Thursday, December 11, 2008

Is AT&T Adrift?

For the second time in several weeks our home land line service is out of order. The first time a repair technician fixed something on the pole and we weren't charged for the call, although our phone line was out for 3 days because it was a challenge getting through to a real person to schedule a service call.

For the last two days, the read-out on the phone says "line-in-use," and when I press the "on" button, I get some static and in the distance behind it I can hear what sounds like a radio talk show and some music playing. We haven't yet tried to get another service call, because land lines have become almost a back-burner priority with our cell phones (neither of which are AT&T).

If that's weren't weird enough, yesterday I got this phone call at work from an AT&T rep who told me that there have been problems with the move from BellSouth to AT&T which have spawned billing confusion glitches for customers (technically she explained it has to do with local toll calls that aren't itemized and the federal surcharges that apply). She told me that the problems have been aggravated by the fact that AT&T has had to lay off customer service representatives because of the nation's economic downturn, and so AT&T is proactively calling business customers and asking them to shift to a new "bundle" that should cut down on the volume of customer service calls. I was never really clear how a new "bundle" would do that.  I have to say they don't seem to be laying off sales operators or those annoying sub-contractors they hire but cannot control: they call work a couple of times a day on average trying to offer new contracts (most of those calls I won't even take anymore).

And tonight I see this.

What's going on at AT&T? From my vantage they look like they're listing to one side and taking on water. Is anybody else having problems with the Dark Lord?

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