Saturday, October 17, 2009

Consumer Annoyance: AT&T

Well, another annoying call from AT&T. What was it? In short:

1. the only customer service number on their website goes directly to wireless phone service--which I don't have and wasn't calling about. Had to tell wireless service lady that I wanted home phone and wireless internet... spent significant time on hold... then had to transfer again... hold... transfer... fnally at right department: no customer service phone number on website.

2. explained that two months ago I negotiated my bill down because I ONLY get these two services, want no others, and should be saving money... except that every month the electronic transfers from me to them are a. different in amount and b. more than I was promised.

3. explained that I cannot get onto the website for my account because the web wouldn't accept my ID number or password to open my account.

Was told in response that:

1. this month's "extra charge" was for two long distance information calls I made on August 24--that's right, two billing cycles ago--although the operator cannot tell me numbers I purportedly dialed for calls I don't remember making to an area I don't know why I would be looking to call. I was billed this month because (get this) long distance bills on a different cycle than my service plan: literally, the dates of billing and the period encompassed are different... and it has always been thus.

2. my September account was different because the government surcharges increased...

3. my August account was different because... what was the question again? Oh, yes, "why are the amounts of my bill different every month when I am on a billing plan." Well, they're different because I said so. I don't know. Red. Square. Billings, Montana. Oh, hell.

4. she can't open my account either, and while she can reset my password, she cannot reset or change my user ID. And she literally tells me that is has thus been so since May 2002: not my user ID, the fact that she cannot change it, which is supposed to give her an out and a sense of authority at the same time.

So while I am paying the same amount I would pay if I got cable tv on top of my phone and wireless internet--meaning apparently that cable is free--I cannot reduce my monthly bill because I only want two services. Huh? if I get three services, it costs the same as two services... I KNOW I an not a math whiz, honey, but I am not an idiot. What you are telling me is JUST STUPID math. It is Lehmann Brothers I want my bonus math. It is Big Corporation Shut Up and Pay Me math.

And it would be great if I wanted cable--but I don't. And it would be great if the third service was laundry--but it ain't.  And it would be great if AT&T understood the term "customer service"--but they don't.


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