Hey Jim. Jim! Hold a minute y’all. I gots a question for you Jim. I want to aks you, how you spell AT&T, Jim?
I-N, C-O-M, P-E-T, E-N-T. That’s how you spell AT&T, Jim.
How you spell Comcast, Jim?
Same fucking thing.
So it seems the incompetence at AT&T runs far deeper than we thought. They claim they’ve been having problems with their new order system. It’s been tossing out orders. Because we had both a phone order _and_ an INternet order, the Phone order took precedence, and the Internet order was trashed when the phone order was finally fulfilled.
So. It’s not just a front line thing. No. Even their IT department can’t get it right.
OK, so when I called this morning to confirm we were getting Internet connectivity today, I was told by Dan that he didn’t have an order for us. Really? Yep. That’s when he told me about how they’ve been having problems with their order system.
Sure. I get it. This is only your business, dude. Nothing to worry about. You know WHY it’s nothing to worry about? Because AT&T is pretty much the only game in town.
No, no, no, Alfred, you’ve got it all wrong. They’re not the only game in town. They’ve got competition in the form of Comcast.
Nuh-uh, they don’t. Comcast is just as worse, if not badder. But we’ll get to them in a min. Let’s go back to Dan the Man.
So Dan puts in an order for our Internet connection. When will it be active? Two (2) weeks from now.
Just to recap: Mom called Jan 19 to get Phone and Internet connection activated for Jan 30. We got the phone activated by Feb 3; 5 full days late. Good thing we didn’t have an emergency. And now we’re told no Interwebs until Feb 19. That’s a full three (3) weeks late.
But that’s OK. Dan tells me I can call an expedite line, and they’ll move up my activation date. But I have to call them 2 hours later. Fine. I call them 2 hours later. And they can’t do shit. Because there’s a serious backlog in our area, no orders can be expedited. The Feb 19 date stands. Never mind we called Jan 19. Never mind they lost our orders multiple times. We get no special consideration. Everyone waits two weeks.
That’s about the point where Mom has had enough, and decides it’s time to look at Comcast. And this is perhaps the worst part of this whole thing: my mother is totally stressed over this. Thank you AT&T.
So I go check out the great deals on the Comcast site. $19.95 for unlimited calls to the US and Canada. $19.95 for high speed Internet. Wow! That’s better than what M&D are paying at IncompeT&T! So I call Comcast and speak to Barbara. Yes sir, we can set you up with high speed Internet and unlimited calls to Canada and the US. That’ll be $79.95.
Whoa! Just a minute y’all. Your website said $19.95 each. Oh. You’ll have to go on the Internet for that.
OK, so I go on their website. I click on the special for high speed Internet access, and I get a list of offers. But none of them are $19.95. They start at $52.99. Can you say false advertising. It’s deceitful. It’s outright freakin’ fraud.
I go back to the Contact Us page. They have a Chat With Us Now link. I get Analyst Lester on the line. Yes sir, we can set you up with our $19.95 specials. I’m just going to hook you up with one of our sales associates. Angel comes on. Turns out there are a bunch of “good reasons” why they can’t give me the specials. First, we’re already customers (M&D get their TV from Comcast, through the community association), and these are promotions for new customers. Second, you can only get one of these promotions, not both. Do you think they announce these constraints on the website? Nope. They lie with careless abandon and impunity.
Oh, I almost forgot to tell you the juiciest bit. Remember Barbara said I had to go get the specials on the website? Now Analyst Angel says I need to call to get the deals. So they expect their clients to run in circles, like a dog chasing its tail. I spent over an hour with these clowns and came away with nothing. Well, nothing but a clearer understanding of how the American consumer is getting royally shafted. How the so-called telecom competition is nothing but a sham.
Obama promised Amuhrikans a consumer protection agency. Can’t come soon enough. They have their work cut out for them.
I’ll leave you with one last thought: There is clearly room for another player in the telecom space in America. If a new company comes in and deals fairly and competently with its clients, they would clean up. Because the incumbents *are* clowns and liars.
So it looks like we’re going to wait for AT&T to make it’s way down the slug trail and reactivate the Internet on Feb 19. Because between incompetence and mendacity, I’ll choose incompetence.