Ask a question

    Reply
    Posted Nov 10, 2011
    10:20:41 AM
    View profile
    Recurrence of broken FamilyMap, Inefficient Customer Service

    I recently switched to AT&T from Sprint, and find AT&T as bad as or even worse than Sprint as of four years ago, when it was known for terrible services.

     

    I registered my phone in FamilyMap.  I was once satisfied because it worked as well as Sprint's FamilyLocator.  I also received messages to confirm my registration. 

     

    But next morning it stopped working.  I tried to sign in with the registered phone number and password, but the system did not let me in, with the error message "The phone number or password you entered is incorrect. Please try again."  I thought I might somehow forget the password, so clicked the "Forgot your password?" link.  I entered my phone number and clicked "Submit".  I was shocked to see "The number you entered does not match an existing account," indicating that something invalidated my registration in FamilyMap.  I was still able to login on my online account management, however.

     

    So I contacted AT&T, starting from "Chat with Tech Support", which was a big mistake.  This is because the guy who responded was so slow understanding the situation, and I was not sure the problem was reported to the right department, after spending an hour chatting with him.  So I had to call the general number 1-800-331-0500, asking for technical support.  I had to explain the situation to multiple representatives (taking another hour), because they were generally too slow to understand the situation.  At the end I asked for a manager, and I probably got hold of one of them.  He was indeed different from those who took my earlier calls, trying to do various diagnostics, which were probably irrelevant, however.  After more than an hour with him, he finally transferred me to another technical department.

     

    The person I dealt with sounded like he understood the nature of the problem, but could not fix it right away, even after I complained that I should not have spent several hours without seeing immediate resolution.  Anyway I gave up for the day.  But next day I was pleasantly surprised to receive messages saying I can use FamilyMap.  I confirmed it, and told the customer service that the case seemed to be closed.  

     

    However, this did not last long.  Next day, it stopped working with exactly the same symptoms as two days before.  I was so tired to explain all this that I had to be blunt to the last person to take my call at 1-800-331-0500, requesting that she should study the nature of the problem using the information which she should have on her computer monitor or elsewhere -- I would be surprised if the record of my case had not been archived.  As expected, the problem still persists.  I wonder if AT&T FamilyMap works at all right now.

     

    My suspicion is that my account somehow got screwed up initially, and that even after somebody fixed it the problem comes back next day because of the problem with original registration.  But how will AT&T repair the problem permanently?  I assume that there are a handful of competent engineers/technicians who thoroughly understand how things work and how they can prevent possible glitches from causing fatal problem -- the advertised functions not working --, but how can an individual customer contact such professionals? 

     

    This is a critical problem.  Why do we have to bother speaking to untrained customer service reps and giving them the same information over and over again?  This is very similar to getting computer problems fixed at Apple stores, where there are layers of shop attendants hanging around, but only those called "genius" really understand hardware/software problems, and it is much more efficient to go directly to them (of course not all of them are real professionals), skipping others who may be labeled as "technical" but should actually be labeled as "sales". 

     

    Anyway, this is really a frustrating situation.  Does AT&T management see these posts?

    Recurrence of broken FamilyMap, Inefficient Customer Service

    1,277 views
    26 replies
    (0) Me too
    (0) Me too
    Post reply
    View all replies
    (26)
    0
    (0)
    • Rate this reply
    View profile
    Nov 11, 2011 3:02:23 PM
    0
    (0)
    Employee

    Hey halocme,

     

    I sent you a private message yesterday concerning the issue you're having--just wanted to make sure you got it.

     

    Thanks!

    *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.

    Re: Recurrence of broken FamilyMap, Inefficient Customer Service

    2 of 27 (1,239 Views)
    0
    (0)
    • Rate this reply
    View profile
    Nov 11, 2011 4:30:54 PM
    0
    (0)
    Teacher

    Dear jacobgreen,

     

    I was notified about your post, but have not received your private message......

