Monday, June 12, 2006

AT&T customer service lacking

There have been complaints about poor quality telecom service from AT&T such as long service outages and noisy or crossed lines and for too many in El Dorado County, no wire line broadband Internet service.

Apparently customer service in this day of voice mail jail and transfers to busy signals and outsourced customer service reps half a world away in India leaves something to be desired as well. Carol Anne Ogdin, a Placerville correspondent of this blog, shares this account of her recent experience:
Well, now that SBC has absorbed AT&T and assumed that venerable name, they're engaging in the same brand destruction they've been perpetrating on themselves through previous name changes. Each new name change brings progressively worse service.

Today, I tried to call AT&T to talk about my bill and my business DSL service. After slaving through their "voice mail jail" and listening to numerous self-promoting (and lengthy) announcements...then assuring me my call was really "important" to them, I was informed by the voice mail I'd be answered by the next available agent. Whereupon, I was connected directly to a permanent "busy" signal.

I tried again. same result. A third time...same result.

On the fourth try, I actually was informed I was now in the queue, and "an agent would be with me in a moment." Three minutes later, I reached a human who actually informed me she was incompetent to help me, but she'd take my telephone number and name and have someone call me back...in a day or two!

Fifteen minutes wasted, just so I can leave a callback number! Gee, most companies have automated equipment to take voice mail, why not AT&T? This is how AT&T (nee SBC, nee Southwestern Bell) wants to treat its customers: Mere irritants to their single-minded focus on making money to fatten executive wallets.

I wonder if I'll ever get a call back.

Oh, how I wish I had a choice for telephone service! I'd be happy to pay anyone else for customer service, accurate bills, reliable service...and true broadband, not some inadequate satellite-based substitute.

1 comment:

Carol Anne Ogdin said...

Just a follow-up:

1. NEVER got any callback, thru Friday. Obviously, they just don't care.

2. I called again, afresh, and go the transaction completed I needed done.

3. I then called back, demanded to speak to a supervisor, who listed to my travails, and SBC/AT&T's lack of response, and he made a substantial credit to my account, acknowledging that AT&T should've done better. However, he was in no position to even talk to the senior management about the fundamental flaws in their Customer Service process that would improve it. They still don't care.

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