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Thursday, November 07, 2002

Moving day eve

I don't even know how to start this. I guess, I'll take it from the beginning.

Not quite a year ago, we got an offer we couldn't refuse to switch our business local phone service from Ameritech to AT&T. For the money, it was and remains an excellent deal. My boss advertises in the Ameritech Yellow Pages. Back on October 14, 2002, our advertising rep (a super cool lady) was in the office to make some changes, including the new address, for the upcoming book.

My boss decided that would be a good time to make some other changes. He wanted to drop one of our phone lines, and he wanted have AT&T switch our service to the new address on November 8. Sounds simple enough. I remember that afternoon so well. As usual, I was swamped, so the advertising rep called AT&T and placed the change orders while my boss was still in the office.

Midway through the phone call, my boss decides to leave. He tells me to stop what I'm doing and do whatever needs to be done to make the phone changes. Since the ad rep did all the talking, all I had to do was wait for the change order faxes from AT&T, approve them, sign them, and fax them back. And, that's what I did. There were two faxes, one for each change, and they had to be faxed back to two different numbers. No problem.

On November 1, I decided to call AT&T to confirm that everything was on schedule. Calling AT&T is no simple task. You first dial their 800 number. Listen to a menu. Pick a number. Another menu. Another number. Enter your account number. Verify account number. Transfer. Another menu. Another number. Enter your account number again. Verify. Another menu. Another number. And, then you get to talk to a live person. The person I talked to was nice enough, but she was a little inept. She kept getting hung up (bad choice of phone words, I know) on the change order to drop a line. She said the line drop was scheduled to occur on October 30th. I reminded her that was two days ago. I told her at that point I really didn't care about dropping a line and I just wanted to make sure our service move order was all set. She told me the sequence of events would be that the line would be dropped and then the service move would occur. I told her, fine, just as long as that move happens on the 8th. A couple times during the conversation she told me that someone at AT&T was monitoring the changes for us. I asked to talk to that person, but, of course, that was not possible. I told her I wanted someone that was on top of our service move order to call me.

Today I called AT&T again to confirm everything. Dial 800 number. Listen to a menu. Pick a number. Another menu. Another number. Enter account number. Verify account number. Transfer. Another menu. Another number. Enter account number again. Verify. Another menu. Another number. Live person. After I was done giving the AT&T woman, whose name I didn't get, our account number, at her request, she hung up on me. I couldn't believe it!

Call again. Menu thing all over again. Of course, I get a different woman. Tell her my story. She then tells me that the line drop is scheduled for tomorrow, but the service move won't occur for another 15 days after that. I remained calm and nice, and told her that was unacceptable and why. Just then, my other line rang, I asked her if she could hold while I take the other call. She says, yes. After about a minute, I go back to the AT&T woman, and guess what? While I was on the other call, she hung up me.

Call again. Menu thing again. Get another person. I cut to the chase real fast this time and decided to let all other incoming calls just ring. She has a line of excuses longer than your arm, not the least of which is they can only do one change order at a time. I don't care about excuses. I just want service. When I complained that no one told us we would have to wait another 15 days, she said "I'm not surprised." To me, that is basically an AT&T employee admitting that AT&T gives bad service.

There's a lot more to this story. But I am totally wiped out and I'm afraid I'm making no sense at all. I should get to bed early so I can get to the office early tomorrow.

One good thing though, my boss took the news of not having phone service at the new place surprisingly well. I fully expected him to blame the whole fiasco on me, but he didn't. Actually, I was shocked at how well he took it because he's been on edge all week.

Posted by Marie at November 7, 2002 11:42 PM