Posts for Tag: customer service

AT&T's customer service is a joke @attcustomercare @ATTNicole @ATTJason

I am an AT&T customer. I have been for many years. I have my family on AT&T Wireless, I have an AT&T landline at home, and my office has AT&T local/long distance plus DSL. All in all, I'm directly responsible for over $500 a month of revenue to AT&T. But after my experience today, I am actively looking for alternatives for every single service I have with them. Let me explain...

I was supposed to have AT&T's UVerse DSL installed at our new offices today. The ordeal to get this in was excruciating. I called almost 2 weeks ahead of time to set everything up and was assured everything would be ready before our move date. AT&T Customer Service told me that someone from the UVerse group would call me with the appointment date/time for installation. A few days go by and no contact. As I am busy with the move, I didn't realize this until we were a week away. I called customer service and was put through hold hell for about half an hour. Then when I reached someone they told me I missed the appointed time last week. Huh? I had no idea when the appointment was because nobody called me! No problem, mistakes happen. I asked them to please have someone out by Friday to get the install in before the employees show up on Monday. They said they'd make it happen. The technician shows up at the appointed time but they activated the UVerse DSL on someone else's phone number, not the ones in my suite. I have to call Customer Service back and beg them to switch it to the proper number. Their response? It may take up to three business days to occur. Basically, my employees are going to be unable to do their jobs from Monday to sometime Wednesday. AT&T Customer Service will cost me 3 days of productivity. 3 days of lost time is an eternity to a small business.

I've included AT&T's Twitter reps in the hopes that they see this. This is your opportunity to step up and be heroes. Excellent customer service is not the absence of complaints but how you handle and solve them. I had an issue with our Ooma phones at the old office and was instantly met with one of the best customer service responses I've ever had. Trust me, if the new offices could accommodate data services faster than AT&T's pathetic DSL, I would have gone that route and dropped my AT&T local/long distance lines. Unfortunately, AT&T has a near monopoly on telecom services in our building and they are using it to bludgeon everyone with horrible products and even worse customer service.

Ooma Hub Installed! A story of redemptive Customer Service...

We were trying to figure out our office phone solution and wanted to get the most cost effective system. Traditional service from AT&T and VOIP providers like Vonage and Comcast seemed pretty cost prohibitive for business lines (about $35-$50 a month per line). I read about Ooma a while back and didn't really think much of them. At the time, it seemed like a case of too good to be true. Slowly, a few folks I knew started buying Ooma's and were getting great results. We figured it was a good solution to pay $200 or so once versus up to $600 every year for phone service.

We decided to dip our foot in the pool by getting a used Ooma Hub (versus a new Telo, the latest model). We found a great deal on eBay for under $200 and once the device arrived, we figured it was going to be a pretty easy setup. Alas, no. Since the Hub was previously owned, it was still registered to the previous owner and would not allow us to activate it. After a frustrating hour plus call with Ooma Customer Service, I still wasn't able to activate the phone and had to be escalated to Tier 2 for further assistance. I promptly wrote a harsh email to Ooma's PR department stating my disgust with their Customer Service.

What happened next is a classic story of how a company's image can be turned completely around after a horrible customer experience. Ooma's VP of Corporate Marketing responded very quickly and connected me directly to the head of the Customer Service group, Roy. I received a call from him the next day and he made no excuses to the poor service I had gotten and assured me he would personally handle my issue. Lo and behold, a couple of hours later I was able to activate my Ooma and Roy even followed up after he saw my activation to make sure everything was working properly. My opinion of Ooma as a company is probably higher now than it was before I bought the machine. We will probably setup all our employees with Ooma Telo's and will most likely get one for my home. With great people like Roy and Tami on the team coupled with a great product, I will have no reservations promoting their service to others.

Whiners of the world unite! AT&T sucks...

Let’s all do what we can to ensure that happens — to ensure Apple gets the message. Every time there is one of these ridiculous AT&T failures, tweet about it, blog about it, write Apple about it, or scream about it. Do whatever you can, but don’t just sit there and take it any more.

Just read this great article by MG Siegler over at TechCrunch. Basically, it's about how AT&T service stinks with the iPhone. By itself, this is not big news. Their service has stunk since the day I bought my first iPhone on launch day 2 years ago. What's great about the article is the above quote that rallies all iPhone owners to rage against the machine. If folks like Jesus Diaz had their way, we'd all just lie back and take it.

A lesson in customer service

I used to work in retail and have always been amazed at the thin line between a great customer service experience and a horrible one. As retail employees, you can never control what issues customers will come to you with but you can always control how you handle those issues. It's in your actions after a problem has manifested that will usually dictate what experience the customer walks away with.
Case in point, I needed a new USB hub right away and ordered one from and chose to pick up the item at the local store in Emeryville. A few minutes after ordering, I get the "Your item is ready for pick up!" email notification. Smooth sailing so far. A couple of hours later, I swing by the store on my way home and walk up to the pick up counter. I'm immediately greeted by the person behind the counter who takes my information, checks my ID, and then proceeds to look for my item in the pick up pile behind her. I'm getting a good feeling. After a few minutes of looking, the sales person gets a nervous look on her face as she continues to search through the pile. After a few more minutes she comes back and tells me she can't find my item but will just go grab it off the shelf. Kind of defeats the purpose of online ordering for pick up, but oh well, no big deal. After about 5 minutes she comes back and says they can't find any on the shelves and that she'll need to call the sales person in charge of those items to grab one for her in the back. Getting a little annoyed but what can I do? After another 10 minutes, I'm starting to get pissed. What should have been a 5 minute pick up has become nearly half an hour. When the sales person finally comes back, she says they can't find the item. When I ask what my alternatives are, she says I can always check back tomorrow or she can refund my purchase. After asking whether they can ship me the product (no) or call me when it is available (no), I'm ready to erupt. It's at this point that a passing manager sees what's going on and jumps in. After a quick explanation by the sales person, he tells me he'll go grab me another brand and they'll substitute it for my missing one. After a few minutes, he comes back with a more expensive model (mine was $29.99, the one he brought back was $49.99) and they'll match the price from my original purchase and another 15% off for my trouble.
Just before that manager resolved the issue, I had told myself I would never buy another item from Best Buy. I was never a big Best Buy customer to begin with (you can always find lower prices online) but in one quick stroke, that manager turned around the situation. Not only did he save the sale, he actually made me want to shop there more often. I know the sales person didn't have the authority to creatively change the transaction but she could have checked with her manager for whatever options were available to soothe an upset customer. Hopefully, she'll do this in the future.