Run for your life! AT&T's Customer Service has been taken-over by Zombies! I was an AT&T customer for 30+ years but not anymore. I am convinced that AT&T is SCAMMING their clients for millions of dollars, just by forcing them to use 'Operator Assisted' calls caused by their own faulty phone service lines.
When I recently called AT&T customer service about a like incident, all of the representative that I spoke to, eerily in an almost spooky-way, responded in the same scripted, accented, mono-tone, word-for-word dialogue about some quirky rule that they “can not reimburse for an Operator Assisted call” and that it was basically my own fault for being forced to use an operator.
I tried, in vain to explain to their customer service folks what happened, as it was so obvious from looking at the phone bill, the terms of events leading up to the forced ‘Operator Assistance'. Looking back, it would have been easier not to have called and just spoken to a brick wall. Never mind that a number I was able to dial prior, using the same exact phone just minutes before was no longer considered valid according to AT&T's system. I can even, remember at the time thinking how nice it was for AT&T to send an operator to assist with connecting my call. Wow! I was thinking such great customer service, until I got slapped with a huge AT&T bill!
AT&T charged me $50+ for a call that lasted less than 10 minutes because it was an ‘Operator Assisted' call. This call would have normally been less than $1 according to my calling plan. I was basically being forced into a situation to pay an exorbitant amount for using an operator, because of AT&T's own faulty service lines. How odd that a valid number all of a sudden became invalid and that I could not make a connection without their own operator to assist! This smacks of extortion.
At one point, when I called AT&T's customer service, and asked to speak to a manager, I got a ‘fake-supervisor du jour', who read off the same scripted response as the initial, non-supervisory representative, when I then asked him for his manager, I was told that he has "an OFF-line Manager" and that “I could not escalate this issue any further” and was than giving a PO Box to write my complaint to.
I believe that AT&T is scamming people for millions using forced ‘Operator Assisted' calls and in general, a shut-out client service tactic, with little recourse for the consumer. This customer bids her final, Good-BYE and good riddance to AT&T! I am walking with my on-line bill pay check-book to a more customer oriented, less deceptive company.
WINSTON SALEM, NORTH CAROLINA -- I ordered phone service through AT&T a few weeks ago with an install date for 9/2. I was not initially given a window of time and was basically told it was anytime in the day. I took off work and spent the day home waiting for them. I called in to AT&T a number of times and the automated machine kept hanging up on me. I waited at the low end 1 hour at a time on hold to speak with someone and most of those representative lost my call during transfer which meant another hour on hold trying to get to speak with someone again. Well this went on for around 4 hours today.
I finally spoke with someone who told me my window of install was between 12 and 6pm so I didn't really need to stay here all day but was never initially told that. This person checked the account, checked the numbers and verified that the install was scheduled. Well at 6 pm tonight after no one had shown up, I started the entire process of calling them all over again.
The first representative after an hour on hold told me he could not give me any info on the account and had to transfer me to another number to obtain the information and of course that office was closed. I once again called back and went through the entire hold process again to be told the account was put on hold and no other information was available except from the office which of course was closed.
Now mind you, I don't even have their service and already am being treated with disrespect and like garbage. No one called me, no one told me there was an issue, they just let me sit home like an idiot all day begging them for information. Well I want to know what happened between 3 pm when the install was verified and 6 pm when no one showed up and no one called. This is lousy service.
HOUSTON, TEXAS -- I moved into a new apartment and had to change from Time Warner Cable High Speed Cable Internet (RoadRunner) to the AT&T (former SBC) "High Speed" Yahoo! DSL Internet. This review is by no means an advertisement for TWC - just an attempt to compare and let you know about frustration with ATT/SBC. Had I known what kind of aggravation signing up for AT&T (SBC) DSL would bring I would have never moved into this apartment in the first place. High Speed Internet is a crucial requirement for me - I am an IT professional and work from home most of the time.
AT&T DSL (former SBC) provides highly unsatisfactory service! Everybody I spoke to at AT&T were making statements obviously not knowing what they were talking about. Like early contract termination/disconnection fee for example... it is still a mystery to me. Contract says $200. When I was signing up I was told by the representative it was "only" $99. Another representative said there was no termination fee. Whom to believe?They say whatever is their latest policy - takes precedence. So what is the point in signing the contract then - if they can change it anytime they want?
BTW, you will get charged early termination fee even if you move during your contract to an area where there is no SBC/AT&T service provided. Keep that in mind. With TWC - no early termination fees and no contracts. I usually spend hours on the phone trying to resolve simple problems, being footballed around from one representative to another. Today I spoke with 8 people from AT&T, having spend 2.5 hours on the phone trying to resolve a simple billing problem. I haven't placed a service call with TWC in years. Also about 50% of the time you would get a non-native English speaker, sometimes very difficult to understand.
