#ATTFail / #UverseFail

September 11, 2012

<RANT ON>

I am one very dissatisfied AT&T / U-verse customer.

I have been a loyal ‘Bell’ consumer since I received my first pink, rotary Princess phone – my loyalty never wavered even with all the new technology. Like the rest of the sheep, I signed off on bundles – my cell, TV, Internet service, and my ‘ever-faithful’ land line service.

I’ve had issues with AT&T / U-verse since early 2010 – mostly TV related. Yes, I know, lose the TV – get a life … anyway, by November 2010, I had placed 6 service calls in 8 months without a successful resolution to my problems. I request, and am promised, that they will send out a senior tech/supervisor to identify and correct the problem.  Tech shows up on November 28, 2010 – he’s neither a senior tech nor a supervisor; just some poor shmoe with a service ticket. He comes in, scratches his head, says he needs to replace the equipment, and, then willy-nilly decides to lift the corner of the entertainment center to move it – with complete disregard to the collectibles and electronics on the shelves. I screeched, lunged for the breakables and he let go of the furniture. In the process he bent a leg on the entertainment center. He then tells me the problem is ‘outside’ and that he can’t work in an ‘unsafe environment’ and leaves … Pardon? He felt unsafe because I reacted to the potential destruction of my property? Oof!

BTW: Did you know that the ‘inside techs’ and ‘outside techs’ work for different divisions of the company and that they don’t necessarily compare notes? Well, you do now!

So, I tweeted: “#AT&T #UVerse #TechnicalSupport 6 service calls in 8 mos-still unresolved; was promised a supervisor/sr tech, got Goober-srsly???” and “#AT&T #UVerse tech shows up w/attitude; moved entertainment center w/fragiles sitting on top; bent support leg…problem is outside PFFT!”

<crickets>

I tweet again on November 30th, “#UVerse #TechnicalSupport still waiting for resolution; reception issues & losing internet signal since last ‘fix’ NOT.HAPPY.” My tweets resulted in a response from the ATT ‘social media’ team and a promise of escalation to someone with a clue … um, not so much –

Out of frustration, and with a need to focus on the important things in my life, I walk away for a while. The problems resurfaced – by then I was in grad school and I was losing the integrity of the Internet signal during class AND now, somehow my land line has issues.

On January 17, 2011, I tweet again, “@ATTEmilia NOT HAPPY!! issues not resolved; tired of being passed around & parade of inside techs to fix an outside problem-how is it NO ONE can fix these issues?!” and “completely fed up with customer disservice & disrepair from #AT&T #Uverse

Emails, phone calls and more tech appointments follow … the result, after many insults to my intelligence is that for my land line to work correctly, I need to drop various AT&T add-ons.

<scratching my head>

Fast forward to February 2011 … my email to Natasha Young, Social Media Manager, AT&T Customer Care:

I am still having trouble with the picture and I am not at all pleased that I had to turn off a phone feature rather than have the problem corrected.

I spoke with Andy earlier this week and his tests showed trouble inside and clear signal outside. I really do not understand how that could be – you cleared the problem inside and diagnosed the problem outside; then you cleared the problem outside and now it is inside again. Furthermore, the issues with the phone were aggravated by something related to the other repairs. I had call waiting/caller ID deluxe … then all I had was call waiting with a really aggravated mechanical interference – Andy can verify and attest to the noise. A tech came out and ‘fixed’ the line … I was left with constant mechanical interference. The phone would make noises as soon as I picked it up.

The tech was condescending. He tried to convince me that the phone was supposed to make those noises; then he tried to convince me it was my phone, or better yet, that I was not intelligent enough to have removed the DSL filters from my phone lines. Ultimately, I had to sacrifice call waiting in its entirety. There is no longer any interference. Now, I might be a lay person, but that tells me that the problem was most indeed with the service.

