Sunday, September 18, 2011

Ma Bell...wherefore art thou?

We're moving. The moving van will be here on Tuesday morning and our lives are defined by boxes right now. So it was time to make the decision to have a land line or not. We had said we were going to be courageous and cut the analog tether and go wireless. the last minute we decided to...what the heck...keep AT&T. I went to the internets to find out how to change our service location. Well, AT&T has to have one of the worst websites around if you're interested in doing business. Slow and never a clue as how to find something. I may be 71 years old but I've been a programmer and I've helped to design web I know whereof I speak. After a few frustrating attempts and getting nowhere, we decided to go to the AT&T store and do our business there. Wrong!
After sitting down with the store manager and telling him what we wanted, a number change and perhaps some internet service if the price was right, we began our misadventure. First, AT&T stores are owned by someone other than AT&T. Who would have guessed? But we were assured that there would be no problem. We looked at the internet prices and decided we would bundle that service with our telephone service. Great! The manager then tried to change our service. Now we had a problem. An error code would show up whenever he tried to do it on his computer. He called their support people and they got the same error. All of this time the clock was ticking away. Finally, after about 45 minutes he decided to call the 'Mother ship'...AT&T itself.
Now that we were talking to an official representative and that meant that I had to talk to them. The service was in my name and no one would do. This was a mistake. I was loaded to the gills with Norco and Percocet. (I was having a BAD pain day) I was asked for my Social Security number. Oh, no! A trick question! After some silence and a lot of mental gyrations, I came up with the right number and we then proceeded at at full speed. I mean 'full speed' as she was obviously under the age of 50 and spoke at 70 mph while I could only listen at 55 mph. It's an age thing but it makes you feel stupid...Anyway, after assigning me a number and promising to email the number to me, she mentioned internet and I said that we already had that under control at the store. Oh, oh! She said that couldn't be and asked to talk to the manager. A cat and dog fight ensued. The manager asked her what number had she given me (I had missed 3 of the numbers during her rapid fire delivery) She wouldn't give it to him. He asked to talk to her manager. Now it was a polite dog fight where both parties agreed to work it out and call later. One call was supposed to be for me. We left after 90 minutes in the AT&T store. The phone call? Never happened. The email with my number? It never happened either.
The next day I decided to try the website again and was somewhat successful. I changed the service and then was asked if I wanted to keep our old number? Sure! So I checked the appropriate box and was rewarded with a confirmation that all was well...until I received an email about ten minutes later confirming our transaction and giving us an entirely different phone number. Which is which? I'm not worried . I'm sure they will come up with a third one...the one I almost had at the AT&T store.

Three reasons why I will never own an iPhone. A, T and T.


  1. This is simply awful! And...I'm sorry, Steven...I had trouble deciding whether to laugh or cry. I must say, you do write well under the influence, even if you can't listen very fast.

  2. Thanks, Nance

    Laughing would be appropriate...what else can you do?

  3. I thank you for saying I write well under the influence. I am usually under the that would be appropriate.
    You may have noticed that I left out some words here and there. Minor words to be sure but I never seem to spot them till after publication. It's another age thing. My mind works faster than my fingers...or my fingers are slower than my mind. Probably the latter.

  4. Me, too, buddy. That's why I reserve the right to continue to edit every post I publish...MONTHS afterward, if necessary.

    What does it mean if I failed to notice the missing words?

  5. Kitty9:17 AM

    I, too, missed the missing words. But I did laugh out loud at the descriptions of the speed of hearing and processing vs. the speed of speech by those 40 and under. I deal with it daily. And the drama at the store....what a hoot! Of course I wasn't there

  6. Did I mention that, sure enough, we got telephone number #1 for our use. Of course, since we had never finished the transaction, the options I wanted were missing...which required a call to AT&T to correct. Oh no! Okay, that worked without too much pain and we're now working on the DSL line...which doesn't seem to be that much faster than the wireless I had in Orland?