My Chat with AT&T

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info: Please wait for a chat representative to respond.
info: You are now chatting with ‘Ian Young’
Ian Young: Thank you for chatting with at&t today, I am happy to assist you

Shawn Powers: Can you give me an idea when our service will work here in Indian River, MI?

Ian Young: I am happy to look into that with you today

[over 5 minutes go by]

Shawn Powers: Are you doing that now?

Ian Young: I am

Ian Young: I do see the reports of the issue, but no estimated resolution time

Shawn Powers: So you recommend I switch to Verizon?

Ian Young: I did not say that

Shawn Powers: You are one of many AT&T folks that acknowledge a problem, yet have no estimate for repair time, nor explanation as to what is happening.

Shawn Powers: So, since you can’t help me — switching companies seems the only logical choice.

Shawn Powers: What if this goes on for years?

Shawn Powers: Shall I never again make a call or text?

Ian Young: unfortunately, we only have the information our technicians provide us, and as of yet they have not advised us when the expect to have the issue resolved, in all my years with at&t I have never seen an issue like this last for years, but if you feel that is what you must do, that is your choice

Shawn Powers: Do you understand why a continued “we don’t know when it will be fixed” makes me question why I spend $350+ a month?

Shawn Powers: this is at least week two, which means I’ve paid for half a month of service that rarely works

Ian Young: I do understand, and if we had a date we would be more then happy to provide it to you

Shawn Powers: Do you have an estimate on when you might have an estimate?

Shawn Powers: or possibly does a manager have a better idea of when the problem will be identified or fixed?

Shawn Powers: Certainly someone in all of AT&T must know something.

Shawn Powers: I could flag down AT&T trucks that pass by on the road, but that seems a bit drastic.

Shawn Powers: I would call and talk to someone, but you see, my phone doesn’t work.

Ian Young: they would have the same access to the information as I do, unfortunately our technicians have not provided us that information, weather you reach us through here for chat or call, we have the same information

Shawn Powers: Perhaps could someone *call* the technicians?

Shawn Powers: Or email them.

Shawn Powers: Or text them

Shawn Powers: Communicate with them in some manner?

Ian Young: if we had a way to contact them, we would already have done so

Shawn Powers: So… the company which claims to be the biggest and best company for communication can not contact their own technicians?

Shawn Powers: You do see the irony, no?

Shawn Powers: I suppose I would understand if you can’t reach them on their phones if they live in Indian River.

Shawn Powers: Our towers don’t work here.

Ian Young: with our technicians it is a one way communication, the let us know,

Shawn Powers: You don’t think that is unacceptable? That’s the same efficiency as smoke signals.

Shawn Powers: Perhaps a note could be slipped into their paychecks, asking for an update?

Shawn Powers: I’m certain they receive that from AT&T, even if they never have to receive information from the company in other matters.

Ian Young: I do understand your frustration

Shawn Powers: Yet, you have no suggestions for me?

Shawn Powers: Let’s pretend you were me, what would you do?

Shawn Powers: Would you continue to pay for service that does not work?

Shawn Powers: Is that that what the ideal customer would do?

Shawn Powers: Or should I continue to spew sarcasm at you, and hope it goes up the chain?

Shawn Powers: I realize you personally aren’t responsible — but you’re my only point of contact.

Shawn Powers: So you get the brunt of my frustrations.

Shawn Powers: I must have some resolution, as I’ve patiently waited for two weeks now.

Shawn Powers: If I ordered a hamburger, and it didn’t arrive for two weeks, I would most likely leave the restaurant, thus my questions about switching to Verizon.

Ian Young: again it is your choice as to weather to continue service with at&t or not, at this point, the information you are requesting is not available, our technicians are working to resolve the issue as quickly as possible

Shawn Powers: So will I be charged for the past two weeks?

Shawn Powers: Or will my bill reflect the time it takes the technicians to fix things?

Shawn Powers: If I knew the length of time it would take, I could better judge if I wanted to remain a customer.

Shawn Powers: I would say the phones work about 25% of the time, will I get a 75% discount?

