SOCIAL MEDIA

26 September 2014

Saturday Morning with AT&T

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.

30 comments :

  1. Yikes! Sounds like they're definitely trying to take advantage of the situation!
    The Morrell Tale

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  2. AT&T can kind of be the worst. Last month I noticed that my data plan wasn't showing up on my bill, resulting in a lower total. I did the online chat thing because I was at work, was told that "yes, it's on there" with no explanation as to why it wasn't showing up on my bill. I explained I was concerned that since it wasn't showing up, I would end up getting outrageous data charges on the next month's bill...or at the least, they'd catch their mistake and bill me for 2x the data. I was assured that wouldn't happen.

    Got the next bill...and yep. They billed me for 2x the data, which meant our bill was $30 higher than it normally is. I'm fine paying for services I use, but for crying out loud, don't tell me I won't get double billed and you don't "know what the issue is" but not to worry about it. It's their job to figure it out when I call!!

    Anyway, I'm sorry you had to deal with this. We heard recently that Verizon is going to be bringing faster, better cell phone service to Alaska in the next few months, and if they do in fact do that, as long as it's not outrageously more expensive, I guarantee we will be dropping AT&T like a hot potato. Not to mention the fact that the 4G network barely ever works in town (they've said MANY times they're putting up a brand new tower, but it's been 2 years now and nothing has gotten better) and until recently we couldn't even get cell phone service at our house. 6 miles out of town. Yet we pay the same as anybody else in the country. It's stupid and I can't wait to be rid of them. I hope your troubles with them are finally over!!!

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  3. How frustrating!! We've had similar encounters when we were in the US, well and other places in the Europe! I think it's just their jobs to bring misery to their costumers or something! ;)

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  4. Oh! I hate dealing with internet providers. We had some trouble when we moved too. The server we were with and wanted to stay with told us that apparently there was no port available at our new place (whatever that means?), so basically we would have to find another server. We spent a week or so researching what might be the best option for us. Then we were almost about to start it up, but we had to call our original company again to finalize finishing up at the old place, twice in two days mind you. Suddenly, 7 ports were available when we had double checked the day before and they were still convinced nothing was available. Thankfully, our mess up didn't cost us any money. But I know exactly how you feel. It can be so frustrating!

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  5. That sounds terrible! Definitely super poor service on their part, this isn't even a complicated situation. You don't need or use the service anymore, so they should stop charging you. I hope it is finally sorted out now!

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  6. Aren't they terrible. They are all so horrible...I can't stand it. Want to know my secret? I go bat shoot crazy on their social media profiles. I seriously post the most well-worded, but stinging stuff on Facebook, Twitter, wherever I can. Someone ALWAYS calls me when I do this. I don't need to call them...they call me. And they always send someone nice and well-skilled in problem resolution/customer retention.

    I hate to say it, but they may figure you as a lost cause. The bottom line is, they want to keep making money. They are complete crooks who are going about it in the shadiest, most despicable way possible, but they aren't worried about keeping you as a customer because you live in China. If they had the foresight to understand you may be back, they may try harder. Or if they knew you had this here little blog that reached "x" number of viewers every week, they may try harder.

    I wonder...what would they do if you posted a link to this post or snippets of this post on their Facebook wall for everyone to see? Worth a shot :)

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  7. Ugh. They're the WORST with stuff like this. Called them about one of the properties we manage that we cancelled in MAY and they still had it as active!

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  8. Ouch! At least you don't have to deal with this alone:)
    <3
    Daisy | Simplicity Relished

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  9. Oh, AT&T is awful. I had a cell phone through them in college and their customer service was terrible. As soon as moved to a place with better cell phone service, I switched back to Verizon. When I moved back to Ohio, I was immediately told by several people to never get AT&T Internet, as they all had horror stories. I hope it works out! Speaking as someone who used to work in that industry, if you ever have to call them again, ask to speak to a supervisor. It almost always help as the customer service rep typically has their hands tied, can't guarantee refunds, and probably doesn't have good training.

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  10. Ps: have you tweeted at them about it?? I've heard that going to social media with complaints really gets the ball rolling on things like this

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  11. Wowzers. SOo frustrating...glad I read this, I've been thinking about maybe switching to AT&T...

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  13. I was frustrated just listening to this! I hope everything works out for you guys. That opening paragraph was hysterical though. Found your blog through the SITS girls community, and love your writing style. Living in China probably gives you a lot of good stuff to write about, too!

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  14. So frustrating! I wish there was an internet provider out there that wouldn't screw you over, but it seems like they're all the same. Hope you get it resolved!

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  15. SO frustrating. Tweet them!! Also, do you guys use Skype? When I was dealing with the suitcase saga, I needed to call American numbers and I put some money on my Skype account (literally $10). It is so cheap to make phone calls and convenient. Sorry you have to deal... how annoying :(

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  16. Icky cell phone companies. I had Verizon and T-Mobile in the past, but now I'm with a lesser known and much-easier-to-deal-with company (ting). I say you give them a piece of your mind on facebook or twitter.

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  17. This kind of thing is soooo annoying!

    Momfever

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  18. AT&T were my old provider in America, and I loved them .... until I had to cancel my service and it became the biggest song and dance! They made it nearly impossible! x

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  19. So frustrating. I hate talking to customer service people sometimes. Most of the time I can't even understand them.

    No stories about AT&T because we have Cox. But sometimes they can be frustrating too.

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  20. Are you kidding me? And you can't just refuse to pay? You should have written the person's name down that you talked to so you can know exactly who to ask for. I am enraged on your behalf.

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  21. Totally been there with AT&T before. They had two accounts set up for me and billed me twice each month for 5 months straight. It was such a stressful time to have to call each month and explain to them that they were idiots and had two accounts for me for some reason. It was a literal mess and I was so happy to switch to a different provider. AT&T is a very unorganized company with zero customer service.

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  22. AT+T has never been my friend either. They suck. Other than that you had a very productive Saturday Morning.

    P.S. I love the new, clean look of the blog. It is so pretty and nice, Rachel.

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  23. Oh my goodness, I'm so sorry to hear this :( What a nightmare! And yes, I understand why you would never want to return to a service that treats its customers like this. I really hope you are issued a refund... I have had a similar experience with Comcast (they are our internet/cable service provider) but never anything THAT bad. And I should hope that if I were to ever move, they would think better than to keep billing us. Jerks.

    At least you found a very positive way to deal with all that pent-up hostility :)

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  24. What the heck!?!???!?! That's the most annoying thing ever!!!

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  25. I had this happen with DirectTV. By the time we got off the phone, they decided they owed ME money.lol Hope you get it taken care of!

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  26. That stinks! We've had similar issues with Century Link. They were overcharging us for services we didn't have, but after countless calls that lasted hours, we ended up just paying it because at some point, we figured our time and mental health werent worth arguing over a small amount. A year later, they corrected it and credited us back for the overcharges.

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  27. Very efficiently written information. It will be beneficial to anybody who utilizes it, including me. Keep up the good work. For sure i will check out more posts. This site seems to get a good amount of visitors

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