Save Me, Telephone Superman!

Evening of Thursday, March 3, 2011

I think I’m over being “mad as hell” with AT&T.  Instead, I’ve decided to ride the crazy train and see where it takes me.   Besides, I’m no worse off now I was before.  Should all else fail, I can always go to the competition.  On a certain level, it’s even fun watching AT&T stumble around like a drunken brontosaurus.

At this point, I’m supposed to be waiting for Telephone Superman to get in touch with me so that he can get my apartment hooked up to the tubes.  Realistically, though, I think what’s going to happen is that he’s going to ask me a few questions and then either schedule someone to go out to my place (which brings us back to square one) or apologize profusely and THEN schedule someone to go out to my place.  Either way, I’m boned.

I have an hourly job right now.  I don’t have any vacation days at that job right now, so taking days off means not getting paid for that day.  I literally cannot afford to take time off during the week, and on Saturdays, I am busy attending or helping out with various nerd gatherings and events, and on Sundays I have band practice.  My busy schedule is why I wanted to do the self-install.  Besides, the installer has no reason to enter my apartment unless things are really borked up.

Now if the tech came by, flipped the switch, saw that something was borked up and had to do something inside, somebody should have TOLD me that by now: the installer could have written something on the note he left, the nimrod CSR I spoke to should have seen it on his screen, and I’ll even go as far as to say that the guys responding on Twitter should have seen that SOMETHING was screwy after seeing me unleash some “nerd rage” on the tubes.  That’s water under the bridge, though.  I figured I’d give them a few days to call and once my patience runs out, I’ll just nuke it all and give Time Warner a ring.  Luckily (or unluckily, perhaps) I am a very patient person.

Now if Phone Dude didn’t flip the switch at all because I wasn’t at home, he screwed up.

At about 930 in the morning yesterday, I got a phone call.  It was a person from AT&T’s Executive Service something-or-other.  She apologized for the inconvenience and told me that someone would be calling me back to get things taken care of…within 48 hours.  Grr.

Luckily it didn’t take that long, I got a call in the afternoon (that I missed) from another person somewhere within AT&T’s secret underground lair.  It was another gal who should be THE person to get things squared away, but I couldn’t just call her, I had to leave a message and once I did so she would call me back within a hour.  Yeah, that’s convenient!  The problem here is that my job is answering a tech support line:  if my cell rings while I’m helping a customer I can’t pick up.  I left a message at five hoping that she would ring me before a customer did.

“Eduardo’s Dumb Luck” kicked in, so of course, my cell rang when I was on the line with a customer.  Luckily, the customer was on hold, so I quickly answered.  The Executive Customer person asked me if I had some time to discuss the problem (gee, its a shame it isn’t written down somewhere, like say, a blog!) which I obviously didn’t, so I asked her to call me back during my lunch break today.

Of course it wasn’t until after I ended the call  that I realized I was expecting another important call at that same time.



The Social Not-Work

Morning of Wednesday, March 2, 2011

I was genuinely optimistic when I got ATTNickT’s tweet.  I thought that having a “man on the inside” would speed things along and I would be happily surfing the ‘Net in a few days.  I sent my information to AT&T’s  Customer Care Social Media team in the morning before work and waited to see what would happen.  At about 2PM I got this:

Okay, so it's 2 days...wait, "business hours?" Wut?

“Power of social media” my butt.

If you are wondering why I am complaining about “2 days” I invite you to notice the two words after the number 48:  “Business hours.”  In nearly all the professional positions I’ve had, a “business day” is the eight to ten hours during the weekdays when people are working.

So, if a “business day” is 8 hours, it might be six days before I hear from somebody who might be able to fix my problem.  Heck, let’s be really generous and assume a “business day” is 12 hours: that knocks two days off the wait down to only four days.  Hold on, though!  The weekend is coming, so let’s add two days to both those guesstimates.

So I had to wait six hours to be told I’m going to have to wait 6-10 days MORE?  Those hold times spent listening to elevator music suddenly don’t seem so bad.  Admittedly, I could be completely wrong and “48 business hours” is really two days, which does makes a weird kind of sense: AT&T is a phone company, so they’ve got to be watching their various grids 24/7. I asked for clarification on what “business hours” are, but I have an feeling that I’m not going to like the answer.

I never thought I'd have to ask this

All I have learned from my experience thus far is that AT&T’s Customer Care Social Media department is only good for ‘transferring’ me to someone else who might be able to help me out.  I could have more quickly done that over the phone even with the simpleton I spoke with yesterday.

Maybe I’m just too patient, but I’m going to maintain my optimism, stick with it and see what happens.  I’m getting REALLY close to pulling the plug and calling Time Warner Cable, though.