SHELBY, NORTH CAROLINA -- I have my payments sent to AT&T electronically through my bank every month. I was watching TV the other day and suddenly the screen flashed a message saying my system was being rebooted and powered down. Then I noticed my internet and phone were not working either. My service had been disconnected for non-payment. I have all these services bundled through AT&T. I called the bank and my payment of $165.10 had been sent to AT&T one week prior. I did not have an outstanding balance.
I called AT&T and was told they could not find my payment and could not restore my service until they had found it. I asked to speak with a supervisor and the person that answered, who I seriously doubt was a supervisor, told me the same thing. I had the reference number from the bank, the electronic check number, and the date it had been paid which was a week prior to the disconnection. I was told by one customer service representative it could take 7-10 days for my service to be restored. I became very upset because I knew the bill had been paid.
I told them if it was not restored immediately I would look into changing my services. One representative told me to do what I had to do and didn't seem concerned in the least. I waited a few hours and called them back. I was told by ANOTHER representative that the bank always sends their payments to them by U.S. Mail in the form of a paper check. I knew this wasn't true because the bank had already told me they had sent it electronically and they never send checks to companies via the U.S.Mail. I spoke to yet another representative who spoke to me like I was a slow two year old and even, at certain points, talked baby talk to me. I was furious.
I called them back again a few hours later and was told the same thing. My payment could not be found and therefore they couldn't turn my service back on. They refused to listen when I told them I had the reference number for the payment. I even offered to fax them a copy of the payment information from my bank and they said no. Because I didn't want to go 10 days without service I paid the bill again. My service was back on within 30 minutes. Approximately 1 hour later I went online and looked at my payment history.
Miraculously they had found the original payment and credited it to my bill so I am now paid up through September. I called back and insisted they give me a confirmation number for both payments which they did. I find it hard to believe they couldn't find the original payment 1 hour prior to the other payment being made. This is the second time I've had to ask them to look for a payment. This is the first time they've ever disconnected my service though. I like Uverse programming and I have no complaints with my actual phone, internet, or Uverse services however, their customer service representatives leave a lot to be desired.
The 'baby talking' lady, at one point, even sang "la la la la" in my ear when I tried to give her the confirmation number for the original payment. Fortunately I took the names of everyone I spoke to and I plan on calling their sales department on Monday. I want to ask them if they mention their horrible customer service when attempting to sell their product. AT&T needs to realize they are no longer the only game in town when it comes to telephone service. As soon as my contract is up I will be changing everything over to a different company based on my experience with their customer service group. Although I like Uverse, I would not recommend anyone buying any of AT&T's services simply because their customer service is horrible.
My AT&T Saga the Continuing Story
Following is a very long timeline explaining my ordeal with AT&T.
All I wanted to do was move into a new house some five miles from my old apartment. After two and a half months of dealing with AT&T, you would think I tried to move my Uverse service to the moon.
Mid June After several misdirected calls, several of which were routed continuously to the business division regardless of my telling the representative that I was calling about a personal account, I finally get through to the right people to move my Uverse service to a new address on 6/30/11. I request a new phone number as my old one gets calls all hours for a defunct auto repair shop. Installation date confirmed as 6/30/11 that day on the phone.
6/30/11 No communication from AT&T and no installation tech at new address. Call placed to AT&T yields, after several hours on the phone, a final response of "We are not sure exactly why this problem is happening though we know it is one that consistently happens when scheduling moving of service. Someone will call you tomorrow with a course of action to resolve."
6/31/11 no call from AT&T
7/1/11 Called At&T back and after spending an hour and a half on the phone, no forward motion is made on the issue except another statement of "we will call you back tomorrow MORNING to discuss resolution"
7/2/11 morning no call from AT&T so I called back to be told, "no one should be telling you they will call you back the next day if they cannot commit to it" I am told again that they are working on a resolution.
7/3/11-7/6/11 rinse and repeat process
7/8/11 After 10 hours on the phone over the course of one week, the response is that the order is completely messed up and "hanging in limbo" with no apparent way to correct it. I make the suggestion that perhaps they should just cancel my old service and create a whole new order which is met with a skeptical response of "I guess we could do that, but you will lose your home telephone number", which of course makes me giggle hysterically as that was one of the things I initially requested a new telephone number. New order is set up and after much discussion and hair pulling on my part, an installation date of July 25th is set upon (note that this is almost a month after I should have had service installed at the new house). I believe it was some time at this point that a credit was issued against my account for $100 because of the problems I had dealt with.
