My Letter to AT&T and Their Pals at Asurion
August 11, 2009
P. O. Box 413866
Kansas City, MO 64141-3886
Re: AT&T #
Dearest Asurion Insurance Company and Your Equally Aggravating Conspirator, AT&T:
Iâve had the unique pleasure of spending the last several days on what seemed like
a series of no less than two-hundred and fifty-thousand grueling phone conversations with your ace customer service team regarding my defective Blackberry 8700c. The experience was akin to the most excruciating torture imaginable. In hindsight, Iâd prefer the luxury of water-boarding, splintery bamboo shoots being shoved up under my fingernails or high-voltage electrodes attached to my reproductive organs by overzealous, mega-caffeinated CIA goons vying for promotion. Quite frankly, what I had to endure, dispensed by the script-sticking zombies at both of your fine and upstanding firms would make the most hardened member of The Third Reich cry out for his Mama.
On the bright side, I sure do know the drill, backwards, forwards and sideways now. âThank you for calling the new AT&T about your wireless service.â Then comes something in Spanish like, âDonde esta el shampoo? Estas Susan en la casa? Primero numero dos.â Then, of course you get a menu, to which you can respond by pressing the numbers 1 through 4 on the phone keypad, and then finallyâ¦you get a real live android on the other end of the line. They ask youâ¦againâ¦for your Cell number, address, last four of your social, name, rank and serial number. But, before your grunts in the trenches could even utter the repetitive question logâ¦after passing me around your system like a drunken crack whore dwarf at a gang-bang porn shootâ¦I would clearly, confidently and calmly, restate said data, much to their surprise. They thought I had ESP. That was fun. I was helpful. This, by the way was after three (count âemâ¦three) trips to the AT&T store. The only heroes in this nightmare by the way were two Indian expats Jiwan and Nav at the AT&T bodega at Varick and Houston in NYC. They were the only people that went way out of their way to try to get to the bottom of my problem and actually help me. For the record, I wasnât even a customer of theirs. They were just being nice guys. And, I walked away with a fabulous chicken vindaloo recipe. All was not lost.
Back to the issue at hand: I have a defective Blackberry 8700c. Not defective as in I dropped it in the toilet while tripping my face off at the Phish concert in Central Park. Not defective from me flinging it out of my window on Exit 11 of the New Jersey Turnpike, doing 80 in a 55â¦and having it run over by a Smart Car with 18â rims. Not defective in that my chubby pal Louie tried to salt, pepper and eat the damn thingâ¦just defective, all by itself. Oh yesâ¦and only one month after the warranty expired. Ainât that a kick in the head?
Thus far, all a relative cakewalk as Iâm sure youâll agree. It is at this particular juncture of my story that the real tyranny begins. AT&T refers me to the insurance department. I naively believe this is actually a division of AT&T. Thatâs just ignorance though. I slap myself on the back of the head, Italian-style for being such a stunod. Turns outâ¦things are far worseâ¦itâs Asurion, a division of CNA Insurance. (cue the silent movie villain piano music now)
AT&T tells me that all I have to do is call, make a quick claim and voilaâ¦theyâll send me a new replacement phone right away. Simple right? I meanâ¦what could possibly go wrong? I was so relieved. Did I mention that my livelihood is high-pressure sales in the financial sector? Without my Blackberryâ¦my sole connection to the universe, Iâm little more than roadkill on the superhighway of life. A shell of a man. A mere shadow in the midst. Um, in other wordsâ¦totally screwed.
So, I called Asurion. It was a real treat to speak to the folks that Iâve been paying $4.99 a month to. Made it seem a little less like my hard-earned cash was being sucked into some useless black hole in another dimension. The kind gent on the other end of the line said the same thing. His speech, pretty much verbatim is like this, âSure. Weâll be happy to send a replacement phone to you, Sir. You may want to grab a pen and jot these items down. All Iâll need is a notarized sworn affidavit and proof loss, a copy of your most recent AT&T wireless bill, a copy of your current driverâs license, a valid proof of purchase, a photocopy of your sales receipt (the documents start flying by the sides of my head in various colors like at the end of â2001 A Space Odysseyâ when Dave Bowman is zooming through time and space in the Astro-Pod) the electronic register receipt, the purchase receipt listing the ESN or IMEI and make model, the packing slipâ¦Are you getting all this, Sir? And or a photocopy of the numeric barcode from the side of the box which the phone came in.â âIs that it?â I ask. âOhâ¦and a skin graft from the underside of your left testicle. That will do it, Sir.â
At this point itâs Tuesday which means I have to beg my wife to dig through her files to find the myriad holy grail of documents that Asurion demands, then find a Notary. (and a licensed Physician as the last time I tried the skin graft procedure on myself for the NJDMV, I made a real mess of things. Hereâs a tip from your friend Tonyâ¦a sharp, clean blade helps tremendously. Not my finest hour. Letâs just leave it at that.)
It will take 2-4 days for Asurion to get my dossier of documentsâ¦process them and ship me a replacement phone. Thatâs a week Iâm stuck with my defective Blackberryâ¦Or worse still, if it checks out completely, which it keeps threateningâ¦no phone at all!
To make a long story short (Entirely too late for that, I realize) you turkeys are holding me captive and I donât like it! This letter is going to the Better Business Bureau, The NY State Attorney General, to RIM, the manufacturer of Blackberry and to everyone I know on Facebook and Twitter. Heck, Iâm all for sticking it to The Manâ¦as long as The Man is not frigging me!
Kindly resolve this now and reexamine your procedures and methods. Ugh. You have wasted my most precious resourceâ¦time. Hours that Iâll never be able to retrieve. They flew out the window of my 12th floor office and at this pace quite frankly, Iâm ready to join them. Iâm sure you behemoth conglomerates couldn't care less about my plight. You might want to keep in mind though that there is safety in numbers and with the technology at hand, mountains can be moved.
Harsh letter to follow.
An Extremely Unsatisfied Customer