Dr. EdTech

Views & ReViews on Digital Gadgets For Us Baby Boomers!

AT&T Customer Service: NOT!

OK, I admit it. This is not so much about *new* technology. It’s about *old* technology in a company (AT&T) that’s trying to convince telephone users that it IS *new* technology. Bologna!


I’m a three month customer (switched back from a cable provider’s VOIP which didn’t make the grade) and have watched my bill go from $19.24 to $26.46 to $65.xx.


Being computer literate, I decided to “log in to AT&T Account Manager” The web site requires the usual account information and then demands “Last 7 digits of your customer ID from page 1 of your AT&T residential phone bill. When I established the account, I specified paperless billing and hereupon lies the rub and begins the gruesome storey you are about to read.


Unable to log on due to the lack of the “required” last 7 digits, I telephoned the Customer Support Armed with my “paperless” statement, I phoned the Customer Service at 1-888-9ATT-WEB. While traversing the morass of automated assistance, pressing numbers that (roughly) corresponded to my Customer Service needs, I was informed that “…(we) can’t find (my phone number) in the system.” Yeah, right. And if I don’t pay the damn bill, you’ll find it pretty damn quickly, I bet!


About three minutes into the call, I am greeted by a Customer Service representative who asks for my phone number (area code first) and the State from which I am calling. Now, I’m not saying anything’s wrong with that BUT even home phones have caller ID displays. Are you telling me that the computer attached to this guy’s desk doesn’t have caller ID displayed? Or is he testing me to see if I am calling from the number that I am calling from? AND, he wants to know what State I am calling from! What is the area code represent? Doesn’t he have  an area code directory on his computer? Shame on you AT&T for equipping your Customer Service reps so poorly. (Oh, right, they’re in India and it’s a poor country. They don’t get the good “expensive stuff.”)


A few minutes into this conversation, the Customer Service rep tell me that he doesn’t have access to information that will enable me to log onto the web and that he will transfer me to someone who will be able to help me.


Next, I was speaking with “Tom” who asked my phone number (“area code first”) and what state I was calling from. “Tom,” I said “Isn’t that displayed on your screen? I just provided that information to the previous Customer Service rep!” He told me the information didn’t display on his screen and then he repeated the question of what State I was calling from. We chatted a few moments and then Tom told me that he was so very sorry that he couldn’t help me solve my log on problem HOWEVER, we was transferring me to someone who, most certainly be able to provide the necessary assistance.


Next up was Customer Service rep #3 Tommy Moore. Finally, someone who spoke my language! He, too, wanted my phone number (area code first) and the State from which I was calling. (at this point, I was moving into the state of being pissed). Tommy comforted me by telling me that his phone bills were going up, too and that “oh well, gotta’ pay ‘em anyway.”  Thanks, Tommy. Tommy said he need to transfer me to a “web help service center” because my call was regarding logging onto an AT&T web site. He couldn’t help with that HOWEVER, he was certain that he would be transferring me to someone who COULD help.


Tommy transferred me to “Jacob” who sounded vaguely familiar – like the first Customer Service rep I spoke with 30 minutes ago. Jacob quickly realized he couldn’t help me and said he was transferring me to someone who could most certainly provide the assistance I needed to log onto the site.


After 30 seconds of Jacob’s transfer, I heard “We’re sorry. Your call was unable to be completed. Please hang up and dial the toll fee number again.”


I believe Jacob WAS the first person I spoke with and he recognized me, too.


I still can not log on because I don’t have the last 7 digits from a paper bill because I have paperless (online) billing. And, apparently AT&T can’t provide any telephone assistance to enable me to log on.  At least Tommy is sending me a duplicate paper bill (and he waived the $5.00 fee usually charged for duplicate bills.)


What a racket.


Send me an e-bill but don’t allow me to log on because I don’t have the 7 digit number from my paper bill (because I don’t get a paper bill). Provide me a customer service phone number that connects to people who are poor at problem resolution and astute at transferring to other Customer Service reps until, I reach one (#5 of this day’s event) that transfers me to a disconnect. I wouldn’t be surprised if AT&T charged me for the time on line with their Customer Service reps. That would explain why my bill increases each month despite the fact that I use my cell phone 99.5% of the time.


AT&T Customer Service: NOT!

