Sep 10, 2010

Bring on the straightjacket

Yesterday was supposed to be The Day. The day that DSL came to save us from Charter.

I left work at noon to head home in plenty of time for our installation window of 1 to 5 p.m. Didn't want to take a chance that he'd get there early and I'd miss him!

I waited and waited and waited. I'd taken my laptop home so I could use the time to work, but I kept one eye peeled on the driveway. At 4:50, I decided to call AT&T to make sure we had the right date. After navigating through yet another Voice Response Unit -- made more difficult by the fact that we don't have a home phone through them, so I didn't have an account number or phone number on file with them -- I reached a woman who was pretty helpful.

She told me that the installer had noted on the system that he was running behind and wouldn't be at our house until 5:20 or after. She also gave me his cell phone number and his name so I could contact him if I needed to. HELPFUL! MOST HELPFUL CUSTOMER SERVICE PERSON IN THE HISTORY OF HISTORY!


Grayson and I had a complex plan for picking the boys up and getting him and Nathaniel to Scouts by 6:15, at no time leaving the house unmanned for even a moment. Again, didn't want to miss Philip, whose cell phone number begins with 531.

At 6:15 I gave him a call on his cell. No answer, but I left a nice message asking him to call back and let me know if he was still coming. At 6:40, he hadn't called me back, so I called AT&T back on the 888 number to see if they'd heard from him. AGAIN WITH THE VOICE RESPONSE UNIT.

Three minutes and 14 seconds into the VRU:

VRU: "Great. How can we help you today? Say something like, 'I need new service,' 'I want to pay my bill,' or 'I forgot my password.' "

Me: "Appointment."

VRU: "Did you say, 'I want to order new service'?"

Me: "NO."

VRU: "Let's try again. Simply state what you need."


VRU: "Thank you. Our records show that you have a request on file with us for new service, issued on August 30th. Our records show that the work required for this order has been completed. If this is correct, say 'Yes.' "

Me: "NO."

VRU: "Please listen closely to the selections in the menu. Do you want to pay your bill or order new service? Please tell me what you're calling about."


[Y'all. I yelled. I did. At an inanimate object. So. Loudly.]

VRU: "I'm sorry, this office is currently closed. Our regular business hours are Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Please call back at a later time. And remember, you can also get help at Thank you!"

[CLICK.] [Fast busy signal.]

And that is why I checked myself into a mental hospital this morning.


Sewconsult said...

At least you didn't kill anyone...yet! What treat would you like delivered to your institutional room? Pecans, walnuts, Cracker Jacks? Would you like a movie to watch? One Flew Over the Cookoo's Nest or Phycho? Maybe a Looney Tune?

Hugs...we'll miss you.
Beckie, who is ready to move into the padded room next door.

Christine said...

Been there too! Dish Network was 2 hours late to come and install our receivers...3 of them finally showed up and I let them have it. I was so mean that when they were finished, 2 of them snuck out the basement door (we have a walkout basement) and the 3rd had to come up and tell me they were done. I'm sure he was the one who drew the short straw!

Rachel said...

I sooooo would have yelled too! Dish Network is absolutely our only option here and I am going NUTS with them.

Erin said...

Poor thing. Those silly voice response lines make me want to claw my eyeballs out with a shrimp fork, too. I don't think they like Southern accents. I have to yell at them in little staccato bursts so they don't take my multi-syllabic stretching of words to mean I want to open a new account. NO means NO, darn you.

Grape News said...

You crack me up! I have been dealing with AT&T for the past 10 days or so. Every time I finally get a human the first words out of my mouth are "Before we get started, I think it's fair that you know 'I HATE AT&T' Now we can begin."

I'm off to finish school (hope the kids live through the day) and then I get to call AT&T ONCE AGAIN! Have a nice day.

Sarah T. said...

I have violently cussed out those automated things before. Instead of saying whatever option they offer me, I've said, "give me a motherf---ing human to speak to or I'm going to f---ing come to your office and stab someone in the f---ing face." It didn't get me faster service, but it felt totally awesome.

Julia @ Hooked on Houses said...

Oh, no! That kind of thing makes me crazy. The way you told the story made me laugh out loud, though.

"Did you say you want to order new service?"

Too funny.

Katherine @ Grass Stains said...

Beckie, I'll take about 100 Reese's Cups, please.

Christine, I BET they snuck out! Nothing hurts worse than being beaten to death by a woman scorned by her TV and Internet provider.

Rachel, now I've heard bad things about Dish, too. I'm convinced that NONE of them are any good. Perhaps I should start a second career in positive cable company customer service. CLEARLY THERE'S MARKET DEMAND.

Erin, I don't recall your accent being that strong! Maybe it increased as you aged. Ha!

Grape, I hope it went well. AT&T finally showed up here this morning (Sat) and did the work. Now we have to see how good the signal is.

SET, thank you for that. I was so close to profanity myself that I might have used it if I hadn't thought I could possibly be recorded. My personal suspicion is that they use the tapes of people on hold with the VRU to play at their company Christmas party.

Julia, glad you enjoyed it. ;)

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