Hooray! Finally, a Resolution from ATT

(If you’re new to this blog, read the first post, beginning from the bottom)

Wow… I can’t believe it….. a resolution from AT&T’s billing department.

Over 8 months passed by….. Finally……..

Today, while I was at lunch, I got a call from Carrie with AT&T.  She identified herself and said that she wanted to help me have a Great Brand Experience with AT&T.  Carrie then proceeded to say that she took the time to read through this whole blog and was sorry that I’ve had such a bad experience with AT&T.  She said that she will credit the full amount of our past due bill ($750) and will make sure that the collections department does not adversely pursue our account.   I told her thank you for making the adjustments.  I joked with her that this means I won’t get a chance to write to the CEO of AT&T to complain about our bad brand experience.  She laughed and said that I certainly can write to the CEO and tell him what a great resolution I received after a bad experience.

Well, this is a  start in wiping away the eroded trust which I have in AT&T.  It may even be the beginning to a Better Brand Experience with AT&T.

Much thanks to Andrew Anzures (the local sales manager for AT&T).  He personally took initiative to follow up with me multiple times and to personally make sure that the customer “care” department received our billing disputes.  AT&T needs more people like Andrew; a champion for the customer, someone who empathized with me and a person who didn’t pass the buck to some else.  He just emailed me the confirmation letter of a full credit to our account for the total bill of $750.
If you need telecommunication service and you choose to use AT&T, I would recommend that you call:
Andrew Anzures @ 404-202-4412
See the resolution letter:
                                                                                                       (click to enlarge)
ATT resolution

UPDATE: Shame on ATT P-6

Well, it’s been a few months since I last posted on this blog.  A few things have transpired.  Here’s an update…

- I received a call from the area’s sales manager.  He said that he wanted to see if we have any telecommunication needs.

- I set up a meeting with him to discuss our “telecommunication” needs. (I did not disclose to him about our billing issues).

- We met on Nov 15th.  I showed him all the erroneous billing statements and shared our bad experience with him.

- I told Andrew Anzures (the AT&T manager) that before I would consider any other AT&T’s services, I would need my problems solve.

- Andrew promised that he will look into it and see what he can do.

- True to his word, he looked into it, then asked me to send in all our billing statements and detailed documentation of our experience.

- Andrew said that he would do whatever he could to help us.

- I told Andrew that all I wanted was a “Great Brand Experience” with AT&T.  He said that he would do his best to help me.

- I waited….. (read next post)

SHAME ON ATT P-5: We want exceptional brand experience

Day 5 on my efforts to get resolution from AT&T.

 

In my last post, I talked about expecting an exceptional brand experience from AT&T.  I believe that this is what all customers expect.  We want to be treated with courtesy and respect.  We want to walk away from the exchange with a positive sentiment.

Truth is, we really want to be raving fans if we’re just given the chance.  We want to be brand ambassadors of those companies that care about us as a customer.

Another truth, I believe that AT&T wants to have an exceptional brand experience for its customers.  They’re just failing at it right now.

Still waiting for an exceptional “customer care” experience from AT&T.

 

 

(if this is your first read of this post, start from day one to get more perspective)

 

Shame on ATT P-4: What is EXCEPTIONAL BRAND EXPERIENCE?

It’s day number four, no resolution from AT&T yet.  I wonder how many days will pass by until we get resolution.

I’m clear on what I expect from AT&T: I want EXCEPTIONAL BRAND EXPERIENCE.

So, what is brand experience?  I will define this from my own perspective.

Great brand experience is when a company creates an environment or culture that is customer focus and inspires its staff to do the extra, to go above the call of duty, and to empathize with its customers.  It is more than customer “service,” it is customer “care.”

Exceptional brand experience:

  • Starts as corporate philosophy and is part of the culture
  • Emphasizes on the word “care” in customer care
  • Empathizes with the customer
  • Inspires staff to do the extra
  • Treats customer as if they matter
  • Leaves the exchange with the customer wanting more of the brand
  • Fosters word of mouth marketing for the brand

How can a company achieve an exceptional brand experience for its customers?