November 21, 2007 - Posted by | Education-related | , ,


  1. very interesting.
    i’m adding in RSS Reader

    Comment by music | January 8, 2008

  2. What a true story! People have been sending me e-mail, OUTLOOK EXPRESS, but I don’t receive ANY OF IT!!! Nobody to call but a STAR WARS computer voice that tells me to enter my phone #, which it says cannot be found – HOW THE HELL AM I COMMUNICATING??!!!! SHIT! ATT&T pulls money right out of my bank every month, then has a female call me, wake me up, & tries to sell me internet service which I already have – AND SHE CANNOT ARTICULATE!! You know,”THIS CALL MAY BE RECORDED FOR QUALITY ASSURANCE PURPOSES.” PIG SHIT!! How the hell is AT&T going to analyze a conversation between me & somebody who can’t speak ENGLISH? Right now, I have a problem receiving e-mail, but I cannot find anyone there to help me because “OFFICE HOURS” are over & if I need assistance on SAT or SUN, tuff shit, dude!
    Look, Im totally disabled, and I have to depend on my phone & the net – please don’t pity me – I do just fine. I think I need to digress & look back at the way my service used to be – it was cheaper, reliable, [can’t receive my e-mail now] and a PERSON, a real PERSON was there to help me. It was trying at times, but even a towel-head in India patiently helped me when I hit a snag!
    Thanks for letting me blow off my AT&T steam. AT&T is nothing more than smokescreen garbage & I’m not going to eat it anymore. I’m swithching next week & putting an editorial in the News Herald in Panama City, Florida.

    Comment by THOMAS KITZMILLER | May 2, 2008

  3. Don’t feel too bad…I have a paper statement in my hand…and it doesn’t show a customer ID# either! At least not that I can find in accordance with the instructions!

    Comment by T McGuire | July 15, 2008

  4. So TRUE! I’ve been trying to get a LIVE person to talk to so I can get an email notification from my att voicemail to my att.net email. Sounds simple? No way, Jose. The voicemail “helpful hints” says that to do this, it has to be done thru the “web interface” – do they tell you where to find that? NO! Finally found the place to do this online but when I started the process, I was told my broswer wasn’t new enough and it couldn’t be done online. So then I called their “customer service” people in India with names like Michael and Samantha and each one had to pass me on to someone else. The last one I was sent to I just flat out asked her if she could do this, before I gave her my phone number and state. Nope! They have something called “eChat” for tech support, but it doesn’t support Mac users – thanks a lot. I complained to AT&T corporate last year and suggested that as a communications company, they were doing a BAD JOB communicating with their customers. Not surprisingly, I got no response. They suck!

    Comment by MKing | August 19, 2008

  5. This story is very true! I’ve been bouncing from “customer service reps” for the last 2 hours. I was also hung up on by a “supervisor” when I asked him to resolve this problem instead of transferring me back to billing. Finally after 2 more phone calls and going through the automated transfers I spoke with another supervisor who had me hang up and wait for an automated call giving me my Registration number. Upon trying to register my account with this number I received a message saying that “we are unable to confirm registration since it appears you are not registered with the AT&T Customer Center site.” WTF! ATT you just lost another customer. Thanks for the hell you’ve put me through!

    Comment by Al Patten | February 27, 2009

  6. I’m strill waiting on my $100.00 rebate incentive check from switching from HUGHESNET to AT&T Hi-Speed internet as promised!!!
    I bundled Local, Long Distance and Hi-Soeed internet prior to Sept. 25, 2008 and got a $50.00 rebate, but NOT the $100.00 rebate incentive check as promised. As of today, it has been 6 months!!
    Your advertise Numbers down at the bottom left are:
    08ATT119 Arms LK FM V2 S0288595 010 01010002000446

    As a valued and loyal customer, I demand that you keep your promises and NOT be scamming people! I have read toooo many articles on the search engines where you are NOT be true to your customers. Remember this, IF GM FALLS, SO CAN ATT!!!

    Comment by William C. Jones | April 1, 2009

  7. Dick, you have a few valid points. Who hasn’t gotten frustrated dealing with this sort of thing at one time or another. I believe that many of them are willing to help, but I get the impression the training is inadequate, and I know the systems that they use would make a first semester programming student laugh. Every business has good employees, AT&T is just really efficient at weeding these out.

    Comment by Andrew | March 26, 2010

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