Thursday, March 1, 2012

The Story Of How I Made Turkcell My Bitch

I can't stop talking about how I made Turkcell my bitch the other day. Anyone who knows me in real life is probably like, "Stranger, yaa, stop talking about making Turkcell your bitch already."

But I can't get over it. I'm like a new Stranger over here. Every time I think about it, I just about explode. And then start thinking about all the other things I can make my bitch.

We all have our own ways of fucking the world.
Fuck you, world. I hope you're ready to be my bitch.

It starts off with a boring tale of telephone contracts and bureaucratic bullshit. I tried to renew my Turkcell contract when the time came, only to be told I couldn't until the billing period was over. To add an extra challenge to a mundane life detail, I have to involve BE in anything Turkcell-contract-related because it's in his name. We tried to change the account to my name, only to be told we would have to pay to do so, and that I would be started off from zero as a customer and no longer entitled to getting swindled in style by Turkcell.

Holding out for this one.
So BE and I decided to keep it this way. The following week, Turkcell pretty much gave FIL an iPad because he's been a customer for like 20 years, so even if I don't actually end up with the futuristic foldable iPad 5000 we eventually may be entitled to, it seemed silly to start from zero and pay Turkcell for the privilege.

When we tried to renew the contract, one thing among many important things Turkcell failed to mention was that, after the billing date had passed, I had a window of about 5 minutes to set up a new contract before they automatically put me on a new magic shit contract wherein Internet costs around a lira per KB. Okay, the window was more than 5 minutes, and also I failed to remind BE the requisite 50,000 times to get his ass out of bed and out from in front of his dad's new iPad to walk 5 minutes to the Turkcell shop to arrange a new contract when the billing period ended.

A year's worth of unemployment and living with his mama can apparently keep a fellow not only busy, but preoccupied. And I forgot to remind BE to go deal with Turkcell because I was working and then going out and having loads of fun with other people. Having a life also tends to keep one busy and preoccupied.

So on Saturday night while I was out having loads of fun, we suddenly HAD to know who the candidates were in the 2000, or maybe 2004 presidential elections. That's how I roll, when I'm out having fun. Suck it up.

I didn't have to look up Alan Hale, either.
It's a problem with the iPhone, how it changes thought processes and conversations. Rather than having to remember some important fact, like Gilligan's real name, or spending all night arguing about it, like whether it was Jennifer Jason Lee or Ally Sheedy in Single White Female, you just look it up and carry on.

Bob Denver. Jennifer Jason Lee. I don't even have to look that shit up. I just didn't want you to get distracted with your phone in the middle of a post.

But just as we were about to answer a very important question about recent-we-were-alive-for-it-and-voting American history, a stream of messages appeared from Turkcell telling me I'd exceeded my 25 KB Internet limit and how much it would cost. In the time it took to not quite download a Wikipedia page, I'd been charged 12 TRY.
Conversations without iPhone get hung. No one quite knows where to go without the precious, precious information. Even my internal conversations weren't working so well, plus I was having a hard time not being able to check the weather report all the time.

By Sunday, my charges were around 30 TRY, just for having the fucker turned on, because I hadn't thought to turn off all the stuff that uses Internet when you're asleep. By all accounts, Turkcell was totally fucking me dry.

So BE and I marched into Turkcell on Sunday to sort shit out. I was all, "Let's be like your dad and threaten to fake-angrily stomp off to Avea across the street if they don't do what I want." FIL is a master of pazarlama and I totally want to be him someday. Except Turkcell doesn't have the right type of employee working on Sunday so there was nothing we could do. "Just don't use Internet," BE advised helpfully.

Must be nice.
The next day BE finally managed to get himself out of bed around noon and by 3, he'd made it to Turkcell. New contract, no problem, he assured me.

But then I got a message from Turkcell saying my new contract would start on March 10, when the billing cycle started.

So naturally, I completely flipped out. And then I got all grouchy. And then I bawled out the cats a lot for being annoying and I was totally in one of those scary Joan Crawford "LE, don't talk to me right now" moods as we got home and I sorted out laundry and dinner and catshit and a bath for the boy and finding the two-year-old Turkcell contract and then reading it, sort of. I called BE to find out if I'd understood Turkcell's message correctly. I had. Then I asked if he'd managed to get rid of those bullshit charges. He hadn't. Then I wondered why he hadn't mentioned any of this to me, about how I would continue to be charged per KB of Internet for another two weeks. He suggested not using the Internet. He's full of ideas, that one. I wondered what the point was in having a fucking iPhone without Internet. Then he got crabby and bitched at me for getting upset and went into a "N'yapıyım? Yapacak birşey yok" shrugfest (okay, it was over the phone but it surely involved a lot of shrugging), so, totally enraged, I was all, "Fine. I'll fucking sort it out myself," and he was like, "Pshaw, good luck with that," and he hung up on me as per the usual endings of our phone conversations.

