Here is an example of what you don’t want to do in customer service for your Clients. Let me tell you an experience I had over the weekend.
Recently I signed up for AT&T U-verse service to replace my Cox cable. This was against my better judgement but the recent installation of fiber optic into my building was too tempting. I ordered the service, a very nice installation technician came by and installed my service, explained everything, and even set up my remote controls.
I was impressed when the technician handed me a card with his personal cell phone number to call if I had any issues with U-verse. Wow, I told him, ”AT&T has really changed, what a breath of fresh air.”
Fast forward when I get a letter from AT&T asking me why I had not paid my bill. Not ever getting a bill I was surprised.
The notice was not too pleasant and informed me if I did not pay by a certain date my service would be disconnected.
Fair enough, I knew it would take some time to set up an account for auto payment so I put the bill aside until this last Sunday when I had time to work on it. From previous experience I know it would take an hour or better with AT&T.
So first thing on Sunday morning I called the number on the letter and it was answered by a rather smooth talking computer. After 1o minutes of working through the phone tree I got down to where the system asked for the last 4 digits of my social security number.
Now keep in mind I know my social security number, and yet after 3 or 4 tries I was informed the entered number was not my SS#. Repeated attempts to get to a live operator failed and I was at a dead-end on a Sunday morning. I hung up in frustration.
No worries I thought, I will just go on-line and set up an account to pay the bill. Going on-line I went to the website suggested and started to fill out the required information. Asking to establish my AT&T access ID I put in my e-mail address – firstname.lastname@example.org, entered a strong password and pressed the enter key ….
What the heck?
The system returned “the access ID contains profane text”. Several more tries resulted in the same warning so I tried several other e-mail address’ before one seemed acceptable to the system. Note that the instructions state that I can use numbers, periods, (,), hyphens (.) or at symbols (@).
Here is what I get back….
Mind you I am in San Diego in my office – not Istanbul.
I’m frustrated at this point not being able to pay the bill via telephone or on-line and decide that AT&T must monitor the social media channels, and maybe I can get some help from them. I tweeted out a series of tweets in total expecting some help.
Having enough I go about my day certain that someone from AT&T will reach out and help. Unfortunately no one replied, called, or sent me an e-mail.
Monday came and I never had a chance to make another call to AT&T.
Tuesday morning I got up, had several strong cups of coffee and dialed AT&T.
When I inquired as to why I did not get a regular bill she told me it was mailed to me. Since I don’t delete e-mails I searched my archive and found only 3 e-mails from them, none of them a bill.
I paid the bill over the phone and got the confirmation.
Everything was fine until she told me that I would now have to pay a reconnection fee since the service was terminated. I explained to her that had spent several hours on Sunday morning doing everything I could to pay the bill and all of the problems that I had.
She suggested that I should have gone to a local AT&T store to pay with my credit card. I suggested that perhaps I should be able to pay on-line as I have for my AT&T cell bill for the last 3 years.
The representative curtly told me there was nothing much she could do, but if I faxed her the screen shots of my “profane e-mail” and out of the US ISP, she might be able to do something.
She informed me that the screen shots would have to be dated, so I could prove I was trying to pay the bill prior to the cut off date. I informed her that my screen shots did not have the date attached, but why in the world would it matter, clearly I was trying to pay the bill, and now I am a liar too.
At this point I asked for a supervisor, and after another 5 minute wait another representative came on the line. I explained the situation and why I felt the service termination was undue.
“Well Mr. Douglass, you should have paid this bill long ago and not wait to the last-minute. What is it you want me to do at this point?” You understand that if I waive the $30.00 termination fee, YOU will be charged the next time your late without any recourse!” (You Deadbeat).
Anyway, since I have no TV tonight I thought I would post what I consider to be a total failure of customer service! Shame on you AT&T for treating your customers like cheats, liars, and deadbeats.
PS – I pay my bills on time and this was a series of unfortunate occurrences that led to this very unpleasant experience.