Tuesday, August 29, 2006


Ever since the two companies combined their resources I've been having some really bad gas attacks. First they started increasing the cost of my long distance plans, then they decided they needed a little more profit in the pocket and increased the cost of basic phone services. Over the past year these services have increased approximately 33% when you also include all those danged taxes they also tack on.
I decided the second phone line (which was once upon a time, a bargain) had to go and while I was at it, I decided the long distance service had to go too, at least until I get around to finding a service that doesn't give me a royal screwing. So yesterday I placed a call to AT&T/SBC customer service in order to place the change order.

Should have been simple.
But it wasn't.

TWO hours and 15 minutes is all it took, TWO hours and 15 minutes of trying to make a yankee voice recognition understand my southern twang, then holding for a human who I'd relay my wishful intents to, who'd then transfer me to another human who I'd have to hold for and who had to know all the same details I'd given to the first human, then holding again for 1 HOUR for the ONE who, I was told, could get needed task completed, then hanging up because 1 HOUR was too long to wait and I needed to pee, then calling back and wrestling with the VOICE again that put me on hold again in order to wait for another human,,,Folks, I was aggravated and aggitated beyond what a normal person can tolerate by then.

Finally, a human voice broke in on the music and I told her when she said, "this conversation may be taped,,," (for whatever reason, I forget), "I sure hope so because I want it to go on record that I've been on this danged phone holding for you people for over an hour and a half so far and I'm mighty cranky right now and I need to pee again already."

She took my change order and THEN said, "But we can give you a $20 discount for the second line if you'll keep it."

HUH?, I said to self, I've been a customer for 30 years and I have to decide to take the line out in order to be offered a discount to keep it? "No thank you Lady, even the discount wouldn't make up for the cost increases or the aggravation I'm going through in order to get this done so please just remove the long distance plans and disconnect the second line."

"Ok, I've removed your long distance plans and now I'll transfer you to the department for disconnecting your second line." WTH???????

Man, was I ever disturbed by then and ready to resort to 2 tin cans and a long roll of string. The last fella I talked to, after another 10 minutes on hold, finally completed the change order.

The 2nd line was supposed to have been disconnected at 6pm today but was disconnected instead, at 6am. The service guy was supposed to be here between 8am and 5pm today and arrived at 4:45 pm.

And I'm about to get over my crankiness,,,almost. BUT I'M SENDING OUT HATE VIBES TO AT&T and whosoever has stock in that crazy company!

Now I'm waiting for this giant headache to go away before I attempt to find a new long distance service, maybe.


Sally said...

OUCH, no wonder you have a headache. I hate that CRAP we have to go through, and being put on hole. Next time, take your portable to the bathroom!!

Sally said...

on HOLE - yikes, I'm nuts.

mreddie said...

My company that I retired from is BellSouth and they are being bought out by AT&T/SBC and I don't think it is going to be a good thing at all. Your post is the reason why, they try to do more with fewer people. ec

Anonymous said...

Don't sign with any long distance service! Use TeleComUSA. I do and it's cheap. You don't have to sign up anything---next time you want to call long distance, just dial 1010987 and then 1 and area code and the number. It's 59 cents for connecting plus 4 cents a minute for time used! At the end of the month you will receive a bill from them. You can talk for an hour for under 3 bucks!
Good luck!
P.S.---I don't have a blog but I pass through the blogs now and then. So hello from Oregon!
"T" woman.

Cal said...

That aggravation sounds familiar. Usually over here you also have to deal with talking to someone thousands of miles away who has a very limited grasp of english.

Cindra said...

all the big corporations are that bad. I spent 10 hours trying to renew a firewall/virus protection with Norton. I talked to people in India who couldn't even say the alphabet correctly and they hung up on me. I couldn't get a supervisor when I asked... they gave me a dial tone. I know the feeling and I voted with my feet, too. I walked and went elsewhere and wrote a scathing report and told everyone I know. You go girl... spread the word... it's the only defense we have.

jazzi said...

These landline telephone companies had better get their butts in gear, because if they're not careful, they will be done away with. Several people I know have decided to axe the landline and just keep the cell phone.

Andie Pandie said...

