- March 19, 2008
Honestly, I never thought I’d have to write this post after leaving Comcast’s Triple Play program in favor of AT&T U-Verse. I had hoped to contact the company and provide this feedback through a feedback channel that does not involve calling Technical Support, which I have had to do 4 times in the past 5 days. Unfortunately, there is no such feedback mechanism on the site, so this is the best way I can think of to reach out and touch someone at AT&T.
As a customer, I am frustrated and extremely inconvenienced by my inability to upgrade to HD service because of their systems’ incompatibilities. As a marketer, I know how to reach my intended audience, which in this case is anybody at AT&T that wants feedback on their services. Having been involved with a lot of online marketing, reputation management and PR initiatives, I know that somebody at AT&T or one of their marketing or PR agencies is listening.
Here’s a recap of the situation:
- January 16th: I canceled my Comcast Triple Play account.
- January 23rd: AT&T installed U-Verse 200 TV and Hi-speed Internet package. Great service techs and speedy, expert installation. Kudos.
- January 23rd – March 15th: I was very happy with the service and didn’t experience any of the service outage problems I had with Comcast.
- March 15th: I bought a new HD-capable TV and wanted to upgrade my AT&T TV service to receive HD channels. I was willing to pay the $10 additional monthly fee and was happily surprised when they gave me a free month without even asking for it. The sales lady was nice and the process went smoothly. I was told my new HD service would be turned on within 2-4 hours.
- March 16th: Still no HD channels so I called Tech Support. Apparently the previous order had been canceled with no explanation so they put in another order and said to expect a phone call when the work was completed, within 24 hours at the most. I chalked it up to human error and was willing to forgive and forget.
- March 17th: Still no HD channels and no call from Tech Support.
- March 18th: I called Tech Support back and found the second HD order had been canceled as well. Weird. They looked into it, conferred with Sales and ultimately referred me to Tier 2 Tech Support. Tier 2 was also nice and figured out that the problem was due to the HD service address database not recognizing my address. That’s the incompatibility that is preventing me from getting HD service. Their databases aren’t synched. That seems like a pretty basic thing that should have been considered before they launched the service. I have no idea how many other people this affects, but all of the reps said they have seen a few cases before. My case was escalated to “The Ovals”, whoever they are. The Ovals are supposed to take care of it, and Tier 2 asked that I call back in 24 hours to check in on the progress. They were sure it would be resolved by then. Again, I waited patiently and called back the next day.
- March 19th (today): I just got off the phone with Tier 2 support again, who checked with The Ovals and told me that the fix could take 2-4 WEEKS instead of the 2-4 hours I was originally quoted. Their suggestion? Call back 1 or 2 times a week and have Sales try to re-order the HD service. If it doesn’t go through, we’ll know that The Ovals haven’t gotten around to fixing it yet.
Wait, what? I have already spent nearly 2 total hours on hold and in conversation with Sales, Tech Support and Tech Support Tier 2. I’m not allowed to talk to The Ovals. Now I have to call back twice a week for a month? I asked Tier 2 and there is no way to make a note in my account to have them call me when they fix it. Ouch, very ouch.
Here’s the rub. I understand that technical glitches happen. That’s what Tech Support is for. I asked Tier 2 guy if there was any way I could leave feedback on the frustration and wasted time I’ve experienced this week. Nope. I checked the U-verse website and again, no Contact Us forms or phone numbers that didn’t take me back into the Tech Support or Sales channels I’ve already been through.
As a marketer, I realize that there are people within AT&T that would want to know about these problems with their incompatible systems and Tech Support’s inexperience in dealing with this situation. Unfortunately there aren’t any surveys or feedback forms on the website for this type of input. So, here it is.
AT&T, I’m not mad at you yet. I’m still going to wait for my HD service to be fixed. I will call you back in a week or so, but I’m hoping that The Ovals can get this fixed soon and not place the burden on a paying customer to follow up continuously at my own inconvenience.