Saturday, August 06, 2011

AT&T Pulls a Comcast

I had been a happy AT&T customer for this year -- in part on the theory that anything is better than Comcast, but in part because they had been decently reliable for the year we had used them. So when Jill called to tell them we were moving and ask if they had service in Champaign, we were happy to find out that they did. And even better -- they said that the service would not be DSL but fiber-optic, at the same price for what we're paying now. Hurray! They just had to ship us some equipment (which would arrive at our current apartment), and then we had an installation appointment on Tuesday at the new place.

Today, Jill calls AT&T back to check on the status of the equipment that was being shipped. Turns out, it's not coming. In fact, everything in the entire last paragraph was apparently a complete fabrication. They have no service in Champaign. There is no equipment being sent. There is no installation appointment. It was all a lie. I have no idea what motivated them to create such an elaborate concoction (I mean, it was pretty intricate), but alas.

So thanks, AT&T. If you had just told us originally you didn't provide internet in our new building, then we'd have been unhappy because we'd have been satisfied customers who happened to be moving out of your service area. Instead, in the space of 15 minutes you've turned us into angry customers who have learned not to trust your customer service representatives. An excellent day's work, in my book.

This also means we apparently have to go back to Comcast. It's just one nightmare to another here....

1 comment:

PG said...

Verizon's customer service reps don't seem much better, and USAA's reps will automatically tell you you're covered for X based on what a typical policy has, without checking to see what kind of policy YOU have.

I suspect all of this would be getting corrected in the form of better training of, and more care taken by, the reps if
(a) customers routinely had records of their interactions with reps (this is one reason I vastly prefer online chats to the phone); and
(b) dispute resolution mechanisms (I'd say "courts" but of course we're all stuck with arbitration) took seriously the fact that reps are the agents of the company and because customers rely on information given by reps, the company must be held liable for all consequences flowing from this reliance.