Another Example of How Hopelessly Disorganized AT&T Is

A few days ago my wife contacted AT&T; about combining our wireless billing on our iPhones with our UVerse home phone, internet, TV package. At the time she was told that AT&T; would have to get back to her to do that.

So today I got a text message from AT&T; regarding my “service request.” The text message instructed me to call a number regarding this request.

So I called this number only to be told that in order to combine my billing that I’d need to call another number 1-800-288-2020.

So I called 1-800-228-2020 and got an automated voice response sort of thing about my account that verified my mobile number. I then told the automated voice response unit that I wanted to combine billing and was transferred me to a representative. The representative said that she could help me and had me tell her my mobile number (even though I’d already verified it with the automated response unit). She also had me verify the last four digits of my social security number. Then she asked me for my UVerse account number. I didn’t know this but she said she could look it up with my home phone number.

Then that call was disconnected.

So I called the 1-800-228-2020 number back and once again told the automated response unit that I wanted to combine accounts. It asked me again if the number I was calling from was my number and I said yes. At this point the automated response unit told me that I would need to call AT&T; Wireless for any requests on this account. It then told me goodbye and disconnected me.

So I called the 1-800-228-2020 number back and told the automated response unit again that I wanted to combine my accounts. It could not recognize what I was trying to say and after about 5 attempts it asked me to press a number in from one to 5 for different problems. Since combining accounts wasn’t mentioned I selected option number 5, other problem.

At this point I sat on hold for 25 minutes waiting for a representative.

After 25 minutes a representative came on the line and told me that in order to combine my billing accounts she would need to get me to another department. She promised to stay on the line during the transfer to make sure I got a live person given my 25 minute wait.

At this point I got a live person. A reasonably helpful guy who verified my mobile number and the last four digits of my social security number again. This representative asked me for my UVerse account number which I told him I did not have.

At this point the representative told me that he would need to call another person to look up my Uverse account number based on my home telephone number. I was put on hold for about 10 minutes again.

After this rep came back he told me that they were having difficulty matching my UVerse account with my home phone number. He asked me if the service might be in someone else’s name. I said it could be in my wife’s name but that my home telephone number was definitely correct.

I was put on hold again for 5 minutes or so after which time this representative came back on the phone and told me that they finally found it. He said he had no idea why it wasn’t coming up before and said that they kept entering in the same phone number over and over and over again than they decided to try one last time and my Uverse account number came up.

Once this representative had my UVerse account number though he told me that he was going to need to transfer me to another person.

So then I got another person who told me that she would help me combine my billing. She put me on hold and then came back to me about 5 minutes later and asked me if I’d already been talking to someone about this earlier today. I said yes that I had but that the call had been disconnected.

She told me that she noted on this call that it had been disconnected but said that they had two service requests to do this on my account anyways and that she couldn’t proceed until she had canceled these previous two service requests and she told me that she’d need to get a supervisor involved to cancel these requests.

So after getting a supervisor to cancel the previous two requests this individual came back online and told me that she was still having a problem combining my accounts.

At this point the representative put me on hold again to talk to her supervisor and then came back to me and asked me if my wireless account was set up on autopay. I told her that it was and it was at this point that she told me that AT&T; is unable to combine UVerse and wireless accounts when a wireless account is set up on autopay.

She told me that I’d need to call a completely different number and cancel my autopay before she would be able to combine my billing. She told me that she’d do me a favor and personally work on the issue tomorrow if I could call this other number and cancel my autopay.

It was at this point that I told her just to forget it altogether. I’d already wasted 2 hours of my time and taken valuable time away from my family and other more important things I needed to do.

Thanks AT&T;!

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11 Comments

  1. Alberto says:

    If only AT&T; was the only one that is this disorganized! Over the last couple of months, since I moved to Pennsylvania, I have lost hours without end and a lot of money on my prepaid cell phone talking to Verizon customer service about my broadband Internet connection. In the end, it was almost a month since the day my service was supposed to start to the day I actually got it working.