So, to summarize, I am still losing time to AT&T, et al., in an effort to clear up these issues. I have given up at least 24 hours of my time – time that should have been devoted to either building my business, providing services to my clients, attending classes, doing homework, and, let us not forget the Sabbaths I have given up so I could be here for yet another tech rather than attend services and enjoy a day away from the stresses of my life.  (FYI: my hourly rate is $75 and I am paying $1200/hour for school – do the math).

I demand that the problems be resolved and that I receive adequate credit for the ‘down time’. Andy suggested that I call the Secretary to the President and provide her with his employee ID so that someone else might be made aware of the level of issues on the line. There is no reason that any customer should have to jump through so many hoops to receive the level of service promised by your company.

ATT responds on February 18th:

I have received notification from our U-verse/landline contacts that they have contacted you directly to address your concerns. Can you confirm your issue is resolved?

My response:

Do you mean the phone issue? Well, no … I am not at all happy that I had to give up call waiting deluxe rather than have someone fix the problem – please check with Andy AL9644 for additional details. If you are asking about Uverse in general, then definitely not.

OOF!!!

Again, life is more important than most things AT&T, so I let it drop until I simply can’t take it anymore. My patience ends in November 2011 and the process resumes – more calls, emails and an endless loop of techs. By February 2012, I am ready to drop services. I make the call and get routed to a tech in ‘Tier 2’ who informs me that there is a KNOWN issue that is most likely the cause of the problem, he offers to escalate the work order and, rather than downgrade my services, he gives me a moderate upgrade and a discount. What follows is an accounting of the most recent inanities:

Apr 13, 10:54am

#UverseFAIL paying TOO much $$$ for 2 years of inconsistent service-5th DVR box; 4th router…something is SERIOUSLY wrong

Apr 13, 3:50pm

#Uverse #ATT #FAIL signal degrades at ~2200 ft; my house is at 2993 ft; should’ve disclosed that WHEN THEY INSTALLED THE SYSTEM!

Apr 14, 5:58pm

#Uverse #ATT #FAIL Tier 2 super says I need a ‘booster’; transfers me to billing; they want credit check to approve booster. Um, why?

Apr 14, 6:01pm

#Uverse #ATT #FAIL (cont’d) sales claims might not ‘need’ credit check & promised to call back; I’M STILL WAITING! 24 hrs+ & counting

Apr 16, 10:12am

still in the 7th circle of #ATT #Uverse hell #FAIL

Apr 17, 9:59am

@ATT @Uverse How many messages must one leave w/the Exec Complaint Dept for a response? 5 msgs/5days; not what I consider ‘prompt’ #FAIL

Apr 19, 4:49pm

the level of incompetence @ATT @Uverse boggles the mind #FAIL

Apr 19, 4:52pm

@ATTEmilia I’m fed up! Even made it to the Office of Pres & still getting the run around!

Apr 26, 10:23am

You’d think calling the office of the pres @ATT #uverse would get results…WRONG!

Apr 26, 10:25am

@ATT is truly the 7th circle of hell… Just fix the d@mn problem or admit you can’t and make compensatory amends #FAIL

Apr 26, 10:40am

Latest from @ATT customer disservice-I’m 3400 ft away from signal; last week it was 2900 ft…did the earth expand? ARGH!

MORE calls and I finally reach the <insert chorus of angels> ‘Office of the President’ … promises are made of research into the history and issues of the problems with my service and a swift, successful resolution. What ensues is more down time for me by way of service interruptions and more tech appointments, but now I have real, reachable points of contact.

_____________________________________________
From: Pamela Starr
To: br063n@att.com
Sent: Tuesday, June 5, 2012 10:44 AM
Subject: re: 101743349 – please read and contact me ASAP

Brett,

First allow me to commend Dean St. Clair. His work was outstanding considering the mess left behind by the horde of technicians who have ‘worked’ on my system over the last two years. It took Dean and Mike(?) almost 7 hours to correct the chaos of wires, patches, hanging cables, etc. and install the INID [sic] device. In fact, Dean had to contact Tier 2 while he was here to figure out why an order that had been approved on 5/19 had not yet been ‘put through’ so he could complete the necessary work.

