Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Follow-up On "AT&T And The Voice-Lady"

I got a call with 'ATT' on the caller ID two days ago. I answered the call and lo, a new voice-lady recording. She was from customer service and wanted to follow up on my "recent order from AT&T." For English I was instructed to press a number to continue. I was just so overwhelmed with the tender personal concern from the customer service department that I merely kept the phone to my ear, not pressing anything . . . but my luck. The new voice-lady persisted. I pressed nothing, but did talk to her. This voice lady doesn't have any ears, like the other one did. After several entreaties to press, press, press, she returned with a dismissive, "If you do not wish to use the touch pad commands, you may call 1-800-882-9484. Goodbye." And, like a scene from some old film noir movie, she was was gone.

Calling 1-800-882-9484 was another AT&T Moment. Another voice-lady and this one had a bright, perky voice. I was instructed to press 1 for English, which I did this time just for the hell of it. That created a happy voice-lady gush, "We are committed to customer service and want to ask you a few question as you use your telephone key pad to reply. OK, (sparkles dripped from the earphone) Here we go! To begin, please enter the ten digit telephone number where we called you."

Well, they didn't call me, I called them. They never at any point called me, so I could not enter the ten digits she requested. This upset the voice-lady who, at this point now talked to me as thought I was a dyslexic grade school drop-out, repeating the order to enter the ten digits of the number they didn't call. After a couple of these, I just pressed the number 0 ten times to please her. Well this upset the voice-lady. After a long blank pause she, with all happy sparkles in her voice gone, bade be farewell, "I'm sorry but we cannot record your response from the phone you are using. Please hang up and call from another touch tone phone. Goodbye." Boy, did I feel Customer Serviced!

Finally, yesterday, a real call from the AT&T Executive Offices. This was from a real lady, obviously from the boss's office, following up on "my contact with them about problems with my DSL service." I almost fell off my chair. The day before, from the email address on the AT&T web site I had sent the executive offices a link to this blog and the "AT&T and the Voice-Lady" article suggesting they may glean something important about it for their future customer service planning.
I told the real-lady calling from the executive offices that I had no DSL problem whatsoever, but that I had, in fact, dropped an email to their Executive Offices with a link to my blog and my article regarding my customer service experience with AT&T. She just listened saying nothing, so I continued talking and filled her in a little more with selected excerpts from the article again suggesting Corporate Higher Ups might really want to take 3 minutes and visit my blog. Still complete silence on her end so I broke into hearty laughter expressing no surprise whatsoever that my email invitation for the Executive Officers to read my blog entry had somehow gone through the AT&T customer service chain and become a report of a non existent problem with my DSL. Real-lady had no more to say, and we bade one another adieu.

Maybe after AT&T completes its just reported termination of 4,600 jobs, they will somehow be magically transformed into a tightly run ship after all the man-overboard drills are completed. After devouring the Baby Bells and re-recreating the monopoly that was broken up a few decades ago they seem to have a massive case of indigestion and cyber-gas. Probably best to just stand back out of the way, and hope your phone keeps on working.