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Saturday, August 17th, 2019 3:49 AM

Awful AT&T technical & customer service (including stalling tactics and lies from several AT&T reps)

Hello. My monthly service fees for TV and internet recently increased by 60%.  I contacted AT&T the same day I received the bill (about 2-3 days into the billing cycle) and asked for a better rate.  Despite the website having the exact same services at the previous fees I was paying (and $300 offered in gift cards), I was told the best rate AT&T could give me was 25% above my previous rate.  The AT&T rep also told me that they could not lower the current bill to the new rate, despite only being a few days into the billing cycle.  Since I was due to move away in the next several months anyway, I discussed the situation with my roommate and elected to cancel my service.  I would have been more than willing to stay with AT&T with a reasonable rate until I moved out, but AT&T guidelines for their reps apparently left no room for them to make any adjustments.  The AT&T rep then told me that per a new policy enacted at the end of 2018, full payment at the higher rate was due and AT&T would not prorate the service if cancelled early.

 

Two to three weeks passed and my roommate tried to coordinate his new service with my cancellation.  My service was due to cancel the following Tuesday and my roommate scheduled an installation appointment on the current Friday.  I have more flexibility with my job so I stayed home on Friday morning for the installation.  The four-hour time-frame provided to my roommate ended with nobody contacting him or me, so I called AT&T support to ask for an update.  I was transferred to a technical rep who told me that there was an issue with "the line" that the engineer needed to resolve before the install could happen.  The AT&T rep told me that the install was still scheduled for the same day and she would call me back.  Another four hours passed without any updates and I called back again requesting an update.  I was then told that because the old account was still active in their system, they could not install the new service.  I started to feel very frustrated by the situation, and I asked why nobody had contacted me about the issue the entire day and disputed that they could not get someone to install the new service.  Then in the process of "helping" me, the AT&T rep cancelled the existing service without coordinating when a technician could come out to install the new service.  So instead of the service ending the following Tuesday and the new service potentially being activated the next day, the technician dropped all services up until the new installation date.  The rep told me she could not fix the issue, so I requested an escalation to a supervisor or manager to fix the issue and was told someone would call me back.

 

... Two hours later, no call.  I called into support and was told that they could not reactivate the old service or get a technician out any sooner than the next Thursday (1 week away).  I asked for a supervisor and was told there were no supervisors working. I could feel the heat in my face rising as I asked why I was told a supervisor would call me back earlier and now there were none available. I demanded that the rep follow whatever processes she had to get a supervisor on the phone immmediately. Over the next 15-30 minutes, I was repeatedly put on hold, told the supervisor/manager was engaged on another call (obvious question: why did the rep say there wasn't a manager working?), and advised that a manager would call me back.  Since I had not been called once during the day and had been told that a manager would call me back 2 hours earlier, I said I would wait.  I then get told that the rep learned that "sales" could fix my issue and get transferred to them.  I immediately ask for a supervisor/manager and get a repeat of the same tactics (put on hold, told the supervisor/manager was engaged on another call, and advised that a manager would call me back).  At this point, I am getting really angry as I've been on the call for over 1 hour.  "Sales" tells me that they are transferring me to a technical support supervisor who can fix my issue.  I quickly identify that the person I've been transferred to is not a supervisor.  I ask for a supervisor again and get the same stalling tactics (put on hold, told the supervisor/manager was engaged on another call, and advised that a manager would call me back).  I say repeatedly that I will wait for a supervisor.  About 15-20 into waiting, I'm told that the rep has spoken to the supervisor and that only the sales department can help me... but they are closed.  At this point, I'm livid as I advise I was just transferred from "sales" and told that technical support could help me.  I also state that I have repeatedly requested a supervisor and have not been transferred to one.  I'm told the supervisor is tied up on another call and I respond "you're telling me the supervisor has been tied up for the last 2-3 hours?"  The rep did not have a real response and I repeatedly say I will wait for the current supervisor (Julie) over the next 20-30 minutes.  I eventually get transferred to the "senior manager" Christian and told that only sales can assist the next day. Note that I'm pretty sure the call center was located in India (you could hear it in the rep's accents) so the names are a little comical.

 

To keep the humor going, one of the technical reps above put in an order to dispatch a technician to reactivate the old service the following Thursday (about a week away). So I asked a few of the reps (including the manager Christian), "so you're telling me that the service originally due to be cancelled on the 19th is scheduled to be reactivated on the 22nd?". Neither Christian or any of the AT&T reps could seem to grasp that they had scheduled to reactivate my old service instead of rescheduling a new date for my roommate's new service which was scheduled for the previous Friday. So here are some thoughts on the whole experience. AT&T reps are either incompetent or are following a script to stall or frustrate customers into ending their support calls. I'm fairly confident that I did not speak to a supervisor at any time (over close to a 12 hour period) and was repeatedly lied to around who could help me or not. The reps repeatedly challenged me on getting a supervisor on the phone. Even if I have to pay higher fees for another provider, AT&T has likely permanently lost my business in the immediate future. I have also recommended that my roommate cancel his new service but it's up to him. Tomorrow should be another fun experience of calling AT&T back to pick up my calls from today.

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