06-24-2014 12:31 PM - last edited on 06-24-2014 12:55 PM by Phil-101
To Whom It May Concern:
Let me start by saying I have never in my life sent a company feedback (or a complaint for that matter) over an issue that I have had with them. I am not looking for personal gain, or to take advantage of anybody. I most certainly have better things to do, and taking this time out to send you such a detailed account of what happened is not something I am doing for my entertainment, or because I am crazy, though your company has made me feel a little crazy the past couple of weeks. I have a customer service background, and I am quick to give praise when a person or a company does things well. At the same time, I am slow to complain or criticize when things aren’t done well. This is because first, I realize things happen that are out of your control, and second, because I realize it often doesn’t get people anywhere anyway. If this seems lengthy, I apologize, but just think about the fact that I left a lot out, and we spent 100 times longer to deal with this than it will take you to read it in it’s entirety.
I am taking the time to email you a fairly elaborate tale of what my grandmother and I have had to go through, for the simple task of adding a basic home phone line in her home. I hope you take the time to read this, in detail, as we have spent hours upon hours of our time dealing with this. I would like this to end with a response on this, from you to me, and to put it in the past. I am frustrated enough to make this into a crusade if I feel it has not at least been read and considered. There are some serious changes that need to be made with the way your company does business. I am a professional firefighter, and a former Best Buy employee. In my time with Best Buy, I supervised a Home Theater department where we set up new AT&T Uverse, Time Warner Cable, and DirecTV accounts. Before that, I ran the cell phone department there in which we activated and dealt with AT&T, Verizon and Sprint amongst others. Needless to say, I am not unaware of how to work with and set up new technologies, and deal with computers and systems in order to best serve my customers. And the run around we have gotten from AT&T on this simple request is, to say the least, extremely frustrating.
My uncle is serving a 45 day sentence at the Huber Facility here in Wisconsin. He has work release while he is there, but he currently needs to be back there every night after. Not that it is the business of your company, but he isn’t a hardened criminal in jail for years for some major crime. He is an honest, God fearing, hard working man who lives with and takes care of his mother, and made a mistake with drinking and driving, and received a short sentence in this work release facility. Because he lives with my grandmother, and takes care of her, the house, running errands, getting to appointments, etc, he was awarded the opportunity to come home early. The stipulation is, there needs to be a phone at the house that they can call and check on him on. The phone needs to be NON-digital (analog), with no special features like call waiting, caller id or three way calling.
In their household, they already have many services through AT&T, including their current home phone/long distance plan, Uverse cable, and cell phone. My grandfather, now deceased, retired from AT&T after 36 years of service, and they were happy to consider AT&T for this additional service that they would require for only a short period of time. So, on June 13th, my grandmother began this absolutely exhausting journey of trying to add this additional line.
On Friday, June 13th, she called AT&T, spoke to a Travon, I assume in the “orders” department, and explained the situation. Everything was good at this point. They previously had a second line in the home, so installation was going to be a matter of a quick trip out to the house to do whatever it is they needed to do to get it up and running. A new account was set up for the line (which could later be merged with other accounts/bills if she desired), and a new number was issued to her, along with a confirmation number. She was told that this would cost $20 per month plus taxes, and that there was no contract, so when they no longer needed the phone, they could cancel it.
She was given an install date of Friday, June 20th with a 12 hour window of 8am-8pm. They never called the day before to narrow that down for her. When the next day came, and they still hadn’t called or showed by 2:45pm, she called them. From 2:45-3:30, she was transferred from place to place, getting her nowhere. At 5:45, AT&T called her and cancelled her appointment, via answering machine message. She called them back at 5:50pm that same day, to inquire about cancellation. She didn’t get any answers from any of the multiple people in multiple departments, in multiple states and countries that she spoke to. She was on phone from 5:50-7:10, at which point she was told offices were closed and there was nobody to speak to.
The following day, on Saturday, June 21st, at 7:50am, she calls back, and again, gets tossed around from place to place for about two hours. She hung up to take a little break to have some coffee and use the restroom, and calls back again. At a little after noon (4 hours after initial call that morning), she spoke to someone who got her an install date of July 15th.
