5:30a.m. Up and to the kitchen. Turn on the coffee. To the office. Turn on the computer. Take a shower.
5:45a.m. Get coffee. Get to work. OR NOT!
Wait a minute. What’s wrong here? Walk to the router. I have no DSL. I have things to do. It’s still DARK OUT.
6:00a.m. Consider options. Start to execute. Then envision images of screwed system. Recall pact that I will die first, because I’ll never be able to figure out how this home network is configured.
6;30a.m Wake up IT husband. Tell him we have no DSL.
He gets coffee, looks at router, see light off, and confirms it.
6:45a.m. Call AT&T. Listen to recording. Punch in numbers. Answer questions. Find out that we need to call another number.
7:00a.m. Call AT&T Number 2. Listen to recording. Punch in same numbers. Answer same questions. Finally get a person on the line. Start by saying the following.
ME: Hi, before we begin, could I just say that we have a sophisticated system here, that it was working at midnight, that everything is correctly connected, and that I’ve turned things off and on again.
AT&T SHE: Can I call you by your first name?
AT&T SHE: Have you checked that everything is connected correctly?
ME: Yes, everything is correctly connected, and I’ve restarted my computer. The problem is at your end.
AT&T SHE: Let’s check your network connections.
ME: There’s no reason to do that.
AT&T SHE: Could you go to Start . . .
At this point I hand the phone to my husband.
It took 15 minutes to get her to let us talk to someone else. I hand phone to IT husband.
AT&T HE: Have you checked that everything is connected correctly?
AT&T HE: Could you disconnect your router from your computer.
IT HUSBAND: NO, it’s hardwired. Why would I do that?
AT&T HE: Sometimes it resets things.
IT HUSBAND: You’re talking about 3 or 4 hours of work.
IT HUSBAND: The problem is at YOUR END. You need to fix it.
IT took 35 minutes of talking to convince the AT&T man — the floor supervisor — that we couldn’t just unplug our router and plug it back in again, or that there was no need to, since the problem was obviously at their end.
(Husband hands phone back to me to verify phone number. Silly to think that AT&T might actually have it, especially after I had punched it in several times, and they seem to have no problem billing me.)
ME: (after I give the number) Who do I talk to now to hear a happy story?
8:07a.m Got a promise from AT&T. Said they would fix it ASAP. Have a work ticket number. Wrote a telephone number in case of questions.
IT HUSBAND: (in background) Honey, be nice.
ME: Thank you for understanding my frustration. I realize how hard it must be not to be able to help your customers. Thank you anyway.
AT&T HE: Thank you for using AT&T.
10:07 The DSL light came on. Try to connect via DSL. Doesn’t work. Call the number. Listen to recording. Punch in numbers. Answered questions. Find out the recording knows we have a problem. Hear two choices — ask about something else or go away.
Now that’s AT&T service.
10:30a.m. Think maybe if AT&T had customer service people instead of someone who supervises the floor . . . things could be so different.
12;32 a.m. I write this via dial up. They own the dial up too, don’t they? That’s why they don’t even try to fix my problem.
It’s why AT&T has no brand value in my house.
–ME “Liz” Strauss
See the Customer Think Series on the SUCCESSFUL SERIES PAGE