    And then my girlfriend tried to get a cell phone with T-Mobile. That was another five to six hours, talking to about 20 different representatives that kept on transferring our call to another department.

    Customer service is deeply screwed up in this country…

  2. Victor Trac says:

    Haha. I just went through this for two weeks trying to get U-Verse service. They’re completely dysfunctional. The on-site techs have to call and stay on hold just like any normal customer.

    I was so exhausted through the initial install process, I haven’t even tried to combine my bill yet.

    However, the service is great. The DVR is awesome and the internet speeds are as described. Clearly their engineers are smarter than anyone else at the company.

  3. Yeah, they are morons. Last week I was on the phone with them for several hours over several days trying to get my laptop connect connection fixed.
    Most stuff worked, but some Yahoo and Google sites were being routed through a server on their network that decided to just stop routing packets. Traceroute consistently died at that server, which was one of AT&T;'s.
    I don't think I ever convinced the lackey that was "helping" me that MY computer cannot control routing on THEIR network.
    Mysteriously, things started working while they were telling me "we can't help you sir".

  4. Adam says:

    Oh man, don't even get me started on AT&T;'s customer service. A couple of months ago my DSL went down (as usual), and I called them to see what was up. After what seemed like hours on hold and getting passed back and forth, it turned out that they suddenly decided my DSL account belonged at an address I moved from 3+ years ago. Nevermind that I'd been getting and paying for DSL and phone service at my current address the entire time. It took weeks and many more hours calling the same unhelpful support numbers, explaining the problem anew each time, multiple service visits and promises that it would be back working the next day before it finally got sorted out.

    The experience convinced me that AT&T; is a deeply dysfunctional company with too many parts who have no idea what the other parts are doing, or how to work with them.

  5. Annie says:

    I totally understand what you're going through. Anytime I had to call AT&T; to get some adjustments on my wireless accounts I have to allocate at least 1 hour of my time. I also noticed that people who work there either 1. don't take their jobs seriously or 2. are completely not competent of doing any task. I have once gotten 4 rebate cards from AT&T; at once and all 4 of them have an unique spelling of my name. Not only that, none of them were right.

  6. Ruchit Garg says:

    AT&T; is definitly one of the companies having bad customer support especially when you call them on phone. No call so far has taken less than hour for me.

    Same with SSA call support. Looks like they wanted to find a way to keep as much people away from real support as possible.

    Billing issues is even more widespread, AT&T;, Comcast and what not.

    But Clearwire call support impressed me. I could reach to real person quickly even their IVR seems to be intelligent. I found customer support person to be sensible and intelligent as well

  7. Kirk says:

    I love it when a plan comes together…

    And they say that a merger and acquisitions will make service better for everyone. Who’s everyone… they got a mouse in their pocket?

  8. Christine says:

    I signed up for U-Verse last week, and getting them to link the cellular bill with my U-Verse account was as easy as could be. Must just be who is handling it, because my rep was awesome and did it right away as I signed up!

  9. JB Haber says:

    Sounds like calling Comcast. To make my long story short … I had a technician in my house (internet problems). He had to call the central office to register a new cable modem, and sat on hold for 45 minutes. I used my cell phone and got through right a way. I handed him the phone and proceeded to watch him receive the same terrible customer service I did (he got disconnected once, a refusal to help another time, before finally getting somebody that could help, but who took a very long time).

  10. 22q says:

    I switched to AT&T; DSL in January and love the service for the price. The customer service is another story. It has always been nonexistent or absolutely horrible, never worth the time spent on hold. I have even met a DSL call center supervisor outside of actually seeking customer service, who confirmed that their customer support issues are widespread and that AT&T; didn't seem to be doing anything to fix any of the issues. If I wasn't so happy with my DSL service for the price, I would definitely shop around for something else!!

  11. wgg says:

    Wow, I guess I am the lucky one out there. I was on the line with AT&T; customer service about an issue with DSL service. As an aside, I asked the rep about combining the 3 different bills our family gets. After a brief discussion, she essentially told me not to even try! At least she was honest about it.