    Re: Recurrence of broken FamilyMap, Inefficient Customer Service

    3 of 27 (1,232 Views)
    0
    (0)
    • Rate this reply
    View profile
    Nov 11, 2011 4:37:16 PM
    0
    (0)
    Employee

    Sent again--I believe I can fix the problem's your having with FamilyMap. Please response to my PM and I'll get things started.

     

    Sorry you're having trouble with FamilyMap!

     

    Hope you have a good weekend,

     

    Jacob

    *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.

    Re: Recurrence of broken FamilyMap, Inefficient Customer Service

    4 of 27 (1,224 Views)
    0
    (0)
    • Rate this reply
    View profile
    Nov 11, 2011 9:31:00 PM
    0
    (0)
    Teacher

    Sorry, your second attempt of sending a message does not seem to have gone through.  What should I do?  But I don't like to disclose my email address here.

    Re: Recurrence of broken FamilyMap, Inefficient Customer Service

    5 of 27 (1,218 Views)
    0
    (0)
    • Rate this reply
    View profile
    Nov 13, 2011 11:46:45 AM
    0
    (0)
    Employee

    Ah ok, I guess I'll just post here then.

     

    The highest level tier of customer support for FamilyMap is handled by Location Labs (now called Safely). Location Labs/Safely makes both Sprint Family Locator and Att Family Map -- you may have noticed they look similar. I believe your issue is a known bug that can be easily fixed by Location Labs--the thing is many of the normal Att reps don't know about it.

     

    I know you've already spent tons of time talking to At&t, but if you call again and specifically say you are having an issue with FamilyMap and would like to submit a trouble ticket to Location Labs (the rep may also know us as Wavemarket) they should be able to fix your problem quickly. If the rep doesn't know how to do this, ask for their manager and say the same thing.

     

    If you send your contact info (email and phone number) to contact@safely.com, the folks over there will forward it to the Location Labs support team so they make sure  your issue gets resolved.

     

    Please let me know if you have any other questions.

     

    Hope this helps!

     

    Jacob

    *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.

    Re: Recurrence of broken FamilyMap, Inefficient Customer Service

    6 of 27 (1,194 Views)
    0
    (0)
    • Rate this reply
    View profile
    Nov 14, 2011 8:36:05 AM
    0
    (0)
    Former Community Manager

    Hi halocme

     

    I'm sorry that you're having trouble and I see that jacobgreen has offered assistance. In the interest of your personal privacy, we ask that you do not answer requests for personal information from community members not associated with AT&T.

     

    I am a community manager and employee of AT&T and would be happy to get you in contact with a member of our team to work on this issue with you. If you will please send me a private message with your name, account number, phone number and the best time to contact you.

     

    @jacobgreen - I appreciate your willingness to assist and have sent you a private message regarding this issue. 

    --------------

    As of May 1st, I am no longer serving as the Community Manager for AT&T. This account will no longer be able to accept private messages. If you have an account related issue, please send a private message to ATTCustomerCare.

    Did a post have a solution that worked for you? Help other people find solutions faster by marking posts that helped you as an "Accepted Solution". Learn about accepted solutions here.

    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.

    Re: Recurrence of broken FamilyMap, Inefficient Customer Service

    7 of 27 (1,179 Views)
    0
    (0)
    • Rate this reply
    View profile
    Nov 14, 2011 9:53:39 PM
    0
    (0)
    Teacher

    Dear jacobgreen,

     

    Thank you very much for the information, without which I would probably end up switching the wireless company again.  I understand Location Labs provides GPS tracking service to multiple wireless companies including AT&T.  As soon as I registered with the AT&T FamilyMap and saw it work (for short time), I was struck by its resemblance with Sprint's FamilyLocator.  Now I know why.

     

    Today I was fortunate enough to be able to speak to an AT&T rep at a technical department who sounded reasonable, after an annoying conversation with a business rep who was just like most other customer service reps.  This technical person was able to follow how my case has evolved and find who have done what.  Now she, who identified her full name, has filed a ticket to Wavemarket, telling me that the fix will be for good this time.  I will see what happens tomorrow. 

