Tuesday, October 19, 2010

"I'm not a hater. I'm a lover."

This is the true (well, most of it) story of what I was doing the month of September that prevented me from blogging. I have tried to be concise, but this story just deserves some space. So, bear with me.

I started having trouble with my Internet service with AT&T back in APRIL of 2010. I rode it out. Because, I'm not a hater. I had numerous conversations with techies (and I will resist the temptation to SERIOUSLY veer off course and talk about techies) lasting oh, about a total of 40 HOURS in order to try and fix this problem. And, just suffice it to say, that you gotta just laugh at techies...............to avoid taking a life (quite possibly your own). Right? I mean when else am I spoken to like a TWO YEAR OLD..........in a language that I am not really sure is English?????? So, I will just sum up these numerous conversations like this:

Techie: Are you sure the device is plugged in?
Me: And by 'the device' are you talking about the actual laptop?
Techie: Well, are you sure that the blah, blah, blah (insert any technical/computer language that I don't understand) is inserted in the blah, blah, blah?
Me: Ah, yes.
Techie: Okay. Then let's check the blah, blah, blah.
Me: Okay.
Techie: Now, there is a tiny number printed on the bottom. Can you read me that number?
Me: (Trying to hear over the two year old screaming in my house and fumbling to find my reading glasses and run up the stairs to the modem without breaking my neck). Yes, it is 57WHT9948FGM3498578997773TRYNMEO9906784637.
Techie: I'm sorry. Did you say "WHT68030382671903274701TJKLSDFHGDMESLEKLSLKEJFL?"
Me: No.
Techie: Well, let's try that again.

Just repeat those lines over and over and over and over and over and over and you have a synopsis of my communication with AT&T from April to August.

Finally in August I talked briefly to Mike. He was from Idaho and the weather they were having there was great (I told you - I am not a hater). He hooked me up with a live and actual technician here in San Antonio, TX who would come to my house between the hours of 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. (and, no, they can't be more specific) and replace my MODEM because that was the result of hours of conversations with techies about what color my wires were. I needed a new MODEM. Well, hallelujah and praise God!!!!!!!!! Thank you, Mike.

So, August 8th sometime between 9 and 9 a live techie came and replaced my modem. And, the computer worked!!!!

For about a week.

And I was going to be charged $99.00 for the new modem.

Did I say I was not a hater? Because it was now September, school had started (and we all know that story because I have blogged about it), and I have four kids, and I work from home, and I don't have 20 hours to spend on the phone with techies trying to fix my computer problems AGAIN. So, maybe I was starting to hate - but just a LITTLE.

So, I ignored the problems. I worked with them. The Internet is down? Fine. I will wait five minutes and finish my paperwork later. The Internet is down again? No problem, AT&T. I will just check my work email later. Like midnight when it is up and running beautifully.

Fast forward to September 8th when I get my bill for my service and a $99.00 fee for my new modem.

Enter Sara (her name has been changed to protect her identity). And, I just wish that Sara had taken a little lesson in customer satisfaction before she answered my call and spun my world OUT. It was 1:30 p.m. and I thought I would just call, politely explain my situation, get the $99.00 modem charge taken off my bill and go on my merry way. And I FOOLISHLY and NAIVELY thought this could be done in 20 minutes. AN HOUR AND A HALF LATER I was talking on a cell phone in a school zone and canceling my service with AT&T. Sara refused to let me speak with a supervisor and she refused to take the charge off my bill because I had never called AT&T before that (but AFTER August 8th) to report the problems. SAY WHAT???? BUT, SARA - I DIDN'T CALL BECAUSE I WAS GIVING YOU GUYS A BREAK!!!!!!!!!!!! I WAS NOT BEING A HATER!!!!!!!

Well, sadly, time to start a little hate. I know, "Hold the cell phone!!!!!" Right? How did this go so terribly wrong??? I am still asking myself that question.

In the weeks between September 8th and one week ago I spoke with exactly FOUR executives from AT&T. The most important of these being Reggie. After I cancelled my service, I wrote a scathing email in response to a "customer survey" begging me to rate my customer service with AT&T because they could see that I had called them recently on a service call. he-he-he-he. I was drinking coffee and getting ready to take my baby to the doctor when Reggie phoned and said he was calling from the Executive offices in response to my email.

I promptly spit out my coffee and eeked out an, "Oh, yes."

Reggie did something that is so important and I so think we can all take a lesson from him. HE LISTENED TO ME. He let me tell him about my life since April. And how my Internet was driving me to the brink of insanity. He promised to resolve my problem to my satisfaction and he told me he was disappointed that I had cancelled my service. THANK YOU REGGIE! Is he a rock star, or what???? Now why aren't' the people on the bottom who answer all the miserable calls trained like him??? And, yes, I think I asked him that because we talked for about two hours.

It took some patience and a whole lot of going back and forth with all these suits. But, was it worth it? Yes, I think it was. I cancelled my cancellation of service. Yes, that is confusing. Yes, I had to go through the executives' secretary to do that. Yes, I had AT&T suits call me while I was in a seminar and in a job interview. Yes, I had to explain my situation over and over again. But, finally people were listening. People were believing that I was not a hater.

So, want to know what happened yesterday? I got my bill. With FOUR credits. Jeesh. I am not even sure what the credits are for (and this after documenting the color of my underwear every time I talked to the suits). Does this story end happily? Well, yes it does. But, is there a lesson to be learned? Yes.

Please, please AT&T. Train your people. Pay your suits to do something other than try to get a hold of a mom of four in order to give her a meesly $99.00 back and tell you her sob story.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it. Thanks for the read. Thank you for sticking with me after all this time. Hope you enjoyed it, learned a lesson, and go on being lovers, not haters. :o)


the little person (you can pay me for the exec's personal phone numbers................it'll cost ya $99.00)


Shannon said...

dingierLOL! Girl you should not be using technology, it just hates you. And I totally understand about techies. I married one, the reason I don't know how to use my stuff any better than I do is I ask Dave for help he wither 1) uses words I know but in that context make no sense at all or 2) begins to talk to me like I am three usually ending in a fight. Now Dakota teaches me about computers because I don't want to fight with Dave, it really ain't worth it!

Sadly your internet problems sound like standard internet here in Malawi. I am just grateful if it works at all, even if it is midnight.

Lucy said...

I had VERY similar experience with Time Warner cable -- they do not have a local phone #, so was "shuttled" to Austin, Fort Worth, El Paso, etc. then told they would have to send a technician from San Antonio -- finally went down to the local office here (you CANNOT call them!) and got someone to listen to me ... the kicker was that when they called with their follow-up survey to see how they did, they HUNG UP on me when I started my "hating" their customer service!!! OMG!