A little more information

The two main activities in my life: Helping the hungry in the late hours of the night and helping guitar players sound better one amp at a time.

I always try to remember that in order to do good one has to take action and actually do something.

I was born and raised in Los Angeles. I have watched the city and Southern California change for well over half a century.

I can be found on facebook at www.facebook.com/mylesr or on twitter at www.twitter.com/myles111us or on my own Guitar Amplifier Blueprinting website at www.mylesrose.com

Los Angeles Architectural History

Los Angeles Architectural History
1935 Art Deco at some of its finest: No. 168 - Griffith Observatory- (click on the photo for information)

Friday, July 27, 2012

AT&T - so wrong in every way part II

This post has gotten so long it is hard for blogger to save.

I am continuing this post here.

Part 1 can be viewed at http://la-economy.blogspot.com/2010/11/at-so-wrong-is-every-way.html

July 27, 2012

A new problem.

Click "read more" to continue.....


Today the 3600 series ATT Uverse wireless router failed, the wireless portion of the router.  We could see many of the neighbors wireless networks but not our own.

The 3600 series router was installed by ATT about a year ago.  At that time the 3800 series had been available for at least a year.  I am not sure why an older version was installed in the first place but that may be the subject for a entry in this piece in the future.

My issue here is simple.  Once again it seemed that ATT service is most effective at being the road block between a problem and solution.

I called them a little before 1pm PST.

I first talked to Brian, BE829 after being on hold for a while.  He asked a few questions and then forwarded my call to somebody else.  Seems they can never get you to the right people to handle your problem even with their time wasting automated phone system that asks about your problem and account info.  Repeat everything over and over and over should be considered for use as the ATT motto.

Next in line was RJ, employee ID RH550F.  He was given the account phone number but when the call dropped he did not call back.

Called 1-800-288-2020 again.  More hold.

This time I must have gotten somebody fresh out of training or perhaps somebody that has no business in Customer Support.  Unintelligible, headset mic too far from her mouth so could not hear her very well.  Evasive when I explained that her name and ID would be noted in this blog.  Teri (TW5973 or perhaps 597E, very difficult to understand her) was of no help.  She put us on hold.  The call was dropped shortly after being placed on hold.

Danielle (DM547V) had me on hold multiple times as she tried to sort out account information.  As a side note, I was on the line after being fed up with being on hold with her as she waited many minutes for account information to appear on her computer.  Seems their accounting systems can be as inefficient as some of their customer service.

An inside tech was scheduled to be at the house between 4pm and 8pm today.  Hopefully they will show up this time.  Last time they did not.  I have had more than a few service calls where I was rescheduled (and not even informed about it) or where they did not even show up.  This is Friday afternoon and if my two boys are without Internet access for the entire weekend I will be as upset as they will be.

I won't count the calls made to ATT dispatch, ATT Ken and ATT Sam.  Sam is on vacation so I am not upset at the lack of a return call from him.

On the twitter front, this is what transpired at this point:


Tweets

  hopefully this time the inside tech will not blow off the call like last time.    
  &T 6 people and 1 hour to get a service call scheduled. . I will be tracking this issue.
One hour of being on hold at  service call scheduled but last time that   
On hold again at    wireless  router failed no reply from you folks
 service rep at AT&T 2020 number would not give info and hung up. 20 minutes on hold.   calling again
 I really don't want to be down all weekend. Still on hold at 2020.   
  wireless has  on our uverse router. System down. Rebooted multiple times.



Over one hour on hold, multiple people for a simple service call.  A cell phone battery draining ordeal if nothing else.

Then again, this may be the first of more problems as I do not have a lot of faith that the inside ATT tech will show up on time, or perhaps not at all.  The last call I had with them the tech never showed up, left a note or called me as promised.  You can read about that incident in one of the recent earlier problems documented above.

This post is getting so long that it is having trouble saving.  I may start a part II.

15:25pst

I just received a call from Cate at ATT.  For folks that don't want to scroll all over this piece or use <CNTL> F, I will keep it short and sweet.  Cate is one of the good guys over at ATT.  She has been directly responsible for solving problems for me in the past.  She should be the director of ATT training.  She has a really cute voice.  Heck, if I were about 85 years younger I'd ask her out :)  But I digress (as is my personal style).

Cate is following up on the problem and service call.  She is contacting dispatch to intervene and make things run more smoothly than I might normally expect.

17:00 pst

Confidence is fading quickly.

Cate just left a voicemail on my phone.  She said she had emailed the customer service manager in my area but she did not say anything that confirmed my appointment or confirmed that the customer service manager is even aware of aware of things.  I am not surprised.  If it is the same manager who was on watch during my last incident confidence is low to say the least.

No feedback from ATT Customer Care other than some tweets that Cate contacted customer support in my area.  No confirmation from any of them.

The latest twitter dialogue:


ts

 - Cate just left me a VM. She is going home. She said she emailed the CS manager about my call but said to confirm appt.
 if it is the same inside tech as my last problem he never showed up or called.
 I have a 4-8 appointment but  has appointments in the past. Please have Cate confirm she has reached tech
 I am quite concerned about having Internet down today AND over the weekend. Please have somebody call and confirm
 if Cate did not talk to the tech I am worried. This may turn into another   broken appointment.


