Recurrence of broken FamilyMap, Inefficient Customer Service

Teacher

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?

Message 1 of 27 (1,324 Views)
Teacher

Re: Recurrence of broken FamilyMap, Inefficient Customer Service

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......

Message 16 of 27 (938 Views)
Employee

Re: Recurrence of broken FamilyMap, Inefficient Customer Service

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

Employee Contributor*
*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.
Message 17 of 27 (923 Views)
Teacher

Re: Recurrence of broken FamilyMap, Inefficient Customer Service

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

Message 18 of 27 (922 Views)
Employee

Re: Recurrence of broken FamilyMap, Inefficient Customer Service

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

Employee Contributor*
*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.
Message 19 of 27 (906 Views)
Teacher

Re: Recurrence of broken FamilyMap, Inefficient Customer Service

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?

Message 20 of 27 (902 Views)
Employee

Re: Recurrence of broken FamilyMap, Inefficient Customer Service

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

 

 

Employee Contributor*
*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.
Message 21 of 27 (893 Views)
Teacher

Re: Recurrence of broken FamilyMap, Inefficient Customer Service

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

Message 22 of 27 (890 Views)
Employee

Re: Recurrence of broken FamilyMap, Inefficient Customer Service

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

Employee Contributor*
*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.
Message 23 of 27 (888 Views)
Teacher

Re: Recurrence of broken FamilyMap, Inefficient Customer Service

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

Message 24 of 27 (886 Views)
Teacher

Re: Recurrence of broken FamilyMap, Inefficient Customer Service

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.

Message 25 of 27 (881 Views)
Employee

Re: Recurrence of broken FamilyMap, Inefficient Customer Service

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

Employee Contributor*
*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.
Message 26 of 27 (873 Views)
Highlighted
Employee

Re: Recurrence of broken FamilyMap, Inefficient Customer Service

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

Employee Contributor*
*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.
Message 27 of 27 (857 Views)
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