Saturday, April 21, 2007

I Hate AT&T


I hate them, I hate them, I hate them.

They have the worst customer service that I have ever seen. Horrible.

The very minute I have fulfilled my end of the contract I got my hardware under, I am firing them, and will never give them another dime of my money. (Hardware was the problem by the way…)

They suck that bad.

The very minute that contract expires, I am giving away the desk-top computers and going wireless internet with laptops. Fuck them.

A company that is losing market share to new technologies would do well to treat their customers a little better, one would think.

This morning I was on the phone for eight minutes trying to get past the computer to a real live person…

only to have the computer hang up on me.

So I called back. I just kept pressing “zero” until I got a person…Who was absolutely no help. So I laid out my grievances, hoping that they do record the incoming phone calls for training purposes, because I laid out why I hate them. Calmly. The poor guy on the other end of the phone agreed with me, but there was nothing he could do.

See, the call was dual purpose...There was one coming before I discovered the hardware crash this morning, I had just been dreading making it.

For my internet service, I have to have an autopay set up, even though it is on my phone bill – and I have been a customer of AT&T pretty much my entire adult life.

What am I getting at with this rant? Well, I'm glad you asked.

I do everything I can to safeguard my bank accounts and my identity in a digital world. I set up a specific account for bills that are on automatic payments like that. Grudgingly. Send me a bill, I pay it. That’s how it’s supposed to work. But AT&T thinks they can just rejigger society to suit their corporate interests. And they have gotten away with it because they lobby politicians who don’t hold them accountable to their customers. Cooperate with the thugs in the Bush administration and turn over our emails to the NSA, and get your monopoly back…I don’t know what I hate worse – that the inmates running the asylum have made me give credence to conspiracy theories, or that there might be something to them…

Anyway…I have a specific bank account for the bills like this. I know when they are due and I make sure that the money gets to that account a day or two ahead of time. Should be good enough, right? Hah! They don’t take the money the same day every month! So they make the withdrawal five days ahead of the bill due date…and the money wasn’t there to cover it. I paid the fall tuition for grad school for four this month. I’m a bit stretched financially right now. The early withdrawal was returned, put me in overdraft, paid the second time with a hefty fee for the overdraft, and then a daily “negative balance” charge started accumulating. I was out $110 by the time I even knew about it! (And only three days had elapsed.)

This is not the same company that sent two technicians to my home on new years eve 1990, when I was coding-from-home in dBASE III for a small health information tech company. They sent me technicians so I could get my bonus for completing my project in 1990. I can’t even get someone on the phone now – they sure as hell wouldn’t send out techs on overtime. (Hell, they don’t have any to send…they are all subcontractors now.)

Why are companies allowed to arbitrarily bill their customers like that? I truly want to know. And why is the bank allowed to charge me more of what I don’t have every damned day in perpetuity? What kind of sense does that make? Anyone?

Where the fuck is the consumer protections in this country? (That was a rhetorical question. I know we don’t have any and aren’t likely to get any.)

The good news is, I hear that there is a little regional phone company called Navigator that always has a person answer the phone. I’m giving them a call on Monday for my regular phone service.

AT&T can get by without my money in the future.


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