Saturday, July 19, 2008

AT&T ate my homework

I don't know how it happened, but AT&T disconnected my Internet. I noticed the plug was pulled at 12:15 a.m. as I was in the middle of a nocturnal homework session. By the way, a call to tech support somewhere in the Philippines shortly after midnight doesn't get you reconnected.

Nor did two weeks of calls, including one from a very sympathetic Kathy in New Orleans who told us our records showed that we had requested the Internet be discontinued because we had switched to another provider. There was nothing she could do about it. After staying on the line for two hours and innumerable line transfers, someone finally told my husband, they could reconnect in 14 days. He explained that I had just invested $3,000 in Internet classes and needed it right away. In that case, they said they'd reconnect in 2 weeks.

Frustrated, when the service was not connected after two weeks I made another call to AT&T and talked to Lori in Michigan. I begged her not to transfer me to a foreign country because they have not been able to help. She was incensed and called me rude that "Just because they have accents, they are highly trained employees." Then she wished me, the bigot, "good luck" pretended to switch me and disconnected my call.

It got to be annoying as we explained to each new rep we were transferred to what the problem was. Each rep had a different excuse for our situation. Apparently AT&T doesn't keep records of each call. My husband stopped calling after a rep told him we didn't get DLS in our area. "Oh, really," my husband told him. "We've been getting it for two years." After a month of daily calls to AT&T, we were ready to sign up with dish Internet.

My son asked my husband to let him try talking to AT&T. He got a hold of a representative who not only told him we were already hooked up but she walked him through the steps to re-establish the service.

My son, my hero. He fancies himself a consumer advocate. I read that staying calm and polite and having a sense of humor will win you points with service reps. But it is important to get connected with reps who have the authority to do something for you other than read from a script about what a valuable customer I am.

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