AT&T Shows the Way (NOT!) – Adventures in Customer Service

Gear Diary is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Click here to learn More.

AT&T Shows the Way (NOT!) - Adventures in Customer Service Listen to this article


I began this post as an opinion post but have decided to instead simply share my conversation with a representative from AT&T Mobile.

By way of I production let me share a bit of background. My house gets next to no connectivity with AT&T. My wife’s Blackberry is a bit better than my iPhone but both leave much to be desired. At times the connectivity is passable but at other times it is non-existent. We have stayed with AT&T for a host of reasons, not the least of which has been the iPhone for the past few years. With the iPhone on Verizon, and my growing interest in both Android and Windows Phone 7 I thought it was time to look into options. I called AT&T the other day and was told that canceling my phone would cost me $120. I was also told that someone would follow-up with me since I am “a valued customer and we don’t want to lose you.”

No one followed up. Surprise surprise. So this morning I called.

“Hi Mr. Cohen, I’m — and I want to give you excellent service”

“Great. I called the other day because I am thinking about leaving your service and was told someone would follow-up. No one called so I figured I would call one final time before I made my decision.”

“I’m very sorry about that.”

I explain the issue with reception.

“Mr Cohen let me look into something…” a few minutes later “The best solution for you would be one of our microcells but it is not available in your area. But the micro cell would take your Internet signal and…” (She continues for a while telling me how great the device is and how it would fix everything.)

“Excuse me, you are telling me it is not an option for me.”

“That’s right.”

“But it is not available to me so why are you telling me how it would be perfect for my situation?”

“Well it would be great…”

“Yeah but it is not an option you are offering me. So enough about it since I can’t get it. I guess I’ll just have to…”

“Mr Cohen, let me speak to one of our engineers.”

I’m on hold for a while.

“Mr. Cohen our engineers suggested that you might have better luck with your signal if you switch the phone to EDGE instead of 3G.”

“Really? Can I assume that I would see a reduction in my bill commensurate with only being able to use the slower data?”

“No I’m simply suggesting that by turning your iPhone to EDGE you might find better reception. That way you can stay with us.”

“Are you actually saying that with a straight face? You ‘solution’ to my reception issue is going down to EDGE speeds and continuing to pay the same rate? seriously?”

“Well it is a solution…”

Seriously??? Seriously???

As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. Thanks for your support!

About the Author

Dan Cohen
Having a father who was heavily involved in early laser and fiber-optical research, Dan grew up surrounded by technology and gadgets. Dan’s father brought home one of the very first video games when he was young and Dan remembers seeing a “pre-release” touchtone phone. (When he asked his father what the “#” and “*” buttons were his dad said, “Some day, far in the future, we’ll have some use for them.”) Technology seemed to be in Dan’s blood but at some point he took a different path and ended up in the clergy. His passion for technology and gadgets never left him. Dan is married to Raina Goldberg who is also an avid user of Apple products. They live in New Jersey with their golden doodle Nava.