Friday afternoon, after 5pm.  I wonder what the odds are that a tech will actually show up for my scheduled appointment?

17:30pst

I just received a call from Tina (TC7101).  Her first words was that she was taking over for Cate and she was confirming my service appointment for TOMORROW.  Yes, I was upset and told her that was unacceptable.  She checked again and said she made a mistake, that the appointment was indeed scheduled for today.

By the way ... is anybody counting how many folks have told me that I have an appointment for today?  I have lost count.

I informed Tina of my lack of confidence and concern of no Internet over the weekend or perhaps longer.

I told her that Cate said she would get back to me with feedback from the manager in my area.  She did not.  Perhaps ignore my comments earlier about her being a cut above.  When I was in this business my folks did not go home until a customer issue was resolved even if it meant working the next shift.  Then again, folks liked our 24x7 network service.

Tina told me she was going to contact somebody.  The tech or dispatch, and call me back in a few minutes.  I have heard that story before, as early as a few hours ago by Cate come to think of it.

So, the clock continues to run as promises continue to be broken.

Stay tuned for updates.

18:15

Just received a call from the tech.  He said he would be at the house in 30 minutes.  That is a good sign.  His name was not the same as the tech that blew me off and never called on the last problem.

November 27, 2010 was the date of the first problem I started documenting in regard to ATT.  I am proud to say that as of a few minutes ago, looking at the statistics on the four ATT pieces I have written (including this part II piece started today) these pieces are very close to one million reads in under two years.  997,174 reads over the life of the pieces.

Thank you to all my friends who have passed on these links, posted on your own social media pages, blogs, facebook, twitter, google buzz, etc.

In the last 24 hours there have been 6,410 reads of the four ATT pieces.  One of the four is an ATT vs Sprint piece as a side note.

This part II piece which was created an posted at 5:50pst has already had 915 readers.  Thanks to all of you for your support.  Let's try to make America and service in America stand once again for quality and pride.  Only customer pressure can make this happen.

Keep tuned for details.  Tech is on the way and thanks to him for calling.

19:20 pst

The problem has been resolved.

The inside tech was Andy (Andrew) who was a first rate tech.  As I have said in the past, most of the techs that I have dealt with in the field with one exception have been terrific.

Andrew on the job.  Failed 3600 series modem seen in photo.
New 3801 gateway up and running
The account is supposed to be 15mb service.  A bit short of 12mb may or may not be within
contract agreement.  Tina said she would check on this tomorrow.
Tina did a very good job and did stay in contact with me.  She said she would check on the speed we are seeing and asked if tomorrow was acceptable as she was on CST and would like to go home.  She had already stayed beyond her regular schedule to stay on top of my problem.  Thank you Tina.  We may have had a rocky start but if you look at what folks did before you and I talked you can probably understand my thought processes.  Bottom line, Tina did a great job and so did Andy (Andrew)

August 27,2012

Is ATT service improving?

Looking at my most recent interactions with them it sure looks as if their trend is upward in regard to customer support.  They still have a way to go if you cold call their 1-800-288-2020 number but their social media folks are quite responsive and get you to the right folks much faster than was the practice a year ago.

Last week I paid my ATT Uverse bill.  It was higher than the previous month.  I had a few questions.

I want to say here that part of this confusion can be attributed to a misunderstanding on a credit issue between Ken at ATT an myself.  There were a few other items that were not clear and there was missing hard copy documentation which was never sent to me.

In any event, the problems were reported to ATT last week and this morning I was contacted by Erica, AO2732 from ATT.  She had the details of my problem.  I did not have to explain things to her.  This is a nice improvement in service and internal communication within the ATT organization.  Kudos to you folks.

Erica resolved my issue in a very efficient manner.  Thank you Erica.

I will continue to update this piece as things happen but based on my last few ATT issues this piece may not grow in length at the same rate as it did in the past.

February 22, 2013

ATT service went down in Burbank at about 2pm.  Broadband service was up but no IP addresses could be obtained.  Bottom line, no service - no Uverse and no internet.

I called the 1-800-288-2020 service number and after going through their recording antics (there has been no improvement in this aspect of their service) I was routed to Gie, JR606A employee ID.

Bottom line ... She was no help.  I learned much more myself by running my own diagnostics.

She said she would issue a credit and then said she could not issue a credit.

I thought ATT was on a path toward improvement.  It seems that Gie needs to be sent back for a bit of additional training on how one interfaces and treats a customer.  She could also use a lot of technical training at the most basic level. Or .... just get rid of her as calling her was more of a waste of time and more of an insult than if I had not called ATT Customer Service at all.

July 17, 2013

It has been a while since I have talked to ATT.  The service has been stable and I have had no complaints. I wanted to talk to them about changing some aspects of my service.  I thought this might be a good test of their 1-800-288-2020 customer service number.  Aspects of their service have improved for me over the last year or two (unlike some of their competitors such as Dish and Sprint to name a few).

I called.  The menu to get to somebody is shorter, faster easier.  Kudos to you folks.

My service rep was Andrea.  Employee ID RQ970S.  She was knowledgeable, had my information, was able to make things happen without passing me from one person to another.  I could go into more detail but the bottom line was, she was excellent.  Was there something I would suggest to make he service better?  No.  She did a terrific job.

