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Customer Service

I’m posting here because there is, as I’ve learned over the years, no outlet for grievances in the AT&T support infrastructure.


During the first week of December, I put in an order to have UVerse Voice added to my existing U-Verse internet service (Order #7751998777).  Within a little over a week I had my number ported over and had telephone service at my house (12/10).  I could receive calls and make calls without issue. 


During the week of 12/16 I noticed no telephone calls could be placed to my number.  When called, the phone didn’t ring, and the caller was presented with nothing but a click and disconnect when my number was dialed.  Interestingly, I still had dial tone and could make calls.


I returned home from the Christmas break on 12/27 to find my telephone completely dead. 


On 12/30 I called AT&T to find out what happened and to get my telephone service restored.  Here’s a chronology documenting the ineptitude and irreparably broken customer service infrastructure that day.



Logged into my AT&T account and noticed there was no telephone service listed.



Called AT&T tech support and spoke to Carmela who noticed there was no telephone service on the account, and that the logs indicated service was ordered, activated, and then inexplicably closed before being “finalized.”  At 9:50am I was transferred to Sales to get my service back.  Made sense to me.



On hold



Spoke to Brittany, who was in Tech Support, not Sales.  Explained my situation again.  At 10:00am I was transferred again to Sales.



On hold while Brittni explained to Sales what had happened.



Connected to Monica of Sales.  For some reason she couldn’t hear me so, after a few minutes of wandering around the house, thinking it might be my cellular service, I gave her my number so she could call me back.



Monica called back.  I explained my plight once again.  She offered to transfer me back to Tech Support.  I told her I’d just been transferred to her by Tech Support.  Monica was apparently an entry-level customer service technician.  Compounding the entire exchange was the fact that English was not only not her first language, she did not have a solid enough grasp of it to be placed alone on telephone calls with English-speaking customers.  My conversation with her was among the most difficult I’ve ever had with a non-native speaker of English.  To qualify that, I grew up in a household where my mother taught English as a Second Language at the graduate-level international management students, so I was exposed and used to cultures and accents from all over the world.


During the course of my 20+ minute conversation with Monica, I had to repeat myself and ask her to repeat herself over and over.  Getting Monica to both understand my problem, and get me what I needed was very, very painful. For example, at one point she said I’d have to send back my existing U-Verse modem.  It took me at least five minutes to re-explain what I was doing, and why I didn’t need a new modem.  After that, she said she’d dispatch a technician to start my service.  I explained that I didn’t need a technician – that one had already been out and done what needed to be done.


My phone call ended at 10:52am, over an hour after it started, with assurances that my service will be restored within a few days. 


In the end it appears my order was placed, but it looks like a new modem is being shipped and a technician is being dispatched on 1/2/14.  I suspect the pain will continue.


Words cannot describe how dissatisfied I am with AT&T’s customer service.  Ordering my internet service earlier in 2013 was equally painful.


I assure you, the minute a competitor comes to my small town, just outside a large city, and offers non-DSL internet and telephone service I will drop AT&T like a hot potato.


[Edited for Privacy]

Message 1 of 17
Former Employee

Re: Customer Service

Hello, Cj962!


Thanks for your post. I'm very sorry to hear about your recent experience calling into tech support. If your phone issue is still unresolved, please send us a private message by clicking here so our U-verse tech support experts can help.


This is not the same team you worked with over the phone; this team is dedicated to handling escalations from the forums, and they will work very hard to get your issue resolved.


In your message, please provide your name, phone number, email address, and the best time to reach you. You can expect a reply within two business days, so keep an eye on the little blue envelope icon in the top right corner of your screen.


In the meantime, feel free to message me with any other questions or concerns!



Message 2 of 17

Re: Customer Service

The issue was resolved, but only because the technician who arrived spent close to an hour on the telephone with AT&T people trying to figure out why the number wasn't ported over completely.  As I tried in vain to explain to the people on the telephone, the problem turned out not to be with my lines or equipment.  Someone worked some magic on a computer somewhere and the phone started working.


The technicians are, as always, perfect.  It's the telephonic support and lack of communications between different call centers that seem to be the problem, and the common denominator.


Meanwhile, I'm out over two hours of vacation time.  Where shall I send the bill?

Message 3 of 17
Former Employee

Re: Customer Service

Hello, again!


I'm glad your issue was ultimately resolved. Please let us know if you have any other questions or concerns!


We hope to continue to see you around the forums!



Message 4 of 17

Re: Customer Service

Hi Cj962


It appears from all the AT&T forums I have read, a lack of quality customer service is a problem for many if not most AT&T subscribers.  I have had to deal with AT&T customer service for many years but done as bad as with Uverse.  I had my service installed on 12/03/2013 and kick myself quite often for leaving Directv.  My recent problem started yesterday morning when I realized the Uverse internet was not as fast as I had been promised.  I could not do any downloads, they were taking more than half an hour before I would just cancel the request, so I phoned 800/288-2020 and this is how it went:


01/10/2014 approximately 10:00 am or so


Spoke with Willisha who wanted to sell me more stuff.  She finally transfered me to....


