"World-class leader of customer service"~REALLY?!
DAVIS, CALIFORNIA -- The horrendous customer service that my roommates and I have unnecessarily received for an ongoing two months is in stark contrast to AT&T’s promise to “deliver world-class customer service.” As an undergraduate at UC Davis who lives with other college students, wealth in time and money are not assets which I can easily claim. Sitting for hours on the phone, wasting hundreds of cell phone minutes, and describing the same unsolved situation to countless departments has been the constant nightmare which we have faced due only to the simple desire to reconnect our internet service.
Although I have related my case what now seems like countless times, I will once again attempt to explain my situation. Due to confusion and miscommunication, one of my roommates decided to cancel our internet service with AT&T after she moved out of our residence. At this point, I promptly called AT&T to set up a separate Internet account under my name for basic services. Given that we already were in ownership of the wireless router, an installation CD, and all other devices necessary to connect to the internet, it seemed a safe assumption that this would be an easy process. Little did we know that we were about to face a nightmare which made the stress of finals, work, and school pale in comparison.
During my first phone call, I was assured I would receive internet by June 4, 2007 which satisfied me given that this was one day before my finals and deadlines for papers would begin. After a 78-minute long conversation with the representative, I was guaranteed the service. However, I did not have internet as I was promised on June 4. I also did not have internet on June 6 or June 8 as I was reassured in the many phone calls I was forced to make between each of these dates. I have taken the time to attach a list of employee reference numbers that is long and looming and demonstrates how familiar we became with each of the highly disorganized departments at AT&T.
Amidst being hung up by several representatives, erroneously transferred to different departments who could offer little in the way of service, and constantly facing another failed promise, I learned that we were somehow registered for two different accounts. This may seem horrible enough in itself, however what was truly distressing and amazing to myself and my roommates was that our strange “second” account was under the name of another man named “Tom.” One AT&T department was only able to access the incorrect account under my name while another AT&T department could only access the account under “Tom.” The level of confusion exhibited by AT&T representatives due to this type of internal disorganization was small in comparison to the bewilderment of three college students who just needed internet.
Following numerous unpleasant verbal exchanges with many AT&T representatives, we were finally able to reconnect our internet service four hours after the promised scheduled time on June 8. My roommates and I alternated on our phones due to each of us in turn surpassing our minutes limit until we were guided through a complicated process of connecting the internet. The sympathy of certain representatives managed to guarantee us a two month credit on our bill due to the gravity of our experience and the level of our dissatisfaction. However, as we have quickly learned with AT&T, the nightmare never ends where we think and hope it will.
As atrocious as the above may seem, I’d like to stress that I promptly received TWO bills to my address despite believing that I no longer had two accounts and would receive a credit regardless. And so the next chapter of our AT&T experience began. One bill had a credit applied to the amount which did not cover the full amount as were such promised previously by numerous seemingly confident and knowledgeable representatives. Much to our surprise, the representative that we spoke to on the phone regarding this issue was someone whom we had somehow not managed to meet before, and still more surprisingly surpassed any type of rudeness we had undergone prior.
Approximately 900 of cell phone minutes later (Want to see the phone bills?), I somehow managed to clear the balance on one bill, but failed to do so for the second. I have faxed these two bills to (626) 577-6956 and was told by a confused representative attempting to clarify my situation to write “Attention: Scanner” (hmmm…..is this AT&T’s internal code for trash bin?). Again, one bill could only be viewed by one department while the other could only be viewed by a separate department.
We are all completely beyond any attempts for patience and feel fair in saying that we will not be paying any erroneous amounts on an account, whether it is an actual account or not. As leasing administrators of apartment complexes who have referred many students to AT&T and longtime customers ourselves, we are not only horrified and disappointed with our experience, but also entirely devoid of any understanding for this company. As a photo lab technician, leasing administrator, full-time student, and community volunteer with roommates who are just as busy, it is also safe for me to say that I do not have the time to once again deal with the bureaucratic nightmare that is AT&T.
If the fact that I have received the worst kind of service across ANY industry within these last two months at the hands of AT&T has not been adequately communicated, I would like to once again emphasize my extreme discontent and frustration. Upon completion of my contract with AT&T in August, I will never again place myself in a situation where I will have to in any way deal with a company of this sort.
Given the type of “individual attention and care” I have received, it would no longer be surprising if this letter inspired less understanding than how sad I feel myself concerning what my roommates and I have had to face in the last two months. However, I do hope this letter at least inspires some kind of progressive change which will hopefully move the company toward actually fulfilling its motto to “deliver world-class service” in addition to remedying our entire situation.