Friday, August 17, 2007

Infinite Incompetence

A phone line. A simple basic phone line. No bells, no whistles, just your basic dialtone. That's what I've been trying to have installed at my house for over 10 days now. I still don't have it.

I called my current phone provider, which 3 years ago was the only service provider in this area, and they won't give me a basic phone line. They're digital cable telephone, and they claim they can't strip off the special features (call waiting, caller i.d., voicemail) as required for this line. Seems odd to me, but I've been given that story by 5 different people at the company, so it must be true.

So I called good ole AT&T and asked them if they provide service to my area. Yep, they do! Finally! So last week, I scheduled them to come install this simple basic phone line. It took me over an hour on the phone with the customer service rep to get it set up, but by God, it was scheduled for installation on August 15.

Just because I'm a skeptic on the phone company, on August 14, I called to verify that everything was still good to go for August 15. I discovered, much to my dismay, that NO, things were not okay. My record had "errored out" and no installation was scheduled. I then worked with the rep for another hour to 'correct' the problem, and when I hung up, I was assured that a technician would be out the next day for the installation.

Ever the skeptic, the next morning I called AT&T again. Once again, there was an 'error', and no installation was being scheduled. This time, they claim they could not verify my address and when they called me, nobody answered. When I inquired about the number they called, it was an 877- number, which is a prefix for a toll-free number and couldn't possibly be my phone number. Nevertheless, they canceled the installation. Again, I worked for over an hour with the rep on the phone to verify my home address and reschedule the installation, however at this point, they couldn't do it on the 15th; it now had to be on the 16th. Fine.

So yesterday morning, I called AT&T again to ensure we were on track. Yes, they told me, the tech had me as 5th on his list, and he should be arriving around 11:30 am to do the install. At 3pm, when no tech had shown, we called again. This time, the tech had moved our appointment to 4:30pm and would arrive then. At 5:30 pm, we called again. The tech had arrived and looked around outside but decided that he needed engineering help from his office, and instead of knocking on our door, he called us (the incorrect 877- number again), did not speak with us and left the scene. No installation.

This morning, I got a call from a supervisor at AT&T. Seems that they don't provide service to my area. AAAAARRRRRGGGGHHHH!!!! So it's taken me 10 days, 10 phone calls and 5 hours on the phone with AT&T for them to figure out that they don't service my neighborhood. To say that I am not amused is an understatement, and I plan to write them a nasty, nasty letter. AAAAAAARRRRRRGGGGGHHHHH!!!!

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