This note is to express my ‘disappointment’ at the consistent ‘inconveniences’ caused by dealing with ATT and my inability to reach someone who can indeed make a difference and who genuinely cares that I am a dissatisfied customer.

My understanding was that a tech had been here on the 28th to lay the proverbial groundwork and that my 3 calls to the Office of the President and the corresponding 3 escalation cases would have meant that all would go smoothly and painlessly. To be brief, I have been trying for TWO YEARS to get the service for which I have been paying. In the late months of 2010 and the beginning of 2011 there were no fewer than 40 techs that came through my home to ‘fix’ my issues with the TV service.

The solutions proffered by these so-called ‘ATT professionals’ has been to replace my DVR 5 times; my router, 4 times; and my remote, 3 times. Am I meant to believe that ATT has that much defective equipment?? The result was easily 120 hours of my life lost to all things ATT – an ‘inconvenience’; time taken away from running my business, completing my graduate school studies, having a life, and ultimately, giving up my Sabbath and violating Torah law to accommodate ATT’s service hours AND the loss of untold hours of recorded programming that has never been recovered.

I am not the most religious Jew on the block, but since I work from home, on my computer, I have chosen to defer to Torah law by ‘going dark’ on the Sabbath. For me that means that I do not use my computer nor do I conduct business. I requested, even demanded, that all tech appointments be reserved for Sundays so that I could not only honor my religious obligations, but also so that I could mitigate any system down time and reduce the time lost from work and school. It also meant that I gave up the ability to run errands and do other things that one would normally do on a Saturday. But back to the most recent series of events …

I was strong-armed into accepting a Saturday appointment for the installation of the device – trust me, I told the customer service representative that it went against my beliefs and invaded my comfort zone to do so. Dean arrived promptly and was both knowledgeable and pleasant – then he was annoyed and frustrated by the aforementioned mess left by his predecessors and the failure of Tier 2 (or whomever) to properly flip the necessary switches.

As I mentioned it took almost SEVEN hours for Dean to complete the installation; he even had to call Mike(?) to make repairs to my POTS line … why yes, the process took ALL my services down – phone, TV and Internet. Dean also had to install a replacement for the replacement router, because the first one he brought in was, big surprise here, defective. And, yes, I had to login to my iPad and computer to verify that I had Internet service. Again, I am happy with the services that Dean provided but I am up to my pretty blue eyes in dissatisfaction with ATT.

So, here I am, running a new system with a backup that will inevitably raise my electric bill AND there is a new problem with my service. No, I do not wish to contact Tech Support. I am done with calls to West New Dehli and the entire process. Now that I have the INID [sic] I have noticed that the image on my TV will experience a ‘surge’ – that is that at semi-regular intervals, the image will shrink and expand in the manner of a nano second, much like a blip or a strobe. I have never had this problem before and it is most disconcerting.

As I would rather not deal with someone who is unfamiliar with the recent upgrades to my system, I implore your to arrange to have Dean return to my home, preferably on a Sunday to correct this issue.
_____________________________________________
From: “REECE, BRETT D” <br063n@att.com>
To: Pamela Starr
Sent: Tuesday, June 5, 2012 10:45 AM
Subject: Automatic reply: 101743349 – please read and contact me ASAP

I am out of the office today Friday 4/27/2011. If you need assistance please contact John Franklin at 678-848-3782. Thank you.

[ARE YOU KIDDING ME???]

_____________________________________________
From: Pamela Starr
Sent: Thursday, June 14, 2012 9:16 AM
To: REECE, BRETT D
Subject: Fw: 101743349 contact me ASAP

How is it that you have your auto responder set to an away message from APRIL 2011??? Worse than that, the alternate contact number belongs to someone who NO LONGER servers on your team.

I am more than a little disappointed by the fact that you have failed to respond to my in e-mail. I was under the impression that since this matter had been escalated to the Office of the President at least FOUR times that you would actually take in interest in my concerns about CONTINUED issues with my U-verse services.

