Monday, January 27, 2014

AT&T Customer Service can't get any worse

Today, my U Verse internet service was not operating properly. I attempted to call customer service.  Upon identifying my account to the automated system I was informed that there were outages of service in my area and that it would be cleared up shortly.  I attempted to call to the technical support to hear that this was correct information for my service area, but went through the wringer only to find out that the office was not open for business yet. I would  have to call back at 8am.

I called back at 8am only to be placed on hold (anticipated wait of 10 minutes).  After 39 minutes a service representative answered the phone and we went through a verification process that required them to call me back.  After verification, I asked if there was a service outage in my area.  I was asked what area I was located in (this was a strange question to ask).  So, I asked them what service area they thought I was in.  I was told my service area was located in the state of Michigan.  Strange, since I live over 1000 miles from Michigan.  After a considerable amount of confusion it was determined that they had the wrong account number.   We started over again.

Now, I learned that there was no service outage in my area.  They did an equipment check and determined that the equipment I have was experiencing some technical difficulties.  They did not know if it was the U Verse modem or the line.  They scheduled a technician to come to the home later in the day.  I am still waiting.  In all fairness and with full disclosure, he is not scheduled to be here for another two hours.

Next, I noted that my monthly bill had increased from $29.95 to $46.00 without explanation. I was transferred to billing.  I explained the situation to the billing person, only to find that I was connected to the collections department.  He connected me to the billing department.  The billing department said that the $46.00 charge was correct and that there were no promotions to reduce that rate.  I told them that that was unacceptable and that I would switch to another provider and then cancel my service with AT&T.  They said that I might want to talk to the retention department.  They connected me to this department.

The retention department understood that I had called in to cancel my account.  I corrected them to indicate that I did not cancel my account, but, rather, that if there was to adjustment to the rate I was paying that I would seek out another provider and then cancel my account.

They then offered me a rate of $23.00 a month.  Total cost to me was about 2 1/2 hours of being on the phone for the two issues.  I still have to have the technician here this afternoon.

When is AT&T going to get their telephone act together?

Friday, January 24, 2014

The Air Train At Kennedy Airport in NYC gets a black raspberry

Yesterday I was returning from a trip to NYC. I drove my rental car to Kennedy Airport and dropped off the car. I then proceeded to the Air Train shuttle to go to my terminal to catch my plane.
I waited at the platform and got on the train.  I happened to notice that it was going in the wrong direction. It went to Jamaica Station instead of the airport terminals. Okay, I had plenty of time and waited for the train to get to the station, stayed on board and the same shuttle train took me back to the Federal Circle station where the car rental returns are located.  It turns out that the Air Train was not operating between the Federal Circle Station and the rest of the airport.  They had shuttle buses to get people between the various locations.  I left the station and went down to the shuttle bus.  This is all without any signs or notification to passengers whatsoever.  I got on the bus that was going to terminal #8.  There was one bus that was going to #s 5,7&8 and another to #s 1,2,3,&4. I don't even know if there is a terminal #6. It was impossible to see out the windows of the bus due to the slush on the road that had splashed up on the windows.  The bus driver was non english speaking, and, while I do speak Spanish, I could not understand a word he said about which stop we had arrived at.  I got out of the bus to find out we were at #4.  We next stopped at #5, then #7, and finally #8 where I got off. It was a horrible experience.  The bus was clearly overloaded with passengers and baggage.  The fellow next to me was going to terminal #3 and had clearly gotten on the wrong bus.  He asked me if there was some way to get from #5 to #3. I told him that normally the Air Train was the shuttle between terminals and that I had no idea if they were running bus shuttles.

The operators of the Air Train at Kennedy Airport get the black raspberry award for their handling of the situation.