Monday, June 27, 2011

The Debate: Why I Hate AT&T

You know how sometimes I post stuff about a company and somebody from that company find it on a Google keyword search and responds?

U Verse

Wonder if any of those will pop. Actually, that would suggest that somebody at AT&T gives a damn enough to see what people are saying about them, which based on our recent experience, isn't likely.

I've known enough people with AT&T cell service to know better than to expect really good service. Most people I know who have them and have had to deal with customer service have had bad experiences. I was hoping for at least adequate. I didn't get it.

You see, 3 weeks ago we ordered U Verse plus internet service. I've talked about this before - our DirecTV reception has gotten kinda bad. Our only option for high speed internet has been Comcast, which hasn't always been dependable. We were hoping for a solution for both problems from AT&T service. We scheduled installation for last Thursday, two weeks out from when we ordered it.

The day before we got a call that they couldn't install on Thursday because of problems in our area. They were getting an engineers report and needed a couple of days to fix the problem and would call us back to reschedule. Honestly, I could live with that. Technical problems happen and I was glad they wanted it working before they started charging us for it. But...

No, they didn't call us back. On Saturday Greg called them to find out what was going on and the lady says to him, "Oh, I see you where you called us last week and canceled your installation date. Did you want to reschedule that?" Greg, being nicer than I am, didn't bite her head off. Instead he explained that THEY canceled our installation and yes, we needed to reschedule it. Fine. Monday afternoon, between 1-3.

So we clean out the corner of the bedroom they'd need to get to, dig a piece of furniture out of storage, and clean out our entertainment center with a plan to start over with all our boxes after we get the new one. Then Greg rearranged his entire world at work to come home early to be there when the guy came.

Monday at 3:45 we got an automated call from AT&T saying our installer would be there by 3. Seriously? It's 3:45. I figured that one out. They said he would be there by 5. And by 5 they mean just barely, as he rolled in about 4:45. Now I'm irritated.

He stayed less than 5 minutes. He took one look at our phone box and informed us that the "outside tech" hadn't done the blah blah blah to our phone box, so he couldn't do anything for us today. I'm sorry, what???? He made a call and said the tech had been out but he reported something about our box (it wasn't on their list or something blah blah blah, he wasn't making a lot of sense and I was pretty ticked by then). Sorry. No install for you today. Somebody from AT&T should call you in a few days to reschedule.

For real, people.

Our initial reaction was screw it, cancel the whole thing. I'm mad. Greg called 3 times to try to cancel but stayed on hold until his pager went off/somebody else called/we needed to go get dinner. The problem is we really were looking forward to the service improvements over what we have now. And we're out of other options. There are no other high speed Interweb providers in our town. We've tried Comcast cable and the reception was beyond horrendous. According to our neighbor, it still is. Soooo, what do we do? We talked about it over dinner and are contemplating whether to tell them to stick their service, since they clearly don't want our pile of money, or to just suck it up, try to reschedule again, and hope that we never ever ever ever ever have another problem that requires dealing with AT&T customer service, in the hopes that we actually get the TV and Interwebs we want.

I'm also debating writing them a nice (not nice, but nicer than I'd be on the phone) email of complaint. I don't think it'll do a lick of good, but it might make me feel better. The reality is, they need to understand that their lack of communication between departments in their own company is going to cost them business from potential very long term customers (I've had Comcast for over 10 years!). But is an email from me going to get their attention? No. Is it going to fix the problems we're having locally? Not likely. I dunno. I'm so frustrated I could scream.

It didn't help that my new couches arrived and were slightly different colors. And one had a 3" rip in the seam of one of the cushions. And my mom didn't get turned loose from her oncologist today, they want to do one more PET in six months. So much of my good news today has been tempered with "buts."


Allison said...

Wow - it's like I'm psychic. I just had this "inkling" that you were gonna hate on AT&T in your next blog post. =)

AT&T sucks. Period. The end. They have a monopoly on phone service in general and now they're trying to take over Internet and Television service too.

Bundle shmundle. I would cancel it, call DirecTV and see if they could get your service improved and get you a 3G card like I use on my laptop from Cellular South for your internet.
There. I've offerred my unsolicited advice.

And yes, write them an email.

Susan said...

You are amazingly psychic, but you totally underestimate the geek level in my household.

Cell South's devices are great, if you have no other option. We've used them, but they're a serious step down even from Comcast. AT&T is saying they have faster transfer speeds, which would be really nice. We do a lot of video streaming, particularly with Netflix and Revision3, and we're hoping we can get better quality and less interruptions with the faster rate. Comcast isn't terrible for internet service as it is and if we weren't wanting to change our TV service we probably wouldn't change that either.

As for DirecTV, eh. We think we've fixed part of the reception problem (for now) but they're still behind in the features they offer. Sadly, AT&T has the best product out there right now and they've offered it at a very reasonable price, if they would just STOP BEING SO DANG STUPID. I dunno. They'll never monopolize the tv industry, too many other types of options out there. We don't use them for anything right now and I've been ok with that, but it's the only step up we'd have. We've decided we'll live with the status quo (no other choice!) for a little while and see how if they get their act together. If they don't, nothing lost on our end as we still have what we've got. If they do, then it's only a year contract and I will have no problem switching back at that point if we have problems!

Nicole Bradshaw said...

Sorry you've been having some poopy days. Hope things get better.