Aggravation Unlimited

So, about 3 months ago my bride and I cut the cord: we dropped our AT&T land line and DSL hookup and went with RoadRunner and our cell phones.

That move will save us $600 for the first year alone. Not bad.

It’s not like we really need the land line, anyway: we usually call each other on the cell phones anyway, as we’re never calling from home.

So far, so good.

When we disconnected from AT&T, we had an overpayment of about $11; AT&T said they’d send a check.

They sent us a bill instead.

See, somehow, after four years of local service (no long distance — it was free from our cell phone provider), it turns out that they weren’t satisfied and added long distance to our phone bill — something we never requested or needed.

So I called them just now, as the letter seemed to indicate that they were going to send me to collection for six lousy bucks.

Why not pay it? Why should I? I never asked for the service — in fact, I explicitly declined it when offered. This is a issue of principle.

So after the third agent (all of whom spoke in a thick, incomprehensible Indian accent), they tell me that they have to call up the information from the archives (April 2007 is already archived), and this operation takes about 4 hours.

That’s one slow computer.

So before this guy can give me a confirmation number, he has to ask me a series of questions (my actual answers are in parenthesis, the questions are italicized):
Have we resolved your issue to your satisfaction?
(Uh, no… you haven’t even started)
If not, how can we resolve this issue to your satisfaction?
(Uh… erase the bill, admit that I was slammed and refund my money!)
How would you rate our service?
(Something I’d like to call Mark Dann about)
I see that you don’t have AT&T long distance service — would you like to sign up for it?
(Absolutely not.)
I see that you no longer have home phone service — would you like to sign up for it?
(No, because I just shut it off to save money. I explained that to you in the start of the phone call…)
Why not?
(We use our cell phones, thank you.)
I see… so is your cellular phone service from AT&T?
Why not?
(Because AT&T cannot provide the services we need or want at the price we want it at)
Would you like to change it over to AT&T?
Why not?
(I just told you: AT&T cannot provide the services we need or want at the price we want it at — get it? Beyond that, we have a contract with our provider that has an early termination fee)
With several new advancements in technology, we can now provide you with better cellular phone service — would you like to sign up for it now?
OK, sir, now I can see that you’re (unintelligible)… here is your confirmation number…

This is the new AT&T, folks: just like AOL, they just can’t say goodbye.

I need some Advil…


  • by Heather 27 Jul 2007 at 2:34 pm

    Sorry to hear that happened to you. We had the same thing happen to us.
    We dropped a phone line, got a refund check for $16.00 and then got a
    bill for $31.00 the next month, but we just decided to pay it instead of argue.

    Maybe I’m wrong, maybe I’m right – I just wanted to close it out and say “goodbye!”

    I hope you get things worked out ;)

  • by TimFerris 10 Aug 2007 at 8:10 pm

    Did you get VoIP with Roadrunner? When we left AT&T two years ago for Adelphia and Vonage, we wound up saving over $200 a month on two business lines and a fax line.

    Some other time, face-to-face, I’ll tell you the horror stories of the SBC DSL billing, the loss of a business number we had had since 1984, the chicanery of SBC’s adding things we didn’t want and never requested in order to delay the transfer, the way the PUCO sells us out every day, and where AT&T got the money from to bribe our state legislative patsies to pass that un-American SB 113.

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