Perhaps it is training.  Perhaps it is personality.  Perhaps the staff is getting better.  Perhaps it was a bit of all of these and a bit of luck.  This call was much better than my call last February.

Good work ATT.

2014

February 27, 2014

My last comment of 2013 was Good work ATT.  Well, it seems to be business as usual for them again, bad business service.

Today I received my electronic bill via the Internet.  The bill was for $5.53 more than my prior bills.  $5.53 is not a large amount but if you multiply this by millions of ATT subscribers it can sure make their daily company balance look darn good in a corrupt way.  Was this some sort of scam?  Was there an increase of some sort?

I choose to pay bills on time if the dispute is small and then call to investigate the problems.  I paid the bill and called ATT customer service.

I looked at the past and current bill.

Click for original size

Click for original size

In the upper (current) bill there is a $5.53 charge that is not explained and neither ATT representative (one of them a supervisor) could answer.  Brock (BM983Y), the supervisor that I was referred to by Rachael (RB104U) said he had no access to the bill or the information but would have access in a few days.  He was of no help.  Brock also said he could not call me back if and when the information was available and could not refer my call to somebody else.  It was up to me to call ATT back again in the future.  Meanwhile, I was being punished for paying my bill on time and ATT had my overcharge along with the possible overcharges of millions of others.

I will post the link to this post on twitter and other social media sites as I generally do.  If you look at the right hand panel of this blog you will see the ten most active posts for the current running week.  My ATT posts were generally found in this top 10 but in the last months faded off the list.  Looks like they may be back again.

The issue here for me is not as much the overcharge but fact that ATT could not explain the charge and had no access to the charges.  The lack of communication between departments has apparently not improved. The lack of taking responsibility for follow through or problem resolution has not improved.  Once again it seems that the purpose of ATT customer service is to be little more than a road block on the path from problem to solution.

As a side note, I was told by Brock that it is not a good idea to pay an ATT bill on time as the bill takes a few days to settle down or something to that extent.  I wonder what his credit rating looks like?

When there is an update I will post something here.

February 28, 2014

As poor as customer service was at the official ATT number ... 1-800-288-2020, the service from Jenn on the ATT Customer Care account on twitter was outstanding.  I have found this to generally be the case, the twitter response and help are generally superior to the phone system.

It turns out that the additional charges were increases in things like network access fees from the local TV providers (something ATT cannot control) but also increases in the monthly equipment fees on my ATT home equipment (something they CAN control).

I am still upset with them for increasing charges on things such as my ATT equipment as I made a one year commitment with them for special pricing, the rate promised for one year.  The price increases, to my mind, are in violation of our agreement and what I was told my pricing would be.  How they get around these increases is they keep the base rate for the service the same but have "additional charges" which are not explained on your bill.

Bottom line.....  Thank you Jenn S for calling me yesterday and getting back to me as promised with answers to my questions.  No thanks to ATT overall for shady business practices and the other 95% of customer service folks that have no answers and are little more than a road block between problem and solution.

6/10/14 Update

Quick entry here.  I called ATT at 1-800-288-2020 this morning to modify my Uverse TV and Internet service.  I was not on hold very long.  There has been steady improvement in the response time in getting to an agent over the past few years.

I was first connected to Alberto AL68CK although I am not sure of his employee ID as he was very difficult to understand.  He was of no help and I asked to be transferred.  The transfer resulted in a message that the extension was invalid.  I called back.

I next talked to Leo LG6334.  He was helpful and explained that he could not address my issue but would send me to the proper person.

I then talked to Mike M0179N who was quite helpful and addressed my issue.  In July there will be some changes to my account and Mike let me know that there will be a three day period of billing inconsistencies that will be addressed on the following bill with a credit.  ATT has had billing issues on my account in the past so this may or may not result in another entry on this piece.  In this day of super computers and super software you would think these account changes would be seamless to the nanosecond but I guess that is too much to expect.  We will hope for the best.

9-25-14 New Issue

The last few months when I have tried to log into my account to pay my bill I am stopped at this new page.  I have supplied the required information in each case.  The next time I try to log in, even if on the same day, I am prompted to add this information again.  It is clear to me that nobody tests your software or your page for software regression.

Click on the image for full size if this image is too small.
9/26/14 - The saga continues.

One may ask - How many ATT programmers does it take to resolve a simple software issue?  Just one fair one I suppose.  Maybe post a job opening for you folks on Monster.com

I am getting VERY annoyed that I see this page and have to fill out this form with the same information every time

... every time I try to log into the ATT website.

Myles Rose
Let me know when this will be resolved. If more than a day or two I will be posting this in a blog update on issues where you fail

Sorry for any issues Myles. No luck accessing the link. What are you seeing. Is this an AT&T form? ^Sam L

Sent screenshot again

ATTCustomerCare
Can you please confirm the email address that you login with so I can look into this for you?^BrandonP





To contact me or on my account?

I gave you my phone number which is linked to my account.


