Monday, July 23, 2007

wifi Hate

The Hater told me a story this weekend that we decided would make a great blog post. Unfortunately, we could not post it at the time because we are still without phone lines or internet access in our little community. The Hater has been trying very hard to get these things fixed, but it has not been an easy row to hoe.

One of our friends called last week to say that she heard on the radio that AT&T was having some kind of sale where you could get internet and phone coverage through them for $10 a month. We were waiting for the local cable company to get into gear, but thought we’d call AT&T to see if that deal was as good as it sounded. Actually, it was The Hater who made the call. This is actually his story. I hope that my version gives it justice. If you can imagine a similar version with more anger and exasperation you’ll be closer to how he would tell it.

So he calls AT&T and waits 20 minutes to talk to a real person. He explains what we’re looking for, and they talk for about 10 minutes before the rep says that they can’t help him in this region. She transfers him to the correct region.

He waits for 20 more minutes before he talked to a real person. They did help people in our region, but they wanted him to look up the deals online instead of telling him about them over the phone. “We can’t do that,” he said, “because we do not have internet access. That’s why I’m calling you.” This went on for about 15 more minutes before the rep told him that she did not know what was going on and helpfully suggested he call again another day to talk with someone else. She also suggested that we look up their online offers in the meantime.

The Hater was gagged, but like any other good consumer, he called the next day. He waited 20 minutes before he talked to a real person. He asked the real person if they could help someone in Uglyhoma, and they assured him they could. He explained what we wanted and they talked about what service would be best to fix for us – and then she realized that she could not help him in this region.

He waited 20 minutes to be connected with a person who could help people in this region. They jumped through the same hoops. He said he would go ahead and pay for them to come out and do what they needed to do to turn on the stuff. But, wait! They could not take his payment because of a computer glitch. He waited 10 minutes while the rep continued to not make it work.

He asked to talk with a manager. There was no real reason why they could not take his credit card, right? Wrong.

The snooty, curt manager picked up the line. The problem was that The Hater had an outstanding balance of $1.35 from when he was a bachelor, 4 years ago. The manager accused him of not paying his bills. “Why would I not pay a bill for $1.35? That makes no sense!” We could not look into access because of our outrageous outstanding balance. They hem-hawed for 10 more minutes to figure out how to fix this problem. At this point he’d been on the phone for almost 2 hours trying to find out if we could get even get service.

The Hater asked if they could send a new bill to our new address. Eureka; what a brilliant idea! The manager chirpily took the information about where to send the bill. The Hater asked, “Now is that all we need to do?” The manager said yes. The Hater replied, “Good. I will pay our bill and then get our internet through someone else. Have a nice day.” And he hung up.

We’ve been making ugly AT&T jokes since then. We have not yet received our bill, and figure that we were never notified of the balance because it wasn’t worth the postage. Although I’m very tempted to write a check for $1.36 and ask for the difference back, we will probably do it the right way so it’ll be behind us.

What’s even funnier (if only in retrospect) is that even if we had gotten AT&T service, we would not have qualified for the $10 service because it was an online-only offer. The Hater also said it was for dial-up service, which we did not want. But we wouldn’t have known that because we still don’t have internet.

AT&T, you have been served
a warm glass of Haterade
for your
poor customer service
and idiot support staff.


Arielle said...

Ugh, that is completely horrid. I hate those "helpful" people. So who are you getting your internet thru now?

bill said...

Your call is important to us. Please hold for the next available...(dial tone)

Mommavia said...

Nice...way to go AT&T, you have always ranked at the bottom of the pile for me and know you are even lower.

We went with the digitial phone through our cable company (and internet too) simply so I wouldn't have to deal with AT&T since they do the phone service in our area. We also got a really good deal...$89.99 a month for a year for phone, cable, internet...with unlimited long distance...Time Warner Cable rocks.

genderist said...

For now we continue to be pirates... and The Hater hasn't had to give me any more lectures about learning to be less productive at work.