at&t royally screwed me over and i’m fighting back

I need a way to make this entire post red – red background, dark red font, red balls of fire shooting out of every screen that opens the post…huge red exclamation points and arrows and daggers surrounding the entire border of the post and the title and yet…

that STILL will not even come CLOSE to the LEVEL OF FRUSTRATION I have with AT&T RIGHT NOW.

So, WordPress, if you’re reading: On your next update you need to add a big, red button that says “EMERGENCY” and will immediately put your post title in BOLD RED FONTand surround it with towering flames so all of blogging world will know: SHE IS PISSED.

Because I need that.

Right now.

You know it is bad when you write an email at 7:00pm Monday night and receive a response by 9:00am Tuesday morning from the Executive Response Team, stating they received your email and were there to (attempt) to help.

The best way to describe my situation is to post the letter I wrote last night to AT&T’s CEO (yes – I really was mad enough to do that)…because whittling down OVER FOUR HOURS of pointless phone conversations with AT&T didn’t do me any good so I know if wont’ help you, either.  Oh – You say you need to reach someone at AT&T?  I can bet I’ve got the direct phone number. No more phone trees for me. I’m done with those.  They get you NO WHERE but to another person who you have to explain the issue to YET AGAIN.

To make things OH SO MUCH HAPPIER in my world – the saga CONTINUED THROUGH TODAY- and STILL no permanent resolution.  It has gone from bad to worse to catastrophic.

Here is the email:

Mr. Stephenson,

I am sure you are bombarded with emails on a daily basis and I apologize to have to add yet another message to your inbox.  However, due to the lack of service received during a recent order for two iphones and a brand new service contract with AT&T, I felt I had no choice but to go directly to the top.

The company I work for, Career Education Corporation, currently offers all employees discounts for services provided by AT&T.  Partly due to this service provided by my company and partly due to our love of Apple, my husband and I have been planning to order iphones for quite some time and finally decided to do so this summer.  However, we encountered repeated problems trying to place an online order on the AT&T Premier website, so we instead had to call AT&T Premier Customer Service.  The Customer Service Representative had to input our order manually as we gave all of our billing and contact information over the phone.  We requested to have our current cell phone numbers ported over to AT&T.  The Customer Service Representative confirmed all of our information, verbally gave us an order confirmation number and promised an email confirmation of our order.

This is where the issue began.

We never received an email confirming our order.  Over the weekend we attempted to call the Premier Customer Service number to check the status of our order and upon inputting the confirmation number, it was not found.  We tried to navigate through the phone tree to speak with an actual person and instead received a message stating they were having technical problems and were promptly disconnected.

Today we received a phone call from AT&T regarding our order and were asked to call back immediately to confirm a few pieces of information.  We did so around 12:30pm this afternoon and found that when our current cell phone numbers were input into the AT&T ordering system, the last four digits of one phone number (mine) was typed incorrectly by the Customer Service Representative that took our information on Friday.

This typo resulted in over four hours of going back and forth through various departments to try to resolve the issue.  Each and every department and department manager claimed they had absolutely no way of fixing the typo in the order to ensure both phones were delivered at the same time.  Instead, one phone whose phone number was typed correctly, would ship out on time while the other would be put on back order, since the only solution we were given was to cancel the order with the incorrect phone number and then add a brand new order, which would result in split shipping of the phones that we originally ordered together.

We asked if it was possible to cancel the option of porting the phone number with the typo and instead assign a new phone number to allow both phones to ship together.

The answer was no.  Once an order goes in, nothing can be changed and there is no possibility to attach the iphone previously reserved for our original order to a new order (since editing the original order was out of the question).

The cell phone plan we are currently using is a shared, family plan.  I am not sure how AT&T handles these types of plans, as we have NEVER been AT&T customers before, but with our company, once one phone number is ported over, our plan will be cancelled.  We were also told by numerous people we spoke with throughout the afternoon that, upon receipt of our iphone, we only have thirty days to port our current phone number to the iphone.  At the same time, we not given any guarantee that the second iphone would be shipped within that 30-day window, which would then result in further issues and explanations to AT&T as to why we were not able to port the number in a timely manner.

I understand that the new iphone will be hard to come by in the next few months and that there are processes and procedures in place to attempt to keep things as fair and even as possible.  However, the order we placed was input incorrectly by an employee of AT&T and as such has resulted in a much larger issue.  Save for one person we spoke with, not one person at a managerial level wanted to take responsibility for the error nor did they believe their department handled “that type” of situation.  So, instead of receiving our iphones as expected and as promised by the first Customer Service Representative we spoke with when placing our order around June 19th, we will instead be waiting for an indeterminate amount of time.

We were genuinely looking forward to trying out a new cell phone service, as we have been with the same provider for many, many years.  However, this experience has already tarnished our perception of the service we will receive from AT&T.  Do I want this rectified and do I want to receive our iphones on time as promised?  Absolutely.  Do I hold high hopes that someone within the organization can make it happen?  After my experience today, absolutely not.

