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For Faster Service, Wait Until Wednesday?

ATTHaving AT&T Yahoo DSL is one of the greatest cures ever for writer’s block. Their laughable customer service regularly provides me with material for this blog and hence I offer the latest chapter of the ongoing story provided by AT&T Yahoo DSL.

This chapter began in May with my reluctant renewal of service. I decided that the switching costs were too high, especially when I would be switching to Time Warner, perhaps even worse than AT&T. So I made the call to renew, believing that I had actually bettered my situation. After all I managed to lower my monthly bill by two dollars and received a faster connection- a pretty sweet deal, so I thought. Well yesterday the latest bill arrived, and I was charged over double what I was supposed to have been. “Here we go again,” I thought. So I scanned the bill trying to decipher exactly what had transpired. There were a series of charges and credits, none of which seemed to make any sense. Alas I knew I was going to have to make “THE CALL.” If you have AT&T you know how painful that call can be. So I grabbed my bill, put on a smile, dialed the number, and hoped for the best.

After navigating the automated questions, I was informed that my wait would be longer than ten minutes. I wanted to get this resolved, so I decided it would be worth it to stick it out and wait. As I patiently waited, I decided to review the rest of my bill. I soon came to a page entitled “News You Can Use.” This page is full of information and contains a section titled BEST TIMES TO CALL which pretty much sums up AT&T’s philosophy on customer service. It also served as the inspiration for this rant. Please allow me to share with you more about the BEST TIMES TO CALL.

Best Times To Call

So what you are saying, AT&T, is you realize that your service is poor on Monday and Tuesday, but it is easier (for you) to have me wait until Wednesday to call with my problem. After all my little problem is probably not worth hiring additional staff to handle the increased call volumes on Monday and Tuesday is it. Thanks for advising me to wait. You truly do have my best interests at heart don’t you. It is bad enough that they realize they are not equipped to handle this problem, but it is worse to tell me to wait two days because they are not willing to fix it. So if you have a problem on Monday, it is quicker to wait until Wednesday? No what it should say it that it costs AT&T less to have you wait until Wednesday.

Needless to say, I was connected after about 20 minutes. A wait which I willingly accepted. I was told by the customer service representative that AT&T was doing me a favor by billing me double. It turns out that they now want to bill me a month in advance for my service.

“But this was not disclosed to me up front.” “How can you just change my billing without my consent?” I stupidly asked.
I was informed that I was not the first one to have this problem, and they are very sorry for the inconvenience (universal customer service cop out), unfortunately there was nothing that could be done.

Huh? If I am not the first person to have this problem, why has it not been addressed? How about credit me back the stupid 17 bucks and enjoy my business (DSL and phone) for another year? Can you do that?

Nope, would you like me to have a manager call you about this sir?

“Yes Please do that,” I said obviously frustrated.

I am still waiting for that call… When I receive it you can be sure that it will be chronicled right here, and if made good I will give them credit. Unfortunately I am going to be very busy, so you might have to wait until next Wednesday (assuming they call) to hear about it.