Tuesday, January 19, 2010

AT&T, Know this!

by Pa Rock
Irate Consumer

Today as I struggled to make sense of my dad's bills and get them paid, I came across one that I knew would be a problem. Cutting off his telephone service was easy. He received his basic telephone service through a local company. Unfortunately, customers of that company have to acquire their long distance through other providers. My dad had a worthless plan through AT&T that charged him a base rate of $10.48 per month plus exorbitant charges for any actual long distance calls that he made. We talked every day, but I called him on my flat rate plan - through a much better provider.

When I cancelled his phone today, the nice lady at the local company told me that his long distance service was through AT&T, and that I would have to call them separately because they would go on charging the per month fee even though it was not connected to a working telephone. (That's the AT&T that I remember from the sixties!) No, she informed me, she could not provide a number for AT&T.

I got on the Internet and found a number. The first time I worked my way through four AT&T workers - after listening to nearly an hour of their ads telling me how great they are. Eventually I was cut off - I think that was done by Clement, the young man who was standing on a street corner in Mumbai telling me that he was working out of Illinois. The second time around I got up to a cackling witch named Janie who would not connect me with her supervisor because I did not have an actual account so there was nothing that anyone could do for me. I carefully explained that I had their bill in my hand and read the account number to her. She eventually hung up on me. (Could it have been something that I said?)

The third time was a charm. A fellow named Trevor didn't really like the fact that I demanded the corporate number for AT&T before I disclosed my issue and gave him an opportunity to pass me off to one of his buddies on some other continent - or hang up on me. After listening carefully, he finally told me to pay the bill that I had and write "deceased" on it. Why couldn't Clement or Janie have come up with that jewel?

Poor Trevor will be toast when the Gods at AT&T learn that he actually provided a customer with service. That could be a very dangerous precedent from a corporate perspective. What if all giant corporations had to abandon their circular answering machines and start giving personal responses and service to the public? The mind boggles!

I want an iPhone. Oh, Lord, I want an iPhone! But today's circus has taught me that leopards do not change their spots. AT&T didn't give a shit in the sixties, and I'm here to tell you that they still don't. If AT&T keeps the exclusive contract on iPhones, I will be getting a Motorola Droid - and damned soon! My service provider will be Verizon! Verizon answers their phones and provides service. What a concept!

Apple, AT&T has limited coverage and crappy service. Dump the bastards!

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