HEART: Exceptional brand experience starts with the CEO.  Brand experience is not left to the customer service or sales department. It is a philosophy that begins from the heart of the CEO.  It’s part of the CEO’s DNA.  It’s his conviction that every customer must experience an exceptional experience.  His aura demands it.  There is shock when the experience is not exceptional.  The CEO is the heart of the company, the heart of the CEO must be communicated to the organization.  When exceptional brand experience does not occur, it is not the fault of the staff who failed, but it is the CEO who failed.  The CEO takes it personally when a customer does not receive exceptional brand experience.

TRAINING: Exceptional brand experience is communicated.  It is talked about.  It is part of the training.  Hiring the right staff and training them to become exceptional brand ambassadors.  The message from the CEO to the newest hire is about creating this exceptional brand experience.  Training begins with management creating an exceptional brand experience for the staff.  When the staff values the company because they themselves have received an exceptional brand experience, they will instinctively pass this on to the customer.  The brand experience begins from the heart of the CEO, then is passed to the managers, next to the internal staff, also to corporate partners and finally to the external customers.

CULTURE: Exceptional brand experience is the culture.  An exceptional brand experience is the unifying factor that binds a diverse staff.  It is the glue that holds the company together.  The culture rewards and praises exceptional brand ambassadors.

DELIVERY: Exceptional brand experience is an action.  It is delivered day in and day out.  It is practiced.  Every task, whether from the receptionist or the service tech, goes toward creating an exceptional brand experience.  Every action is aimed at delivering an exceptional brand experience.

When exceptional brand experience exists, word of mouth marketing takes over traditional marketing.  No ingenious marketing scheme or special discount is needed when an exceptional brand experience is at the heart of the company.   When resources are spent to foster exceptional brand experience, client turnover is lowered and brand loyalty will increase.   Ultimately, the company thrives when customers are happy.

SHAME ON AT&T, BAD CUSTOMER SERVICE UPDATE P-3

It’s day number three…. still no resolution from AT&T customer “care” department.

How can a company promise you one price and then charge another price (3 times more)?  When I called to get the issue resolved, they passed me along from one rep to another (spoke to 9 reps total).  In between, there were 3 call drops, 10-15 minutes waiting periods, promised call backs with no actual action, 2 unanswered emails, over 10 hours and counting of my time used to address this issue, etc, etc, etc.

I’ve been very disappointed at the lack of customer care on the part of AT&T.  The frustration and anger have led me to more clarity today of what I’m really seeking for through all of this.

What I really want is a good – no – a great BRAND EXPERIENCE.  I want a brand experience that will leave me to want more of AT&T.  I want a brand experience from my first encounter with an AT&T sales rep to the customer care rep on the phone.  I want a BRAND CULTURE that really focuses on the “care” from the “Customer Care” department.

I not only WANT a great brand experience, I EXPECT a great brand experience.  Is this too much to ask from AT&T?  Is this too much to expect from one of America’s legacy company?

I did get a few tweets back from @attcustomercare (see image below).  In these tweets they asked me to direct message my account info to them and they will “forward” my concerns to the right department.  What ever happened to someone just taking ownership of the customer’s issue and solving it?  Why doesn’t a customer care rep take personal concern of my issues and personally make sure that the right department call me back?  Don’t just “forward” me to the next person!   I’ve been passed around, bounced around, tossed and treated like an account instead of like a person.  I spoke with 9 people prior, now they want to pass me on to another rep for a 10th time.

Another tweet said they did read through my complaint.  If they read through the whole blog post which chronicled my concerns, at the very end, it lists my contact information and both account numbers.  If AT&T really “care,” they would have read my post more carefully and would have found my contact information at the end.

Today, I’ve got a few more things to do so I can keep telling this story of how horrible AT&T’s customer “care” really is.

Until I get a BRAND EXPERIENCE that is exceptional from AT&T, I will continue to keep sharing this story of “Shame on AT&T”.

- click image to enlarge -

Shame on AT&T, Bad Customer Service update P-2

It’s day number two since my first post about the lack of customer service on the part of AT&T (5 months after my lack of customer service problems started)….

