ATT / poor customer service
I had heard about AT&T’s U-verse service and kept watching and checking to see when it would be available in my neighborhood. I wanted it for a couple of reasons. I have become addicted to only watching recorded tv shows. U-verse advertised that you could record up to 4 channels at one time. It also offered internet speeds at 4-5 times faster than my current AT&T dsl. I work from home, have a home office and thought the faster download speed would be nice when working on large files from co-workers. I also pay for and attend online classes and the faster speeds would help when reviewing video lectures.
There was an ATT truck outside my house one day and I asked what he was doing. The phone service box for the surrounding homes is in my front yard. He said he was installing U-Verse for my neighbor across the street. I went across the street a couple days later and asked Jim about it and he indicated he really liked it. I thought what the heck, I called ATT and ordered the largest bundle they had. It would give me every channel offered plus super high download speeds and digital phone service all in one package. I was told by the ATT rep that everything was good and set an appointment.
My install was on February 17th, 2010 between 1:00 and 3:00. The technician showed up at 1:30. I was already planning on what shows to record and was wondering how nice the extra speedy internet service would be. But that is when the nightmare began.
The tech looked around the house then left. Within 15 minutes I had no internet service and no phone service. The tech didn’t come back until 5:30. He told me he could not get U-Verse to work at my house. I asked why not, indicating my neighbor has it and the ATT box is right there in my front yard. He didn’t offer any explanation. After he left I noticed I didn’t have internet or phone service. I used my cell phone and called ATT. I got somebody in India or somewhere, who wanted to follow some script of how to repair the internet. I explained that a tech was just at the house and he did something to disconnect the service and this had nothing to do with my computer or modem. She insisted my service was still connected and the problem was either my modem or my computer.
After a couple of hours of explaining details, being transferred and being placed on hold, I finally gave up and thought I would resolve it the next day. Thursday morning I started calling first thing. I needed my internet for work and school. Once again I was bounced around all over the world. Finally I spoke to someone that told me, ATT shut off my dsl to convert it to U-Verse but they had to follow Federal guidelines in switching it back. She said one screen was showing the disconnection, while another screen was still showing a connection. She said she would fill out a form herself and walk it into a manager for approval so she could expedite the reinstallation of my system. She said someone would call me back.
No one called so Friday I called again. The same thing happened I spoke to several people before finally talking to someone who said he understood my situation and that I would receive a call on Saturday with a solution. Nobody called. By this time my phone was being listed as disconnected.
Saturday I spent several hours driving around town looking for a hot spot for my laptop. I use my desktop for work and school because my laptop doesn’t have enough memory to run my programs. But at least if I found a hot spot I could check email. Starbucks has ATT internet but it costs like $4 for 2 hours to use it. I finally found a business who offered a connection without a password.
On Monday, I called ATT once again. I spoke to a rep who said the installation was scheduled for Wednesday. Great, I finally I can get back to my normal activity.
I started working at our corporate office, but it’s 75 miles from my house. Sometimes the commute takes 2 hours each leg because of traffic. But since I couldn’t work at home, that is my only option. Wednesday I came home expecting to have the internet turned on. It was not so I called ATT and was told the technician would be there before 8pm. Sure enough he showed up at 7:30, then left. He returned at about 8:30 and stayed in his truck outside and called me on my home phone. It worked. Assuming I had internet also I hung up, he left and I went to check my modem. No internet.
I called ATT right away hoping to get him back and was told there was nothing they could do until the order department opened the next day. I called on Thursday. Again, I spent more than an hour on the phone. This time I finally spoke to someone who said she would do whatever she could to help. This morning (Friday February 26th) I called again. I was told by a customer service rep that they could see all the notes and attempts to expedite the reinstallation but said she could do nothing. She did say there is now a schedule for installing dsl on March 2nd. At least now I finally have a date and time.
Everyone asked why I don’t just switch providers. I would but everyone has my email address and I don’t want to change it right now.
I have spent more than 8 hours on the phone with ATT trying to get my service back on. I have spent hours driving to locations to get internet service. I have spent extra money and time commuting to an office when usually I can work at home. I have missed my online classes that I pay monthly to attend. I have fee based services I use for both professional and personal use that still charge my credit card, even if I don’t have the internet.
I am amazed on the lack of concern and commitment to re establish my service. I never once raised my voice on the phone but had customer service people who would here my story and tell me I was being transferred to a higher level department. Then I would end up being transferred to India or somewhere. I firmly believe most of the reps I have spoken with really could care less about my need to have internet access. I think some just transferred me because they didn’t want to deal with my problem.
I asked several if they could take ownership of my problem and follow up for me. I was told repeatedly they were not allowed to do that. I asked how I could reach someone consistently so I didn’t have to explain my issues over and over. Reps don’t have extensions.
All I wanted to do was upgrade my service. I didn’t expect to get a lesson in how to provide poor customer service. ATT disconnected my service in 5 minutes and if I get service back next week, it will have taken 2 weeks. It took me 10 days just to get an installation date.
I have had my phone number and internet service for at least 15 years. I have never called them ever to complain or ask for help. Yet I am convinced they have indentified me someone in there computers as not being a valued customers. I can not think of any other explanation why no one at ATT acted concerned or wanted to help. Since they don’t care I plan to open an email at Google. Once everyone has it, I’ll be leaving ATT. They won’t care that I’m gone.
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