilkins: Would you like to place test call or something to the phone? It’s powered up now and I see network dots.
William Wilkins: I say dots because they used to be bards and now they are empty or filled circles. Looks like someone playing backgammon or connect 4 on the phone now.
Ailen Jxxx Yxxxx: I am still working on your account Will
William Wilkins: Oh wow, my account must be something if it still needs work.
William Wilkins: If it is not behaving put it in the corner.
Ailen Jxxx Yxxxx: Please bear with me Will
William Wilkins: I just read that as beer with me and I was thinking that I shouldn’t drink with this type of medication.
William Wilkins: That seems like something someone would say though before you had a nice talk with them.
William Wilkins: Please beer with me Will, let’s talk.
Ailen Jxxx Yxxxx: You are certainly drunk Will lol
William Wilkins: Do you know the worst part of being drunk?
William Wilkins: Passing over the back of the tongue I’d imagine.
William Wilkins: I’m sorry, that may have been one of those “you made me think a little too much” observations.
William Wilkins: I’m not trying to imply you didn’t understand, Ailen. I wouldn’t do that. Clearly in this battle of wits I came unarmed.
William Wilkins: I also wasn’t trying to imply that this is in any way an aggressive chat session where we were battling.
Ailen Jxxx Yxxxx: I see
Ailen Jxxx Yxxxx: I understand that Will, don’t worry I am just here to help you
William Wilkins: I’m a bit of a codependent personality. Not sure you want to assure me you are here to help me. It’s like putting a bowl of food out for the neighborhood cat. I’ll come to expect it, keep coming around, and you will never get rid of me.
Ailen Jxxx Yxxxx: Yes you got it right Will
William Wilkins: Which part is the ‘it’ you are referring to? I’ve been going on a bit here.
Ailen Jxxx Yxxxx: Just stay with me Will and allow me to work on this for you
William Wilkins: Not to worry, Ailen. I’m right here. You are my sherpa through these confusing mountains of SIM card engineering.
Ailen Jxxx Yxxxx: Yes I am Will
William Wilkins: OK Ailen, where do we stand? The phone seems to be working.
William Wilkins: I just called from one phone to another phone.
William Wilkins: I’m sure the whole ‘test call’ thing had you worried.
Ailen Jxxx Yxxxx: Ok
Ailen Jxxx Yxxxx: Please stay a bit longer
William Wilkins: I feel like this is one of those scenes in a movie where you are trying to get me to stay in one place while the authorities find my location.
Ailen Jxxx Yxxxx: I am almost done
William Wilkins: … or they are almost at my door.
Ailen Jxxx Yxxxx: I am sorry if I sound that way
Ailen Jxxx Yxxxx: I am glad to let you know that I have successfully changed the SIM card number, IMEI for the phone and the feature for the line ####.
Ailen Jxxx Yxxxx: You may now power cycle your iPhone 5 by turning it off then back on
William Wilkins: Power cycle it one more time?
Ailen Jxxx Yxxxx: Yes please just to reset the network
William Wilkins: Restarting the iPhone resets the entire network? I can’t believe AT&T would leave the responsibility for such a thing in my incompetent hands.
William Wilkins: It has been restarted Ailen.
William Wilkins: I hope the network recovered as well.
Ailen Jxxx Yxxxx: When you power cycle the phone, it will find the network and get the latest update in your account
Ailen Jxxx Yxxxx: Do you see the AT&T on the phone?
William Wilkins: Ahhhh… so we were resetting just the phone and syncing the information? That’s a relief.
William Wilkins: Yes, it’s next to the backgammon pieces.
William Wilkins: or the morse code blips.
William Wilkins: othello game pieces?
William Wilkins: I just don’t know any more.
Ailen Jxxx Yxxxx: Let me send you a picture message
William Wilkins: I knew the thought of the phone call frightened you.
William Wilkins: Before your picture is sent please remember I am a married man.
Ailen Jxxx Yxxxx: Yes Will, I just send an air balloon picture message
Ailen Jxxx Yxxxx: Let me know once you received it
William Wilkins: I did. It is very colorful and I like that it is a completely innocent picture that also boasts on itself that it is a test message.
Ailen Jxxx Yxxxx: Nice to know that Will
William Wilkins: Ailen, I know we’ve been through a lot tonight and lots of information has been shared, but I think we actually are done here.
Ailen Jxxx Yxxxx: Great! Is there anything else that I can assist you regarding your account, plan or bills?
William Wilkins: I can’t believe we came out of this without any problems.
William Wilkins: No, I think you’ve suffered enough Ailen. We can sign off now.
Ailen Jxxx Yxxxx: Perfect! Thank you for chatting with me today, Will. This is Ailen again and I hope that I have resolved your issue and have a happy new year!
William Wilkins: Please check on ‘Joan Mitchell’ though. She never said anything and I fear for her health and safety.
William Wilkins: Happy new year.
Ailen Jxxx Yxxxx: Haha surething Will. Thank you for your patience
Ailen Jxxx Yxxxx: Bye for now
William Wilkins: and thank you for yours.
Ailen Jxxx Yxxxx: No problem, you may have a good night sleep Will
William Wilkins: You as well.
* * *
There it is, for all it’s worth. Just remember the next time you are dealing with a customer service representative they may have had to just deal with someone like me before they got to you. Take pity on them.