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Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Anger and Loathing with AT&T

I tried to handle this privately.
(update at bottom)
I tried to work one on one with AT&T, but after 9 hours on the phone with them, 90 minutes at a time, and after they all but welcomed me to try to work out my problem on my Twitter feed :( It is clear that I have no other choice but to blog my issues.

Hold onto your hat.  This is going to be a bumpy ride!

So let's try to start at the beginning, shall we?

Back in late July, when it was almost time for my daughter to return to college, her cell phone broke.  Her cellphone is on a 3 year payment plan, and we all know cell phones last 2 years tops, but fine...
not only was it dying, but a drop dealt the final death blow, so I called AT&T to see what we could do.  Mind you, I have been a loyal customer since I moved to GA in June 2001, through all the business changes, name changes, and what have you.

It started off innocently enough: 

So the young lady I spoke to was very, very pleasant.  She bent over backwards to help me get my child an iPhone (I am done with androids) and we chose a 5SE, and I was told I did not have to return the old phone, and she somehow negotiated for me to pay a $125 penalty instead of a $250 penalty.  I paid it with my credit card.  As part of this call this young lady negotiated heavily for me to change my cable/internet/phone bundle to AT&T. I had been hesitant previously, and all the services were not available until now, so I did it.  I agreed, after having her call me back the next day so I could talk to son and husband who understand our services better than me.  So when she called me back. (TAKE NOTE THAT SHE CALLED ME BACK YALL) I agreed.  I asked for the best of everything.  The best internet speed. The full cable package... just give it to me. Let's go!  So I was signed up, yay.

Problem 1.  Part of the package was that our 10 gigs shared between 3 people would become unlimited.  The heavens opened, and the angels sang... until my daughter tried to tether.  Crap. No more tethering.  I wish I had been told that because on a college campus when you are trying to submit a paper at 10 minutes to midnight along with everyone else on campus, your best bet of getting it through it to tether... but nope. Sigh.  Fortunately, she also has an iPad package through hubby's separate AT&T account, so fine.

Problem 2. Install day!  Oopsies.  Somehow when they were installing wires in the neighborhood, they missed my house for a box.  They had to run a wire above ground for the next door neighbor.  Now what they wanted to do was to just install the Dish (Dish?  I thought I was getting digital) and make a new appointment.  I told them "all or nothing" so they brought in someone and installed a wire and set us up.  Yay?  I have a Dish.  Not what I was expecting.  I was worried, but after being tied to my house for a whole day, it was done.

Problem 3. Install was right before the Olympics.  It was rainy in GA during the Olympics.  Let's just say I missed pretty much the whole darn thing because if the neighbor next door spit off his deck, my TV service went out... never-mind rain.  Boy was I disappointed, and I called and told them so, I wanted to document that the service did not work, because if I had to go back to Charter, I did not want any push back.  The young lady promised to document... giggled at my jokes which I tried really hard to make and to keep it light, and then hung up.  There was no documentation.  Just saying.

Problem 4.  Four YALL!  My daughter started getting texts that she needed to return the phone that we were told we did not need to return. It was broken, and there was no need.  They were calling the fee I paid a downpayment, and saying that if I did not return the phone, I would be charged another One hundred plus dollars!  What the heck?  So did the young lady manipulate me to just get me to buy the bundle and put off my charge until it was too late?  If you know me, you know I asked a lot of questions, and they promised to issue a credit for the next month, to equal the charge I was getting for the broken phone.  Sigh.  I think that happened, but 5 can't be sure because my bill makes no freaking sense... That leads me to problem 5.

Problem 5. Time to make the donuts... also known as time to pay the bill.  Hmmm... This bill does not look right.  Is this phone?  Is this u-verse?  What are these charges?  I really can't tell.  I call, and am on the phone for about 2 hours to come to the conclusion that no one I spoke to (I spoke to several) could make heads or tails of the bill and could not tell what the miscellaneous charges were for.  The cell bill was reasonably clear, but with the new phone, and the change in plan, it was confusing, but there was a random extra amount for $114 that no one could explain.  I'd been on the phone long enough so I said to myself... "self, AT&T hasn't screwed you over yet, just pay it and make sense of it next month"... did I mention that there was no itemization of my U-Verse bundle at all, but I paid it anyway.

Problem 6. Nothing has been working. After my son saw me completely losing my ish in the last 2 hour call, he took it upon himself to handle the technical part with my blessing.  Several hours later and several technicians later (dispatch just kept sending out the wrong installers) The cable was buried, helping the Dish to work better.  He also found someone to fix the internet connectivity issues, but they could not promise that we would get anywhere near what we were promised consistently.  This is still an issue.  He did mange to just the other day, put our old router back online which boosted the signal through the house, and it is a little better, but we are not getting what we are paying for.

Problem 7.  I am spending an inordinate amount of time on the phone with AT&T even though I have things to do.  It is unreasonable and it is unfair.  I ask can you call me back with answers and the answer is repeatedly, no we cannot call you back.  Oh, but if you look back to the second paragraph, it is clear the young lady called me back when she wanted to make a sale, so with every call, I am being held hostage for over an hour.  Not cool.

