My AT&T Horror Story
What has our society become when we no longer are empowered to control our lives? Being dependent on the internet has become a way of life, not a luxury. Many of us need the internet for our livelihood, such as students, writers, journalists, and small businesses. Companies similar to the American government have grown too big and impersonal. Everyone complains about how bad the internet is for computer use but does nothing about it.
My AT&T horror story started last month, when, after being without hard-line phone service for a month, we decided to call AT&T and cancel it. The customer service person I spoke with, Benjamin, stated that without a phone line, my internet speed would be cut in half. He suggested I get a U-verse account and would cancel my DSL service. I asked him not to cancel my DSL service until the U-verse was up and working, and gave him the actual date of cancelation that I wanted. He asked me for a four-digit security code number, which I also gave him.
Everything went well for a few days, and then, around noon, my internet went out. Once again I called AT&T; this time, I spoke to Priscilla. She was very nice and tried to get into my account, but my security code was not working. She then asked me for my security question and answer. To make a long story short, after about one hour of frustration, she found out that Benjamin had typed in one digit wrong and that he had decided to input a security question and answer without my knowledge, besides inputting the wrong date for cancelation. She assured me that the internet would be up and running by 4 pm that day. As of 7 pm, there was no internet, and Priscilla had forgotten to change my security code. Once again, after hours of frustration, they expedited the U-verse service, and finally I had internet!
Or so I thought. Four days later, it again was not working. A technician supervisor named E-Z could hear my frustration and told me the next morning he would send someone out. However, he also told me that for some reason a technician had come out that day and had done something to the line to cause the outage. After hearing that, I demanded that a technician be sent out that same day, not the next. He actually worked with me, and someone came out at 7 pm that night. Unfortunately, he did not have a long enough ladder, so he could not get to the wires. He promised to send someone out the next day, the first appointment. No one arrived until late into the afternoon, but the problem was resolved.
There was joy in Mudville until Tuesday, the 8th. In the morning I once again found out there was no internet. I called the executive office at 7 am and spoke to someone named Dani. She set up a technician appointment for sometime that day – not the first appointment, but sometime between 8 am and 8 pm. Once again I was told that a technician had done something to the lines and they had to figure out what happened. Re-dialing the executive office, I asked to once again speak with Dani, since she knew my problem. Someone named Chris told me that he would not put me through until I gave him my account number. Why? I had already given it to the operator before she connected me. After some arguing, I figured that this guy was anal, so I gave it to him, and then he told me Dani was unavailable and she would not be calling me back. Hanging up and calling back, I got the same response from someone else. It seems that AT&T does not care about frustrating its customers and makes them go through an explanation multiple times. This tech also refused to connect me with Dani. After calling a third time, I spoke with someone named Deb, who told me that she would not connect me and that she would not expedite my service call. She did not care that I would not have internet all day, or that the problem originated with AT&T.
Besides this company being too large, impersonal, and uncaring, I found that people no longer feel responsible for their actions. Even though it was through AT&T’s incompetence that I do not have any internet, they do not feel responsible and act in an uncaring manner. Their response: the problem will get solved when it gets solved, and the consumer is the one who must suffer, with no consequences to this corporation.
The author writes for American Thinker. She has done book reviews, author interviews, and has written a number of national security, political, and foreign policy articles.