The New AT&T is Getting Old

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Hnuff_postTHEY CALL THEMSELVES the new AT&T. But what they don’t tell you is that it stands for Aggravating, Terrible, & Tedious. Aggravating because of the trouble it takes to get service from them. Terrible because of the quality of service you finally do get, and tedious because of the way you are treated by their ridiculously repetitive customer-service reps—certainly not the sort of behavior that I want ‘representing’ my global firm.

We could as easily reverse the acronym to mean Totally Taking Advantage because of how this corporate megalomaniac tricks (yes, tricks) you into extra fees. Whatever it says, and whatever it says the cost will be, you can be sure there will be additional fees—often for services you never (ever) request.

An example: one fine day a shipment arrives from TT(&)A. It’s a beautiful thingamajig for Goodie’s computer. Wonderful. Except that he never ordered it. And terrible because they want $49.95 for it. I call, clarify that he never ordered it, and after about 45 minutes of pleading am sent a return-postage label. Good. Except that one month later we get a letter asking why is it not paid for yet. A new series of haggling phone calls follow with overly polite, extremely inflexible ‘representatives’. I get transferred three times before things are resolved. A morning wasted for something that was never ordered. I end up with a terrible technology headache. You know what that is.

att_boxI could go on, but that’s not the point—even though there are tens of thousands of similar stories about this… this company. The real point is that they don’t get it. They don’t realize (how can they possibly not realize by now?) that this is not the way to develop a loyal following of customers and get repeat, much less referral, business. Don’t they realize they’re making the situation worse? Not just because of how they train their representatives, but because of those sneaky tactics. And they claim to be in the communication business. Ha!

What to do? Well, as a ‘representative’ of all people who like telephones, want to pay their bills on time, and despise being jerked around, I’m speaking up here in the hope that this message crests into a wave that eventually crashes onto the shore—the big beach party—where these guys (who are they anyway?) seem to be luxuriating at our expense. Doggone it, enough is enough.

You can reach Hattie Nuff at

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