     

    I was about to file complaints to FCC and to prepare for not paying the bill because of deep dissatisfaction with the AT&T service.  Actually, I think they overcharge, even after considering miscellaneous fees for the first month.  I have a headache at the thought of having to call AT&T again....

     

    Anyway, thank you again for your informative message.

    Re: Recurrence of broken FamilyMap, Inefficient Customer Service

    8 of 27 (1,157 Views)
    0
    (0)
    • Rate this reply
    View profile
    Nov 15, 2011 11:33:57 AM
    0
    (0)
    Employee

    Glad I could help!

    *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.

    Re: Recurrence of broken FamilyMap, Inefficient Customer Service

    9 of 27 (1,145 Views)
    0
    (0)
    • Rate this reply
    View profile
    Nov 15, 2011 11:44:20 AM
    0
    (0)
    Former Community Manager

    Sounds like jacobgreen is a great addition to our community!

    --------------

    As of May 1st, I am no longer serving as the Community Manager for AT&T. This account will no longer be able to accept private messages. If you have an account related issue, please send a private message to ATTCustomerCare.

    Did a post have a solution that worked for you? Help other people find solutions faster by marking posts that helped you as an "Accepted Solution". Learn about accepted solutions here.

    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.

    Re: Recurrence of broken FamilyMap, Inefficient Customer Service

    10 of 27 (1,141 Views)
    0
    (0)
    • Rate this reply
    View profile
    Nov 17, 2011 7:43:14 PM
    0
    (0)
    Teacher

    For your information, AT&T has not restored Familymap for my use three days after it filed a ticket to Wavemarket/Location Labs.  How long does it normally take Location Labs to fix the problem I reported?

    Re: Recurrence of broken FamilyMap, Inefficient Customer Service

    11 of 27 (911 Views)
    0
    (0)
    • Rate this reply
    View profile
    Nov 18, 2011 10:34:28 AM
    0
    (0)
    Employee

    Hey Halocme,

     

    Sorry it's taking so long--I'll double check with our support people to make sure they actually got your ticket.

     

    Thanks!

     

    Jacob

    *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.

    Re: Recurrence of broken FamilyMap, Inefficient Customer Service

    12 of 27 (901 Views)
    0
    (0)
    • Rate this reply
    View profile
    Nov 18, 2011 10:52:09 AM
    0
    (0)
    Employee

    I just double checked with our customer support team--it seems the At&t rep you talked with may not have actually submitted the ticket to us, or it got lost somewhere in the system.

     

    I know you're probably tired of phoning in, but if you try to call one more time and ask again to submit a ticket to location labs(wavemarket), I'll make sure we get your problem fixed ASAP.

     

    To ensure the ticket gets submitted to our system, once the rep submits the ticket, ask them to open the confirmation email our system sends them (if they didn't get one the ticket submission may not have gone through). There should be a 4-digit ticket number in that email. If you post that, I'll pass it along to our reps to make sure your issue gets fixed quicket.

     

    Jam - I know we talked about not asking for personally identifying information, but I figured this ticket number was anonymous, so it was ok. Please jump in if you feel differently.

     

    Thanks,

     

    Jacob

    *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.

    Re: Recurrence of broken FamilyMap, Inefficient Customer Service

    13 of 27 (899 Views)
    0
    (0)
    • Rate this reply
    View profile
    Nov 18, 2011 3:33:11 PM
    0
    (0)
    Teacher

    Dear jacobgreen,

     

    The AT&T rep (who identified her full name) sent me a text right after submitting a ticket to.  It reads "I have filed a ticket with Wavemarket who controls Family Map the ticket # is 6847.  This should get the Family Map issue resolved for good this time."  I think this contains the information you referred to.  Please allow me to stay away from 1-800-331-0500, a cursed number.