Myles Rose

17h
ATTCustomerCare
Hello, Do we get this using different browsers?^BrandonP

17h
Myles Rose
I use Chrome and have for years

17h
ATTCustomerCare
Just for testing, can we try another browser to see if we get the same message?^BrandonP

16h
Same nonsense with IE

Myles Rose
If you want me to consult or test any more my rate is $165 hr. 3 hr minimum

16h
ATTCustomerCare
Thank you, I am still working on this for you. I will let you know when I get an update.^BrandonP

16h
Myles Rose
Just a heads up. Just logged in to pay my Uverse bill and the problem remains. I had to enter, and confirm, my email address again.

6m
The above was the dialogue on Twitter yesterday.  As I said above, when I logged in today the problem was still here.

12/25/14 Addition.  The problem is the red text directly below.

I am subscribed to the full range of Uverse premium stations and use HBO Go and Showtime on demand when I travel.  This has always worked pretty well (when there are no technical issues) but ran into a major issue.  If you are using Uverse WIFI at a location with a Uverse router and they do not subscribe to a TV service, they use Uverse for Internet and Wifi, one cannot use any of their own Uverse subscribed services.  If you try to check in it tells you that you are not subscribed.  It does not look at your subscription information, it only uses the local router information and will not allow services.  

Shame on you for such short sided thinking, lack of planning, and your continued lack of software QA/QC. 

You strongly advertise the on the go feature of Uverse yet this is a serious issue that you need to resolve.

I will send the link of this post to twitter.  Please let me know when this is resolved.  I will be counting the hours ... days ... weeks ... months?  Yes, it took months for you to resolve your last software issue I reported (on multiple occasions).

The resulting dialogue ....



I think that in the end TravisW "will not" rather than "can not" comment further.  Then again, looking back at the performance and problem resolution over years in this piece by the majority of the folks at ATT perhaps the lack of training or technical chops of TravisW make "can not" a believable response.  I will also say that in many past cases ATT has contacted me via phone to discuss issues rather than just say, in an indirect way, ....  too bad, that's the way it is and I am not going to do anything to help you with your problem.  ....  Yes TravisW .... you are one of the types of folks that I have often talked about in these ATT pieces.  Looks like it is one step back for ATT going into 2015.  
4/13/2015 Update on the above issue.


When will my son be able to use HBO go when he visits his mom who has Uverse but no TV services, just Internet?
It says he is not subscribed.
If you folks don't resolve this soon she will switch Internet providers.

We're aware of the issue not only on HBO but other Premium Channels. We're currently engaged & working towards a resolution. ^EricG


If you do not have a solution by May you will lose a customer to Warner or Century as this issue is very old.
Anytime my boys visit their mom they can't watch TV.

Please provide a planned or target resolution date for this ongoing problem.
I will post the ATT response when it is sent to me.  This has been an ongoing issue for a long time.  


I do no the estimated time of repair on the issue and I truly hope that we'll have a fix by then. I apologize for the inconveniences. ^EricG


2020pst - I just got off the phone with Eric from ATT Social Media.  It was tough getting my request across.  I explained a bit about software planning, project plans, trouble tickets, and how ATT schedules software development.  I used to spend a lot of time at Bell Labs in New Jersey when I was at Infonet as they were a strategic partner.

I asked for the trouble ticket number of this problem that I reported in late 2014.  Eric said there was no ticket number, "they just know about it".  Uh, excuse me?  He said I could message ATT social media anytime for an update.  Yeah, I've been waiting since late 2014.  After a lot of phone antics and dialogue, Eric gave me some sort of internal problem number.  It is clear to me that social media ATT folks have no communication with other departments.  In any case, I have a number to reference, BUT ... I will escalate this (Eric told me he escalated this today as a side note) myself.  The below media ticket number is a social media number not any sort of trouble ticket development number.  I will request that when I talk to .... if I talk to .... somebody who this was or was not escalated to. Considering this has been an issue since last year I won't hold my breath.  



April 17, 2015 Update

I called ATT main help number, 1-800-288-2020 at 9:45am PST.  My call was answered at 9:54 by somebody in Manila, Philippines with such a heavy accent that I could not understand him.  I asked to be transferred.  In the process of transfer I was asked by voice prompts for my account number. As a side note, I was asked by voice prompts to enter my account number on every transfer and then asked again by whoever I was speaking to.

Problem fix on the above issue for you folks at no charge:  When you interview people for a job which involves direct communication with customers you need to do one of two things as part of the interview process.  [1] Have them call your own 1-800-288-2020 number and follow the voice prompts.  The first time the system says "sorry, I did not get that", they are finished.  [2] Have the prospective applicant call somebody in middle America at random and attempt a conversation.  The second time the called party says "what", the applicant is history.  So, there is a problem with solutions.  After over two decades of QA/QC experience I am happy to address your problems with solutions if you wish to hire me as a consultant for this purpose.  Heck, you don't even really have to fire me, just read these ATT / Uverse service and experience pieces I have documented.

I was then talking to Josh, JG236N.   He was not able to resolve anything other than telling me my Internet promotion would expire in July.  My cost is already higher than any other provider in my area but that may be the subject of a future post.  In any case, he said I would need to speak directly with tech support.  I was transferred once again.