Here’s an update:

  • I created this WordPress blog which you’re reading.  www.ATTBadCustomerService.WordPress.com
  • Went on Twitter and Tweeted about the bad experience to @ATT, @ATTCustomerCare @ ATTBusiness at around 4pm
  • Also used the hash tag “#ATT” to search for what other complaints or issues are happening in the ATT Universe
  • After a few seconds of searching I found multiple people who are experiencing similar bad customer service experience
  • I engaged about 10 unhappy AT&T customers in dialogue (tweet replies) where two responded back to me (see image below)
  • At about 6:30pm @ATTCustomerCare followed me on Twitter and then replied to one of our tweets and asked me to DM (direct message) or email attmartyc@att.com (see image below)
  • I DM @ATTCustomerCare asking for her to read my blog post first because my whole experience was chronicled there and I didn’t want to have to explain myself a 10th time.
  • I went to http://www.PublikDemand.com and created an account
  • Filed a Publik complaint on the site and posted it on Twitter and on our Facebook account
  • It’s 10am the day after and still no further response back from @ATTCustomerCare

Last night, I had various ideas of what is it that I’m really seeking to get out of this whole campaign in addressing AT&T’s lack of customer service.

  • Is it about getting AT&T to provide better customer service?
  • Is it that I want a full credit of $650 applied to my AT&T account?
  • Maybe, I want x3 the amount of credit ($650×3=$1950), the same ratio they overcharged me for services promised?
  • Maybe, I want the general press to pick up my lonely voice and amplify it for the world to draw attention to AT&T’s lack of customer service?
  • Is it just the principle of getting jacked up and being treated like an “account” instead of a person?
  • Maybe, I just want the satisfaction of waiting for AT&T to reach out to me 9 times before I’m content (same number of times I tried reaching out to them)?

I really don’t know what I personally want out of this whole “ATTBadCustomerService” campaign.

  • What I do know is that AT&T’s customer service is so BAD that it has led me to the point of using my precious time to advocate for our little association.
  • Right now, it’s about a mission for the lonely voices out there.
  • It’s about wanting a better brand experience.
  • It’s about expecting more from a Fortune 500 company.

Before I go about my normal business routine, I’m getting back on Twitter and do some more tweeting.

Thanks for reading this blog post.  Please leave a comment to give me some feedback.

Tweet image of ATT bad customer service dialogue

AT&T first response

Shame on AT&T for HORRIBLE customer service… Spoke with 9 reps with no resolutions.

Why I am posting a billing dispute with AT&T on this blog?  As an organization which advocates for those who’s voice are not often heard, we believe that we have to stand up for ourselves in this matter with AT&T.  After more than 13 attempts to resolve our billing issue with AT&T, we are unsatisfied with them.  My time has been wasted trying to deal with customer “no” service.  Large companies, such as AT&T has a greater responsibility to be better and do better.  Poor customer service is unacceptable.  They should go the extra mile to take care of their customers, not toss them around like an account or a thing.  So, I’d rather use my time to speak to the world and call attention to AT&T’s lack of customer service rather than talking to customer “no” service.  Here is our story, here’s what happened.

Our association (Government Contractors Association) was on AT&T’s DSL line for $27.49/month.  We use it for internet connection.  When the contract was over, they increased our monthly service fees, which is understandable.  I called to cancel on March 19th.  I spoke with Iliana(1) (a customer service rep with AT&T).  She said that she will keep our account at the same rate if I agree to another term.  Iliana said that she would love for us to continue with ATT and that if I should have any problem I can email her directly.  She gave me her email address: iv926n@att.com.  I agreed and she issued me 3 confirmation #’s, one for a credit for the high rate for the previous months and another two which I’m not sure what they relate to.  Here are the confirmations: #: 136834634 #:3JXCSR75H #: NCP7

NOTE: AT&T’s DSL line is a subpar option for internet connection.  However, it was our most affordable option.  T-1 is too expensive and Comcast is not available in our building.

The following month, I received an AT&T bill for $385.  The promised rate of $27.49 was nowhere to be found.  They promised a lower price and charged a higher price.  (I think this is called “bait and switch”). AT&T also charged a $50 activation fee and a $100 DSL router fee.  I currently have service and have a DSL router in place.  Not sure why they charged this fee again.

