Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Complaining to the Phone Company Pays Off

I was pretty frustrated last week because my AT&T mobile phone wasn't working. I don't generally use it that much, but my sister was having her travel adventures (link), so she, my husband, and my stepmother were all trying to reach me.

I thought it was my fault, really. In the rush of the holidays, I had left my charger at work. (By the way, thanks so much, Mr. Poorhouse, for the spare charger I got for , and then a couple of snow storms meant that I worked at home more than I had planned. My family complained they couldn't reach me. My stepmother reported that she had gotten a "no longer in service" message. I figured it was because the phone wasn't charged.

I picked up the charger, charged the phone, and tried to use it occasionally throughout the week. Text messaging worked OK. I called directory assistance a couple of times. But when I tried to make phone calls, I'd get a weird phone tone and a message that only emergency services were available. I was busy and distracted and thought "Oops, maybe I didn't pay my bill again."

Except after the holiday was over and I had a minute, I looked it up, and I've been current for months. Plus Mr. Poorhouse's phone, which is on the same plan, was working fine throughout the week. I tried to call 611 (customer service) from the phone over the weekend, but everybody was home with their families.

By Monday morning when the offices were reopened, the phone was working. But I called to complain anyway. The rep could not have be nicer. She offered me a $50 "good faith" credit, and transferred me to tech support to see if there was a reason for the disruption. I admit that after 30 minutes on hold waiting to speak to a rep, I hung up.

But it just goes to show that if you aren't getting the services for which you pay a premium, it pays to squeak.

So despite my unhappiness with their deposit policy for a new line (link) AT&T's in the white hat camp again.

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