The new AT&T
I hate it when large companies buy smaller ones. they say it is to improve thing and is for the benefit of their customers but this is rarely the case. The bottom line is the bottom line, and the only reason they do it is to increase their profits — and usually at the expense of their clients.
In Florida I use a DSL connection for my internet that was serviced by Bellsouth. For two years I had no problems with it until BellSouth was gobbled up by AT&T. Ever since then, they started answering their phone with “Welcome to the new AT&T, offering you outstanding service.” I knew I was in trouble.
The first clue was when I noticed that it took about twenty seconds for my email to go out. This seemed about 18 seconds too high so I phoned tech support. I was immediately connected to some guy who barely spoke English. I told him the problem and He said that it was within tolerances (whatever that means). I disagreed and pushed further.
“It usually takes only a second or two” I said
“It might be a problem with Outlook. Try re-booting it” He suggested
“ I am on a Mac” I replied.
“We do not support” Macs he said.
You have been supporting It for the past three years when I first got my DSL connection. Has something changed?”
Click! the line went dead. Something had changed.
I tried phoning again knowing full well that the next guy might not be as stupid/rude/unhelpful.
Again I was connected to a guy who could barely speak English. “ Welcome to the new AT&T, offering our customers outstanding service. How can we help you?” he asked.
I told him the problem and again he suggested doing something with Outlook.
“ I am on a Mac” I said, “you support Macs, don’t you?”
“Of course we do, but I am not an expert on this system. Let me connect you to our outstanding Mac support department.” he said. He gave me a number to call, and I thanked him and dialed the number. It was the number for Apple Computer.
I decided to postpone taking action until I could think of something else but sometimes you are just forced to act.
A few days later, Our signal went down and I phone AT&T for some more “outstanding service”. All the lines were dead. I kept phoning for a few hours but all I would get was an outstanding busy signal. I assumed it was a wide-spread problem so I just left it until the next morning.
The next morning I called and a recorded voice which offered outstanding service said that the problem was fixed and they were on line again. I guess that meant everybody but me. I called for the next few hours, (the lines were still busy) until finally I could reach another non english-speaking person who actually tried to help. After talking with him on the phone for about an hour, I found out that this problem was spread over seven states and that there were also a number of other homes that were still without outstanding service. In any case he said that there were also some problems with my modem and they would send somebody to look at it the next day. So there I was in for another day without outstanding service.
The next morning I awoke and VOILA! it was working again although very slow. I decided to not cancel the call just in case, and in about two hours the AT&T outstanding service guy comes to the door. He looks at my telephone lines and then focuses in on my modem.
“Everything looks to be OK” he explains. “I will just re-boot your modem to get the speed up to where it should be.”
He fucks around with some of the wiring (pretending to be professional and check for erros on my behalf) re-boots the modem and everything goes down. I am offline again.
“What did you do” I asked. It was working before you got here.
He picks up his cellphone and calls the office. They talk for a few minutes and then he says that the problem is probably with the wiring. They will send somebody the next day to check the wiring outside my home (he only works inside, the other guy only works outside.) and if it looks OK, the problem is probably inside my house with the wiring and they will have to charge me an undisclosed amount to repair it.
“Will that solve the problem?” I asked.
“Maybe” he shrugs,
“You know, it was working almost perfectly before your system went down in 7 states, and now that I am having a problem getting back online. you have finally deduced that this problem lies somewhere in the wiring of my house. Is that right?”
So there I go from having service, to getting outstanding AT&T service which means I do not have any service anymore. After he leaves, I check my wiring and network and find out I have no outstanding service because this guy fucked with the connections and replaced them incorrectly.
I looked at Sharon and said, “were getting cable.” She agreed.
I phoned Comcast (the cable company)and they said I would be up and running the next day.
The guy arrives early the next morning and installs the cable modem. It is about three times as fast as the DSL. As he is leaving and I show him to the door, there is a sticker on my doorknob from AT&T. It explains that they have checked the outside wiring, at it is intact and that my problem is “probably” inside my house and they can check it out if I wish but I have to understand that there is an additional charge for this and there is no guarantee that it will correct the problem.
I can hardly wait until Monday when I tell them what to do with my problem.