July 1, 2016

SIX days without internet...we survived...barely.

When I woke up last Friday, The Husband informed me that we didn't have internet...lovely.  After twenty-five years of marriage, I was aware that this meant that I needed to fix it.

So I bought a new router.  Because surely our router had been taken out by the storm we'd experienced the Thursday night before.

But then I  brought the router home and was unable to connect.  I called the manufacturer, they were unable to help.  In fact, they recited, verbatim, what the screen was telling me  So basically, they were reading from an instruction manual.  Next, I returned to the store, along with the computer AND the router.

After going through three technicians, they advised me to confer with my provider, as there seemed to be nothing wrong with my computer OR the router.

OH MY GOD!  They expected ME to deal with AT&T...my sworn enemy?!

Yes, they apparently did.  In fact, they flat out refused to call them for me and asked me to leave the store immediately.

So I went back home and called.  After much swearing at the automated system (which claimed it "could understand and respond to any questions" - which it obviously couldn't since I had to scream yes or no in response to its questions...after telling me that I needed to speak up or it would tell me that it didn't understand) eventually I made it to an actual person.

Now, despite previous rants about AT&T (and my obvious disdain for automated systems - come on AT&T...would it really be that onerous to have an actual human answer the phone and route the call?) I have to say that AT&T has stepped up its customer service game.  Yes, I actually said that (AND put it in writing).

The rep I spoke to explained that she did see a problem with our line...but didn't think it was the router.  She set up an appointment to send a technician out - the earliest time she could offer was Monday.  I wasn't happy that no one could come out over the weekend, but agreed.  Then she gave me a telephone number, along with a PIN number, and informed me that it went directly to voicemail.  And that any message left would be responded to within the hour.  I was doubtful...because look at who I was dealing with here.

Monday comes along and the technician actually showed up in the earlier end of the 8-12 block they gave me.  He poked around outside for a bit and then informed me that the outside box wasn't receiving power and, unfortunately, he couldn't fix the problem but would escalate the ticket.  I asked if it would be dealt with that day.  He seemed to think it would since it was so early in the day.

As you are probably (rightly) assuming, it was not fixed on Monday.  I called the magic voicemail number, left a message and you can imagine my immense shock when I actually received a call back.  They informed me that the technician was working until 9 pm (so apparently, AT&T has no problem making their techs work late - why not have them work staggered shifts which would cover weekends?) and our ticket was next.  She swore that she would call me with an update.

I ended up going to bed because, hello?!  I have a job.

Lo and behold I actually had a voicemail from her when I woke up - imagine my shock.  This message informed me that the tech was unable to get to our ticket on Monday but we would be first on the list for Tuesday.  YAY!

I went to work with a hopeful heart...until I received a text from The Husband around lunch time.  He had come home for lunch and discovered that we still didn't have internet.  And upon returning home that evening we STILL didn't have internet.  So I called the magical number again.  They informed me that they would "monitor" the situation and let me know what was going on.

Yesterday, I finally received another voicemail...it still wasn't fixed and they couldn't tell me when it would be done; again promising to follow up.  I can honestly tell you that by this time I was BEYOND fed up.

Until I arrived home and we had internet service!  We both did a happy dance!

And then the phone rang...guess who?

Yes, it was AT&T informing me that we were back online and, after I inquired about a credit for being without for six days, was told that we would receive a credit.  But considering our past bad blood, I made a point of calling the billing office today to confirm - yes, we are getting a credit.

So while AT&T is still not on my "Favorite" list they have removed themselves from my "I HATE You So Much - I Wish You Were Not In Existence" list (yes, I really have such a list for companies that drive me insane) - all because they put forth the extra effort in the customer service department.  Kudos, AT&T.

If they want to be catapulted  to the "Favorite" list I would suggest that they rid themselves of the automated phone system and figure out a work schedule that includes having people available to work on weekends, because living without internet makes people twitchy.

4 comments:

  1. We were without power in our neighborhood a couple of years ago when we had a huge windstorm. I had to drive to a coffee shop to get internet, but I managed. It also made me happy that my iPhone will connect, even though it uses up data, so I could check my emails and have a phone between times. It was a whole three days but seemed forever. Congratulations on getting it back! I have Comcast and they are just as bad! :-)

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  2. Eeeeeeeeeeekkkkkk! No internet! I would have lost my mind and the group would think I had died!

    Automated calls are on my hate list and Comcast is right there on the top... although there have been a few topnotch technicians. Not nearly enough for all the hassles we've been through. We've had a cable hanging on our fence for a year. Numerous calls to get it buried. Once, a guy actually came out and looked at it (we watched him through the window) and he turned around and left. Give.me.a.break! How hard is it to bury a cable? It ain't rocket science!

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  3. I'm glad you had a better experience. How do people live without internet?

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  4. Please press One if you would like to be connected to another automated service. Please press Two if you would like all automated services to die.
    Two. Two. Two. Two.

    ReplyDelete

I generally respond to comments via email...if your blog/id is not tied to your email, I will attempt to respond here...but I would strongly suggest that you make your email available if you want to continue the conversation.

Unfortunately, for some reason people with Yahoo emails are receiving bounce-backs. Your comment will be published but I won't be notified; but I will respond once I realize you've left a comment.