"AT&T; The Dark Ages!"

(Posted Wednesday 5-7-03) I’m sure you’ve heard of the term “Living in the Dark Ages.” Well that’s all I have to say about AT&T. I thought the square wheel was an item that existed a long, long time ago but I think AT&T are trying to re invent it again. Read this and see if you agree with how pathetic this situation got?

Last night I picked up the phone during the usual “Solicitor calling hour.” An AT&T rep asked me if I was interested in using AT&T as a long distance carrier. I wouldn’t have to pay any switching fee’s, there was no contract and the person who I was taking the call for (as he can’t talk) would get a free $50 phone card if he switched over. He’d also get 1 hour of free long distance for switching and any time used over that was like 30 cents connection and 10 cents for every minute of time used. So the free calling card and 1 hour of free long distance was well worth my friend’s time. He could cancel this service at any time and there would be no fees.

My friend was all for the idea, so I gave the rep his name, address and other info that was needed. Up to this point the call had taken about fifteen minutes of our time. Thinking it was about to end the rep said, “OK I’m now going to transfer you to another AT&T rep to go over and verify everything that I’ve just told you.” I agreed but found this not only odd but a waste of time considering we’d already gone over everything once. So the new rep came on and repeated all that had been discussed.

I agreed to it all and thought OK, enough is enough. Then the new rep said, “I’m going to put you back to the original rep and he’ll end the call with you.” The original rep came back on and said, “Right, now you’re going to listen to a computerized voice that’s going to ask you some questions about what we’ve already discussed and after every question you’re going to say yes or no.” That was about the time that I lost it. Already my companion had been getting pretty frustrated by the amount of time the call had taken and how stupid this had all become. My co worked looked at me and said, “You’re a patient guy, I’d have hung up on that call a long time ago!”

I said to the rep, “no this has gone too far, this is now getting absolutely pathetic. Firstly you ask me all these questions to which we’ve agreed to use your service. Then you put me onto someone else to go over the same stuff again (to which we agreed to for a second time) and now I’m put back to you, where you expect me to listen to a computer asking the SAME questions YET AGAIN? No forget it," I said, talk about a waste of time?

At that point the rep hung up on me only to call back again a few seconds later, to which we ignored the call. My goodness, what a way to run a business eh? How many times does one have to agree to something and to how many people and on top of that a computer! I’m sorry but there's something radically wrong with AT&T's business ethics here?

Again, I appreciate your reading, regards, Johnny Anderson.

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