I am experiencing more pronounced issues with my TV signal, with the added insult of periodic drops in my Internet service. As noted below, I make my living using the Internet, every disruption costs me money.

CONTACT ME IMMEDIATELY!!!


From: “REECE, BRETT D” <br063n@att.com>
To: Pamela Starr
Sent: Thursday, June 14, 2012 9:27 AM
Subject: RE: contact me ASAP

Ms. Starr,

I apologize as my Auto responder was set incorrectly and I did forward your email to my counterpart and I was under the impression that you were contacted. There was obviously some miscommunication on my part. I also apologize for the continued interruption in your services. Please let me know a time and day that you would like for us to come back out and address the issues and I can set up another dispatch.

Thanks,
Brett Reece, Network Manager, AT&T UVERSE – SE, br063n@att.com


From: Pamela Starr
To: “REECE, BRETT D” <br063n@att.com>
Sent: Thursday, June 14, 2012 10:17 AM
Subject: Re: contact me ASAP

Mr. Reece,

This is just another in a far too long history of ‘miscommunications’ and ‘inconveniences’. As I have expressed over and over again, these constant interruptions to my life and business are unacceptable, especially when one considers how much AT&T charges for its services.

As I have stated, repeatedly, I do not have a lot of availability. I work from home and attend grad school online. As such, I cannot have my service or day interrupted for any length of time; Saturday is my Sabbath and, in deference to Torah law, I do not use my computer from Friday sundown until late Saturday night. I am still upset that I was required to allow service on a Saturday during which I was required to use my computer to verify that I had service.

It sickens me to think about the number of hours I have lost explaining myself to customer service, Tier 2, and the Office of the President, along with more than 100 hours to service calls and technicians, PLUS the lost recordings and the inability to simply turn on the TV in the evening and relax. (I bill out at $75/hour … do the math!)

Since June 5th, this e-mail exchange has taken another 30+ minutes – time I should have used to devote to my clients to make the money to pay the D@MN AT&T bills. Each ‘inconvenience’ requires that I take time away from the things I need to do to fulfill obligations to my clients, run and build my business, and attend class and complete homework assignments, not to mention the impact on my ‘down-time’.

At this point I should be receiving payments from AT&T to keep the service and to compensate me for my losses – the whole thing is ridiculous.

Again, I ask that you call me. In the meantime, I will make a pot of coffee because I suspect there is an all-niter in my future.

[INSERT MORE TECH APPOINTMENTS, CALLS, EMAILS, ETCETERA, ETCETERA, ETCETERA]

Jul 05, 3:04pm

#ATTfail#AT&T #Uverse REHIRE Dean St. Claire! He is one of the few techs that provides REAL #customerservice!

_____________________________________________
From: LANGHORNE, BARB
To: Pamela Starr
Sent: Monday, September 10, 2012 5:39 PM
Subject: U-verse service and account

Ms. Starr,

This email is a follow-up in my attempt to assist you this afternoon.  You and I re-capped the conference call with you; and you mentioned in our efforts to keep you has a customer an option of issuing additional promotion(s) to your U-verse account.  The conference call records indicate the purpose of the call was to inform you of where AT&T stood regarding your services and possibly going back to DSL if it was still available for you.  At this time we truly are providing the best we can.  Because we value you as a customer, we wanted to provide you the opportunity to choose.  Unfortunately, you hung up the line before I was able to further discuss.

You expressed the continued disappointment with your U-verse service and expressed for each time it may not function up to par that AT&T should issue a credit adjustment to your account.  Unfortunately, Ms. Starr, AT&T will not be able to do that.  Again, that was the purpose of the conference call to provide you a choice.  Please understand, that AT&T is aware of your frustration!  You do not feel you should pay for services that you state are not working 100% all the time.  I then suggested for you to downgrade your service(s) as this will automatically decrease your cost, and you disagreed.

Please feel free to respond via email should you have any additional questions or concerns.  Please accept my apology for any inconvenience this matter may have caused.