At 10:15 I was talking to another Josh, JH674F.  He told me he could not open a trouble ticket or work on any technical problem as he did not have the tools to do so.  At 10:20 he transferred me to tech support.  I guess this is another tech support? 

After going through all the voice prompts from the beginning once again, including entering my account number and moving through all the other options, I was on the phone with Fred, AN2872, who said he had to transfer the call as he was not the proper tech support.  At 10:25 I was on the line with somebody else with such heavy accent and bad connection that I hung up and called ATT Corporate, Travis, and left him a voice mail.  I will document when he or somebody else gets back to me.

The saga continues.  ATT may be back to the worst customer service, with the most layers of departments and people who cannot communicate with each other, of any service organization in the industry.  Or any industry?

11:30 PST update

I just got off the phone with Chris, CC7121 at ATT Executive Offices in Kansas.  He accomplished more in five minutes than ATT Social Media or 1-800-288-2020 had done for me in hours.  I now have a trouble ticket number, CA1507798.  I was told I would be contacted in two business days which means next week, which is fine.  Thank you Chris.  

April 17, 2015

At 1:30pst I was contacted by Jo (JL837X).  A ticket was created and I was told that she would keep me informed as to problem resolution progress.  I was updated every business day as progress was made.  If no progress was made I was still called with an update.  Between Jo and Chris (in the update above this one), I have renewed hope in forward customer service progress from ATT.  

By the end of April there was a possible fix implemented.  I will need to wait until my boys get home in mid May to test the fix.  

June 23, 2015

My Uverse and Internet went down due to some sort of ATT outage.  I contacted the social media folks at @attcares on twitter.  The hour was late yet I received a reply within minutes.  The network bounced and was then up and down for a bit.  The next day the issue was resolved.  I told ATT what I wanted from them and that I did not want them to refer me to some other department, and if they did, I would escalate my request.  I explained that one of their biggest faults was not being able to communicate across department lines and tossing back the problem to the already inconvenienced customer.  Well, it looks like ATT has moved forward in this respect.  My issue and the resolution was completed.  Thank you to the following ATT Social Media folks:  ^TravionW, ^BrandonP, ^Thor.

July 28, 2015

All good things come to an end?  Well, in the case of improving service this may be the case.  If only one person was responsible for a lack of help and being little more than a virtual roadblock between the problem and solution I would have not been as concerned that the strides that ATT made forward in service had taken steps backward.  Two people failed last night.  One of them initially said she was there to help.  She passed me on to somebody else without letting me know, then dropped the ball on follow through, and the second person let three hours pass before doing nothing.

At this point the issue is not resolved.  As of this morning there was no follow up.  Looks like I will have to make a call to Corporate Headquarters.  It is clear that none of the folks that worked on the June 23 issue above were part of the team that did nothing last night.

I will cut and paste the dialogue from last night below.  This was when I call ATT HQ I will not have to explain things again.  It will all be documented here.

It started 14 hours ago (it is now 9:00am pst 7/28 as reference), you can note the time stamp, my first contact with ATT was 15 hours ago, this was their first reply and the start of the event.

I'd be happy to help! Let me know when will it be a good time to call. I'm here from 4PM-12AM EST. Please also provide acct number. ^AileenA

AileenA asked for the account number and a good time to call.  I had reported issues in the past for my family who are on a different account than my own and this was never an issue.

You can call her now. I don't know her acct number but her phone is xxxxxxxx and that is the number on the account.


I understand you'd like to help, In order to assist her with her account we do need her to reach out to us. Thanks ^MakebaH

As you can note from the time stamps, three hours had passed.  It was 7:30pm when AileenA had asked for information which I supplied within moments of her request.  MakebaH then took three hours (10:30pm) to being her useless activity.


You helped in the past in this way. I am glad I have your name. This will be escalated. You will be noted in the ATT blog tomorrow.

At this point it is too late to help her. Your lack of help and your delay will be noted and documented.
I expect a response from somebody else this evening. You have been nothing but a delay between a problem and solution.

I'm sorry for your frustration. We aren't able to call a customer this late based on another customers tweet. ^MakebaH
It was not late when this conversation started



After the blog is updated I will be calling corporate HQ. You blew off a customer.
Look at the time stamps. I was passed from one person who was working the issue to another. That was a three hour delay.
Resolution could have been accomplished three hours ago. Not now. Very dissatisfied with your customer service. It is falling again.
I agree! I'm sorry we are busier than normal. I'm truly sorry. ^MakebaH
You stalled for three hours. Apology not accepted. I will document all this tomorrow.
I will then be contacting ATT HQ and will make this event available to them in written form.
It is a shame. ATT customer service had improved dramatically in the past two years.
MakebaH took ATT back a few years with help from AileenA who passed the problem and did not follow up. Not just one of you.
Seems a bit of retraining is indicated.

7/29/15 - I will send another message to social media and wait a few minutes for them to contact me to see if this can be resolved in short order.  If I am not contacted in a few minutes I will call ATT HQ.  A copy of this piece will be sent to the social media group in my contact in a moment.

09:25 pst

I am currently on the phone with ATT HQ.  Jocelyn (J003P has me on hold as she transfers me to somebody else.  

9:38pst - Jocelyn came back on the line and said she is waiting for the automated system to transfer the call.  Ten minutes of music on hold so far.

