Birthday phone

Apple? Great service, great product.

“AT&T? You suck.”

As a consumer, I’m caught in that place, that point where good and bad collide.

Last summer, while overseas, AT&T was kind and offered up price plan for the phone service that wasn’t too bad. I wound up paying $50 not $500. Nice guys. But the run around on the day I picked up my new iPhone?

“AT&T? You suck.”

The Apple portion of the experience, of course, it was Apple. Excellent experience. (Cancer girl delivered the phone.) However, now, let’s look at a few items here, I’ve been with AT&T since they took over Cingular. And with that company, my phone billed was paid, on time, never late – not once.

Same deal with AT&T. Never late. Not once. I pay online, and I schedule a payment as soon as I get my bill.

Walked into the Apple Store with my gift cards and stuff, picked out a shiny phone, the Apple guy in the red shirt was amused when I drew an analogy to the red shirt guys in Star Trek. How good is your geek trivia? Got a sales person, the aforementioned Cancer woman. Got through the whole deal until I got to switch and sign.

“It says, ‘Must call AT&T,’ means you call them,” she said.

I called. I started to twitch. My payment is scheduled for the first of the month, like’s it’s been, for the last two years. “No, I show you as late, and we can’t upgrade until you pay. For a $5 service charge, we can take it now over the phone….”

I hung up. The poor sales girl, I’m sure she’s seen “the Twitch.” I had it. Happy resolution? There was an AT&T mall kiosk outside the front door. I could pay my bill there. Better yet, there was a place to swipe a card and pay it immediately.

“AT&T? You suck.”

I was mishandled, from a point of view of customer service and basic human kindness, from the first red flag with AT&T.

Now I know why people “jailbreak” their iPhones and switch carriers.

(Repeat refrain.)

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