It all began with those cricket alerts. The cellphone went Ping! Ping! to tell me a message had come in. ‘Sachin Tendulkar on 25!’ it announced proudly. Oh yeah! Okay! I went and told my husband, the sports buff. It wasn’t really news as far as he was concerned – he had one eye on the TV.
A little while later, there was the Ping! Ping! again. This time it went something like ‘Sachin blasts half century’. Now I’m not a fan and my temperature was rising. So what? I thought rudely.
It went on that night – every ball, every googly, every bye, every wide, every blasted frame of every shot on MY cellphone! Why not a cricket freak? Why me? That was enough for me to go look for my service provider’s website to send off an email. I was being considerate – I did not disturb them in the middle of the night and felt quite proud of myself. The email address was hidden on Page 6 or 7. I was polite, I was firm, I told them I had a DND (Do Not Disturb) on my phone. I explained to them patiently what that meant. No unsolicited calls, no banks asking if I wanted loans, no offers for the downloading of tunes, no alerts of any kind unless I asked for it – no, not even cricket alerts, never mind that the rest of my countrymen were besotted with the game.
I thought that would be the end of it. The next morning, I realized that a certain amount had been billed to my account for those updates. My husband, who usually wakes me up with a joke, thought it prudent to desist and left for work early. This time, I called. I was all set to give whoever came on a mouthful. No one did. There it was, the usual Press 1 for English…..Press X for billing….Press Y for…..arrrrrrrrrgggggggghhhhh!
I switched on my computer and found I had an email from them. There it was, all so polite and all. Dear Madam…….blah, blah…..we will ensure the service is stopped immediately. ‘But you billed me!’ I wrote back. They answered the next day with an apology, saying the money was being returned to my account. I heaved a sigh of relief, wondered how I could have been such a grouch and all was right with my world!
In the afternoon, there it was again – another Ping! Ping! This time, I saw red. Bikini alerts!!!! Now tell me, why on earth would a middle aged woman want bikini alerts? That’s what I said when I mailed them. I saw double red when the amount that was billed was double the amount that they had billed for the cricket alerts! The bikini alerts kept coming – on the hour every hour. I did not click to download – I deleted every one of them but I still got billed. Grrrrrrrrrr……..!!!!
Before I got any reply to the email I sent them, there was more – job alerts. Was my number some kind of a test number? To see how many people could be hoodwinked into paying for alerts they hadn’t asked for? No thank you, I don’t want a job. All I want is to be left in peace – isn’t that what the DND was supposed to do anyway?
I went around the house like a bear with a sore head and every time the blasted cellphone went Ping! Ping! I swore. Then I threatened to write to the newspaper. I actually wrote them a very civil email – well, almost civil! – and told them if ALL the alerts weren’t stopped immediately, I would write a very sarcastic letter to the Editor of the local paper.
That did it. Ah, the peace!
Inspired by Cris A's challenge!
More by this Author
Maxine, the crabbity old middle-aged woman is everyone's favourite. Here are a few more Maxine jokes.
A short story in verse form
For too long, SEO has had mixed reactions - one side for and another side against. Here's a middle of the road suggestion.