9:41pst - talking to Jenny (JN072R) who made a call to the account holder with the problem at 9:44pst.  I am on hold while the call happens.  

9:45pst - Jocelyn will attempt to call the account holder and call me back within fifteen minutes.  The account holder is currently not answering their phone but I am waiting for her call back to me.

10:15pst - No call back at this point from Jocelyn.

10:30pst - called by ATT and before I could say anything I was put on hold and the recording said that all representatives are busy, please hold, and then listened to music on hold for a minute before I hung up.  The woman who placed the call was on a bad headset and her initial dialogue was broken before I was placed on hold.  BAD service continues.

10:50pst - no call back as promised at 9:45 at this point.  On the bright side, 1,861 folks have read this blog piece since it was updated this morning.  The post has already moved into fifth place in the top ten posts for the week.


July 29, 2015

11:53pst - I talked to Janey (JH2497) at Corp HQ.  She gave me an incident report number and said I would be contacted within two business days.  I asked her to transfer my call to her supervisor.  She said she could not do that.  I asked her to escalate my issue to somebody else.  She said that by her giving me a problem number it was escalation.  Since when is creating a trouble ticket considered escalation?  In my decades in service in the Telecom industry I never heard such an excuse for poor service or for not passing the issue to somebody who is empowered to satisfy the customer.  Other folks have done this in the past.  I informed her that I would escalate this myself.

I was called at 1:24pm pst by somebody who said I would be called by somebody else.  I suppose this was somebodies idea of appeasing a customer.  I thanked him for the call anyway.  He was probably just following somebodies request.  It was obvious to me that this was a feeble attempt to make me feel as if something was being done.

As a side note.  This is not a difficult tech issue or complex billing issue.  This is the same sort of problem that others at ATT have resolved for me in less than ten minutes on a single call.  This is the primary reason I am reporting this and documenting these events in this current case.  ATT had made strides forward in regard to customer service in the last year or two.  With every call or dialogue interchange I have with people who cannot seem to resolve this simple issue, with every excuse, with every passing on my issue to somebody else, the body count of people who cannot help continues to rise.  This indicates to me that this is more serious than a single person dropping the ball or being poorly trained.  It seems that once again, ATT Customer Service / Customer Care is the speed bump in the proverbial road, if not a complete road block, between a problem and it's resolution.  


July 30, 2015

The issue is resolved.  Unfortunately, this simple problem took too much effort on the parts of many people due to people passing the issue and lack of inter-department communication.  Many of the people the issue was passed to were not empowered to do anything other than take simple actions that were outside of the scope of the problem.  In one case I was called by ATT just to be put immediately on hold in the 1-800-288-2020 queue.  Thank you to whoever finally resolved this issue.  I have no idea who you are as you are just one body in the piles of folks that passed the issue from one body to the next.  Your service has fallen.  This is not an opinion.  It is clearly documented with names, dates and time stamps,  If you compare this with earlier incidents it is clear that poor service improved and then took steps backwards.  If one person had dropped the ball this would be understandable.  For so many people to be able to accomplish so little in a clear indication that you folks have problems once again. 

The last messages I sent to ATT Social Media on twitter:


I commend you when you do a good job. This is not a good job.
Ginger from ATTHQ called and left a VM this morning. Incident CA1514376. My phone was in DND. I did not call back. I also had a message..
... from xxxxxx. They called her. The problem is resolved. This was a simple problem but unfortunately, resolution was much more ...
... complex and took longer than it had taken in the past for even more complex problems. You may close this incident but I will keep ....
.... an eye out to assure the changes go smoothly.


26 March 2016

In a nutshell:

ATT sent me a notice that they will raise my Uverse rate almost 40% in April.
Their service has gone from the worst in the industry to some of the best and back down again, many times.  I have stuck with them and documented issues.  I have had numerous calls with the office of their President.  I have noted, by employee name and ID, their strengths and failings.  At this point I would like to point out the following:

I am a senior.  I am a disabled Vietnam era veteran.  I am an AARP member.  I cannot think of any company that does not provide senior discounts.  Heck, even Wendy's burgers has senior discounts.

Customer loyalty?  What does that mean to ATT / Uverse?  Apparently nothing.  Look at this piece and the companion piece that grew so large it had to be broken into two pieces.  Yes, I have stuck with these folks through bad and good .... and bad, and good... and bad.  I have been with Uverse since it's inception.

High rates, poor service, no customer appreciation.  I thing the #PUC needs to look into ATT, if for nothing else, for their rate increases. 

This all started out with few dollar charge for "additional services" on my Uverse bill.  I called to see what the unexplained charges were.  Tax increases.  My rate had already increased in February as ATT does every year.  My second issue was that I had a promotion that was to expire in April.  Each year I contact ATT and extend for another year and accept one of their promotional offers.  It has always been a fair arrangement considering they increase their rates every year and it is a way to get a little relief.
  
One cannot not fairly say that ATT service has declined over one incident but when you talk to four people over more than an hour and a half, are transferred from the Caribbean (Boyan GB908C) who transferred me to another customer service person in the Philippines, who transferred me to Loretta (LB3797) who offered me an offer to reduce my services and switch to Direct TV, which I refused, and finally to Nanette (AG0743) a supervisor in Dallas, I think I can fairly say that ATT customer service failed across a wide range of folks, globally as a side note.

