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Thursday, May 15, 2008

Our Civilization Is Doomed

And for some reason we all tolerate it like sheep to slaughter. If it were medieval times I would don my armor, mount my dark steed and venture into the valley of death to slaughter dragons. The problem with this scenario is that while romantic it is delusional. Rarely does the guy with a sword on a horse slay a dragon the size of corporate headquarters.

No, I am not smoking dope, nor have I overindulged in my favorite mood altering substance - Jack Daniels Old #7. I am offering a visual on the massive battle that took place over the previous 43 hours to simply communicate in this modern era.

Two nights ago, around 500 pm, my internet service was disrupted. Not a frequent happening, but often enough that I knew it would be back in service within a few minutes or that I needed to reset my router. Some time went by and I called AT&T "customer care" (whoever recorded their new "speech" system missed the voices in the background snickering at that expression - I see a Dilbert cartoon in my head) and after confirming my phone number, last four of my social, my name, total amount of my mortgage payment, my car tag, my daughter's boyfriends mother's maiden name, and the due date for my dog''s rabies shot, went through about 10 minutes of hold and then the idiots who read from a card telling me how to reboot my router. Eventually I was told that my account was disabled due to non-payment for more than 30 days. Obviously a mistake since I paid my bill last Thursday, and it wasn't even overdue. So, after confirming my phone number, last four of my social, my name, total amount of my mortgage payment, my car tag, my daughter's boyfriends mother's maiden name, and the due date for my dog''s rabies shot I was talking to someone in billing who said that the girl was obviously mistaken because I had just paid my bill on Thursday and it wasn't even overdue. She then sent me back, despite my protests, to tech support where I then had to confirm phone number, last four of my social, my name, total amount of my mortgage payment, my car tag, my daughter's boyfriends mother's maiden name, and the due date for my dog''s rabies shot.

We began the tech support script once again, and at some point I was told that my account had been disabled because of non-payment for more than 30 days, and I needed to talk to someone in billing, but unfortunately they were closed for the day. I explained that I had just talked to someone in billing and that is why I was again talking to them, and was told that I would have to call back at 800 am the next day. So I responded with a very mature "Oh hell no, I want a supervisor!"

While waiting or a supervisor I was disconnected. i called back and after confirming my phone number, last four of my social, my name, total amount of my mortgage payment, my car tag, my daughter's boyfriends mother's maiden name, and the due date for my dog''s rabies shot, was asked to hold for a supervisor - FINALLY - and was told that there was nothing that they could do until 800 am the next day. I asked the obvious question at this point, why I could be disconnected after hours accidentally, but couldn't have my service restored intentionally? You would have thought I asked them to recite the value of pi to 945 digits.

So the next morning at 800 am I call and a very nice person told me that she would process my order, apologized profusely for my service being disrupted, and promised to call me personally when the order had been processed, which took about a hour. She called as promised, and when I got home there was no internet service. So I call, and you guessed it, after confirming my phone number, last four of my social, my name, total amount of my mortgage payment, my car tag, my daughter's boyfriends mother's maiden name, and the due date for my dog''s rabies shot I was told that it would be restored sometime "today" which is actually sometime before midnight. Much like the normal " we will be there between 900 am and 1oo pm, and then show up at about 330 pm.

I waited all night with no results. I woke up this morning to no internet service. I called three different times today and got nothing.

My service was restored at 1130 today, a full 43 hours from when it was disrupted and a full 25 hours after being told it was restored.

We are doomed. The US dollar is not weak because of our economy or our debt. It is week because foreign bankers come to our country and drive through McDonald's where is takes 16 minutes a a drive through to get a double cheeseburger. They go to the grocery store to see teenagers unable to give correct change without putting it into the register and having a display spell it out for them. They go to buy gas and when they walk int he store to get a warm coke out of the cooler they hear the two male clerks cursing like sailors about the chick pumping gas (mind you, she was well worth talking about. However, doing so with strip club language in front of people you have never seen before should be socially unacceptable. I was 20 years old and a U.S. Marine before I even uttered a "damn" in front of my dad, much less F words in front of strangers in a place of business).

I have my internet service back, but I am too tired from fighting the dragon to a draw. So much needs talked about but I soaking my fire roasted butt from running away.

5 Posts From Readers:

Toni said...

That pretty much sums it up. I know exactly what you mean. My mom went to the MAC machine today and hit the wrong button causing her account to be overdrawn. She immediately went to the drive thru window and explained what happened and there was nothing they could do. She would have to take the $30 fee even though she was putting the money directly back in. She can talk to the head teller tomorrow, but they’re not even sure that will help. We have these systems in place to supposedly stop errors, but I don't think it is working.

I work at a company processing medical insurance claims and many people that work there don’t even understand why they follow the steps they follow. Well the claim has this code on it, so I follow this guideline. That is the system we have created. No one seems to understand why you follow that guideline because apparently that is not important. I for one like to know why I am doing something. Call me crazy, but I think it is important. But yeah, you unfortunately may be right – our civilization may be doomed.

The Beltway B@stard said...

I feel your pain bro. I dumped AT&T years ago because of similar problems with wireless service.

I even recouped $1400 in small claims court for their attempts to collect on a bill I had actually paid twice. The first one was on time, the second one was to keep my service from being cut off, even though I had already paid it.

Three years after I dumped them, I started getting collection letters for the same BILL! That's when I took them to court. Poor record keeping. Looks like nothing has changed with the "New AT&T".

TRUTH-PAIN said...

LOL!
Sorry man but this is just plain funny. Maddening and frustrating? yep, but funny nonetheless. The irony? Did AT&T (Ma Bell?) not break up back in the heyday due to monopoly fears? Aren't they gobbling up SBC, Southwestern Bell and any other Bells in sight?.... so is the Government going to make them break up again? after letting them make the monopoly all over again?.... That is why I love Government. They do things twice as slow, hire twice as many people to do it, pay them half as much as the private sector, ... and later allows the same conditions to occur thus ensuring their existence in perpetuity....
Good to see you back. Ain't rantin' cool?... :)

Robert (Conservative Commentary) said...

Addendum to the story: They sent me an online survey about their customer support.

My keyboard was hot when I was done! T-P, I told them that in their haste to once again rule the world, their capacity had outpaced their ability to support it.

I am back, ad I have two posts in mind...not sure when I will egt to them both.

rockync said...

Your frustration is my frustration. I live in a rural area and my only source of high speed internet is from our phone company(Embarq - which I'm sure is some sort of subsidy of AT&T). My internet is off more than it's on, but they don't ever give me a credit when I can't use my internet.
I set up my Dad with internet service a couple of years ago (different phone co) took me two weeks to explain that they needed to charge the internet to my card, but not his phone bill. Dad would have had a fit if I picked up the whole bill. It might of helped if the person on the other end could actually speak enough English to understand. When I decided to dump that credit card in favor of a new on last year, I almost cried before I made the call to switch the billing.
NOW, I am being harassed by a collection agency looking for someone who doesn't live at my house. I grew up with foreign born parents so I'm pretty good at understanding broken English, but the ones from this company know about six words in English. I've asked to speak to a supervisor, they hang up. They call six times a day. I call the company number and get a recording, I've emailed the COO. I am currently working on complaints to be filed with the Attorney Generals in my state and theirs.
My next step will be to disconnect the phones, throw my laptop in the hollar and go live on a mountain top with my husband and my dog!

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