And then, in a nice voice, I reminded LE that I love him and that Turkcell sucked and that he probably still shouldn't talk to me during dinner while I was still sort of reading the contract. LE only talked to me to point out the most important things in "Puss In Boots," which we've watched about 30 times in the last 2 weeks. That movie is either growing on me or wearing on me. I can't tell with these things anymore.

Hee! It's funny because it's stupid.
After getting LE to sleep, I called Turkcell. They didn't offer an English speaker, which can be very good or very bad, depending on the English speaker. I ended up with a fellow who was ever so nice but talked a mile a minute and my Turkish tends to break more than usual in these kinds of situations, especially over the phone. This happens even after I've mentally rehearsed some choice bits of Turkish I might need to use. But I said a lot of stuff about how it was unfair that no one told me I was going to be charged for any of this and that it wasn't in the contract (I hoped) and the guy said a lot of stuff that meant I was getting nowhere and I said some more stuff then he said some stuff and then we were both saying stuff at the same time when he started saying something that sounded like it was about getting my money back.


He offered to call BE, the contract holder, to confirm it all with him. I explained that I was foreign and don't give good phone (in case he hadn't noticed, which I'm sure he had but at least was nice about it), so this was probably a good idea. So I waited 10 minutes and called BE and he was all, "How the fuck did you do that?" and I was all, "I don't know, but it sounded good, right?" Hah! Whatever it was I did got the extra charges erased, a cheap short-term solution to the Internet problem until the new contract starts, and a possible refund on the cheap Internet solution. "Bravo," said BE.

It's all my fault.
And in my mind I was all, "Fuck you and your skewed locus of control. Just get a fucking job already." In reality, I was nice and only gloated a little bit. I told him to be sure and tell his dad how I made Turkcell my bitch. He managed a sort of goodbye before he hung up.

So that's how I made Turkcell my bitch. I'm suspecting it was the claim that I'd read my contract that did it, because my infallible logic about how it was wrong of them to charge me has never worked on anyone before, either here or in the US. My mom is like this too-- she won't give up with the call centers when someone tries to screw her. So she taught me well. I'm just glad I didn't have to ask for a manager, as per my motherly training. Managers usually speak faster than regular phone guys, if that's even possible.

And I'm completely unable to get over myself and this bit of greatness I've accomplished. Until something comes along and kicks me in the ass, I'm on top of the world.

And by on top I mean On Top. As in, the world is now my bitch and we're doing it doggy style.


Sean Whitacre said...

For your next conquest try yelling "BEG FOR IT BITCH!!!" then slap that
fuck face on the ass until the little bitch screams "GIVE IT TO ME HARDER!"
After that...oh I've said too much.

Stranger said...

It's okay, Sean. We've all been down that road with Turkcell, one way or another...

Ayak said...

Oh well done you. I am so impressed that you got it sorted youself rather than BE. Somehow men are so smug when they do the sorting...I know because on rare occasions I actually manage to sort a problem in Turkish on the phone and Mr A looks astonished and just a litte bit put out that I didn't rely on him.

Nomad said...

It happens so rarely nowadays. When I was in the US last time, it struck me how lousy service had become there! All the banks said, "sorry, that's not possible." or "We will have to charge you extra." And DHL- those sneaky bastards- would say they rang the doorbell or knocked but they hadn't even bothered to come to the house. I know because I stay inside for two days waiting. They simply lied in order to force me to pick up my documents from the DHL office.
And forget dealing with anybody on the phone. It's always, For English press [mumble] For [mumble] press 4 For [mumble mumble]press 9. Arg.. it isn't just Turkey.

Anonymous said...

Hi Stranger, a short story that may help explain how you made TC your bitch.

Long time ago,stayed at a fancy international hotel in Istanbul. Ordered room service, and like a good ex pat, spoke Turkish to place my order. One hour later, still no food.

Called room service and this time spoke only English to order. Food showed up not even 20 minutes later, hot and delish.

So now I'm on to them. They're nice and try to impress non-Turks, and mean to their own. The rest of the trip is smooth sailing for this "Yankee tourist".

This is your secret weapon. Don't tell MIL, FIL or BE. Let them marvel in your ability to wrap difficult people around your fingers and gloat just a little.