I spent the better part of three hours at a Best Buy yesterday, with Mike the Musicologist waiting for me, trying to upgrade the cell phone that I’ve had since 2004.
Every time the Best Buy rep tried to go through the process, even with AT&T on the line with her, they got an error message. Every time the AT&T rep tried to go through the process on his end, they got an error message.
At one point Miguel, the AT&T rep, had four different people looking over his shoulder trying to figure out what the problem was; both the Best Buy and AT&T rep said that they had never seen anyone have this much trouble with an upgrade before.
(You’re probably wondering, “Why did you spend three hours trying to do this?” Well, a large part of the reason was that during the process, I developed something of a crush on the Best Buy rep, who was pretty, smart, has excellent taste in movies, and kind of likes guns. But that’s another story.)
In the end, the lovely Best Buy rep told me that the best they could do was make notes in my account, that Miguel was escalating this to “Premier”, “Premier” is only open Monday-Friday, and that I should be hearing from “Premier” once they’ve had a chance to review the case.
I’ve called AT&T Customer Service four times today. The first time, the customer service rep at the main number transferred me to “Premier”. The “Premier” rep told me he couldn’t access my customer records or any notes in my account. I asked him to get a supervisor on the line and waited close to an hour for the supervisor. (I eventually had to hang up because it was the end of my lunch hour. Yes, I spent my entire lunch hour on hold with AT&T.)
The second time, the customer service rep transferred me to “Premier”, but we got a crappy connection; I could just barely hear the “Premier” rep on the other end of the line. I asked for a direct callback number, and was told “Just call the same number you called earlier” (that’s the main customer service line).
The third time, the customer service rep actually gave me the direct “Premier” number (866-499-8008) and transferred me to “Premier”. The “Premier” rep I spoke to seemed totally incapable of understanding that I didn’t have an order number (because we never completed the order), and insisted that they only deal with activation issues on web-based orders. After telling her three times that this case had already been escalated to “Premier’, I asked for a supervisor again, was put on hold again, and eventually had to hang up. (Memo to AT&T: I have a freaking job. I can’t be on hold with you people all damn day.)
5:07 PM: I am now speaking to “Premier” rep #4 today, who is telling me once again that she can’t pull up my account, and she can’t help me. I’ve just asked her to get a supervisor on the line. It’s now 5:40 PM.
5:51 PM: still holding for that supervisor.
6:00 PM: Supervisor. Holding.
6:08 PM: Supervisor Nathan Snow is on the line. Nathan Snow is telling me that “Premier” can’t help me, that “Premier” is just a return order/exchange department for orders placed on the web. I’ve told Nathan Snow that I want to talk to the person who can help me, and I want to talk to them now.
6:14 PM: Back on hold. Nathan Snow was singularly unhelpful, just like everyone else I’ve spoken to (except the lovely and talented Best Buy sales person; I never spoke to Miguel, the AT&T rep, directly).
6:17 PM: Nathan Snow is still trying to get “Business and End User Care” on the line.
(You’re probably wondering at this point, “Why don’t you just DTMFA?” Because I’m stubborn. “Why don’t you just go to the Apple Store?” Because I’m not sure I wouldn’t have this same problem, and be waiting another three hours, at the damn Apple Store. “Why didn’t you go there in the first place?” Ever been to an Apple Store on a Sunday afternoon? That’s the classic example of a Mongolian fire drill. “Why can’t you write more like Stingray? That’d be entertaining.” Agreed, and I would be very happy to suggest in public that AT&T take their G–d—ed phones, their f—ing service, my final m—-rf—ing bill, and shove all of them squarely the f–k up their a–. However, my mother does read this blog, and I try very hard to watch my language out of sensitivity to her.)
6:24 PM: Nathan Snow has Rosa Velasquez (sp?) on the line and is transferring me to her.
6:27 PM: Rosa clearly hasn’t read the notes in the account.
6:29 PM: According to Rosa, the problem is that I was on the “Blue” network and they’re the “Orange” network, so they need to transfer me from the “Blue” network to the “Orange” network. She’s trying to figure out how to do that.
6:32 PM: Even though they upgraded my plan, they didn’t change me over from the “Blue” network to the “Orange” network. Rosa is trying to figure out how to change me over from the “Blue” network to the “Orange” network, but now she’s saying I may have to go to a physical AT&T store to get that done. I’ve explained to Rosa that surely, during the three hours I spent at Best Buy yesterday, Miguel or one of the four other people he worked with yesterday would have figured that out.
6:36 PM: Rosa is trying to tell me the nearest AT&T stores are in Kyle and Lockhart. That’s interesting, since their store locator brings up one at 2601 S. IH-35, about 8/10ths of a mile from the main Dell campus. Rosa just found that one as well.
6:40 PM: Rosa says that they can order any device “except the iPhone”, so I’m going to have to go to the physical AT&T store in order to get my account transitioned from the “Blue” to the “Orange” network. At this point, I honestly do not know why I have not suggested to Rosa that she, and the entire AT&T corporation, consume a giant bowl of something disgusting and unfit for human consumption, and gone over to the Sprint store instead. Sheer perversity, I guess.
6:46 PM: Rosa just came back and confirmed that, yes, I have to physically go to the AT&T store in order to complete the upgrade. She’s checking to make sure that the AT&T store is actually open.
6:54 PM: How long does it take to check and make sure the store is open?
7:04 PM: Rosa has had me on hold for 20 minutes now while she supposedly verifies that the store is open and can complete the upgrade. If I hear “No text message is worth getting hurt over” one more G-dd—ed time, I am going to hurt someone myself.
7:07 PM: Rosa is finally back with me, and has confirmed that yes, they can do the “migration” from the “Blue” to the “Orange” network. For my time and trouble, they’re willing to offer me…a $50 credit. That was exactly two hours, start to finish, on the phone this time. Plus three hours in the store yesterday, plus close to another hour and a half over my lunch hour and breaks, for a total of six and a half hours. That implies that AT&T values my wasted time at about $7.69 per hour. Isn’t that roughly minimum wage?
Edited to add: 8:28 PM: F–k AT&T. F–k them, f–k everyone who “works” for them (where “works” is apparently defined as “slithering across the ground, leaving a trail of pus and corruption everywhere they go”), f–k their infrastructure, f–k the f–king iPhone, f–k all of it. I have reached the limit of my patience and tolerance with these mouth breathing a–holes. Someone needs to wipe the entire company off the face of the Earth with a liberal dose of cleansing fire.
I went by the Sprint store after I walked out of the AT&T store. Unfortunately, it looks like an Evo 4G from Sprint would be $15 more a month, even with my 25% discount (vs. 21% with AT&T), they don’t have any of those in stock, and they don’t know when I’d be able to get one. Since AT&T and Sprint are the two companies that offer a discount, I’m seriously considering just simply doing without a cell phone. The other option I’ve considered is picking up a Go phone and swapping SIMs, but at this point I’m not even sure that would work (the whole “Blue”/”Orange” network thing). I’m also seriously considering mailing my phone back to AT&T along with a container of K-Y Jelly and detailed instructions on how to use those two things together.
LabRat, I know you and Stingray aren’t going to read this until you get back, but how do you people cope with this level of rage without killing people or breaking things?