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Thursday, January 5, 2012


I haven't had home phone service since Tuesday morning.  Today is Friday.  No, it's not because I didn't pay a phone bill.  It's not because of some terrible storm.  It all started because I got U-Verse for my television, internet, and bundled in my home phone.

I am not even going to go into all the inaccuracies I experienced during the sales portion of my experience.  And understand that this rant doesn't even gie a fraction of a glimpse of how awful my experience has been.  I am giving just a brief overview.

I have had the same landline for 14 years.  No matter what the company has chosen to call itself, I have remained with them (Illinois Bell, SBC, Ameritech, and now AT&T).  I decided to get U-Verse for my television.  And my phone got looped in.  The overzealous tech cut off my landline service before getting the U-Verse going, only to discover that my neighborhood couldn't full support U-Verse (seems like AT&T would know that for sure before selling a package to a customer).  He had to request an outside tech and promised within two hours that would happen, and he would be back to finish the job.  Never mentioned that I would be left with no telephone service.  Two days and no service later, the job was completed.  This was after speaking to at least 18 different representatives.  (By the way, you can get someone 24 hours a day to take your money, but you can't get someone to talk to you about a problem on your phone line after 7 p.m. if it isn't a U-Verse issue.  See where the priority is?  Dollars, not customer service).

During all these conversations, I was told that it might take weeks to get the telephone working under U-Verse, but the rep could get me back my landline.  I told her fine, I didn't care what it was as long as it worked.  HOWEVER, the U-Verse got repaired and service was restord.  But the ticket wasn't cancelled.  So I guess on Tuesday of this week, they discovered the ticket for new service and cut off my working service.  But didn't restore the land line service either.  And here's where it get's really aggravating:  I have been bounced from person to person to person, department to department to department.  Different reps blame different departments for the lack of service.  On Tuesday I was promised that my service would be restored by 8 p.m.  Didn't happen. On Wednesday, I was told that a supervisor would call me (left my cell number)---didn't happen.  Thursday, same promise----NADA.  In fact, on Thursday the agent implored that I keep my phone with me at all times because they had tried to call me a few times.  When I asked at what number, you know what she gave me???  My home number!!!!  These geniuses called the number that is not working, the whole point of my interactions with them!!!!!!!  I was on hold for 54 minutes Thursday afternoon (that's only the tip of the iceberg of all the waiting I have done in hold purgatory).  Guess what happens?  A rep finally picks up, tells me she has to re-route me.  When I complain that I don't understand why I keep getting bounced around, why can't they take my cell number, they do the leg work and call me back, she barely acknowledges the questin and simply keeps repeating that she has to transfer me.  And then has the audacity to tell me that I am going to receive a survey asking about her assistance and she hopes that I would respond that I was satisfied!  Are you kidding?????  When I pointed out how assanine that was, she simply repeated her request!  She then transfers me to the general business office who supposedly would be able to help.  I spend another six minutes on hold when all of a sudden the music stops.  I look down at my phone----dead.  (This is only one of many times I was disconnected by the lovely telecommunications company).  My guess is that I was cut off because the time hit 6 p.m., the time in which this particular department closes.

For years my brother has tried to convert me to Magic Jack, but I have maintained that I will always have a regular old fashioned home phone.  But after days and weeks of dealing with AT&T, maybe I need to rethink this position.  It's actually been kind of nice not having the noise of a home phone.  Magic Jack certainly is cheaper.  They haven't cared about my loyalty, with their stupid "thank you for being the best part of AT&T".  And here's a clue.... when you have had a customer who has been bounced from department to department, dispense with the scripts because she has heard the same "don't worry, we are going to get this situation resolved" too many times and it hasn't proven true.

The funny thing is that after years of steadfast refusal to give up a land line phone, it might be AT&T themselves that cause me to abandon this loyalty.  I think if I am not up and running by 8 p.m. tonight, I am calling it quits.

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