Archive for November 7th, 2008

AT&T – It’s Not To Be

General Interest, Networking, Rants, Vendors November 7th, 2008

Well, my AT&T experience has been less than stellar.  I’ve been talking recently on the podcast about my troubles with Time Warner’s RoadRunner service (including having my service drop out several times during the past few shows).  I was looking forward to having AT&T’s U-Verse installed at my home after a sales person had come to my door over the summer to advise me that the service was available in my neighborhood.

Fast forward to October 10th,  I had a sales rep from AT&T in my home discussing the services I was going to purchase.  I was very eager to get them installed and was somewhat dismayed to find that their installation schedule was already about a month out.  I scheduled an installation for today (Friday, November 7th).

This morning, before the technician came to my house, he called me and advised me that I probably would not be able to get service.  While they installed new fiber to the nearby Central Office, the copper lines coming to my block were old and had not yet been upgraded.  They did not think that the existing copper would work for this service.  He advised me that they had previous issues installing on my block and that this has been a known issue (reported several times in the past).  The tech also told me that this segment was not scheduled to be repaired until next year.

So, I’m stuck with Time Warner, until I can find a cost effective replacement (maybe TDS?).

I think the service provided by AT&T was abysmal.  I would have appreciated some notification that there was a potential problem and that service was likely not going to be able to be delivered anytime before today.

I called my sales rep (who is a friend of a friend) and advised him that my service was not going to be installed and that I was going to call and make some noise about this.  I tried to explain that I was not upset with him, as he did not have the information to relay to me, but that I was frustrated and upset about the process and inconvenience.  I also advised him that I would be recording my experiences for the blog and podcast.  I was stunned by his reaction to my experience.  He was more concerned about negative publicity than with the loss of a customer.  He stated that I should not report negatively about my experience, since all I lost was my time. I was stunned and I reacted badly.

Ed, I’m sorry I raised my voice on the phone, that was unprofessional of me. (I really wanted to put a "but, …" in there; however, I was wrong on raising the level of my voice.)  I do not retract any of my statements, but I should not have raised my voice.

People who know me know that it takes a lot to get me upset, but AT&T, in the person of their sales rep, had just discounted the most valuable thing I have, time.  Each person only has so much time in their lives and respecting other peoples’ time is very important to me. 

Time is a limiting factor in our lives and impacts everything we do.  We are paid for our time at work.  We spend time with our loved ones, doing activities we enjoy.  We donate time to causes we believe in.  

In all those statements, time is currency and we have a finite, unknown quantity of it to use.  I get upset when people squander that resource, and enraged when people dismiss its value.

I’m not perfect, but I try my best to respect other people’s time.  I wish other people and companies would as well.  AT&T sure does not.