Shafted In Florida: How AT&T Ruined My Vacation

Currently taking a short break from the winter cold, in Florida. Usually, my parents would be down here, and we would join them; but they had to remain in Toronto due to medical treatments. So we ended up opening the house.

My mother called AT&T ahead of our trip, and asked them to have the phone and Internet ready for the day of our arrival. And they promptly ignored her request. Upon our arrival, no phone, no Internet.

Luckily we have friends nearby who are connected, so we can call from there every once in a while. I also have my cell phone; but roaming charges are killers. ($1.45/minute) But we do get free WiFi at the local clubhouse, a couple of blocks from my parents’ place. Here’s the thing: when you suddenly remember, while watching a movie at 9pm, you didn’t reply to your brother’s email of a week ago, you’re not going to run out to the clubhouse in the middle of the night.

Called Mom on the cell, to let her know we were cut off. She eventually got back to us: AT&T promised we’d be connected by Tuesday. This was Saturday.

Tuesday comes, and guess what? Still no phone. So I went to the clubhouse, topped up my Skype account, and called AT&T to ask what the problem was. First you have to wait for them to pick up the phone. They’re kind of like Yak in that way. Then you explain your situation to the person who answers. Then he passes you off to someone else. But before you can explain again, you have to wait for them to answer. Then they pass you off to someone else again. Then they ask you for Mom’s social insurance number. So you call Mom on your cell (roaming) to get her SIN. You get back to the AT&T lacky on Skype and she says they don’t have her SIN on file, so she can’t authenticate me that way. Uh, so why did you ask for it in the first place?

In any case, an hour and four inept attendants later, I was exactly no further ahead. Well, I was pretty pissed. And disheartened.

Wednesday noon is when we finally got the phone. But no Internet. They’re saying Friday now. I’m leaving Sunday. Possibly Saturday. Thanks for nothing.

Everyone I talked to about this said the same thing: AT&T are a bunch of clueless buffoons, and they couldn’t switch away fast enough. The carrier of choice for those in the know seems to be Comcast.

So welcome, AT&T, to the lengthening list of companies I hate with the red-hot intensity of a thousand suns.

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