The perfect customer service experience…

So, I use my phone to connect to the internet. It’s a Cingular 8125, and aside from billing problems and customer service problems, the service is significantly more ups than downs. But make no bones about it, the service is the only thing with ups. Every interaction with the company itself is like performing cunnilingus on a horse. You don’t want to be doing it in the first place, it tastes bad, and the likelihood of horseshit to come raining from above is nearly certain the longer you keep it up.

This morning was a perfect example of the sort of idiotic prattle you end up dealing with.

ATT : “Thank you for calling AT&T Wireless the new blah blah blah I’m blah blah blah blah blah, for security can I verify the phone number we’ll be helping you with today?”

Me : (despite having just punched this in during the phone tree) “503-555-1212”

ATT : “And I’m speaking with?”

Me: “Aaron Walker”

ATT: “And can I verify the last four digits of your social security number, Aaron?”

Me : “5555”

ATT : “Alrighty, and how can I help you today?”

Me : “Why can’t I get onto the internet on my phone?”

ATT : “Uhhhhhh…. Let’s Uh. Uhm. Hold on and I’ll check on the… You are… Uhm”

Me : “It’s the 8125, 555-1212. Has the PDA package, unlimited data. Why doesn’t it work?”

ATT : “I see here on your account that you do have the PDA package and unlimited data and uh… You are at home?”

Me : “I’m at work.”

ATT : “But you are at… home in uh… Portland?”

Me : “Yes.”

ATT : “When was the last time you were able to connect?”

Me : “Yesterday. I can connect this morning, but I don’t get any throughput, everything just times out.”

ATT: “Yes, you’re how far from your home?”

Me : “Four miles. I’m getting four bars of signal, but an X for the connectivity. Let me restart the phone.”

ATT : “There is a tower down in that area since, uh, yesterday, and uh… there are some issues there, you should be OK, I mean, uh… there isn’t anything that we can really do there… There should be other towers there that, uh, help, but… the thing is… uh… you… how often do you turn off our phone?”

Me : “Couple times a week.”

ATT : “Good, keep that up.”

Me : “Uh-huh… so, now it’s back up and it says I can connect, but same thing, no throughput.”

ATT : “Yes, uh, there is an outage in your area and there isn’t anything we can do at this time you should probably restart your phone like every couple hours and check just to see if you can connect to the other thing and, uh. you… maybe like every two hours, or then try until tomorrow and uh. You could try like, every hour, Restart your phone every hour and then, uh. Check that for a couple days and, uh… the problem should be fixed by then. And you should be able to. Uh. Be OK then, just like, check the phone every hour until say a few days from now and if it’s still not working then you could call back and we’ll check other things. In fact, I’ll put notes here in your account about what we’ve done today to uh document the issue and we should… Does that… is there anything else I can help you with today?”

Me : “No.”

ATT : “Yeah, you should just keep checking to see if it’s fixed and thank you for calling AT&T Wireless there is…”

This is when I hung up, because there’s nothing else I wanted to hear. I tried my best to capture the essence of the conversation, but that last blab from him literally lasted five or six minutes, where he determined and re-determined the proper frequency that I should be turning my phone off and on for the next couple days to see if they’ve fixed things.

I wouldn’t have been too pissed off had the conversation gone like this.

Me : “Why can’t I get on the internet on my phone?”

ATT : “When were you last able to connect?”

Me : “Yesterday”

ATT : “Let me check to see if there are outages in your area, are you in Portland?”

Me : “Yes”

ATT : “Yes, there’s an outage in your area, it looks like the problem started yesterday, and they are working on it now, unfortunately, I don’t have an ETA for when it’ll be fixed. This sort of thing usually takes a couple days. Your account looks like it’s set up fine, and if you were able to connect yesterday, your phone is probably set up correctly.”

Me : “OK.”

ATT : “Can I answer any other questions for you today?”

Me : “Nope. Bye.”

ATT : “Thank you for calling AT&T, home of the worlds longest greeting and parting scripts, if your service doesn’t come back in a reasonable amount of time, please call back and we’ll check to see the status of that outage.”

But no, a simple call is too much for Cingular, the new AT&T Wireless to handle. Making me suffer through your insecurities about how often I should check to see if it’s working or not? Fucking annoying.

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