07-24-2013 11:25 AM - last edited on 07-24-2013 11:44 AM by Phil-101
Calling ATT is always a horrific experience and requires a comfortable chair, nothing on the stove and at least an hour or more to spare. Last week Thursday, somewhere extremely close by, we were struck my lightening. Frankly I am surprised that I still have any hair left on my head and expected to go outside after the blinding flash and ear shattering explosion, to find our two backyard kitties looking like pieces of bacon at the side of the pool. No longer Trini and Blondie, but now Smokey and Jerky. However...
I start every conversation with customer service with a smile in my voice and goodwill in my heart, and fifteen minutes into the conversation I am twitching and the smoke alarms have done off due to the impending volcanic eruption in my skull.
Immediately after the strike and having instantly lost service but strangely enough not electricity, I called U-verse just to enquire whether the situation re loss of service was a general one within the area? The customer service rep who sounded as though she were covered in cobwebs and has been hanging out with Rip Van Winkel prior to my call, proceeded to drone on, and this was AFTER I told that I was 99% sure there had been a lightening strike, that she was going to help me to trouble shoot the problem. No matter how I tried to get her to understand that all I needed to know before going through the whole resetting ritual, was whether there was a general alert in the area. Might as well have been talking to a wall.
I think that it is beyond sad, that common sense is indeed such a rare commodity in this day and age, and it would seem that all of the customer service reps are programmed to just use their scripting, regardless of whether what they have been coached to say has any relevance to the current issue or not. Finally after realising that my blood pressure was fast climbing to new and exalted heights, I told her to just go ahead and test the equipment if that would make her happy. Five minutes later, she returned to tell me that my modem was not working [word filter avoidance] and that I would need to order a new modem and that she would place a ticket to have a technician sent out to the house, but yada yada with the usual disclaimer about if it were not the problem with the U-verse equipment, that we would be charged $99!
What part of WE HAD A LIGHTENING STRIKE!!! did she not understand? By this time my hair had curled, by eyes had red beams shooting out of them and it was taking all of my control to maintain the semblance of a lady but I was a hairs breath away from losing it altogether. I did emphatically tell her however, that I did not at this point wish to order a modem as unless the LIGHTENING STRIKE had damaged the equipment and which I did not believe was the case having already run my own tests are per U-Verse help, that I would take that step should my suspicions be incorrect re it being a general problem. She is YET to tell me (as per my initial questions) whether there was a reported general problem in the area. Let me in addition mention, that we had lost service a couple of weeks before and having at the time received the same speech about sending out a technician and paying $99 and ordering a new modem and to which I agreed (at least re the technician's visit) - twelve hours later service was back. (Never got a rebate on that one...)
Being unhappy with the information she was able to give me and still being unable to determine if it was a general problem since at the time I knew no one in my street or nearby who used U-verse (I do now) I decided to call again.
This time I was transferred from Emron to Melanie to Makisha to Shelton, with each one telling me that they were not in tech support and would transfer me to someone who could help me. (Beam me up Scotty!) Finally, I was transferred to tech support and this was of course after having had to give my name, telephone number, account number and code to every person that I was transferred to. Transfer #5 and hallelujah! Someone... someone... with a
brain that could still synapse! When (after taking a deep breath and practicing my best yoga calming position) I once again explained what was going on, and that ALL I needed to know was whether it was a general outage of service before I wasted everyone's time and our money in getting a technician to come out, he cherrily told me, that would be no problem as there was a tab on his computer that said ALERT (who knew!) and all he had to do was to click on that to get my question answered. Within 3 seconds he was able to confirm what I had suspected all along, that we were not alone in this LOS, and on my enquiry as to why had it taken my being transferred to five different people to get an answer that the first rep could have answered in the blink of an eye. He said that not all of the customer service reps were aware of this little helpful feature sitting right there on their monitor!!!
The end to this sad and frustrating novel is this. (So sorry I can't upload a pic) It was indeed a lightening strike (God happens, I have no problem with that) every "box" the thing they have in your backyard that contains all the wires was burnt to a crisp and I mean pitch black and fused, for all the homes in which they are located in the area of two blocks. It is now six days later, and it was so bad that some customers still have not received their service back. The box in our back yard is still open with all the brand new wires exposed and a temporary line trailing along my back fence to hook up the neighbour in the street behind. They tell me it could be months before that is replaced. In an effort to salvage any goodwill with the creator, I even helped the tech to pull it through behind the shrubbery where he could not reach on his own.
And while this has been for me an oppotunity to release the frustration of the past week, and watching every technician that came out not have a clue what the one before him had done (apparently there is no inter-employee communication at ATT) I have finally come to my suggestion.
Why oh why, cannot ATT set up a line (you know on that thing they call a telelphone) like they did in the old days, where on losing service customers could ring and get a recording that did not ask them for their family history, but would just annouce any problems that ATT were experiencing and in which areas. The power company can do it, so why for crying out loud can't ATT? Think about it. Less aggravation for customers, less frustrated and angry customers who are not upset that their service is out (even if they do make their livehilood from home via the internet...) but are ready to do an impersonation of Krakatoa after an hour on the phone with ATT just to get one simple question answered before going to individual fixes. Less stress for customer service reps who have to deal with such people and just a happier world all along. Our ATT bill is somewhere in the vicinty of $285 a month and we were without service from 6: p.m. on Thursday to Noon the following Tuesday. We were rebated $30 for that time. Math? Anyone?
07-24-2013 12:05 PM
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07-24-2013 1:38 PM - edited 07-24-2013 1:39 PM
Well speaking of needing an easy chair and nothing on the stove, that would be a requirement for reading kathmat's post.
There is lots of unecessary verbiage there and long story short, a lightning (minus the extraneous "e") strike happened and the modem potentially was damaged. I would also suggest that you send a private message to the escalation team at AT&T Customer Care, and someone will get in touch with you.
Lightning struck near my home and it fried the modem - that seems like one fragile piece. Since it most likely has diodes in it, I am betting that they could be fried by a "proximity strike" even if they were unhooked and setting in their cardboard box. Seriously.
As far as old school phone lines - get one. I still have my copper / POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service) line and I am not giving it up.
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