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Our Loathing Of AT&T Just Went Up A Notch. (Is that Possible?)

We didn’t think it was possible, but our loathing and disgust at all things AT&T has risen.

You may remember our previous two posts in which we described how AT&T had sent a salesman around to sell us their U-Verse package.

After several hours of of talking and thinking about it, we decided to go with U-Verse only to be told we didn’t exist within the AT&T system. After some more exchange of information, we were finally “found” within the AT&T computers and we thought all was set to go. It wasn’t as AT&T demanded some sensitive information be given over the phone to a person we did not know and who said we didn’t exist.

We balked and said if AT&T didn’t trust us, that is on them and we would walk away.

As no one at AT&T seemed to care a customer was leaving, we walked and did not complete the deal.

As all of that was happening, we got a notice from AT&T in both email and through the US Postal Service which reads:

Dear Anthony Afterwit,

We’re really glad to have you as an
AT&T High Speed Internet service member!

To show you how much we appreciate your business, as a special thank you we’ll be upgrading your speed for FREE for 12 months!

You don’t have to do a thing. Starting on or about 10/23/12, you’ll automatically be upgraded to the next higher speed plan at no extra cost – so you can enjoy even faster Internet – but at the same price as your current plan. That means you could get up to twice the speed for the same price!*

We hope you enjoy it!

At the end of 12 months we’ll automatically return you to your current speed, at your current price, or you can choose to keep the higher speed at the then – current price. (Don’t worry, we’ll send you a reminder!)

If you have any questions at all, you can reach us at 1.800.209.0916. Again, thank you for being an AT&T High Speed Internet member.

Sincerely,

Paul Radosevici
Director – Marketing Management

Faster speed free for a year? Cool!

Mind you, we did nothing to solicit the offer or confirm with AT&T we wanted the offer. They took it upon themselves to go ahead with the faster internet speed. Sure enough, on the night of October 23 / October 24, the speed on the internet increased.

We were happy.

We should have known better.

This past Sunday night we sat down to pay our bills and we noticed the bill from AT&T had jumped. We were curious as to why and we started to compare prices and services. When we got to the charge for “internet service,” we noticed there was an increase.

If you are thinking “AT&T charged for the increase in speed instead of it being free as promised,” you are right. That is what happened.

On Monday morning we called AT&T’s billing department and asked why. We spoke with a person named “Amber” who verified we were who we said we were and then proceeded to tell us the promotion price we had been paying ended.

“What promotion price?” we asked as we knew there was no promotional price on our bill.

After thinking a little bit, Amber changed tunes. “You ordered an upgrade for a faster speed on October 23, 2012,” she said.

“Can you tell me who placed the order and what order number that was?” we asked all the while thinking “strike two.”

“Ummmm…. can you hold on a moment? I need to check something…..” and with that, Amber was gone.

We stayed on the line listening to really really bad background music and suddenly we hear “Hi, this is Jessica in the Jacksonville office. Can I have your last four digits of your social security number to verify your account?”

(Amber had transferred me without telling me she was going to do so. Strike three on her.)

Now we have to say that we hate having to verify accounts like Jessica wanted us to do. We especially hate it when we have to do it multiple times when the company is transferring us around the country without ever telling us. We hate it even more when we wouldn’t be on the line with them if they hadn’t screwed up. Last but not least, we hate the line of “it is company policy and we can’t look at the account unless you tell us the verifying information” because that is a lie.

They are looking at the account as you are talking with them.

We absolutely hate it when companies lie to us.

We drew a line in the sand and when Jessica says “I can’t help you then,” our fuse ignites.

“Jessica,” we start, “you aren’t helping us, we are helping you. You see Jessica, Federal law requires either notice that you are changing prices or that you have a customer agree to a change in price due to a change in service. If you look at my account, I did not agree to anything and AT&T never told me they were raising the prices. In fact, let me read you an email where you made an offer that resulted in the higher internet speed without an increase in costs.”

After reading the email to her, we continued.

“So you see Jessica, you aren’t helping us because you correcting the mistake you made is not helping us. It is not ‘help’ for us to be on hold, to be lied to and to be transferred across the country without the common courtesy of being told that you are being transferred and to where you are going. You aren’t helping or doing us a favor by keeping us on hold when we should be doing things with our own clients and instead are trying to fix a problem of your making. If you can’t understand that, then get someone on the line that does.”

Jessica puts us on hold and we get a manager by the name of Keith Johnson. We explain the issue to him and after reading the email to him he says “that’s odd.” (Oh really?)

We then tell him “most likely, if it happened to us, it is happening to someone else.”

He doesn’t believe that, but he takes the phone number from the email / US mail flyer we received and said he will call that number and see what is going on and call us back.

About 40 minutes later he calls back and says, “well, you were right. You shouldn’t have been charged. It seems there is a problem and at least 3500 people who were mailed this offer are getting billed for the higher speed. We are aware of the problem and it will be corrected within the next billing cycle or two.”

We, of course, are sitting here thinking “why aren’t you telling customers that you screwed up? You knew about the problem, so why not just send an email to customers and let them know?”

Nah. That would be a case of customer service and you can’t have that at AT&T.

Between the two of us we figure everything out and it all seems to be either fixed or on its way to being fixed.

As we are about to hang up, he says “you know, looking at your bill and services, I think you would do well to sign up for U-Verse.”

Our response is cordial, but firm. “Thank you. No. Goodbye.”

(click)

So our advice to you is that if you have a sudden urge to bang your head against the wall or be incredibly frustrated by the attitude of employees, give AT&T a call. They can satisfy your need and desire for listening to stupidity and lies, all the while demonstrating a lack of concern and how not to be customer oriented.

When it comes to failing customers, AT&T has it down pat.



2 Responses to “Our Loathing Of AT&T Just Went Up A Notch. (Is that Possible?)”

  1. Mary says:

    That’s why I have a cell phone and no long distances.AT&T take classes on stupidity, I love reading you

    • AAfterwit says:

      Mary,

      Thank you for your comment and your kind words.

      I hope you tell your friends about us.

      Thanks again!

      A. Afterwit.

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