7/25/11 AT&T tech is an absolute joy who stays for five hours to ensure that everything is set up properly. Woohoo! Light at the end of the tunnel? Just a glimmer
I receive no billing or communications on the old account after this point.
Around the beginning of September I start getting calls from AT&T to my cell phone. I answer three "please hold for an operator calls. The first time, I am routed to a woman who speaks so little English that it takes several minutes for her to understand what my name is and how to spell it. She says that someone is trying to install service at the apartment I used to live in and that they can't do it because there is still service in my name at the apartment. Which is funny since my service should have been disconnected at that location on 6/30/11. She says she will take care of it and we part ways.
Later that same day, I get another one of these automated calls "please hold for an operator". I get another person who speaks little English. This guy doesn't even have a clue why I was called. He sees no problem with my account and sees no flags on the account to show why I was called. I finally have to tell him that after a half hour on the phone with him, I have a meeting I have to go into as I am at work.
Because I am not confident in AT&T at this point, I later call AT&T Uverse customer service in the USA.
The first person I speak with says that they can cancel the account and then I will have to call back when I get my final bill to dispute the charges for anything after 6/30/11. I tell him that is unacceptable due to the amount of personal time I have wasted on the phone with AT&T. After another 45 minutes on the phone, I get a hold of a guy who listens to the situation and is able to go in and supposedly cancel the account, clear up the back billing and issue me a credit for anything I have over paid. He also asks if I ever received a communication about returning the equipment, which I haven't, obviously, because my old account was never cancelled. He says I will receive instructions on returning the equipment, which I did receive and then used to return the equipment. I have tracking information for this return.
A few days after I returned the equipment, I receive a bill for $491.86 - $450 of which is for unreturned equipment which is wrong of course. This also includes billing for between 7/27/11 and 8/26/11, plus a forwarding of charges for 6/27/11-7/26/11 for which I never previously received communication.
By my account AT&T owes me $77.88 from where they should have billed me $22.12 minus a $100 credit (pain and agony credit) for the billing period between 6/27/11 and 7/26/11 plus a credit of $128.08 (another pain and agony credit) on the bill from 7/27/11-8/26/11 totaling a credit of $205.96.
Additionally, I have wasted over 14 hours on the phone with AT&T customer service and 8 hours of paid time off from work (waiting for an installation tech who never showed up) that I will now not be able to use towards my personal vacation. Based on my rate of pay, that wasted 22 hours is worth approximately $600.00. I am not factoring in the stress of the situation, the loss of sleep, the inability to communicate with the outside world during the time between 6/30/11 and 7/27/11 in the form of a home phone or internet connection.
I am a fairly intelligent and very persistent person who insists on doing things the right and fair way. I feel for anyone who is not able to keep track of these ridiculous account issues. AT&T's system has created an environment in which their reps are powerless to assist customers with even the most basic of account transitions a residential move!
Every customer service representative I have spoken with has been incredibly kind and understanding, has tried to manage my frustration, has tried to issue credits to make good on my lost time and energy, but they are facing a monolithic computer and database system that doesn't allow them to use their minds to correct issues.
CUPERTINO, CALIFORNIA -- This is by far the most disastrous customer service I've experienced.
My senior citizen parents who have been AT&T customers since '94. Dad decided to upgrade to an AT&T U-Verse package that somehow involved transferring the landline to their department. After the installation, my father wanted to add additional channels. Their service representative said that he is unable to act on our service, because the order is currently in "Incomplete" state and he is unable to Complete it. His solution? He DELETED our order, which spawned a whole slew of new trouble.
Both the landline of 20 years and TV service were cut on the evening of CHRISTMAS EVE and were never restored. Each time we connected to a Rep, they would dispute and claim that we're not supposed have TV or Landline (No s***, _YOU_ DELETED them!) and we have to go through 20 minutes of explaining the situation before escalation. For cases where the representative claimed we'll receive a call from their supervisor or manager, no such call ever came.
Hey, they must figure, if our record is gone, they wouldn't be accountable, right?
Finally, I got a representative who was able to find the problem. Apparently the TV package was contingent/bound to the landline number, but that was cut because the landline was deactivated. She asked, "what's the new number you would like?" Apparently, it is not possible to restore our number which THEY cut off only TWO days ago restored, even though no new user claimed it.
I explained to her supervisor that it is unacceptable to have our 20 year old landlines to be cut off just like that on an AT&T mistake and that they need to rectify it. I was told, and I quote, "It is not about whether you accept it or not. This is how it is."
