While Angel wrangled with AT&T's online help chat this morning, I had time to:
Take a shower
Start the laundry
Eat a delicious breakfast of banana bread.
Sweep the entire apartment.
Mop the entire apartment.
Clean my glass coffee table.
Hang up all the laundry.
Study a new lesson in my Chinese textbook.
Let me back up. I'll try not to bore you with too many details. Suffice it to say, on July 22nd, the day before we left America, Angel dutifully called AT&T to cancel our home internet service. Lizzy and I remember this call vividly, as we were sitting on the floor in the empty living room, waiting for him to get the call over with so that we could all go swing-dancing.
Angel wrote down the confirmation number from that cancellation phone call, but unfortunately that piece of paper did not come to China with us. I say "unfortunately" because although we trusted the helpful man on the phone to actually cancel our home internet services, he apparently did not, as we discovered when we received a bill on the last week of August.
The discovery of that bill led to an interminable length of time spent with AT&T representatives asking why we were getting billed for internet service going to an abandoned house. Our story is easily verifiable, at least I assume that they can tell that there has been 0 internet usage at that address since we left the country. However, they somehow had no record of us canceling our account (so who was Angel talking to on the afternoon of July 22nd? It must have been an imposter.).
AT&T said it was against their policy to allow us to cancel our account unless we called to cancel by phone. (I said we already tried that, apparently it didn't work) We begged them, telling them that we live in China and it's not very easy to figure out a way to call America. Finally, we gave up, gave my long-suffering little brother Isaac all the information he needed and he called to cancel our account and the issue was finally resolved on September 5th, and we sucked it up and paid for a month of internet service to our former home address.
Or so we thought. Yesterday we received another bill from AT&T. Not again. That is what led to Angel's long chat with them this morning while I went on a cleaning spree to relieve pent-up energy. The result of his nearly 2 hours on chat this morning was that we paid the September bill for AT&T and it's possible that they may or may not award us a refund at some point in the distant future.
But honestly, at this point, my bets are on getting an October bill in a few weeks. They knew what good customers we were and are determined to keep us.
At this point we've paid $72 for internet service at an empty home, and although I had an AT&T cellphone for 6 years and AT&T internet for 4 years, I guarantee I'll never be back. This has been the most frustrating aspect of our move, actually (and I'm very grateful that there was nothing more frustrating), but all the same...anyone else have AT&T horror stories to share? I'm interested to know if this is their usual mode of operations.