Bottom line - Nanette was able to offer me a promotional rate that was over $50 higher per month than my current rate keeping the exact same service I currently have.  The only way to reduce cost was to reduce service or go to the substandard service of Direct TV and slow down my internet as well by changing my internet services as well.

Perhaps ATT feels that since they eliminated Direct TV competition by buying them there is now less competition.  Being a long time customer seems to have little if any value in my case.  I wonder what ATT will be doing in the future about Charter cable or Warner cable?  I may find out when I talk to them next week.

Bottom line?

Customer loyalty means nothing.
Customer service that has declined again after improving.
Higher rates ... MUCH higher.

26 March 2016 6:20pst

3/26/2016 My chat with ATT customer service.

Me: I have a Uverse installation that shows up as scheduled but I already have Uverse. I changed my billing info. I think you folks messed things up.

Me: If you want to see how badly you folks did today look at the end of the piece here. It was all documented. http://laeconomy.blogspot.com/2012/07/atsowrongineverywaypartii.html
Me: My promotions are expiring and I was offered a new promotion, a very bad deal actually, but accepted. Now I see that my Internet and TV will go down as I wait for a ""new" install. You're kidding me, right?

AT&T: Hello! How may I help you today?
Angelo: Thank you for contacting AT&T, my name is Angelo. How can I help you today?
Angelo: I apologize for the inconvenience. I can help you with that.
Angelo: I will check and let you know the complete details.
Angelo: I am reviewing your account now. I would like to confirm and update the contact number we have on your account.
Angelo: May I get a mobile telephone number so that we may reach you via phone or text with information about your AT&T services?
Angelo: Thank you. Do I have your permission to call back to this number in case if this chat session gets disconnected?
Angelo: Thank you for the permission.
Angelo: I am checking the information for you.
Angelo: Please allow me a couple of minutes.
Angelo: Thank you.
Angelo: I am really sorry if you feel like that way. I will definitely help you with fixing the issue.
Angelo: I apologize for the inconvenience caused to you.
Angelo: I will provide you the complete details now.
Angelo: Before that, for your security and to ensure we protect your privacy, please verify the 4digit
passcode

Me: It also looks like Uverse is going away. You were trying to push Direct TV on me
Me: If I go the DTV route does that mean my house is wired up again by you folks and a sat dish is installed?
Me: Will my Internet be over satellite?
Me: Why do I get a message that a Uverse installation is scheduled?
Me: This is on the att.com website when I log in
Me: Can you call me? I have some questions.
Me: So is there, or is there not, a new install scheduled?
Me: This was never done in the past when I opted for promotions
Me: OK. Now, can you address the DTV info?
Me: Or, can you call me?

Angelo: Your account has been authenticated. Thank you.
Angelo: Myles, since your promotions were expiring an order has been placed in your account to provide new
promotions. There are no other changes made in your account.
Angelo: This order will not affect your services in any way.
Angelo: I am sorry, I believe the email was sent to you with wrong information.
Angelo: The order to provide new promotions has been reflected as there was an installation scheduled for the service.
Angelo: No, there is no installation scheduled for you. There has been no changes made to your service. It will not be interrupted in any way and it will remain the same.
Angelo: Please do not worry about it.
Angelo: The order information must be wrongly displayed in your online account.
Angelo: Yes, sure. If you wish to switch to Direct TV a new installation will occur. However, you will get the Internet service through Uverse only.
Angelo: Sure, if you wish I will arrange a call from our Escalation department within next 10 minutes.

Me: So Uverse is going away for TV services?
Me: Yes, I would like a call from somebody in the next ten minutes/
Me: I wish to keep my Uverse TV as it is now even though you just raised my rate by $50+ per month.
Me: I will be addressing this issue with corporate ATT on Monday
Me: One of your customer service folks was pushing me to go the DTV route earlier this morning. They did notunderstand the technology.
Me: Your sales department was no help. If you read the peace at the bottom of the link I sent you can see the  entire debacle.
Me: Over 9,000 folks have read it since it was posted this morning as a side note.
Me: ATT Cares has the link as does Uverse
Me: Apologies are just a response to failing to accomplish a goal.
Me: Yes, please have somebody call me.
Me: You folks were awful, perhaps the worst in any industry. Then you improved dramatically. Now you are headed the other way. Read the piece I sent earlier. You will then understand.
Me: Nothing else for today. I will wait for that ten minute call to arrive.
Angelo: Myles, only some areas the Uverse
TV service is not available, so in that service areas Direct TV is offered. However, you will have the Uverse TV services and also if you wish you can switch to Direct TV.
Angelo: It is not like all the Uverse TV services will be switched to Direct TV.
Angelo: I apologize for the inconvenience. Since I am from Uverse technical support I do not have the access to get information about promotions to reduce your bill.
Angelo: However, you can contact our Sales department to get you the available promotions.
Angelo: I am really sorry about that.
Angelo: I am really sorry to hear that.
Angelo: Please accept my apologies.
Angelo: I will now go ahead and arrange a call from our Escalation department for you.
Angelo: We are making our every efforts to provide quality service. Please bear with us.
Angelo: Is there anything else I can assist you with today?

