Dec 14, 2012
It happened again.
Out of all the people in all the gin joints in the world, At&T decided we were worthy of their demonstration of total ineptitude.
Some of you may remember our run in with the folks at AT&T. Over the past couple of months, we have written about how AT&T said we didn’t exist as a customer, how you cannot communicate with them via an email (because they don’t want you to have a record of what they say,) and how a “free” upgrade in speed for our internet service was actually billed to us.
For awhile there, we prayed that God would grant us the leeway to not have to talk to the people at AT&T again – at least for awhile.
But God has a sense of humor (ever see a platypus?) and so our tale of woe with AT&T continues.
Last week we noticed the speed of our internet connection dropped. We had caught the same cold that other people had so we didn’t get to look at it too much but on this past Tuesday, we started to take a good hard look at what was happening. We tore apart our computer looking for viruses and other malware items. Nothing. We made sure all of the services running we legitimate and identical to ones supplied by Microsoft. That checked out. We ran scans for root kits. Nothing. We couldn’t figure it out. There was something throttling the internet speed and we couldn’t find it.
We checked ping responses to measure internet speed and sure enough, we were way down on speed. We then installed a simple little speed monitor and that verified we were way down on speed as well.
Still not feeling well and running out of options, we decided to put the issue away for a little bit hoping that something would come to mind. We took up the task of paying bills.
When we got to our AT&T bill, we looked at it and noticed it was lower than expected. Specifically, the price for internet was lower.
Nov 13, 2012
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:
Nov 3, 2012
Many of you followed us through our trials and tribulations with our computer getting hot under the collar. To fix that issue, we ordered some case fans from a company called NewEgg.
In addition to replacing all of the case fans, we decided to add a little more “oomph” and add a 120mm fan in the side of the case where currently there is no fan. After doing some research, we settled on a fan made by Cougar. The specs were right, the price was right, the reviews were right and the company from which we were purchasing the fan from was right.
The fans arrived faster than we thought possible and we have been happy with them.
But yesterday, we received a email from NewEgg announcing their “black November” deals – a take off of “black Friday” deals. As we always do, we clicked on the email to see what was on sale. We were surprised to see our 120mm Cougar fan on sale from $16.99 to $9.99 – a savings of $7.00. The only problem was that our order is over two weeks old and the sale item requires a “promo code,” which means the discount is from the manufacturer, and not NewEgg itself.
We took a shot anyway.
We called NewEgg and spoke with a very chipper, bright, energetic young lady named Nancy. We explained we had bought the item and now it was on sale. She explained the promo code was from the maker of the fan, but if I waited a moment, she would check something with her supervisor. Less than a minute later, Nancy was back on the line.
“We can’t give you a direct refund because the promotion is not ours. You can return the item and reorder it if you wish and we will be happy to do that for you. Or, if you’d like, I will issue a gift card for the difference and you will have that card in 1 – 2 business days.”
Oct 30, 2012
After our run in with AT&T the other day, we decided that we would send an email to the company detailing what had happened.
The problem is that AT&T doesn’t like emails. They don’t even have a contact form on their website that a person can fill out. All of their contact is through a phone call or a series of “help” screens.
(As much as we looked, we didn’t find a screen that helped us resolve the issue of “AT&T says we don’t exist,” of even “AT&T sends salesman, but doesn’t want to sell us product.”)
If you are wondering why we are looking for email addresses, it is because we want written records of what is said. Too many times it is easy for people to misunderstand what the other is saying. Having a “paper trail,” for lack of a better term, is always a good thing.
Looking around on the internet, we found two contact email addresses. The first was for the CEO of the company. The second was for what is for basically resolving technical issues, but they also say they will get you help no matter what the issue.
We wrote and email to the CEO. We had no delusions that the email would actually get to the CEO. What we were hoping is our email would get read by someone and forwarded to the appropriate group or division.
That email was returned as the address no longer exists.
We then copied the body of the email and sent it to the technical group that advertised they would help. That was 4 days ago.
Oct 25, 2012
It’s been a strange day here at the world wide headquarters of Raised on Hoecakes.
As we were working, there was a knock at the door and when we opened it, some guy with an AT&T shirt was standing there. He introduced himself to us and wanted to sell the “AT&T U-Verse” package to us. We knew the guy was actually a subcontractor for AT&T and that was okay with us. We generally hate cold solicitation calls either at the door or on the phone, but we have been a BellSouth / AT&T customer for phone and internet for many years and so we have a working business relationship with them.
We talked to the salesman and get some prices on things and by actually going with a package deal from AT&T we could save some money.
While the offer was tempting, we wanted to do some more research on it and so we asked if he could come back. He said he was in the neighborhood and would stop back in a couple of hours, which was acceptable to us. We called some friends, checked on prices, looked online and came to the conclusion that we would go with the AT&T U-Verse deal. It was a joyful moment. We would be getting similar service on our television and higher speeds on the internet for less money.
When the salesman came back we sat and wrote up the deal and he called it in to AT&T to get a confirmation number. First problem was when he called in, they had no record of us or our phone number. The salesman asked if we were sure we were being billed by AT&T. We were positive and after a few minutes, the AT&T call center found us in their records. The salesman was somewhat new to his job and there was some confusion but we got to the point where he handed me the phone and said “they need to verify who you are.”
Years ago people would call up phone companies, claim to be an account holder and switch phone services, long distance services, etc. The practice of “slamming,” as it is called, is illegal and most companies took steps to make sure the person making a change on an account were the actual person on the account. We answered some security questions proving we were who we said we were.
Jan 4, 2012
A few weeks ago we noticed there was static on our phone lines in the morning and whenever the wind blew. Usually that is condensation / dew on the lines and a faulty connection. So last Wednesday, we called AT&T’s service center to get the phone fixed.
In this modern age, you never speak with a real person anymore, just a computerized menu. After being told they would send someone out within a week and if that person found nothing wrong with the line, it would be a charge of $85.00, I was disconnected.
From that point in time, the phone will ring for what can only be described as a “half a ring,” and then disconnects. This happens at all hours of the day – including 3 AM and 4 AM when most people are sleeping.
We figured this was the line acting strangely which proves the line is faulty.
It was therefore somewhat surprising when we got an automated call last night from AT&T saying “you’re line is fixed!”
Except it wasn’t. The static was still there.
One of the options from the automated call was to connect with an operator in order to say the line was still faulty.
After about 5 minutes on hold, we connected with the operator and entered the Twilight Zone.