Problem 8.  yes, 8.  I start getting calls to pay my bill.  But I know that I paid the full amount revealed to me on ATT.com even though it was $114 more than my paper bill. I called a few times, and was told "maybe there is a problem because we are not done bundling your account".  "Maybe the problem is that your account is not bundled, let me do it"... "Oh, you have to pay us $50 to bundle your account to get this straightened up".... No two people said the same thing, and NO ONE said anything with any amount of certainty... at all.  Then last week, they turned off my phone, internet and cable, regardless of the fact that they acknowledged the week before that I was overpaid on one account and that I should hold off until they recalculated the Uverse account so I could pay the remaining amount.  In my impatience, I paid the $127-ish anyway to get my account turned back on, figuring It would come out in the wash. At this point I have paid over $500.00, and I have NEVER EVEN SEEN a Uverse bill, and the services are OFF.  My son and I took ALL DAY talking to people, and they found the issue eventually, and yes, we were very overpaid, but it was all applied to the cell phone and then the Dish people had the NERVE to tell me I had to prove that I paid... and they wiped my account completely, so when they turned it back on I had 4 channels.... Yes, i was on the phone for another hour dealing with that. But the account was back on, and they were heading in the right direction of fixing it, so I took a deep breath and decided to wait a week and call back.

Problem 9. I called back one week later, with a request that would make me happy. After spending over 7 hours at this point on the phone with AT&T, I am feeling like I should bill they for my time.  But I want an audit of my account.  I want to see itemized out everything they charged me since early July, and everything I paid.  I don't think this is too much to ask for. (oh, I should mention that everyone I spoke to on Monday Sept 19, asked me for a call back number, but when I said can you look into this and call me back, the answer was still "no, we can't call back". I should also mention that by this point I had gone through social media to get contact information from someone who could work across all departments, and get my bill straighten out and I was told by the social media people that there was no such person, and that I should talk about my issues publicly on Twitter.  What the fork?!  You're kidding me right?  They weren't.

Enjoy my twitter feeds:

Theres also a Facebook conversation somewhere where someone said, "This is what we are here for... let it out".  Are you effing kidding me? This is not cool.  IS AT&T SO REMOVED FROM PROVIDING ANY MODICUM OF CUSTOMER SERVICE THAT NO ONE CAN WORK WITH ME ONE-ON-ONE TO RESEARCH MY BILLS FOLLOW THROUGH AND GET BACK TO ME?  WHO ARE YOU PEOPLE, AND WHAT HAVE YOU DONE WITH MY PHONE COMPANY.

At the end of the day, after talking two AT&T Cellular and AT&T Uverse, the best they could tell me is that they would mail me reprints of my bills.

First, the bills made no sense. Second There has been NO Uverse bill.  No one could itemize it for my by phone, and I have seen nothing on paper, what are they going to send me?

Finally, problem 10.  My 15 year old account was so messed up that they canceled it on Sept 12, and started a new one.  If it didn't make sense before I doesn't now.

1. Full account audit.  Period. All charges and credits, all accounts. Early July through now.
2. Reinstate and continue my 15 year old cellular account.  I don't want to lose my history.  it has been very, very helpful in communication up until now, because they could look back and easily answer questions.
3. Keep my Uverse account separate, but give me a stinking bill, show me what I am being charged, and let me decide whether or not I want to keep it without penalty.
4. Assign me one person who has the authority to help me sort this mess out.  I prefer email communication by the way.

(side note... at this point realize I have kept the accounting of our communications brief.  Yes, brief.  I have had close to 8 hours worth of conversations with the shortest being 50 minutes even after me telling the person, I just wanted to formally request and audit and that I did not have a lot of time to debate.  I have dealt with some perfectly lovely people who were eager to please, but said whatever it took to try to make me happy, even if it did not reflect what would happen next.  I have spoken to some incredibly rude people who need home training.  I have had people yell at me and tell me that if I wasn't so rude, maybe i wouldn't have these issues (mind you this was about 6 1/2 hours in... polite was out the window.)... and the final person, the final person I spoke to, even after I introduced myself to her with Mrs.... (my last name) screamed my first name at me... not acceptable, especially since she pronounced it wrong... yes.  I tore into her. Sorry... not sorry. )) end of side note.


Update 9/26.  I found myself awake in the middle of the night and tried flipping channels to find that I had NO movie channels.  I called in the morning and was told that someone accidentally turned off my promotional channels.. (spite maybe).  Here's the thing.  When I signed up I asked for the most full package they had and asked the price.  I was priced for basic channels without the movie channels and the fact that I had 3 months of promotional channels was snuck in. Had I been told the TRUTH.... I never would have even changed providers because guess what... the price was the same. To date everything I have been told was A BIG STINKING LIE. They lured me to their company under false pretenses... and meanwhile, they are still all like "how can we help you" on social media, but no one will call me or email me.


Happy Elf Mom (Christine) said...

OH WOW. We have been through something similar but on a MUCH smaller scale! And what we went through was bad enough. We switched to Time Warner Cable for our internet and are much happier. AT & T, if you are reading this, PICK UP YOUR STUPID EQUIPMENT. We discontinued service ages ago and I am NOT your storage unit! SO TIRED OF IT.


Ahermitt said...

I thought the services made you turn in the equipment or else they would charge you. You should be able to call them for mailers to send them in if they are not nearby... they is how I returned my NYC equipment... through the mailers they gave me.

Ps. I got a bill from them too I have to deal with... they are trying to charge me for discontinuing my service even though it was move base. I have to write a letter to a collection company. These people don't know how detailed my memory can be and how long winded I get when I write.