Shawn Powers: If you can’t resolve my problem, can I stop service with AT&T, and no longer have a committment on my contract? ie, revoke early termination fees?

Shawn Powers: I think that would be a fair compromise. If you can’t tell me when my phones will work, then canceling my early termination fees would be acceptable.

Shawn Powers: it’s not even all my phones, some are past their contract dates.

Ian Young: I apologize, we in tech support do not have information on termination fees or contracts, if you want to call our Customer Care at 1-800-331-0500 from a land line phone, they would be able to look into that with you

Shawn Powers: Shall I go ask the neighbor if they have a landline phone?

Shawn Powers: We have 5 cellphones you see, and no landline.

Shawn Powers: Customer care cannot chat?

Ian Young: I am happy to find the location of one of our at&t company owned stores, they would have a courtsey phone you would be able to use

Shawn Powers: The store itself couldn’t help me?

Ian Young: they might be able to, but most likely they would direct you to call

Shawn Powers: I see. Well, Ian, I would thank you for your help, but really you haven’t helped at all.

Shawn Powers: I’m sure you tried — but you’ve said the same thing I keep hearing over and over.

Ian Young: as I said if we had more information, we would not hesitate to provide it

Shawn Powers: Well, if I see a technician, I’ll let them know you’d like to talk to them. Too bad AT&T doesn’t have two way phones for them yet.

Ian Young: it is not a matter of Phones

Ian Young: it is a matter of allowing them the ability to do the work they have to do with out intruption

Shawn Powers: So you *can* call them, you just won’t?

Shawn Powers: “Ian Young: with our technicians it is a one way communication, the let us know,”

Shawn Powers: But they don’t let you know apparently, therein lies the problem.

Ian Young: they let us know when they know, if they don’t know, then don’t have the information, hence we don’t have the information

Shawn Powers: If it took me two weeks to figure out how long it would take to solve a problem, I would be fired. Perhaps I should get a job as an AT&T technician, it sounds like they have a cake job.

Shawn Powers: “We’ll get it fixed… someday. No, we won’t tell you what’s wrong. No, no idea how long it will take.”

Ian Young: I understand your point of view, but the technical aspect is not as simple as you seem to imply

Shawn Powers: Ahh, yes, that’s it. Think about it not as the AT&T tech support, but as a person that paid hundreds of dollars for shoddy service.

Shawn Powers: If you truly believe it’s acceptable to hear “no estimate” for weeks, with no further information, you have a horrible concept of customer support.

Shawn Powers: Hours, i would understand.

Shawn Powers: A day, maybe

Ian Young: I do apologize that we do not have an estimated time of resolution, it is not an issue of weather I feel it is acceptable or not, it is what we have to work with

Shawn Powers: So what should I do?

Shawn Powers: Please tell me what the recommendation is.

Ian Young: What you should do is up to you, at this point all I can say, is we are working to resolve the issue

Shawn Powers: So you have no recommendation?

Ian Young: If I had a recommendation that would fix the issue, I assure you I would not hesitate to provide it

Shawn Powers: What I’m asking is, when I go into the other room and my family asks about their phones, I need to say, “Ian said we should __________.”

Shawn Powers: Because that’s why I contacted you.

Shawn Powers: I need to know what to do now.

Shawn Powers: My phones dont’ work.

Shawn Powers: I came up with ideas, like switching to Verizon. I need to know what AT&T suggests I do.

Shawn Powers: Continue to wait indefinitely? If that’s the answer, just let me know.

Shawn Powers: You currently represent all of AT&T, I need to know what AT&T suggests I do.

Ian Young: What to do now is up to you, as for you concerns about the contracts, is to call and speak with our Customer Support,

Shawn Powers: let’s start over then. Ian, my phone doesnt’ work, what should I do?

Ian Young: I do understand Mr Powers, you want us to tell you what to do, but you don’t want us to tell you to wait till it is fixed, no carrier is going to tell its customers to go to another carrier, outside of that what else are we to tell you?

