Archive for February 6th, 2009

Man bites dog:AT&T customer service leaves me smiling

It’s sure easy to pick on customer service reps. Sometimes they make it impossible not to — listen to this audio of Verizon reps repeatedly misunderstanding a customer — and we’ve all had our moments when we wanted to reach through the phone and strangle someone.

So I think it’s note-worthy to mention that the last two times I called AT&T, I got what I considered exceptional service. For one thing, each pereson I talked to was based in the U.S., which makes sense given what AT&T is saying about bringing jobs home in a tough economy. But more importantly, each CSR immediately understood my problem and addressed it.

The first time around, I was trying to see if I trim my phone bill, on the advice of Alan Weinkrantz, who’d discovered AT&T would lower his U-verse bill significantly just because he asked them to. In my case, I was trying to cut the cost of voice service. The CSR offered me a new bundle with voice service that was $20 a month cheaper,  but with a faster Internet offering for $5 more. The tradeoff seemed worth it, she set it up and I was done.

After two weeks at the faster service, my husband noticed, however, that we weren’t actually getting anything like the 6 Megabits per second for which we were paying. I called again, got another bright CSR who apologized and offered me two options: work with a tech to see if we could get the 6 Meg service or change my bill. I opted for the lower bill.

At this point, I have to admit two small frustrations: First, I only took the faster Internet service because the first CSR told me I had to, in order to get cheaper phone service.  Second, changing my Internet service required me to be transferred to another CSR who handles Internet service connections.

But that Internet services CSR made up for my frustration by offering me a $10 bill credit, so I was a happy camper.

I realize this is not an earth-shaking story or event, but I think it is probably reflective of what many consumers experience when they call customer support.  Those consumers don’t log on to to complain or post YouTube videos or audios, or set up entire Web sites to denigrate their service providers.


February 2009
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