I signed up on 05.03.2006 for the AT&T DSL Elite Package - $29.99 and was promised speeds from 3 to 6 Mbps. That required a phone line. (Phone activation is separate from DSL activation and takes about a week each). I haven't had a phone land line in years. I used to keep my cellphone as the only line for voice communications and TWC Roadrunner for the Internet. That was all I needed.
I was quoted $35 phone installation fee, instead I was charged $48. But that was just that, - peanuts for starters... I also had to purchase DSL modem for $50 (TWC provided cable modems for free and replaced them couple of times with newer models), that actually had to be shipped to me (another $13). DSL modem it can be rebated if you send the shipping label back to them and be with them for at least 4 (?) months out of your contract, and then it takes another couple of months to get the rebate. Taxes are very high both on the phone and DSL, on $36 of service I pay $20 additionally in taxes! With TWC it was about $1.5 on $44 service.
Instead of promised 3-6 Mbps I am getting constantly 2-2.4 Mbps. That is with the direct Ethernet cable connection from your NIC to the DSL modem. If you use home wireless network, like most of us, it will be even slower. Also they insist on disabling any ati-virus and firewall protection during the test. Well, how realistic this test is then? If you run Windows OS - running firewall and some sort of AV protection is a must! I opened a technical support ticket and conducted several DSL speed tests provided by SBC/AT&T tech support that confirmed that the speed is not approaching the promised minimum of 3 Mbps.
Technical support advised me that these speeds cannot be provided in my area (by what methods they determined this is unknown, actually that tech support person did not do anything at all, he was just talking), and that I need to downgrade the service to the "Pro" (1.5 - 3 Mbps).
So I called back to let ATT know that they charge me for the falsely advertised speeds that they cannot deliver, and was told that they will "downgrade the speed" but I still will be charged till 05.30.2006 as if I were getting the Elite speeds for the whole month of May. Moreover I was told that I need to continue to pay the full amount on my bills till I see the change, which, as I was told can take 2 to 3 billing cycles.
The last representative I spoke to today (the 8th person) told me that he is doing me a "great favor" by letting me switch to Pro (even though it is totally SBC/AT&T fault - not being able to deliver the promised speeds that I was charged for and were the only reason I signed up for the service), and also giving me the special rate of $19.99 (that is actually quoted on the web site - there is nothing special about it), because I "do not qualify" for the "special" $19.99 rate for whatever reason. With TWC Roadrunner I usually saw 300-350 KBytes/s download speeds, that is about 2.7 Mbps. But then again, they were never making any outrageous claims in the first place.
To the current AT&T(SBC) DSL customers - run the speed test. It can be found here: **. Run it and see what your real connection speed is! It is possible you have been paying for years for the falsely advertised speeds that AT&T just cannot deliver but does charge for them.
To those considering AT&T - think again. All of the representatives that I spoke too never resolved my problems but never failed to try to sell me some additional services. They say they do not work for commission, but based on my experiences with them I no longer believe a single word coming out of them. I am writing to the Better Business Bureau about this as well as Public Utility Commission of Texas. BTW, I am not advertising TWC here. Their services are also far from perfect and also expensive. But everything is known in comparison. ATT/SBC DSL service and support is a nightmare!
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA -- Irate CSR retaliates to a statement I made and disconnected my phone service which I've had for over 13 years. For three days I am told a variety of differing stories - phone service to be reconnected with no worries by 8 with DSL on the same day. At one point my call is routed to an outsourcing call center where my very feminine voice keeps being met with Mr. and sir this and that. Blind transferred to multiple departments on several occasions.
On the third day without DSL, I am told this is unrealistic to think I will have DSL anytime soon. It is a new account now and I will have to wait at least a week or more to have internet service. Switching internet service providers. You can have AT&T.
NORTHERN VIRGINIA, VIRGINIA -- "ALERT" and never fall into the trap of AT&T. The Sale Agent will promise you a lot of deals and rebates which you will never receive. The customer service team will tell you that they have taken care of any of your need which will never be taken care of and noted down. They will burden you with all sorts of additional payments making sure that they suck you completely. And finally the worse part is even if you CANCEL your account, they make sure that they leave some or the complete account active to keep billing you for that part.
STEVENS POINT, WISCONSIN -- I purchased a telephone card 8-21-07 at your Target store in Stevens Point, Wi. I've purchased same in the past, no problems. It's an AT&T 600 minute phone card. My wife used some of the minutes and noticed the remaining minutes were limited to 200 in the state of Wis. I took the card back to your store and asked for a refund as the other 400 minutes are no used to me as we make no out of state calls. They refused citing the use of the card, no refunds available. I was given a card to complain as the sales girl advised, she agreeing with me that this is a ripoff.
