Skip to main content
AT&T Community Forums
dm2850's profile
dm2850
#1 Star!
10th stratosphere!
The 5th element!

Teacher

 • 

39 Messages

Sun, Apr 18, 2021 10:42 PM

Did AT&T close down their Midwest call centers?

Up until several months ago whenever I called AT&T about my services I always got someone in Ohio, Michigan or Chicago.  The representatives were so knowledgeable and knew their products and computer system inside out.  I think those were long time call centers and the employees were well trained.  In fact, a rep in Ohio gave me a direct 800 number so that I would always reach a Midwest call center...877 999 1083.  She herself told me the other call centers were new and that the employees were not well trained.  For a long time that number got me straight to Michigan, Ohio or Chicago.  But it now transfers me to the main AT&T number.

Now, when I call AT&T I get someone in California or Arizona and they are clueless, clueless, clueless.  They give misinformation and conflicting information.  I've called several times and get conflicting information.  I have a grandfathered plan and I wanted add Speed Calling 8.  The reps told me it was not possible to add this feature a la carte, clearly in contradiction to what their website says. I kept calling back over and over in hopes of getting someone in the Midwest and I wound up getting someone in Texas.  They indeed were able to help me. 

I called back again yesterday to see if I can add a second landline.  I want the consecutive number after my phone numbers so basically my number is XXX-2374 and I want the second line to be XXX-2375.  I have done this before and reps at the Midwest call center were able to give me any number that I wanted provided it was in AT&T's pool, it was disconnected and it was in my central office.  I remember the last time I did this the rep scrolled through my prefix from 0000 to 9999 and said he could give me any number that was in the system.

But the rep in California said that they were not able to do this.  She said that the system would randomly pick a number and they couldn't pull up any other options.  I further asked her whether she could override the number selection and type in the number I wanted.  She then said that if she did that then whoever had that number would have their service disconnected and the number would be taken from them.  I am not telephone company call rep but that makes absolutely no sense.  Their system wouldn't accept a number that's in use.  Besides, she could always verify whether the number was in service.  She pulled that answer straight out of her back side.

Who are these people at the California and Arizona call centers?  Are they newer employers?  Is the computer system they are using different than in Texas or the Midwest?  How can I be sure I DON'T get someone on the west coast?  Do I just keep calling and hanging up until they tell me they are in Ohio or Michigan?  It's really absurd that those other call centers have such poorly trained reps.  And after they are unable to help you they started trying to sell you AT&T TV.  Come on!!! Really?  Does any one know of a direct number where I can reach a rep in the Midwest or even in Texas?  Thanks.

Responses

Accepted Solution

Official Solution

spoom2

ACE - Master

 • 

10.8K Messages

1 m ago

For residential service the reps can only give the number the computer generates, they can no longer assign specific numbers and it's been that way for a couple years or more. As far as what area of the country you get when placing a call you're just routed to the next available, wherever they are, feel lucky if you're getting someone in the states.  As far as trying to sell AT&T products goes, I'm sure it's in their script and if they don't do it they get in trouble.  You're lucky you're not a customer front line rep as the job stinks (Edited per community guidelines). 

(edited)

This is a user to user help forum. It is not an AT&T support site. I am not an AT&T employee, read the ACE's disclaimer at the bottom of this post

Award for Community Excellence 2020 Achiever*
*I am not an AT&T employee, and the views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
dm2850

Teacher

 • 

39 Messages

1 m ago

@Spoom...thanks for the information.  I was able to get a specific phone number as late at July of 2019.   That's when the rep told me that he just needed to search up the prefix and he could see what number he could assign from 555-0000 to 555-9999. 

I wanted a specific number and was able to get it, it was in my central office.  Do you know why they would have lost the ability to do this?  Did they change computer systems?  

In general, I know with computers there's always a way to do some work around.  But even if there is a possibility to do this, it seems reps are unable or unwilling to do so.

A rep from Texas did tell me that they were in the process of re-asssigning disconnected telco numbers to AT&T wireless and digital voice number pools.  Could this also be the reason?

Thanks.

(edited)

Juniper

ACE - Expert

 • 

26.8K Messages

1 m ago

In general computers may have a workaround. However companies make sure they are programmed where agents do not have such workarounds themselves. They want them working with specific options. So only those programming the systems would have the true workaround, which may not be viable as requires reprogramming if they didn't build one in.