This couple of weeks may seem standard, and like no big deal to you and your company, but to them this is crucial. First of all, it was your company’s mistake in the first place that they didn’t show on the original date. Second, my uncle could have been home Friday the 20th, which would be a great help to my grandmother, never mind the fact that he is sitting in the correctional facility when he could be home. The reason weeks, while they may seem miniscule to you, mean everything to them, is that he will be out by that time anyway, defeating the whole purpose of this! Most people can probably afford to wait a couple of weeks for something like this, but they are in a situation where they simply cannot.
She complained, and was given an earlier date of June 30th. She kept that date, just in case, but was not happy about it. Also during this conversation, she was told they would take $25 off of her bill (not sure if off current bill or new account).
On June 23rd, my uncle calls AT&T and speaks to someone about moving the date up further. This woman eventually called my grandmother around 1:30pm. She said she understood the urgency, and that someone would call her back within 15 minutes to get this resolved. Two hours later, no call back.
At 3:38pm the same day, I got on the phone to go to bat for her, for what would be a 2 hour and 16 minute journey through time and space. It was a magical ride in which I went from state to state, and country to country. I spoke to people from the orders department, customer retention, repairs, customer service, and then back around again. All the while, everyone was so sorry, and understood my frustration, but unfortunately could not tell me what was going on, or who’s problem it was. I told this elongated story, literally 7 different times. Some of your representatives were kind enough to tell me they were transferring me, while others simply said please hold, click, hold music, new person! “Thank you for calling AT&T” and so on and so forth. Another new person to talk to! Who of course had not heard my story yet, leaving me to explain ALL OVER AGAIN. Time and time again. To add to my frustration, everybody I spoke to needed different information to look up and access the account. Some couldn’t find it at all, while others could, using that new phone number that is. What I mean is, one person would use that number and up would pop that info, while another would use it, and find nothing! Inevitably, I’d have to give them her original number, where some would then want her social security number, or address, or her 4 digit access code which I have become so accustomed to using. Some, had never even heard of the existence of an access code for their accounts!!! How his this possible? You are a tele-communications company, how can you be on so many different pages!?
Back to the timeline. The problem now was, and I found this out after speaking to the first person, was that not even the 30th was secure, and that there was a problem with the phone number assigned to her. I eventually spoke to Joe in repair, who said he can be tracked down if I needed to find him by “Joe, Joseph or ULN” whatever that means. Because of course, behind these phones, everyone is nameless, there will be no accountability for anyone. Heaven forbid we get an employee number, or last name, or even an honest first name for that matter, so that when they disconnect us, or transfer us prematurely, we can get a hold of the same person. Which of course forces us to tell our story all over again when we call back or get to the next person. Also, of course negating your company’s ability to actually work out your problems and prevent them from happening again by perhaps penalizing or at the very least, coaching that employee on the better way to do things. But I’m off track now.
Joe told me, like everyone else of course has told me and my grandmother during this daunting journey, he was so sorry, and understood completely. And that he “wasn’t going to lie to me.” That there was something wrong with this number, that it was issued to my grandmother and another customer’s name, simultaneously, and that it was causing problems. And once again, it was not his problem, but I would need someone at the orders department. I spoke to several other people after Joe, none of who could help me, or explain to me what was wrong with this number and account. I retold my story time and time again, pleading with them. Finally asking, more than one person, to scrap that number if it’s a problem! Let’s start fresh, new number, new account, new (hopefully very timely) install date!! Great idea. Why are you (AT&T) so attached to this number? If there is a problem with it, and it’s issued to someone else, scrap it. So finally I speak to someone in the orders department. She can’t find the original order for the new number, like so many before her. So she goes to work setting up a new line. The next 45 minutes of this process was spent mostly in complete silence during which I had to keep asking “ma’am?” to confirm that she was still there, which she would answer that she was, and we were just waiting for the new number to generate. Well I waited a literal 20 minutes for that new number to “generate,” during which time she told me, as a matter of fact, flat out guaranteed me, after I asked if it was a guarantee, that they would be out tomorrow (6/24) for the install. I was pleased for the first time. This validated the last 2 hours of my life on the phone, and the last couple of weeks of my grandmother and I going back and forth with you guys.