Incompetent representatives, ineffective system tools and poor note-taking, and unwillingness to admit and take responsibility for their people and system issues. This is by far the worst corporation and does not deserve any future business with me or any one, and does not deserve to exist.
I work inside UVERSE TECH SUPPORT. TOP 10 tips to help you:
**Don't get U-verse phone for elderly people who should not be living alone!
We are open 24 hrs a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Warning if you call in at 3 am you will probably get someone from overseas.
The RG - residential Gateway can be accessed and changed at 192.168.1.254 I do NOT recommend you making changes unless you KNOW what you are doing. If you drop your connection frequently with the wireless change network name & remove the number 2 from the beginning of the name, never start the name with a number, change the key to a non related phone number like your mothers home phone or something not related to you, but easy to remember! Be sure you have the right setting wpa/psk etc and finally change the wireless channel - be sure its not the same as your cordless phone, baby monitor or garage door opener - or the neighbors.
If you call tech support and the agent pauses, hesitates, says um - hold on, let me check on something that should be fairly simple or takes more than a few minutes to pull the information together (we use a database for help & support) then JUST HANG UP and call again. Really you will be more frustrated with a new or mis-guided agent than if you have to go through the automated phone system again!
If you get a foreign agent ask for their name and ID should be xx1234 or x1234x - say "I want an American agent" then if they don't hang up on you and the hold time isn't so bad that you hang up they are REQUIRED to transfer you!
if you really do want a supervisor - say so! They are more experienced, they often have much more knowledge (at least in my office) and are very good at handling upset customers.
Be nice. We KNOW you are upset. If you swear at me I will politely ask you to stop twice, then I WILL hang up. If you scream in my ear, we wear headsets, you will not get all of the best of my help. I will do only what I have to and if you continue to scream after I ask you to stop I WILL HANG UP. I might be having a bad day too, but I will NEVER take it out on you. I don't take your problem personally and you are welcome to vent, politely, and I WILL do everything I can to help you. Really.
We really can run tests that do tell us a lot, if we were taught, or if we were capable of understanding it. I will admit I don't know what a lot of it means as far as how to repair it, but I do know what information to forward to the technician for repair. I may not know how to fix it but s/he does.
8 if the tech doesn't call by 30 minutes before the end of the dispatch time - you are scheduled 8-12 and its 1130 and no tech and no tech call, call AT&T and get an update on the appt. If the tech shows up and does a great job let us know and tell a MANAGER/SUPERVISOR, agents can't do anything. IF the tech is sloppy, smelly, or don't know what he is doing call us right away! During or after appt. We can get a FIELD supervisor to assist!
9 If someone isn't helping you ask for a supervisor! They may not be able to do much more but if they can't it likely cannot be done. We are restricted in what we can do. If all else fails, threaten to disconnect. MAGIC words.
10 PLEASE! get the agent id and name for EVERY call. When you get a survey PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE fill it out and send it back! WE NEED them for our jobs! and by the way the rating system is if you say you are VERY SATISFIED = 5 score we pass anything else and we fail. It is not a 0-5 score it is 0 OR 5, there is nothing in between regardless of what you rank us. 0 to 4 equals 0.
Hope that helps. Have a great day.
The FIRST PROBLEM: I had ordered the installation of U-Verse from AT&T along with an upgrade Internet Service from DSL to Pro. The service guy said it could not be installed because my 3-prong grounding wire was upstairs and my computer was on a different floor. Didn't understand why this was going to be a problem since there was going to be TV's wired on 3 different floors. He said he had to cancel my installation until I had my outlets near my computer grounded. Found out from friends that had U-Verse that they did not have their box connected near the computer and that the first installation guy that came out told them the same thing but the second guy said it was not a problem. So I called. First I was told the "box" had to be near the computer. The next person said it had to be near the main DVR box or the computer. The next person said it had to be by the main DVR box. All 3 answers came from one call after being transferred around when I told them how friends had theirs connected. Still do not have a set answer. Was told to set up installation again and see what the he next guy says!
