My head began to swim, a dizzy feeling encasing my brain as the conversation continued. The phone’s call timer reads 47 minutes and I let out an exasperated sigh. Why does this have to be so difficult? I think to myself.
“So, let me get this right, The package price is $89.99 plus $5.95 plus $11.25?” I wait for a response and none comes, “Hello? Hello? Are you there?”
“Yes sir, I am here.” I roll my eyes at Dana on the couch and she laughs. “Yes that is correct, sir.” Is the the part I hear clearly followed by words that I miss. Her voice is in English but laced with a very heavy accent. It is hard to understand and is adding to the frustration. The chatter of voices in the background doesn’t help either.
I do some quick math in my head and respond, “So the package is really $108?”
“Let me get my calculator,” I can here the clicking of the keys as she adds the numbers, “The package is $89 but the total is $107.19 plus tax.” Still more words I miss. And I don’t understand the difference, a total is a total.
“I assume there is an installation charge?”
“Yes sir, $29.99.” I put my hand to my forehead and breathe slowly through my nose. The cool air helps push back the fog surrounding my brain. “Would you like to proceed with the order?”
I think about my options, what other choices do I have? I can ask again to go through the promotions but it doesn’t help. The language barrier is too great to really understand my choices and what other choice do I have, there is only one company in town. They already processed a wrong order last time I called for information. Exasperated and tired, worn down by the holds and switches between different agents, all with varying levels of English proficiency I relent, “Sure.”
“Great, there is also a $50 deposit needed for the account activation.”
“Of course, there is,” I say through clenched teeth.
“I am ready for a credit card number whenever you are?”
I reluctantly pull out my wallet, but I don’t feel confident with my decision. I know that there may be a better option or that it could be explained to me better but ... The timer reads 67 minutes on my phone and I can barely understand the representative on the other line. When she tried to explain to me the different options I grab only pieces of words and parts of descriptions. I ask for clarification and it doesn’t help. I look around for help but what am I going to do, ask for someone who speaks better English, she is doing the best that she can. They have me invested, frustrated, confused and right where they want me.
I look at my card and begin, “557…”