On May 2nd I sent Iliana an email asking her to address why the rates were not at what we agreed on (email enclosed below).  I received no response from her.  I sent a second email to her on July 2nd with no response.  On July 19th I called to find out why my bill was so high. On this call I spoke with Nakia(2) and asked for the adjustments.  She transferred me to Rick(3).  Rick transferred me to Melinda(4), and while waiting for her we got disconnected.  I called back on July 31st again and spoke with Shannon(5).  I told Shannon that if AT&T cannot honor the rate of $27.49/month, then I was going to discontinue my service. She explained to me that they don’t offer that rate anymore.  I asked her why then did Iliana offer me the rate in the first place.  After realizing that Shannon will not keep our account at the $27.49 rate, I asked her to disconnect our service.  She transferred me to their disconnect dept.  No one answered and after holding for 10 minutes, the call dropped.

I called back again and spoke with Avery(6).  She said that she will credit our account for the DSL router and will issue a disconnect order.  She also said that their business office will call me to finalize the details.  I never received the call from their business office.

On September 12th, I called back and spoke with Lynn Hill(7).  She transferred me to the disconnect dept.  I waited for 15 minutes for someone to take my call.  No one answered and then the called disconnected.  I called back and spoke with Jacob Sprowl(8). I explained everything to him.  He said that he can only credit me for two months.  I asked him to honor the rate which Iliana committed to me.  He put me on hold for 5 minutes then said that he cannot honor the rate.  I asked to speak with a supervisor.  He transferred me to Andrew Nash(9).  I explained things all over again to him. I asked him to review my previous account to see that I’m not making up a story about the $27.49 rate.  I gave him the confirmation # which Iliana gave me.  He said that he can only look at this new account and that the previously closed out account didn’t matter.  I asked him to not just look at one account and make his decision based on that, but to look at me as a person and see the whole history of both accounts so he can have more perspective.  He said unfortunately he will not refer back to my old account showing that I had the rate of $27.49.  I responded by saying that I’m not an account, I’m a person.  If he would just look at the human side of things and address our whole relationship and not just the account showing that I owe $650.  Needless to say, I’m just an account to him.  He said that he can credit me for two months which will reduce the $650 bill to about $450.  Five months at $27.49 is $135, not $650.  Andrew said that he cannot honor Iliana’s price commitment.  He said that if I wanted a credit for more than two months or for the DSL router/installation fee, I will have to take it up with their billing dispute dept.  I asked him to discontinue service and we hung up.

Wow, I cannot believe that I spoke with 9 people at AT&T and made more than 13 attempts to try to resolve a simple issue.  I spent countless hours on this matter.  I remembered how bad customer service was with MCI back in the days.  This trumps that.  I believe that when large corporation treats people like accounts instead of like humans, they have forgotten the reason why they exist.

As a small business association, we advocate for greater opportunities for small businesses in the government market.  Well, this personal matter with AT&T is leading me to take up a mission to do something about the lack of customer service on the part of AT&T.  If I don’t stand up for our association, who will?

So, I will begin by creating this blog and asking AT&T to address the poor customer service which they have.  I will ask for others who have had issues to make comments and call for AT&T to take better care of their customers.  Here’s is a list of some of the things we will do:

  • Create blog to share our AT&T bad customer service experience
  • Use social media to get the word out (Twitter, Facebook, etc)
  • Use www.Gripevine.com
  • Use www.PublikDemand.com
  • Address our concerns with AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson
  • Create a video on youtube about our bad customer service experience (sounds like an interesting video)
  • File complaint with the BBB
  • File complaint with consumer advocate groups
  • File complaint with FTC & FCC
  • File complaint with ……. Etc.
  • Find creative ways to address customer “no” service

I’m taking the time to do these tasks one by one.  Today, I’ve done the first one.  Get the blog out and start tweeting about it.  Next on the list will be to keep tweeting and then use the different social sites out there to help us address our concerns with AT&T.  One step at a time to get the attention of AT&T’s executives to seriously look at the lack of customer service.

NOTE: My email and the account numbers are in the images below.  Let’s see if AT&T really cares enough about our situation to reach out to me.

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