The SECOND PROBLEM: One week (Friday) and exactly at the time my service should have been installed but was canceled by the AT&T guy, my DSL Internet service was turned off., I was on the internet just before. When I seen the time, I figured it was because I was "suppose" to have their new service and figured that was why they turned my old service off. I called, told them what I thought happened and was told, "that could not be the problem". Went through their "line testing" and was told there was a problem with the wiring either in my house or from the pole. Was sent to a tech. Told him my same thought as to what happened, was told that could not be the problem. Had to send out a tech. Tech came out the next day (Saturday). Check my house, outside, the pole and their service box. Asked if I had U-Verse, said no and told him what happened. He said I would not be able to have DSL and U-Verse, something about a confict in the wiring. Said he verified I had U-Verse according to his office and that would cause my DSL to be disconnected. Couldn't do anything until billing was open on Monday to verify! Called on Monday to verify what time they would be coming out. The phone representative did not show a "ricket" so I had to go thorough the reporting problem again. Advised what the tech told me on Saturday and was told, "they could not be the problem". Again was sent to a Tech. The first thing he asked was did I have U-Verse. Told him no and explained again. Asked me to hold and a supervisor came on the line. He explained that it was showing that I had U-Verse and that to have it, my DSL would have had to be disconnected. Explained what happened. Told me he had to call me back. He did but explained I had to tell billing that I wanted to cancel my U-Verse so he could fix the problem. Billing insisted that I had U-Verse and that if I canceled I was going to lose my TV reception. She then told me I didn't understand that I was canceling my TV service!! It took me having to raise my voice that I do not have and want whatever she shows canceled. She responded that she would have to not my file so I could not complain when I lost my TV service!
When I called to complain, after my DSL service was restore I was "thanked" for being a long time customer, I have been with AT&T for my phone for over 35 years, 10 years for my cell phone and 5 years for my internet. She responded they appreciate my business. I asked if they felt I should be compensated for the problem they caused me and was told that they again, appreciate my business! Asked to be transferred to someone I could file a complaint with and was told "it wasn't necessary, she will note my displeasure". Wasn't good enough so she gave me an addressed to write a letter to. Never heard anything back!
Changing emails and phone numbers are hard with my job and I feel they know that so don't really care. Hope others can deal with the change and not take what AT&T doesn't offer in customer service. Longevity means nothing to them, that is for sure.
Two weeks ago, I made the mistake of calling AT&T to attempt to lower my bill by taking call waiting and call forwarding off of a dedicated fax line in a home office. After speaking with several people, I was advised that I did not need a separate fax line, and could have what they called a ringmaster, which would allow my main number to receive faxes which would roll to my fax machine. It sounded fine to me, so I agreed. OH MY GOSH....WHAT A MISTAKE. My fax line no longer worked, and thus the nightmare began.
Several days later, I received a modem, which I already had, did not request, and in fact did not even discuss with AT&T. The next day, I received a letter saying that they had done a credit check and that I would not be allowed to purchase anything from them. I had not requested a purchase, or authorized a credit check. Additionally, my credit is excellent, so I was scared that I was a victim of identity theft. I checked my credit and it is 780, so I'm still not sure what this was about.
I called AT&T to attempt to get my inoperable fax issue resolved. After >45 minutes lost in a call rotation, and speaking to very incompetent people...I got a manager. She assured me that she could resolve the problem and even offered to save me a lot of money on my cable TV service. She offered me rebate money and restaurant giftcards. I told her that I wanted to think about it since I had had such a bad experience with my fax number. She said she would just set me up with an appointment and I could cancel if I changed my mind.
My fax number still doesn't work, and my phone has now been taken hostage....I have spoken with 18 people at AT&T and spent 6 hours and 17 minutes on the phone. They are unalbe to fix it and the level of incompetence with the employees is astounding.
I have now spoken with their consumer complaints dept. and even they were rude, and seemingly unable to fix the problem.
Whatever you do.....DO NOT AGREE TO SIGN UP FOR UVERSE. I have looked on the internet, and there are hundreds of pages of complaints about it.
Installed Uverse on 3/31/09
Messed up my cell voicemail-had Uverse Voicemail tied together with it, lost my Lifetime Tivo service, No Internet for over a month, was sent bills in the $300 range for the past 2 months for services that were malfunctioning. I have logged about 30+ hours of wasted time on the phone with both billing and mostly tech support. They refuse to transfer you to talk to the same person twice so each day I had to start over with tier 1 tech support even tho my case had been accelerated to management and engineers (some computer glitch kept hard suspending my account when they'd try to cancel the TV portion)When I tried to put everything back to the pre-Uverse trial, I was told I could not (hows that for a 30 day trial?) because there was no longer an open port in my area to put me back on DSL, all full-- CSR or managers do NOT return phone calls at all. If you get into the late afternoon and they have not called you back--you won't hear from them again! I'd say 90% never called back and that's no exaggeration. The last thing I'll mention is AT&T finally got the glitch fixed it all fix after 2 months of basic DAILY HELL & hours on the phone, 3 afternoons in a row waiting 4+ hours for no show techs. After several more days of badgering the phones I was given credit for only the services I didn't receive and NO not a penny for inconvenience or loss of use.
