Monday, July 7, 2008

No Food Today

I have always loved dealing with phone customer service agents (please note the thick sarcasm). Some of them are truely helpful. Some of them pretend to be, but never follow through on their promises. And yet others are true idiots.

Today I had a mix between the true idiot and helpful.

Back at the beginning of May, I ordered a new long distance service because our old plan was no longer available. But when I was looking over our bill I realized we were overcharged. When I phoned customer assistance the first gal was able to do a credit for the overcharge, but I had to call someone else to fix the problem so it would not happen again.

We'll call second gal AT&T Anna. Here's a rough idea how the conversation went.

AT&T Anna: AT&T, this is Anna can I help you.

Me: Yes, I was calling because I was charged the wrong amount for long distance, and we need to fix my account so it will not happen in the future.

*Getting lots of account info*

AT&T Anna: Well it looks like the order for new .12 a minute long distance service was completed on May 10.

Me: Well, I was charged .25 and .35 per minute on my bill for May 10-June 11.

AT&T Anna: The calls were prorated based on when you ordered the service.

Me: If the service went into effect on May 10, why were calls made on June 11 charged .35 per minute? June 11 is after May 10 right?

AT&T Anna: Oh, I understand now. Well, let's see if we can get this fixed.

I really don't think that AT&T Anna knew what the word prorated meant. I honestly think it is one she throws out there to try to confuse people into just paying what AT&T tells them to.

The last point of my rant is that I am small peanuts to the super telecommunications giant. But they were overcharging me 2.00. It took me more than 15 minutes on the phone to get my 2.00 back. Most people won't go to the trouble.

I did. In doing that it cost me 15 minutes of my time, but it had to cost AT&T at least 10.00 (based on wages, benefits, and the loss of new customers because of this rant on my blog). Who will really pay this 10.00? Well, in order to cover the extra expense they will likely raise rates or stock values will fall. Seeing as we are still their customers and we have AT&T stocks (in our 401k mutual funds) it seems like we are footing the bill.

So basically, I just spent 10.00 and 15 minutes (20 now that I have blogged about it) to save 2.00. Gotta love it!

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