     

     

    Re: Recurrence of broken FamilyMap, Inefficient Customer Service

    14 of 27 (895 Views)
    0
    (0)
    • Rate this reply
    View profile
    Nov 18, 2011 3:54:23 PM
    0
    (0)
    Employee

    Hey Halocme,

     

    I followed up with our support people--we do have your ticket in the system, but for some reason, your phone number isn't showing up in our database. They're are a couple of reasons why this might be happening, so we're following up with the at&t rep you spoke with on the phone.

     

    I'll get back to you as soon as I know more. Hopefully things will get straightened out this afternoon, but since it's already pretty late in the day, we may not hear back until Monday.

     

    Hope you have a good weekend, and please let me know if there's anything else I can help with!

     

    - Jacob

    *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.

    Re: Recurrence of broken FamilyMap, Inefficient Customer Service

    15 of 27 (894 Views)
    0
    (0)
    • Rate this reply
    View profile
    Nov 18, 2011 5:22:38 PM
    0
    (0)
    Teacher

    As I may have written somewhere, it is possible that AT&T screwed up my phone number[s].  The phones arrived with the numbers set by AT&T, but our old Sprint numbers were ported later just before we started using the phones.  In that process, there may have confusion about my account.  Actually, my phone bill includes those AT&T-set unused numbers.  But these things happen all the time, and it is not understandable why AT&T still has not traced the real problem......

    Re: Recurrence of broken FamilyMap, Inefficient Customer Service

    16 of 27 (891 Views)
    0
    (0)
    • Rate this reply
    View profile
    Nov 21, 2011 2:01:50 PM
    0
    (0)
    Employee

    Hey Halocme,

     

    Just wanted to update you--we're still waiting to hear back from the AT&T rep--I'll be sure to check back when we do.

     

    Thanks!

     

    Jacob

    *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.

    Re: Recurrence of broken FamilyMap, Inefficient Customer Service

    17 of 27 (876 Views)
    0
    (0)
    • Rate this reply
    View profile
    Nov 21, 2011 2:09:27 PM
    0
    (0)
    Teacher

    I would not be surprised if you do not hear from AT&T any time soon.

    Re: Recurrence of broken FamilyMap, Inefficient Customer Service

    18 of 27 (875 Views)
    Highlighted
    0
    (0)
    • Rate this reply
    View profile
    Nov 23, 2011 3:54:45 PM
    0
    (0)
    Employee

    Hey halocme,

     

    One of our support guys told me that your issue has been resolved. Just wanted to double check with you that everything's fixed. Thanks for sticking with us!

     

    Hope you have a good Thanksgiving,

     

    Jacob

    *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.

    Re: Recurrence of broken FamilyMap, Inefficient Customer Service

    19 of 27 (859 Views)
    0
    (0)
    • Rate this reply
    View profile
    Nov 23, 2011 4:30:42 PM
    0
    (0)
    Teacher

    In a way, yes, because I can use Familymap now.  But no, the problem has not been thoroughly investigated.  AT&T says the ticket was issued to your company, but you could not find my registered phone number.  So following your colleague's advice, I had to re-register my number in the 30-day trial version.  This does not deserved to be called a solution.  Based on the hours I lost, I am extremely unhappy.  Will you stop investigating the cause of miscommunication between Location Labs and AT&T?

    Re: Recurrence of broken FamilyMap, Inefficient Customer Service

    20 of 27 (855 Views)
    0
    (0)
    • Rate this reply
    View profile
    Nov 28, 2011 10:37:26 AM
    0
    (0)
    Employee

    Halocme,

     

    I'm sorry you had so much trouble with this. The support manager here has been made aware of your problem and we will continue to work on improving our communication with AT&T. I hope you enjoy using FamilyMap!

     

    Hope you had a good Thanksgiving holiday,

     

    Jacob

     

     

    *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.