(edited)

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
(Included after every post)
I am a customer, not an employee. This is a public forum.
For official support call DirecTV 1-800-531-5000 or AT&T 1-800-288-2020.
www.directv.com or www.att.com
Award for Community Excellence 2020 Achiever*
*I am not an AT&T employee, and the views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
dm2850

Teacher

 • 

39 Messages

25 d ago

So I got an answer from a San Diego AT&T call center employee.  You can indeed request and be assigned any phone number that's disconnected and in your central office as long as it's AT&T's telco number pool. 

The only exception would be if a disconnected number was originally in the AT&T telco number pool but was then ported out to another company.  Most major carriers return a ported number back to the original carrier when it's disconnected and that takes about 1-3 months.  

She told me that the computer system they use to service Midwest accounts is different than the usual one they use and that in general West Coast employees were not trained on it so that it would be hit or miss whether the rep would know how to do it.  

She also told me that she was able to verify that the consecutive number after my own phone number was available and offered to take my order.  I didn't place it at the time but she said she would annotate my account very specifically explaining what steps the next rep would have to take to assign the number I wanted.

Still, the Midwest call center reps were all excellently trained.  I don't know if those call centers closed or no longer service telco lines.  The service I get out of California leaves a lot to be desired.  The lady today however was quite competent.  

My landline number is XXX-2374 and my plan is to get a second landline that is XXX-2375 and then port it out to my cell phone so that my cell phone and landline are only one digit apart.  Thanks for all of the input.

(edited)

my thoughts

Employee

 • 

17.5K Messages

25 d ago

ATT has redone some call center locations based upon the needs of the business, but there are call centers both in the US and the midwest.

A Pewaukee call center was sold, work / workers were moved to either Brookfield call center (both to the west of Milwaukee, part of the Milwaukee market) or to the remodeled call center in Chicago supporting about 500 positions.

The COVID response, like many other companies, has most of call center staffing working from their homes... more limited information and sharing workload reduction is one result.

There was some recent activity for hiring for call center, most were work from home (WFH) after training completed. 

If willing to spend some time over next several weeks/ months you can likely determine where the various ATT call centers are located. Most serve one or two functions, not all... examples may be billing, wireless cell service, digital life, uverse, etc.

https://www.att.jobs/search-jobs/call%20center/117/1?glat=44.0247&glon=-88.5426

As of date posting there were openings for 237 call center positions around the world including...

*I am an AT&T employee, and the postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent AT&T's position, strategies or opinions.
spoom2

ACE - Master

 • 

10.8K Messages

25 d ago

@dm2850

So I got an answer from a San Diego AT&T call center employee.  You can indeed request and be assigned any phone number that's disconnected and in your central office as long as it's AT&T's telco number pool. 

Then you've got better information than we've been given for the last two years or so and until we're told different by those in authority who are over this forum that's the best we can do.  I will run your topic by the powers that be.  Thanks for the information. 

This is a user to user help forum. It is not an AT&T support site. I am not an AT&T employee, read the ACE's disclaimer at the bottom of this post

Award for Community Excellence 2020 Achiever*
*I am not an AT&T employee, and the views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
dm2850

Teacher

 • 

39 Messages

25 d ago

@spoom2.....she did mention something about "vanity numbers" and to also make sure I asked the rep to waive the vanity number fee.  I am not sure if there is a "vanity number" option in the ordering system.  But she was able to pull up my prefix and scroll from 0000-9999 to see which numbers were available.  

I know on the small business side there is a dept called "number assignment group" and they can get you any number you want within your central office for a physical landline and any AT&T number from any central office on Remote Call Forwarding (RCF).  

(edited)

spoom2

ACE - Master

 • 

10.8K Messages

25 d ago

Business line are treated differently than residential, they can look for unassigned numbers for businesses.  This is the residential forum. 

For residential service the reps can only give the number the computer generates

(edited)

This is a user to user help forum. It is not an AT&T support site. I am not an AT&T employee, read the ACE's disclaimer at the bottom of this post

Award for Community Excellence 2020 Achiever*
*I am not an AT&T employee, and the views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.

Get started...

Ask a new question