Edward in the Phillipines who informs me my internet service was never registered (?).  I ask to speak with his supervisor so I was transfered to.....


Gen (Genevieve) who was extremely difficult to understand, I had to constantly ask her to repeat herself several times until I was able to understand what she was saying.  She wanted to send out a tech but I refused because I knew this was a problem that could be fixed without a tech being dispatched to my home, so I ask to speak with her supervisor and she transferred me t.......


Saeed who attempted to fix the problem by rebooting my modem remotely.  After the reboot one of the downloads I had attempted to download earlier inexpliably began to update my computer so this took close to an hour.  I was awaiting an important phone call from an employer at 1:00 pm so at 12:49 pm Saeed terminated the call with the promise that he would call be back at 2:45pm my time (CST).  I am still waiting for that call.


01/10/2014 at approximately 3:30 pm


I phoned back and spoke with Steve who wanted to sell me stuff.  Quickly nipped that in the bud and ask to be transferred to someone who could help me with the internet problem I was having because now I have no internet on my desktop (ethernet connection).  


It is important to note here that between 2:30 pm and 3:30 pm I researched the problem on the AT&T forum and discovered that many other subscribers have had this same problem in the past but I was unable to fix the problem my self so now I am talking to....


Chet, who is a tech and he rebooted the modem for me and then walked me through how to get Windows 8.1 to recognize the device adaptor which fixed the problem.  At this time it is nearly 5:00 pm so I have been on the phone with AT&T reps or one of their contracting reps for approximately 3 hours or more.  This time I am not going to take this ridiculousness lying down.  So today.....


01/11/2014 at approximately 8:15 am 


I call AT&T again because this time I want to be compensated for my valuable time. I spoke with Bridgette who wanted to sell me stuff.  Bridgette insulted me by offering to give me a $10 credit.  I ask to speak with her supervisor but first Bridgette informed me that no one else could do any more than that.  I balked so I was transferred to.....


Stephanie who couldn't offer anymore than the $10 credit.  I insisted that there was someone there in the vast unknown of AT&T who had the authority to satisfy me and I wanted to speak with them so I was transferred to.......


Matthew offered me one month credit for my internet but nothing more, approximately $43.  I ask to speak with the person there who had the authority to grant my request.  Matthew became quite bothered by this and began to lecture me on what he knew would and would not happen with my request.  I ask to speak with his supervisor so I was transferred to.......


Bret who also would not offer more than the $43 Matthew did.  I then advised Bret as I did Bridgette, Stephanie and Matthew that someone there had the authority and that is who I wanted to speak with.  I also advised Bret that because of the quality of service I receive each time I have to deal with AT&T I was filing a formal complaint with the Florida Attorney General's Office.  I know that this complaint may not see the light of day but if more and more people begin to file complaints we will be heard.  Bret began placing me on hold and stated he was discussing the matter with someone else and promised, PROMISED to call  me back because my phone's battery was getting weaker so the call was terminated for the time.


01/11/2014 at 9:55 am no return call yet and it has been at least 30 minutes so


I phone back and speak with Chris who wants to sell me stuff.  I ask to speak with Bret and was informed that he is located in Wisconcin and there is no way for me to be transferred (even though I was eventually transferred to him by calling this number earlier).  I ask to speak with her supervisor and I am transferred to.....


James who was more than  upset that I ask to speak with him.  He immediately informed me that without Bret's last name he could not transfer me to him because "there are 10,000 Brets in AT&T" and it was my responsibility to obtain Bret's last name and I dropped the ball becausae I failed to do so.  James went on to inform me that he was the highest supervisor in all of AT&T and he only answered to the head of the corporation (lier).  So I ask James for his last name and he promptly informed me that they are not allowed to give out their last names (at this point there is steam coming out of my ears).  James offered to provide his employee ID # of JB036Y.  I insisted that I must speak with is supervisor at which point James offered the name of Brian.  When I ask for Brian's last name James abruptly terminated the call.


01/14/2014 at 10:10 am I phone 8880362-**** and spoke with


Richard who tried to sell me stuff but transferred me to.....


Larry who works in the cancellation department.  Larry listened without interruptions and offered to have his supervisor call me back because his supervisor was on the phone with another customer and had several other customers awaiting call backs as well.  It seems that supervisors stay pretty busy with customer calls at AT&T.  I wonder why ?  So I am awaiting that call for the record it is 11:56 am now and I am about to finish my complaint for the Attorney General.


[Edited to comply with Guidelines]

Message 5 of 17

Re: Customer Service

This is an update, It is currently 3:55 pm and I just returned home.  There was a message from Bret who stated in his message that he is still awaiting an answer to my request and he will call me back on Monday.  I will continue to update as this continues.  But I will not stop until I receive some satisfaction for once.