    Re: Recurrence of broken FamilyMap, Inefficient Customer Service

    21 of 27 (846 Views)
    0
    (0)
    • Rate this reply
    View profile
    Nov 28, 2011 10:54:34 AM
    0
    (0)
    Teacher

    Hi jacobgreen,

     

    Setting aside the AT&T problems, I am actually not satisfied with the FamilyMap.  Most of my attempts to locate kids' phones have been unsuccessful.  The rate of failure (something like 9/10) is much higher now than it was with Sprint's FamilyLocator (something like 1/10).  I know that the phones to be tracked are all turned on and within the AT&T service area.  What differences should there be between Sprint and AT&T?  Or is this a temporal effect, meaning your service has uniformly gone down since October (when I was still with Sprint)?  Should I personally contact your colleague?

     

    halocme

    Re: Recurrence of broken FamilyMap, Inefficient Customer Service

    22 of 27 (843 Views)
    0
    (0)
    • Rate this reply
    View profile
    Nov 28, 2011 10:57:58 AM
    0
    (0)
    Employee

    Hey Halocme,

     

    There's a couple of things that could be causing the problem you're having with locate failures. The most likely one is that GPS may not be available/turned on in the phones you are trying to locate.

     

    We use a couple different methods to locate phones. GPS is the most accurate. Do you know if your phone's have GPS enabled?

     

    Thanks,

     

    Jacob

    *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.

    Re: Recurrence of broken FamilyMap, Inefficient Customer Service

    23 of 27 (841 Views)
    0
    (0)
    • Rate this reply
    View profile
    Nov 28, 2011 12:25:21 PM
    0
    (0)
    Teacher

    I am sure the phones (including an iPhone) are GPS trackable.  Otherwise, how are they sometimes located with Familymap?

    Re: Recurrence of broken FamilyMap, Inefficient Customer Service

    24 of 27 (839 Views)
    0
    (0)
    • Rate this reply
    View profile
    Nov 29, 2011 12:58:08 AM
    0
    (0)
    Teacher

    Dear jacobgreen,

     

    Could you clarify if the phone to be tracked using AT&T FamilyMap has to have a data plan?  When we were with Sprint, the kids' phones had no Internet access or text messaging, and yet they were tracked by FamilyLocator most of times.  The AT&T phones to be tracked are not smart phones, but they should be GPS trackable.  They are Samsung Evergreen. 

     

    I am actually not sure how things worked with Sprint.  Maybe the phones could access the Internet, but it was password protected (parental control).  This may be different from blocking Internet access.  I stopped being able to track the kids' phones at AT&T around the time their Internet access was disabled.  So maybe I should not have ordered Internet access to be blocked.  But I want to make sure these phones be not used to access the Internet.   I cannot find a document at AT&T that describes how to put parental control on the phones.

    Re: Recurrence of broken FamilyMap, Inefficient Customer Service

    25 of 27 (834 Views)
    0
    (0)
    • Rate this reply
    View profile
    Nov 30, 2011 11:17:14 AM
    0
    (0)
    Employee

    Hey Halocome,

     

    I asked around and I don't think think you need a data plan to use GPS. I'm double checking just to make sure.

     

    Another thing is if your child is located inside, in a car or near a large reflective surface like a lake, the GPS satellites may have trouble locating their phone.

     

    Oh, and if you're interested in parental controls, At&t does offer a limited parental controls program called att smart limits.

     

    Thanks,

     

    Jacob

    *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.

    Re: Recurrence of broken FamilyMap, Inefficient Customer Service

    26 of 27 (826 Views)
    0
    (0)
    • Rate this reply
    View profile
    Dec 6, 2011 10:37:36 AM
    0
    (0)
    Employee

    Sorry for the slow response Halocme--don't know if you're still following this topic.

     

    It turns out I was wrong. Blocking internet on your children's phones is probably what's causing the issue. If you unblock the internet, you should get better location results.

     

    I know it's risky since your kids might accidentally press the internet button and try to get online, but it may be worth the trade off, since you'll get a better fix on their location.

     

    Thanks,

     

    Jacob

    *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.

    Re: Recurrence of broken FamilyMap, Inefficient Customer Service

    27 of 27 (810 Views)
    Share this post
    Share this post