Why does it take so long to change a phone number?
After 26 years with AT&T, I was getting so many junk calls on my landline (which AT&T calls a Wired Uverse line) that I asked to have it changed - over a month ago. First they gave me a number that did not work. After several hours on the phone with reps, they told me it was working. It wasn't.
After two more fruitless complaint calls, I discovered that they actually assigned a DIFFERENT number, which now shows on my bill -- but didn't tell me about that change. So that meant even more hours on the phone with representatives.
Then on July 19th (it is now August 14), they gave me another number. That did work, but it is still registered to the last owner of that number. And my users see a caller ID that they do not recognize, so they don't answer. And they certainly won't leave vmail.
After several hours searching the AT&T site trying to fix this myself, I gave up and call a representative AGAIN. After another 45 minutes on the phone, I was assured that the problem was fixed. I went home and called my home phone from my cell phone, and on the caller ID I saw the name of the last owner of the line again!
So I called again this morning. After half an hour, the first rep cut me off and sent me back to the "what is the number you are calling about" robot. So I called back and got another rep named Veronica, who assured me she had fixed it, but it would take TEN DAYS to proliferate through the system. HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE? After all this time, how can I believe a single thing I'm told by "customer care" representatives? And I can't even check on the latest lie until ten days have elapsed?
I asked her several times to forward me to a supervisor, and for 45 minutes she refused, assuring me she could fix it herself. I had to go to work, so I had to give up AGAIN. I estimate I've spent over 10 hours on the phone (including wading through those ridiculous, ineffective phone trees) just trying to get my old phone number changed.
My impression is that AT&T reps work out of thousands of cardboard files on the floor, and they have to search for the right document by hand to fix customer problems. I picture them dodging rats and old pizza boxes while they wade through old hardware and crumpled paper to get to each record. Are there actual customer service processes in place, or only cobwebs? And where are the call centers - somewhere in Bolivia, or maybe Indonesia?
I am trying to start a business on that line, and I suspect that AT&T wouldn't treat business customers like this. My monthly bill is over $500, but I guess since I've spent 26 years putting up with their expensive, awful service they feel I'll do it for another 26.
HOW DO I GET THIS FIXED? Are there any actual human beings reading these complaints?