Me: Write it down and maybe look at it at home. It may give you some insight.
Me: Goodbye for now.
Angelo: I am sorry, I am unable to access the link since I am in office computer.
Angelo: I will definitely take this feedback and escalate it.

Angelo: Sure thing.

Within ten minutes I was called from Brian (SM484B) in India.  He was easily understood and the quality of the call was fine.  He apparently knows how to adjust a headset.  Perhaps he can give lessons to some of the others mentioned here today.

Brian and I talked at length.  He was helpful and gave me a few suggestions.  Hats of to Brian, you need more like him.

28 March 2016

Based on Brian's suggestions I made a call this morning.  I talked to Abel Gomez (AG3434) in San Antonio Texas.  He is a supervisor in Customer Relations.

In a nutshell, he really had no answers and no solution.  Our call lasted for almost an hour.  He went over my services, as did all the others I had talked to in the last few days, suggested I switch to Direct TV, reduce my services, change my Internet speed, etc.  Basically, reduce my services. I explained, over and over, that was not an option.

Mr. Gomez accomplished nothing other than waste another hour of my time.  He was not empowered to do anything.  He was not the least bit creative.  I asked for an escalation call back and I should hear back from somebody in Texas in 48-72 hours according to Abel Gomez.  Abel Gomez, this supervisor at ATT in Texas, told me that my promotion that did not expire until late April 2016, could not have the date updated.  He said it was technically impossible.  You folks invented the transistor a few days before Christmas in 1947.  Changing or updating a date in a system is above the level of technical expertise of ATT?

  • ATT / Uverse Customer Service.  Intolerable and generally incompetent. Think of them as a speed bump in the road which is the path to problem resolution.  If you think of them in this way you will not be disappointed in your expectations
  • Technical incompetence - In 1947 you invented the transistor.  Today you cannot change a date in a billing system 
  • Rate increases every year
  • No customer loyalty considerations
  • No senior discounts, low income, or fixed income considerations.  The Gas Company has discounts.  Wendy's Burgers has discounts.  My local hardware store has senior discounts. 
  • No consideration for disabled veterans or veterans
  • My Uverse / Internet rate increased by $70 per month - THIS year alone, with no service changes or additions. Does my percentage increase this year compare to your corporate profit increase this year and raises for many of your executives?
31 March 2016

I did not receive my callback as I was told.  I called ATT Executive Offices and talked to Lamont (AW2952).  Lamont was professional but did not do anything that others had already done.  Once again, folks follow script, are not creative and don't seem to value customers or resolve problems. ATT was getting better at working with customers to come up with possible solutions to problems.  It looks as this is no longer the case.

02 April 2016

Just posting a few screen snapshots here today from my ATT online account information so there is a permanent record of some issues.

Might be interesting to talk to somebody in the USA.  My last conversations were with people in India and the Caribbean.


Data caps on home Internet services?  I understand this on cell service but this was never part of the original agreement with ATT / Uverse, and agreement that changes every year.


My last problem had me talking to people in India and the Caribbean.  ATT needs to have some of these folks call people in America as part of their job interview process.  If the person on the tail end of the call goes "what?",  ATT needs to rethink their employment for the customer service position.  Teaching them to properly adjust their headset should be next on the list while training.   

August 21, 2016

On August 17 I contacted ATT Cares on twitter.  They usually respond right away.  This time there was no reply.  This was in regard to getting lower Internet speeds than I pay for.  I provided documentation.

Today, August 21, I sent them another message and more documentation.  I am now getting about half the speed that I pay for.

About half the speed I am paying for.


-the end for the moment-

Myles Rose is the founder of Guitar Amplifier Blueprinting which provides support services and training for touring bands and individuals as well as blueprinting services.   You may contact me from the link.  My direct contact information is provided as well as links to two of the Internet forums where I answer technical questions.  You may also ask questions in any post in this blog by using the comment application on each post.

When I am not doing something related to music I do what I can to support the homeless of Los Angeles either directly on the streets at night or through my good friends at Union Rescue Mission.


4 comments:

  1. Holy Wow...I feel so bad for you. I used to be a Premise Technician in Florida. I had to resign due to health reasons. You keep very detailed accounts of what has gone on - that's awesome! I'm glad it is getting better.

    ReplyDelete
  2. The field techs, both inside and line techs, are generally terrific (with one exception in my case).

    ReplyDelete
  3. Why would you pay a bill well before the due date (to the point the actually paper bill and PDF statement likely hadn't even been generated yet) and then waste your own time calling and speaking with several people to make a stink about it. Why not just wait a day or two for your bill to be viewable and then make your payment? Personally if my estimated electric bill charges were generated three weeks before the due date and I disagreed with the total, I would wait to receive the bill and then call about any questions before paying the estimated charges 3 weeks in advance.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The point of this ongoing piece are not my bill paying habits. I choose to pay bills when they are sent to me or made available electronically. My bill was available to be paid and I paid it. This was not an "estimated" bill. It was what I was expected to pay and I paid it.

      The issue here is lack of service, understanding, help and lack of communication between various departments at ATT.

      Delete