The topper--yesterday a billing manager called full of attitude before the word go as I started explaining my situation for the gazillionth time. She asked things like "who said these were engineers? Do you have the names and phone numbers of each individual person on the so-called "engineering team"? I don't understand what your "internet wasn't working means?" Then amazingly she replied, "we don't have any record of any problems with this account". When I tried to explain how that is impossible that I have been working with (and she asked for clarification as to what "working with means") I was mid sentence explaining and she abruptly interrupted with. "I'll have to call you back." and hung up. She has not called back. That's it, I'm outta here! Next week I'm finding new service and I'll NEVER do business with AT&T again. Previous to this, I had been a happy customer for 15 consecutive years with phone, cell, & Internet services.
When I returned the DVR at my local UPS Store a couple days ago, the clerk inquired as to what is happening, in his little store alone he has return about 600 units in the past 2 months--tell you something? Think Uverse is wonderful? Wait until you have a problem, then we'll talk. (smile)
DAYTON, OHIO -- An AT&T UVERSE rebate offered a $100 visa card for switching to UVERSE. I received a card from ATT for $50. The remaining $50 was to come from HBO and STARZ. To get these rebates required a rebate form be filled out for each movie offering. Each form required a paid invoice invoice for 3 months of service. The work necessary to fulfill these requirements was simply not worth it. I passed on these rebates.
I also got stung on rebates from Lowe's and rebates from the local natural gas company. The total of these lost rebates came to $400. This all occurred in the period from mid December to late may. It seems to me that these rebates are offered to promote sales but with no intention of paying the rebate if at all possible. This is done by building requirements into the process that are very difficult, if not impossible, to meet.
In general there is deceit, bordering on fraud, in the rebate process. Caveat emptor.
I have AT&T wireless and was considering moving everything else to AT&T. I decided to keep DirecTV, but switch everything else. I had Cincinnati Bell for phone & DSL. AT&T could not take the order for internet until DSL was disconnected. It was supposed to take CinBell 4 days to disconnect, but we had to wait almost 2 weeks because they lease the lines from AT&T and it took AT&T that long to disconnect the service.
I then ordered my wireless & phone (with a port of my current number) on 4/13 for install on 4/20 - and was told they would call my wife's cell 30 minutes prior to install. On 4/17, they called me to tell me I had a "slam block" on my local number and they could not port my phone until I had that removed - no problem I thought - BUT they require 4 days prior to install so I would have to reschedule. NO WAY - so I cancelled the telephone switch - their loss. Seems they could have checked that on the 13th, 14th, 15th, or 16th if they wanted my business.
When they confirmed the install I again stated they would need to call my wife's cell 30 minutes prior because I would be out of town - no problem - it's in the notes. On 4/20, I was in meetings without my phone. When I got access to the phone, I had 2 voicemails - on MINE, not my wife's - 1 stating they were waiting, but would only wait 20 minutes and 1 stating they were leaving and I would have to reschedule. I tried the installers cell, but he would not answer, so I then spent 1 hour on the phone with AT&T - about 4 or 5 different representatives. None could reach the installer, until I tried to cancel my account - they contacted dispatch and were able to reschedule for that morning - which was my ultimatum. I had ZERO desire to stay with AT&T at this point, but I had been without internet for weeks. IF they could do it that day, they kept my business, if not, I move everything to their competitor.
Unfortunately I'm about to call them again tomorrow. The speed is great, but it drops frequently for no apparent reason. It also causes a lot of static on my phone line.
GO WITH ANOTHER COMPANY!
EVANSTON, ILLINOIS --
I ordered AT&T U-verse internet service with the self install option for my home. Being an electrical contractor for over forty years, I've installed hundreds of telephone systems. When I installed the equipment, the service did not work. I called AT&T tech support, and they confirmed that everything that I had done was correct. So, they would send a tech out to find the trouble.
The tech checked all the internal wiring that I had previously done and commented that it was not only professionally done, but it was correct. He told me that he needed to install a separate jack for the U-verse. He used my same wire that was there. This was never mentioned anywhere in the installation instructions or anywhere on the AT&T website. If I would have known this before he entered my house, this was something that is easily accomplished.
I asked the tech if many people who opt for the self install option end up having an extra charge and the aggravation of a tech coming into their house. He told me that honestly, most people cannot self install, but AT&T certainly doesn't tell the customer up front.
The end result was that everything now worked fine, but I am now being billed an additional $110 extra for the tech to enter my house and install the jack.
I feel very misled.