Then suddenly, as the new number is finally “generated,” she says to me “okay, we’ve got the number now, but now it’s pushed back install to July again.” ARE YOU KIDDING ME? To say I am now beyond irate would be the understatement of the year. Of course, once again, there is nothing she can do, but transfer me to another department where they can work on a sooner date. So before I can even respond, she transfers me again! The phone goes silent, not even hold music this time, I don’t dare hang up though, for fear of starting over. 10 minutes later, someone picks up, “Thank you for calling AT&T,” blah blah blah. I ask, “do you know my story or where we’re at?” The answer of course, “No sir, this is the first we’re speaking.” HERE WE GO AGAIN. What’s worse? The previous lady never gave me the account information for the new, now second new, number I was given. No phone number, no account number, no confirmation number, just transferred me! Now this woman I am speaking to, has no info, and cannot find anything! All she could do at this point was offer to have someone from customer service, or customer relations or something, call me back within the next two hours.
After 2 hours and 16 minutes on the phone, which started with me on the couch at home, and ended with me now a half hour from home at a child’s Tee-Ball game, I was ready to be done on the phone and try to enjoy some of this game. So I agreed someone could call me, and got off the phone, as drained and angry, maybe, as I have ever been in my life.
So, I await this phone call. What next? My phone never rings, but a voicemail is left for me, from a Tina. Tina said on this voicemail, and I quote, “I’m sorry, we don’t have record of this being a General Electric company number, so we would recommend that you speak with your sales representative for your company and see if they can assist you. This is a repair office and we’re not finding any record for that number, so I am going to be closing out that trouble report. Sorry for the inconvenience and I hope you have a great day. Thanks for choosing AT&T.”
What!? Just closing out my trouble report, without actually speaking to me? Leaving me no way to call you back? Once again, no solution, just another problem, given to the wrong person, who is again sorry, who again cannot help me, again with no call back number or information so that I may contact them again to ask what the heck that message means. Back to square one.
So finally, today (6/24), I spent my final hour on the phone trying to get this squared away. After telling a shortened version of my story once again, I was transferred, again, to Reggie at Uverse Green Customer Service. Finally, someone who was able to access the new account using the phone number and confirmation number I was given. He was able to confirm that it does in fact exist, where many others had failed, and that there was an install date on the books for June 30th, between the hours of 8am and noon. He tried, once again, unsuccessfully to get that date pushed up, and we said our goodbyes.
So now here we are, after all of this run around, with a date of June 30th, which we will be, due to a lack of options at this point, keeping. My request of you would be that first and foremost, you see if the install can be moved up at all. Again, days matter here. Second, that they honor the $25 credit they also promised. And third, since that barely covers an hour of the countless hours spent on the phone, and the weeks of us trying to get this done, and the extra time my uncle is now having to spend away from home, unable to help his mother, that AT&T steps up and offers something more to her. She has a cell phone through you, Uverse cable and the original home phone. I would think something could be done here to compensate her for this hassle. Please respond either way, letting me know what you plan to do. I can be emailed back at ________, or called at ____________.
Thanks for taking the time to read this.
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06-24-2014 1:04 PM
My goodness!! I would recommend that you send a Private Message to the ATTU-verseCare Community Specialist team. One of the specialists will respond to your PM shortly. Please look for the flashing envelope at the top right of the page for your response from a team member.
Let them see if they can help you and see that the order is correct so you don't have another hic cup. Maybe, just maybe they might be able to assist with the due date.
In your PM post this link so you don't have to tell the story again!! http://forums.att.com/t5/U-verse-voice/How-do-I-get-this-letter-to-someone-who-can-help/m-p/4010228
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06-29-2014 6:15 PM
Not only that, see if you can condense it down to about 3 paragraphs. While you may feel you need to go into extreme detail, 99% of folks wouldn't bother reading that entire story.
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