Again, I am sorry to have to take away from your time better spent in other arenas but felt that this was an issue that should not go unnoticed, as small things like these tend to have a ripple effect.

When the person from the Executive Response Team called me this morning I had already been off and on the phone with AT&T for about an hour and I told them, “I should waited on the email.  It has only gotten worse.”

What could make the situation worse?

1. They finalized the porting of my cell phone number – which DISCONNECTED the number from our current provider and there was NO WAY to reverse it.  No one I spoke with – INCLUDING the ERT member – could figure out “why someone would do that.”  Tim’s was fine.  No one touched THAT one.  Just mine.

2. BOTH the original order Tim and I placed AND the second order – edited to allow our iPhones to ship together – though LATER THAN THE FIRST SHIPMENT OF PREORDERED iPHONES THAT WE WERE SCHEDULED FOR INITIALLY were CANCELLED.  So now, we have NO ORDER AT ALL with AT&T.

#2 is still “being researched” to see what they can do for us because no one can figure out why our SECOND order – INPUT BY AT&T – happened either.

#1’s “soultion” was to overnight me a loaner phone (NOT an iPhone) until the iPhone is shipped to us.  I’ve already sent correspondence asking what kind of “strings” are attached to this phone – as we are still having to pay for service on our OTHER provider because Tim’s phone is still in service with them and he doesn’t HAVE a phone with AT&T because the phones we were planning on getting with AT&T’s service ARE NOT AVAILABLE.

And don’t worry – I’ll be posting an update after tomorrow. 

At that point I might need more than just red flames.


9 Responses to “at&t royally screwed me over and i’m fighting back”

  1. 1 Shannon June 16, 2009 at 8:03 pm

    Kick some AT&T ass!

  2. 2 spookwright June 16, 2009 at 11:42 pm

    Foly Huck! I have to say, I dumped AT&T little more than a year ago though for totally different, technical reasons. It seems their coverage map is “merely a projection of estimated coverages that may actually differ on-location.” When searching new phone plans, one that actually covered all the places I live & work, I dealt with Sprint, whom, well, I genuinely respect even though I settled for Verizon. Sprint told me upfront, “To be safe, our service probably won’t cover you here, here and here.” I was like, wow, I have to buy something from you, so I did get a wireless internet card from them. It must be “Customer Service Week” on our blogs!

  3. 3 Sarah@callmemama June 17, 2009 at 7:39 am

    Thanks for the comment on my post :).

    And WOW, I can’t believe how much AT&T screwed up! Years ago, we had some serious problems with Verizon’s cellular customer service, but nothing this extreme. Good for you for writing a letter to the top dude and getting it handled. Kick some AT&T ass 🙂

  4. 4 lifestartsnow June 17, 2009 at 2:05 pm

    stay strong, keep on complaining! i would be just as furious as you are


  5. 5 Phoebe June 28, 2009 at 9:35 pm

    I ordered an iPhone too and I also asked for confirmation emails. I asked three different AT&T representatives from two different departments to email me confirming my order and that I would get my activation fee waived, they said sure. I asked them when I would receive it, they said as soon as I got off the phone. I never received any emails and I confirmed they had the correct email address!

    Not only that they charged my card twice and told me it would work itself out. I couldn’t get anyone at AT&T to confirm the second charge was voided, rather they all said wait until it posted (they appeared as pending on my account). Now I’m not so sure I want an iPhone with AT&T, and I was giving them the benefit of the doubt until I read this post… lol

    • 6 Jessica June 29, 2009 at 4:58 am

      Don’t expect it to improve…we’re STILL not clear of the mess… but the iPhones are pretty awesome. AT&T still sucks…and I don’t see that changing any time soon…good luck with your battle…it’s not fun slugging it out over the phone with someone who either has no idea what they’re talking about or “no authority” to fix it.

  6. 7 Alex James July 17, 2009 at 3:24 pm

    It never ends with cell phone providers. Ever. I had never owned a cell phone (ever!) until September of last year when I signed up with one of Canada’s two major providers, Rogers Telecommunications. Ordered the phone weeks in advance of my move, had it forwarded to my new address, the whole nine. The day my phone was supposed to show up I waited outside for EIGHT HOURS because the buzzer in my building wasn’t working. No Rogers guy, no phone. I had to borrow my neighbour’s phone to sit on hold for another two hours with Rogers “Customer Service” before I was informed the gentleman who was supposed to deliver my phone had, apparently shown up at my APARTMENT DOOR (somehow bypassing the locked main door without the benefit of a buzzer) and had logged in that nobody was home. When did he do this? Noon (approximately four hours into my eight-hour wait).


    I wound up having to go get my phone myself from a local store. Same thing happened with the internet (but that’s a whole other story). Bottom line? They fuck with you because they can. Fact.

  1. 1 the at&t “resolution” « booshy Trackback on June 18, 2009 at 8:08 pm
  2. 2 the chairman « booshy Trackback on August 14, 2009 at 2:44 pm

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