I have always done my AT&T phone purchases in a store but when it came time to finally upgrade my Samsung Galaxy S4, I decided to join the modern world and do it online. My experience not only caused me to reevaluate the novelty of getting an antique rotary phone installed but it urged me to build a time machine and go on a quest to take down Alexander Graham Bell.

Look at this smug bastard and the hellscape he unleashed with what has become the modern telecommunications industry.
Look at this smug bastard and the hellscape he unleashed with what has become the modern telecommunications industry.

Deciding to go with the Galaxy S7 Active, I was excited for my choice. Touted as the most indestructible Galaxy yet (a big feat considering my last phone miraculously survived a 30 foot drop at the Grand Canyon), I was quite thrilled to try out my new toy, err, communication tool. After making my selection on the AT&T website (I went with camouflage green, a decision that I have reconciled with myself as a posing challenge whenever I drop my phone in the woods), I finished the online process which ended with a final screen noting that it’ll take 24 hours for approval. I was in no hurry so it wasn’t a big deal – yet.

The next day, I was elated. Approved, it said. Shipping within 24 hours. Perfect, I thought, until I read the rest. Over the years I’ve come to expect errors with my name. After all, Demos Euclid is not the most normal name in the States (or many, if not most, parts of the world) but I’ve never quite seen a mistake like this one – it was being sent to James James! Heck, the word “mistake” is an understatement. This was a shipping identity crisis.

I frantically called AT&T noting that they had also screwed up my address. After being transferred around for an hour, they finally came to the most fantastic explanation. In hindsight, “accusation” is the term more appropriate for the situation. User error, they claimed. “You’ve got to be kidding me,” I said. “User error? What, I suddenly forgot my name and decided that it was probably ‘James?’ Damn, they also need a last name. Hmm, what could I put down? I know! ‘James’ sounds good! My name’s James James! No one will ever think I made this up! Please, send my $800 purchase to that guy! Me!”

All those years of loving James Bond movies must’ve been coming back to haunt me. Still, I’d love to hear Sean Connery say, “The name-sh James. James James.”

Needless to say, they were not amused. I told them that I didn’t momentarily care for an explanation. At this point, my phone was being sent to the wrong address (a number that didn’t even exist) and the wrong name. The odds of it finding me were more unlikely than…you know what? I’ll stop there. The odds never apply to me.

Notwithstanding, they told me there was nothing they could do. The phone had already been shipped. It was now FedEx’s problem, they said. Thankfully, after some initial bad luck with FedEx, I was able to find a manager there sympathetic to my plight. Turns out she had been screwed by AT&T herself and knew very well the hellish plight I was going through. They were able to track down the package and reroute it. 2 days later, this arrived:


Finally! With my phone activated, I let out a big sigh of relief. Moments later, I received my first phone call. It was the AT&T fraud department and they were concerned about some activity on my account. “Oh?” I asked. “Like what?” “Well, Mr. Euclid,” they replied, “It seems like someone named…um…James, uh, James may have upgraded a line on your account but don’t worry. We’ve put a suspension on your account until we can clear this up.” It’s rare times like these that words actually fail me so I’ll leave this picture here to express the overwhelming emotion that suddenly overtook me.

Does the Prime Directive have any rules against aiming photon torpedoes at telecommunication conglomerates? If not, they will soon.
I am a writer, video producer, and avid film buff. I've also been pegged by a few as the second coming of the Messiah although I don't believe it. Just to be on the safe side, however, I am willing to accept your prayers and any monetary contributions you are willing to part with. Especially automobiles. Yes, automobiles will suffice.