I Hate AT&T

I know what you’re thinking. Was there a giant earthquake that swallowed a tiny portion of California? Did they abandon the house plan and become turnip farmers in New Mexico? Can you grow turnips in New Mexico?

No, no, and I don’t know.

We’ve just been moving. The furniture came over last week (Dino’s Movers did a great job) and now the house is full of boxes. But there have been lots of odds and ends to clean up at the apartment, and we’re just about at the end of it. But with full-time jobs and house stuff until late at night, we’re barely having time to sleep, much less blog.

For this, though, I’ll make an exception.

For the past couple of years, we’ve had AT&T for high-speed Internet and phone. A week ago, John called to transfer our account to the new house. They said we’d have phone service on Tuesday and Internet on Thursday. Well, the phone works, but it’s after 9 p.m. on Friday and I’m typing this in a Starbucks. Because we don’t have DSL.

After trying to figure out what might be wrong, John called AT&T just before noon today. They gave him a case number and said they’d do some diagnostic things and would call back by 1:30.

At 3, I called them. In fact, I called them three times, talking to six different people in exchanges lasting over an hour in total. Most of that was spent on hold. What became clear was this: Sales has the order as completed yesterday. The DSL Maintenance group couldn’t find any record of DSL in our account. And DSL Provisioning…well, I don’t know what they think. When John got back from the apartment walkthrough, I had just reached the point of throwing the phone across the couch, because they told me that they couldn’t do anything about it before Monday.

Their error, we’re paying for it, and the best they can do is Monday.

John then called and spent 24 minutes on the phone before being disconnected. Then he spent another 1:10 on the phone. Then we realized the phone was losing its charge and had to put it on the cradle while we waited for a call back.

This time, someone actually did call back, for another 15-20 minute phone call. His big news? Our order exists, but it’s “stuck in their system.” And maybe something will happen on Monday.

Other aspects of the experience? Each of us was cut off, multiple times, by their phone system. And their automated menu isn’t voice activated and doesn’t have an operator default at any point, which means that it only works with touch-tone phones. I know there aren’t many of us who still have a rotary phone in the mix, but they do still exist. (Fortunately, I found another of our many phones, so I was able to get past the rotary issue.)

Earth to AT&T: You’re the PHONE COMPANY. Your system should (a) work, and (b) work with different kinds of phones. Because you’re the PHONE COMPANY, geniuses.

Up until today, we’d had good experiences with them. But this is the worst example of customer service I’ve ever encountered. I am ready to go to war. Because I hate AT&T.

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