Thank you,
Barb. Langhorne|Manager|AT&T Office of the President|404-541-4208


From: “JORDAN, TOM” <tj0336@att.com>
To: “LANGHORNE, BARB” bl7824@att.com; Pamela Starr
Sent: Tuesday, September 11, 2012 8:20 AM
Subject: RE: U-verse service and account

Good morning Ms. Starr.  I see that Ms. Langhorne contacted you yesterday in an attempt to find a solution to your concerns regarding any additional promotions that could be added to your account.

Also, I received your voice mail this morning asking me to call you. Unfortunately at this point, there is nothing more that I am able to help with since my area of involvement is with the service side of the situation.

As we discussed on our conference call, AT&T has exhausted its efforts in trying to resolve the service issues that you have presented to us and the options that are available were explained.

To clarify the comment made on the conference call about applying possibly additional promotions to your account, the statement was made that if you decided to make any changes to your account such as going back to DSL etc we would see if there were any promotions we could add at that time based on the changes made to your account.  As I explained yesterday, we don’t generally have promotions available for us to add to existing accounts.  Most promotions are designed to attract new customers to AT&T or to be applied when customer’s upgrade their services.

If you decide to make any changes to your service, I ask that you contact our customer service group at 800-288-2020 and they will be happy to assist you at that time.

I apologize that we have not been able to reach a satisfactory resolution to your issues and concerns.

Thank you,
Tom Jordan, Manager – AT&T Office of the President, 404-499-5874
_____________________________________________
From: Pamela Starr
To: “JORDAN, TOM” <tj0336@att.com>; “LANGHORNE, BARB” <bl7824@att.com>
Sent: Tuesday, September 11, 2012 9:10 AM
Subject: Re: U-verse service and account

Mr. Jordan and Ms. Langhorne,

The question of DSL vs cable is one of Internet service, not television service. My primary complaint has been, and continues to be, one with regard television services. I did not begin experiencing issues with my Internet service until the installation of the ‘INID’.

My greatest concern now is that I have been told that I would need to downgrade my services with your company in order to ‘improve’ the quality of service received. Surely you can see how this is counter-intuitive, especially when you consider that none of my neighbors seem to be experiencing the same issue with their services. Furthermore, I have now been told that since I have chosen to stay with AT&T/U-verse, should I experience outages or interruptions in service – such as my land line going dead during our call yesterday – I should not expect the company to address my concerns, nor should I expect to receive any sort of adjustment for the lack of service.

Your comments make it sound as if my only concern has been cost reduction. That is incorrect. I am paying for quality and consistency and receiving neither. Furthermore, over the last year and a half, I have devoted an inordinate amount of time to obtaining the services to which I am entitled as a paying customer. Every call, every appointment, every email has taken valuable time away from my day – time I cannot ever recover.

This latest waste of energy began when, out of frustration with my service, I asked about downgrading to U-verse Basic and was informed that I could do so, but only if I agreed to pay and additional $15/month for the receiver. I felt, and still feel, that I should be allowed to retain use of the receiver at no additional cost. The Tier 2 technician then convinced me instead to upgrade to U-200, with a discounted promotion, while he investigated an issue with regard to my distance from the main box. Apparently, it was a known issue that the signal degrades around 2000 – 2200 feet and my home is somewhere at the 3000 foot mark. In the time since that call, I have suffered through an unending parade of technicians, new installs, and new & improved problems, all designed to get my service to equal that of my neighbors. Additionally, I have experienced property damages – which have been timely reported, yet no one has seen fit to make me whole.

If there were a viable alternative being offered by your competition, I would gladly switch ALL of my services; sadly, that is not an option.

I would I could, in good faith, thank you for your time and efforts, but, as I truly dissatisfied customer, I cannot.

Please tell me who I must contact in order to resolve the issues of damages to my property.

Regards,
Pamela J. Starr, CBA, J.S.M.

The best they can??? 

Break out the tin cans and string –

 

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