Shawn Powers: I guess you don’t have an answer for me then. Very well. Thank you for a lovely chat, Ian. I do hope you have a good day.

Ian Young: I hope you have a good day as well, and that the issue is resolved soon for you

21 thoughts on “My Chat with AT&T”

  1. Three things:

    1. You were grumpy.

    2. I do not blame you.

    3. Ian has (as Topher mentioned) an absurdly misplaced interest in the weather.

  2. 1. You’re soooooooo much nicer than I am.

    2. You didn’t relate the story all the way to the end. He’s required by law to end with “I hope I’ve been helpful with your issue. Is there anything else I can help you with this evening?”…as if the preceding hour of frustration never took place.

  3. Shawn:

    AT&T is the worst. Back not so long ago, when there were a bunch of land-line long distance carriers, they sold us long distance at a “per-minute rate”, and when the first bill came in promptly told us — in so many words — they would not honor the rate. We got the state’s attorney general involved, and went to using long distance phone cards, until Verizon started selling long distance.

    If everyone just stopped purchasing AT&T, they might get the message. Hmmm, probably not.

  4. If there are no holes in your walls, you have my utmost respect, sir. I would totally have lost my shit waaaaay before that.

    If you do have holes in your walls, you still have my respect, because I’m sure I would have attempted to reach through the Internets and throttle Ian.

    • No holes in the wall, just concerned I’ll end up paying a $600+ early termination fee for the 3 phones still under contract. 🙁

      (And sadly, Sprint has zero coverage where we live. Our only options are AT&T and Verizon)

  5. All we have here is Verizon and AT&T. AT&T has better coverage in some areas, but worse customer service, so I stick with Verizon. I no longer have a land line (although I do have Skype and Google Talk) and use them both on my iPod Touch when there’s WiFi available.

    The most frustrating thing about this, of course, is the person you dealt with has no power and no information beyond what is given him. Like the customer service with most big companies, when it sucks you can’t reach the people who are most responsible for the suckiness.

    • And honestly, I knew pretty quickly Ian couldn’t really help me. So I don’t think I was nasty to him, just pretty snarky. I’m trying to figure out how to proceed. If we port our numbers to Verizon, I’m sure AT&T will slap us with the most fees possible. And I will probably just have to pay them. 🙁

  6. If I were you, I’d contact your State Public Service Commission. If they don’t have any info about repairs (which they should, if it’s widespread), they should be able to help you get out of your contract without penalty. AT&T can’t hold you to a contract if they aren’t providing the service contracted for. (I’d think that two weeks qualifies as more than a temporary outage.)

    • As someone who works in the industry, I will say that Nathan’s idea has merit. While traditional service providers (i.e., landline) have much more stringent guidelines because they’re considered a public utility, cell providers are not completely off the hook here.

      • I did file an “inquiry”, which appears to be the way to go about it. You are correct that it seems to lean heavily toward traditional utilities, but filing can’t hurt. We’re still trying to figure out our best course of action. Porting numbers obviously, but we need to buy Verizon phones. Sure wish technologies were standard and we could just switch, keeping our existing hardware. Le sigh.

  7. That’s one of the things I love about you. You are quick witted in a nice, yet firm way.

    Sorry to here about all your troubles, but is there anyway you can to wifi calling with your phones? My wife and I are with Tmobile, and we just got new phones last week, (HTC Amaze and Samsung Galaxy Blaze). Both will use wifi for voice calls anytime I’m connected to wifi. I haven’t really used it yet, since I just got the phones a few days ago, but I know there are a few buildings at work I don’t get good reception in, but I have WIFI, so I’m looking forward to using it.

  8. We’ve been Verizon customers for over 10 years on our family plan, and my work device is owned and paid for by my company and is on the AT&T network. Guess which one gives me more trouble?

  9. Sprint roams on Verizon towers (not LTE) for voice and 3G data and is the lowest price family plan in the industry. Sorry for your troubles, I’d switch to Sprint…

  10. could always switch to telegraph, i hear they are quite reliable. or just learn Morse code and use your car horns to communicate!


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