With Total Nightmare AT&T Customer Service, Who Needs Enemies?


I got a very strange call yesterday from  AT&T.  Or I should say my husband received a very strange call.  But he’s in China and Japan on business, so I handled the call.

An AT&T rep named Chris left a message to saying he needed to discuss my husband’s business line but left no details.  I called Chris back.  He said AT&T was finalizing the SBC buy-out and we needed to simply re-affirm that we wanted to remain AT&T customers.

I was skeptical.  As proof, Chris referred me to "page three" of our latest bill under "regulatory news."

Effective November 3, 2008, "notice of Discontinuance.  "Rates and charges" will be removed from the AT&T Communications of California tariffs. With this change in tariffs, terms and conditions for discontinuance of services prior to the expeiration of the contract for any service, including the applicability of an early termination fee, will be governed by the contract for that service and not the tariff.

I couldn’t see how this applied to re-affirming our account.  Chris assured me it was a formality, but - oh, by the way - our bill would be reduced since AT&T would no longer be saddled w/ "billions in costs for double billing."  The flat fee would drop by about $18.

He then indicated that the reaffirmation had to be completed by "Friday."

I asked Chris to send me an email, which he immediately supplied.  He was with AT&T.  I told him I was not the account holder.  He said I was the wife, so it was okay and sent me to third party verification.

After I got off the phone, I continued to wonder about this call.  AT&T customer service is closed evenings and weekends, so I had to wait until the next morning.  After wading through a voice mail hell