We have cable phone and it's a dream. I know that isn't an option for you since you live in the country. But if you do have a cell phone I would use that for long distance. Unless your plan stinks then I'll have to come up with another idea. LOL

Mary Lou said...

I have been thinking of dropping my long distance too! I have a 30 minutes for 10.00 plan per month. ANd now Tim can call collect!!

TRISH said...

Now, I have had SBC/AT&T for a few years now, and although the wait time can be significant sometimes, I have always been very happy with my service. I had to trim some from my budget and they worked with me to find what services were best. Anytime I have a charge to dispute, instead of having to haggle over it, they always give me the credit I am due. Sorry you had a bad experience but there ARE some good customer services reps out there!

Tammy said...

this is why so many people are going over to cell phones "only"!
we got lucky...one redeeming thing about Ohio is they have the three/fer/on deal on the phone/cable and high speed internet...I get all three for $100 a month...wanna move here and keep me company??
We gals could keep these Ohioans in line I'm sure!!

Brenda said...

My distaste for AT&T goes way back so imagine my displeasure to learn they were combining forces with SBC. If I didn't need at least one land line phone for the internet I'd drop it all and just use my cell, with Altell, for everything.
I sure wish I could get dsl out here in the country without having to purchase 600 bucks worth of satellite equipment!

David said...

Their service does stink but that is today's business world - customer support does not exist. We have AT&T as well - one monthly payment of $40 and all the calls we want to make in the US including long distance.

cassie-b said...

I hate phones -
Don gets our long distance service from a card that he bought at and has renewed at Sam's Club for years. I think the cost is 2.9 cents a minute for long distance.

AND - they call you at dinner time and won't take No for an answer. Last night they took a hang up from me.

Brent said...

*Long Distance Hug*

And it's free!!!

Special K said...

It sucks that you don't get cable. I pay $55/month for cable phone, and get unlimited long-distance calling in Canada and U.S. (anytime!) and another 1000 minutes/month internationally. Not that I call anyone outside Canada or Murrica, but it's nice to know I can one day get drunk and call someone at random in, say, Latvia, if I wants ta and not wind up with a nightmarish bill.

A girl's gotta plan ahead.

MissKris said...

Worse than trying to get South/North to work their way thru regional accents is dealing with a customer service rep from India or China or wherever on earth most companies are having our calls sent to!! ARGGGHHHHHHH!!!! I had a Microsoft issue with my computer a while back and was ready to commit hari-kari by the time I got it all squared away with someone who lived in Asia somewhere. Good grief...what on earth is this country coming to, any way? Businesses don't appreciate our BUSINESS...they want money, money, and more money for ever-worsening service and I think we Americans oughta go on STRIKE!!!! Here's a (((HUG)))), my friend...I think we've all been there, done that. NOT fun.

PEA said...

I hate having to deal with the phone companies...once you can finally get to talk to someone "live"!! I don't care for my long distance plan I have right now and i've been meaning to change it to this other company but I keep putting it off cuz I know the run around I'll get!!

Kathleen Marie said...

I am so sorry for all you have been through. How horribly frustrating and I know what you mean about people on the phone not being able to understand. It seems so many phone workers are from different countries as well and don't speak English very well at all. I do hope you find a bargain.

Leslie said...

As soon as I hear a recording when I'm calling for service, my blood pressure inches up a notch or four. This entry describes why beautifully.

Seriously, it would be less of a headache to get in the truck and drive to whomever you want to call.

What a nightmare.

Attila The Mom said...

Aww man, I feel for you! I hate hate hate when that happens!

BTW I adore the new look of your blog!! Gorgeous!

Andy Land said...

Good lord that sucks. Sadly, it is more the norm than the exception these days.

Anonymous said...

Hey Sis,
What do you need long distance for? You have a cell phone, use that. Hey, that is what I got mine for. I don't like the hold thing and when your land line is down around here, just for local calls it takes hours on hold to some place in who knows were to get service in the area. Then it may take them forever to get out to you. You can't call a local service, you have to call somewheresville and they relay the service call. Automation has screwed the world. I don't want to step on any toes and I like the internet as well as anyone else for convience, but we are too dependent on technology and one day we will really be screwed.

Love you and miss you....