Message 6 of 17
ACE - Expert

Re: Customer Service

Ms. Pinky, all I can say is "wow."


*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.
Message 7 of 17

Re: Customer Service

They are the worst!! Absolutely horrible. A gigantic failure. An epic disaster!! I would come up with more but it obviously doesn't matter. Like I said in my post earlier, how do you have no customer service to just restore my service, jeez. I was promised one price and I fell on some hard times and explained my problem. They wouldn't even waive one fee that every other services has done in the past. The late fees are a joke, I finally scrounge up enough cash to restore service do I can use the weekend to search for jobs, I pay the restoral amount, give it a couple hrs, not restored. So I call tech support and they try to send me to billing who is closed, alright let's try this again, they try to do the same and I say no, please just restore my service that I paid 106.95 for 2 months somehow and the foreign woman goes back and forth for about 20 mins and the answer was sorry, Monday at 8am you can call customer service, um........why did I pay today?? The restoral amount is to RESTORE upon payment! Now my free time this weekend to search for better jobs is wasted. I'm sure they won't even prorate the days without. Hello!! Customer service at 7pm on a Saturday shouldn't be to much to ask, not like these people are even in American soil. It's a joke and my patience goes out to you and everyone else cause I lost mine!!
Message 8 of 17

Re: Customer Service

I'm curious to know how I might be compensated for this monumental waste of my time.  My time is money, and I wasted a couple of hours of it unscrewing what AT&T screwed up to begin with. 

Message 9 of 17

Re: Customer Service (Ms Pinky)

Amazing.  I gave up asking for supervisors a long time ago.  Back in the 90s when I was stuck with AT&T as my telephone provider I asked the person on the phone to speak with a supervisor.  I got something like, 'You don't need to speak with a supervisor; I'm providing all your assistance."  After a few more minutes of sparring, I hung up on him.


The problem had to do with a long distance card I had (I was active duty military).  Apparently my minutes had run out.  Instead of getting a message informing you of that, you got charged $1 a minute.  So I ended up with a bill of a few hundred dollars.Then, a month or so after my phone call with AT&T (and shredding my calling card), I had another bill of $100, and I NEVER used the card during the billing period.


I never paid my bill, and wrote them a letter (that no one read, I'm sure).  I ate the bad credit report entry and wore it as a badge of pride until it was purged.


It is absolutely dumbfounding how broken AT&T's customer support infrastructure is.

Message 10 of 17

Re: Customer Service (Ms Pinky)

Hi again Cj962,


First, thank you for your service to our country.  I also understand your frustration, there are just too many of use that what to see an immense improvement in the way AT&T and other large corporations handle their customer complaints.  Quality, honest customer service is one of the services we as their customers pay for each month.

I am sure that the management staff may feel that one aspect of the problem is their shear size.  They may even compare themselves to the size of governments, because no one probably gets more complaints about their customer service than our federal, state and local governments.  But there are two aspects of this argument that does not hold water for AT&T: 1) Governments do not have the choice to decide how large they will allow themselves to grow and 2) Governments are not for profit organizations.  There is only one reason a company allows themselves to get bigger than their britches and that is GREED!  Greed pure and simple is the key to success for many and there are always victims with greed.  For AT&T their victims are the ones that made them rich, their customers.  And this nonsense must be stopped!

I have filed a complaint with my State Attorney General's office.  I know they will probably say that they do not respond to problems relating to a company's customer service but when enough consumers start complaning they will.  Take care Cj962 and together we might just get somewhere positive with this.

Message 11 of 17

Re: Customer Service

Hello jaydawg21,


I believe you have summed up the problem perfectly!!!  Every description you gave is absolutely true.


Thank you!

Message 12 of 17

Re: Customer Service

In stark contrast to AT&T's broken customer service machine...


I had to call DirecTV to have a receiver re-activated. 


1.  I was on hold for a grand total of 53 seconds.

2.  I was greeted by name.

3.  My issue was resolved in less than five minutes by ONE person.

4.  I was not given a hard pitch for more services.



Message 13 of 17
Former Employee

Re: Customer Service

Hello, Ms Pinky!


Thanks for your post. I apologize for all the recent trouble with your U-verse services, and I'm glad we ultimately found a solution for the technical side of things. As for crediting your account, please send us a private message by clicking here so we can review your account.


In your message, please include your name, phone number, email address, and the best time to reach you. Keep an eye on the little blue envelope icon in the top right corner of your screen for a response.


Meanwhile, please feel free to message me with any other questions or concerns!



Message 14 of 17

Re: Customer Service

Hi Cj962,


I have been away for a few days but I am back.  I had Directv also and was very happty with their service, the only reason I switched to Uverse was to save money for about a year until I find work and get back on my feet financially.  I am so disatisfied with my decision.

Message 15 of 17
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