At Long Last! AT&T Arrives

Finally, two full weeks after experiencing a problem with the AT&T U-Verse service, and after having to call AT&T 10 times, a serviceman arrived.

He was prompt, courteous and thorough. He fixed the problem and then double and triple checked it. Our televisions now work.

It’s a shame we couldn’t get this sort of service 12 days ago. It’s dreadful that customers must face long waits, beg, fight and wait some more to get service. I suppose AT&T doesn’t care. Many of their operators acted like they didn’t, but then if you live six or seven or eight thousand miles from your clients and you had no training in providing excellent service why would you care?

The operators aren’t entirely to blame though. Their hands are tied as they must work within the bounds of poor policies.

I did get a prompt response from FCC.gov and they contacted AT&T immediately.  I highly recommend using FCC.gov for communication services gone awry.

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More on AT&T

Saturday AT&T was supposed to send a repairperson between 8 and 10 am. No one came. At 11:30 am I called customer service. I got the usual empty apology. I answered all the same questions because it seems no records of accounts.

I was told that someone would be here by “close of business,” though the operator couldn’t tell me what time the end of business was on a Saturday. We had to rearrange our schedules for the whole of Saturday so that someone was always home.

By 4:50 pm no one from AT&T had come. I called customer service again. I waited and waited to find out when someone would come. I was on hold waiting for the operator to come back but by 5:10 I had to leave for a dinner at 5:30 pm.

Though the clerks always ask for an number to call should we get disconnected, no one left a message.

Today I called for the eighth time. Yes, eighth! The first woman needed the full description again. She then put me on hold and abandoned the call. After 25 minutes someone picked up the line. (I wasn’t about to start over by hanging up and starting again.) A man got on and asked for a recap. He then — believe it or not — said this was not his department and that he had to transfer me. Wouldn’t you know he dropped the call?

It could have been accidental, but employees of a PHONE country who work the PHONES should know how to use phones.

I spent some time on the Better Business Bureau’s page for AT&T. The stories of AT&T’s slip-shod, disrespectful service are awful, just awful. AT&T’s responses are the same canned, insincere response is the same to all. No one that I’ve seen gave AT&T more than one star, many explain that if they could give him zero, they would have.

We need service. We pay for the service. We’ll probably switch, but the other company is just as bad. I think they both count on this.

I’m going to try to find the phone number of the VP of Customer Experience or whatever they call it, if there is such a person.

My Letter to the CEO of AT&T

Randall L. Stephenson
CEO
AT&T
175 E. Houston
San Antonio, TX 78705

Dear Mr. Stephenson,

I have just finished the sixth call to your customer “service” department. We have not had reliable TV service since Tuesday, August 28th. The earliest this will be fixed is September 8th, which is unacceptable. Because the pictures become pixelated and freeze, there’s no point in beginning to watch a program because before the hour’s up, it’s sure to freeze so you miss the end of it.

We have wasted hours waiting to talk with your representatives. That’s unacceptable given the high prices you charge. (As you should know in France people pay €40/month for landline, two cell phones, TV and internet. Why on earth do Americans pay $175 or more?) Today, I checked on the service call. I thought we’d get our TV service fixed by Tuesday. No, we must wait until the 8th. After talking to a customer “service” clerk I was transferred to a technician and given the hope that she could get someone to come out sooner. It seems reasonable because why should consumers in the First World wait more than those in the Third. (I never had such a long wait for cable set up in Indonesia when I lived there.)

After having to repeat all my information to yet another person, this woman whose name I believe was Rosie (whomever I spoke with from my phone 847-412-1066 at approximately 6:30pm on Sept. 1) told me that I’d have to wait till next Saturday. Why on earth did I have to waste 15 minutes with her? I controlled my temper and while I used a direct, serious tone, I did not swear or yell when I asked her why anyone should remain an AT&T customer and not switch to a competitor. Then Rosie had the audacity to hang up on me.

I’ve had to work in customer service and I know that sometimes a clerk’s hands are tied, but that does not give a clerk a reason to hang up on a paying customer. It’s her job to help people with problems.

  • Why should we continue to pay you for slow and unreliable service?
  • Why don’t you hire more technicians so your customers don’t have to wait 10 days to get service restored?
  • Why don’t you train your customer service staff to communicate professionally and solve problems?
  • Why don’t you authorize overtime during times of great need?
  • Are you satisfied with this level of service? Would you stick with a company that’s treated you with disrespect?

I look forward to your response.

Sincerely,

SK

I hope I get a response. I’ll let you know. I feel like the telecommunications companies have no incentive to provide good service. They know the other company isn’t much better so you might switch back and forth but when you’re fed up with the other company and have forgotten how dreadful the first was, you’ll be back.

I realize TV isn’t a necessity, but when you pay for service, you should get it.

Poor Cable Service: Why? How?

After receiving a Comcast bill for $50 higher than usual, we called Comcast, who’d not only raised our rates, but forgot to apply a discount they promised due to our lack of phone service for 4 days last month.

The customer service reps couldn’t do anything to help. In fact they could only talk with the person who’s name was on the account so when I tried to mediate since my father was furious the rep wouldn’t talk with me. Okay.

I tweeted about the problem, which often gets a response from the company. AT&T responded to me right away. It took Comcast a few days. They just aren’t on the ball.

Long story short: we now are hooked up with AT&T, which probably has its flaws, but we’re saving $600 a year. Comcast lost over $1800 a year. I guess they can afford to.

Here’s the part that really irked me. I recounted this story to a friend who’s visiting from France. Want to know how much cable/internet/phone is in France per month?

$30!

Why are Americans paying so much more?