04-23-2012 11:03:47 PM
Dear AT & T-
In the last nine months, I have experienced Internet outages three separate times and each was accompanied by distressing customer service from your company. The first outage was for two weeks and all I was attempting to do was cancel my landline, start up a new AT & T cell phone account while maintaining my AT & T internet service. This was a comedy of errors on the part of your customer service, leading me to write a letter of complaint for the first time in my life (and shared at the end of this message). The second outage was for nearly a week because a technician was improperly scheduled and thus arrived at my house when I was not home and then I had to wait four days for an actual appointment. This third outage is detailed below.
But before this most recent event is detailed, I would like to compliment in the highest terms possible the technicians that came to my house and repaired my service. David worked through darkness to repair the malfunctioning external line back in January/February of this year, and Bill who was here most recently and had to replace the entire external line from the junction to my house was incredibly conscientious replacing the line and tucking it under my roof and triple-checked everything before leaving. Both technicians were highly-skilled and hard-working and far more courteous than your customer service department.
So, what led to Bill making a house visit? On Monday, April 16 my internet stopped working before I left for work. I called AT & T customer service around 6 p.m. that night to find out the status of my service. During this first call, the customer service representative ran several tests on my line and determined there was a problem. I informed him that I had the same problem several months ago and the service technician that came out to investigate the problem found that the external wire outside the house was damaged, possibly by a squirrel and if the problem should re-occur, I should notify AT & T and most likely have the entire wire replaced. For nearly the next ten minutes after sharing this information, I was given a condescending lecture from the AT & T customer service representative that it was not possible for there to be damage to the external line. I was dismissively told that the problem was with my internet router and my laptop computer. I was repeatedly told this was the only possible situation and was essentially blamed for the problem.
So, following the advice of this AT & T customer service representative, I went out and purchased a $100 dollar AT & T router and returned home, installed said router, and still had no service. I called back and spoke to a different representative who was much friendlier and scheduled an appointment for the following morning. And what did Bill the technician find? There was nothing wrong with my computer or router, but a faulty external wire that needed to be entirely replaced. As noted above, Bill did an outstanding job.
I do not ask for much and rarely if ever get worked about up such situations as life is not perfect. Likewise, I do not need to be coddled by those I pay money to for providing service. But what I do expect is common courtesy. Likewise, as a University instructor that has students that regularly use email to discuss classroom issues, I need reliable internet service. I am wondering if AT & T is the right service for me?
Email from first outage last October:
I would like to share this timeline of my customer service experience with your company.
On October 13 I finally decided to upgrade my cell phone status to a smartphone and after much research decided to go with AT&T as I was long-time and generally satisfied home and internet customer of AT&T. I decided to cancel my home phone and transfer that number to my new AT&T wireless account. During this order I specifically asked whether or not this switch would affect my internet service and I was told no. I asked do I need to contact AT&T to cancel my home phone service and shift my internet and again I was told no.
Cut to October 18 when I activate my new AT&T wireless account and my DSL service is no longer available. I made my first call to customer service and technical support the evening of the 18th and was told that the problem would be resolved by 8 p.m. the following day.
On the next night, October 19, my DSL service was not active and I once again call AT&T and am told to call back the next day after 8 p.m.
I wait until the morning of October 21 and in the process of trying to speak to a representative, I was transferred to a representative in the Wireless department that quickly informed me that I was wrong for contacting him and continued to be rude in his behavior. I was then placed on hold for 15 minutes by this AT&T employee that never returned to the call but instead I was transferred to someone else.
In this second call of October 21 I am informed for the FIRST time that I need to place a new order for my DSL service. This agent was quite helpful and told me I was eligible for the fastest DSL service offered and I agreed to pay for the upgraded service. She suggested there was a good chance that my service would be turned on that afternoon/evening but it could be as late as October 23.
Cut to October 23 and I receive a call from an AT&T technician who has been sent to the wrong address. I have been an AT&T customer for over 10 years, and have always received my BILL at the correct address so how your computers are not automated and he is sent to the wrong address is beyond comprehension. He informs me that he cannot help me today for some technical reason.
On October 23, I place yet another call to customer service at which time I am once again told my service might still be turned on today but absolutely no later than 8 p.m. October 24. During this call I ask for the new account number associated with my DSL service and I am provided a ten digit account number. In addition, I am now told that I am NOT eligible for the fastest DSL service but rather only the continuation of my original internet service.
Later on October 23 I receive a call from an AT&T representative who again assures me that my service will be turned on no later than 8 p.m. on October 24. She also proceeds to give me my new ten digit account number that is DIFFERENT than the previous account number provided. Again, how is this possible, I assume your information is automated and uniform but apparently it is not?
Cut to 8:00 p.m. on OCTOBER 24, and I STILL have no DSL service. I have called technical support and am informed there is a problem with the line and a technician needs to come out again.