She advised I write your company to see if I can get a partial refund. I paid $31.64 w/tax and will use a third of the card or 200 minutes. Target had no notice advising the card had limitations on their display area. If such notice was advised I would never have purchased same. Please forward me $20.00 for the 400 minutes I'll never use. If you want the card back please advise. I'll also send you a copy of my purchase invoice.
CORVALLIS, OREGON -- Look! At 7 PM, I am advised by a rude male person on the phone that my long distance account is $19 overdue. Is my case going to be a Supreme Court matter? So why can't I ask a question or two. I hang up. Next day I call the AT&T residential long distance service number to find out what's going on. You have to go through several tiers to get to a human voice. This voice is hardly able to speak English. I think it's the same rude man who called before. He does not respond to a question. He reads a script. Then, if you don't just pay the amount due, he cuts you off. The line goes dead. I try again. Cut off twice.
I am at a loss to find out how my $2 a month charge for long distance service (poor man's rate) got to be $19 overdue. No one will tell me. I won't pay till I find out. Chances are a change in my bank's credit card caused a problem. But I May never know. AT&T, where is your "humanity" in a trivial matter like this. Perhaps another company can talk to me about little matters.
DAVIE, FLORIDA -- AT&T offer me by phone a "combo": DSL, Phone service and the same package I had on Direct TV for $ 130. The operator name is ** and this happened on 08/23 and 24-07. They connect DSL and the phone, but Direct TV told me that my charges with that Company will be the same that I have already. So now, I have to pay for the DSL and phone and the same old charges for Direct TV. AT&T only said, "we are sorry for the inconvenience". Can you believe that?
CARNEYS POINT, NEW JERSEY -- Someone from a prison has been calling my house collect in error. We do not accept these calls, instead we hang up. AT&T has sent bills for reflecting these calls are one minute long. Upon speaking with one represetative, explaining that this is a billing error, I've been placed on hold. The next person to pick up is never the first person I spoke with, so I explain the situation again (and again).
A call from their collections department got me back to several more customer service representatives. In response to my explanation of these unwanted calls, I explained once we would hear the operator and then the person speak, we would hang up. The first representative stated that the caller does not say anything until the call is accepted. I explained that this caller, apparently in frustration, surpassed saying his name and would say "** pick up the phone!", which made her statement incorrect. I felt as if the blame was being placed on me!
Finally, after being placed on hold four times and speaking to yet more people, the final AT&T employee that I spoke with stated that we must be accepting the calls. It was at that time I pointed out that even a "I'm sorry you have the wrong number." would exceed a few seconds and requested the definitive time frame of the calls. An offer to remove "some" of the charges was made. However, since this is not a service that I used, I don't feel it is fair for me to be obligated to pay for erroneous charges.
The last representative suggested I block collect calls. I'm not quite sure why I should have to do that to avoid bogus charges. If I used the service, I would pay for it, but I did not. If there is an emergency and one of my kids has to call collect, I want to have the option available. I was also told by the last representative that if my voicemail had picked up the call, that would have incurred the charges. For clarification, I very specifically asked him "No one would have to accept the call?". He said unfortunately, "no".
So, some guy in prison dials the wrong number, no one accepts it, but since the voicemail answers, the consumer is obligated to pay for it... Is there something wrong here? My father had several hundred dollars worth of charges. Seems a prisoner was charging their calls to his home phone. Keep in mind, no one was home to approve these calls. The response to that was that it is a scam and prisoners can share a telephone number with others to make calls. Again, because AT&T does not have safeguards (such as a real person accepting the call and/or charges), the consumer is held responsible.
I asked the AT&T representative "is there a way to avoid ANY charges from this company". He stated the block would be my only option. So, in other words, they can bill me, whether correct or not, if they so choose and not be obligated to justify those charges. My billable time is $40.00 an hour, I'm considering sending them a bill for my time they have wasted. I asked for the specific amount of time per call, as I am positive they are less than an entire minute. That information was not available to him.
MAINE -- Just an update... STILL have yet to receive the return shipping label. I refused to pay for the first installment (of four) for the cheap incomplete phone. Still getting emails from my AT&T complaints asking me to call 800 numbers who put me on hold for 15 minutes. And NOW, and this is RICH... getting a REAL LIVE PERSON calling ME from AT&T from the COLLECTIONS DEPARTMENT threatening to "cancel service with AT&T." I was delighted to inform them that they needn't bother. I saved them the trouble by switching to Verizon. Finally, one note on the irony of AT&T SALES ADS being posted next to my comments. I have posted the latest three replies below. TOO FUNNY!!!