Just try to call the damn phone company

It was 5:30 AM and one of the iPhones in the room bleated a very annoying notification sound — the “electronic” sound. Okay, okay. At that time of the morning, I’m either wide awake or struggling to surface from REM-type dreams. Time to get up in either case. Still, it practically jolted me out of bed. “Was that your phone?” I asked (with teeth clenched). [I knew it wasn’t mine.] “WHO is texting you at this hour?”

It was our wonderful friend AT&T!

Say what? One of “our” recent endeavors has been to get The Commander’s landline phone disconnected. I say “our” because it was the GG who bulldogged this issue. I was procrastinating about it in part because I am still suffering from PTSD after an unsuccessful experience last summer of trying to change the mailing address on the account. The other reason? You can only call AT&T during “business hours”. Which are something like 8 AM to 6 PM. So, if I can only call AT&T during “business hours”, why can they spam us at 5:30 AM?

Do you know how many phone calls it took to accomplish the disconnection? I do not. Maybe the GG can tell you. I know that it was more than two and that each call up until the last one led to some weird wild goose chase. I am kind of amazed that he could actually even do it without me and my death certificate powers. Is this good customer service? I have no words.

Hey AT&T? Listen up. A lot of the stuff that drives your CUSTOMERS  CRAZEE  could be easily taken care of if you would improve your website (yeah, you have a website) so that it is user friendly. Ever hear that phrase before? If you make your website *usable* and set it up so that users customers can take care of most of the basic transactions that people generally want to do with their phone service, you will get FEWER calls and you won’t have to [try to] train as many [incompetent] people to answer them. [And I am not even going to discuss the phone menus or wait times. Y’all have been there, done that.]

It may be that disconnecting a deceased person’s landline legitimately takes a phone call. That’s okay. But it would be greatly helpful if the website would at least provide easily locatable instructions on how to do that and what is required. I could find NOTHING! The navigation menus took me nowhere, well except navigating anywhere somehow seemed to log me out and then I would have to log in again. Search? Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaaaa! Kee-reist!

The GG was ultimately successful. He finally [randomly, I think] reached a person with a blasted BRAIN who could understand the situation and figure out a way to RESOLVE it without me and my death certificate powers. Thank you to whoever that woman was.

This stuff was very annoying for us but you have to know that given the situation we are dealing with, we are not paralyzed by grief (although we miss The Commander — who wouldn’t?). What about someone who is canceling phone service for a [gulp] child? AT&T is a huge company. Surely AT&T can do some user testing of their phone menu system and website? And hire a few business analysts maybe? In the long run, a well-designed website will REDUCE calls. Wouldn’t that be a good way to reduce expenses?

Oh yeah, the text message this morning *seems* to be a confirmation that The Comm’s landline phone service was disconnected. It was not a clear message and I am still cheesed off that I can only call AT&T during “business hours” but they can text me any old time. WTF?

4 Responses to “Just try to call the damn phone company”

  1. Margaret Says:

    I hate dealing with any of those businesses or their navigation systems. Ridiculous bureacracies!

  2. Uncly Uncle Says:

    The secret is you have to FAX a request to their service center in Iowa. Can’t CALL the service center. The won’t receive phone calls there.

  3. Pooh Says:

    Maybe you could offer your services as a customer-oriented, “God(dess) is in the details”, talented web designer! I’m glad that the GG was persistant enough to make it happen.

  4. DogMomster Says:

    AT&T’s website is sloooooowwwww and cumbersome…. and not at all clear. Trying to figure out just what happened to my cell phone charges when I (think) I successfully requested they combine bills for U-Verse with my Cell plan was a trip. I finally had to open the actual bill to see that apparently-for-some-unexplained-reason my cell charges were WAIVED [insert skepticism] (is it a thank you for combining bills, or will that come back to haunt me next month?????). There was no clear explanation in the email “confirmations” what to expect, and my Credit Union’s totally-on-top-of-things-system complained to me that they were having trouble connecting to AT&T!!!