Thursday, March 31, 2011
Rant of the Year.
I feel trapped.
And I'm pissed. I'm so pissed I am actually stuffing my face with Peanut M & Ms right now. It's called emotional eating.
Let me tell you a story.
In December of 2010, I called to transfer our phone and Internet services with AT &T because we bought a home and were moving. I was told by three different CSRs that AT & T Internet was not available in the area we were moving to. Regretfully, I chose to terminate the services all together because I wanted to keep our phone/Internet/cable as a bundle package and clearly that could not be done with AT & T. I was not happy to switch companies, because I really like the services that were provided. The scheduled day for the terminated services was Dec. 20th.
In January of 2011, we received a bill from AT & T for $159.32. I called AT & T to inquire as to why we had a $150.00 early termination fee because it was not our fault that we had to terminate, THEY WEREN'T AVAILABLE FOR SERVICE. I spoke with Lisa in Billing at 4:25 pm on January 12th and she assured me that it was a mistake on behalf of the company and would be taken care of. I only had a remaining balance of $9.32, which I paid right then over the phone with the confirmation # of 31M7CSRIYI0Q00. (I don't mess around)
And let's be honest here. This wasn't a "quick call" to AT & T. I was on the phone for probably close to 30 minutes waiting on hold and repeating myself to the automated teller and yelling at my kids to stop acting crazy because they didn't have my undivided attention. I think I even burned dinner that night because of my distraction.
So Lisa tells me it is taken care of. I foolishly believed her and happily got off the phone thinking the thing was handled. Oh, but I was wrong. In February we got another statement showing the total amount due of $135.53. Some where in there AT & T granted me a credit of $14.47 for Internet Services for 12/20/10 - 01/06/11. I have no idea what the credit is for and funny enough, I didn't even have service through that date, AS I TERMINATED ON 12/20/10. I don't think I was billed for services for that time, so why would I have a credit?
I call back as soon as I received February's statement and this is where is gets really good. Upon waiting my 32-minute turn to speak with a CSR, I finally get transferred to a woman who I cannot understand. I didn't write her name down because I couldn't understand what she was saying. I told her my story and she transferred me to Geraldine. I told Geraldine my story and she said my "appeal to deny charges" was pending until March 18th, where in I would find out if they accepted my request or not. ??? Back in January, Lisa told me it was taken care of, remember? So after explaining to this to Geraldine, she says she doesn't know why the charges wouldn't have been taken care of AS IT IS THE POLICY TO NOT CHARGE CUSTOMERS EARLY TERM FEES IF THE COMPANY CANNOT PROVIDE SERVICES. She transfers me to Pamela James. I tell Pamela my story and she transfers me to another woman I cannot understand. I tell my story to this woman and she transfers me to a man that I cannot understand.
And let me clarify. When I say "I can't understand" it is because they are speaking such poor English with a such a heavy accent that I cannot understand what they are saying. Also, each time I get transferred, the phone line gets just a little bit more static-y sounding, so that isn't helping.
So the man transfers me to Chris. I tell Chris my story and Chris says he can't help me, but he'll transfer me to someone who can. Chris sends me to another woman I can't understand who sends me to another woman I can't understand very well, but well enough to hear her say that she takes only takes calls for customers who live in Oklahoma and Arkansas and has absolutely no clue as to why she is talking to me.
Excuse my harsh letters, but this was a big WTF moment for me. And I think that word is completely appropriate for this situation, don't you?
"Woman I cannot understand" gets me back to the Indiana call center (I think, but who knows anything at this point?) and I speak with Maria who I tell my story to, almost in tears, and very nicely tell her I am about to lose it. She was the nicest person I spoke to the whole day and after several minutes on hold -yet again- she comes back to say that I have to wait for March's statement, but she thinks everything was taken care of.
After a deep breath and much doubt, I hang up with Maria.
Let's count those transfers. 9. NINE. And I was on the phone for almost an hour and a half because each one of those transfers had their own wait time.
And here is where it gets even better. I never received a March statement from AT & T telling me this issue had been resolved. On March 26th, I received a letter from EOS CCA stating that AT & T sent my account to collections. COLLECTIONS. AT & T is no longer even associated with my account and the only way to move forward is to either type a "letter of appeal" to EOS CCA explaining why I do not think I am responsible for this charge and wait for them to take it up with AT & T or JUST PAY IT.
As a woman who is about to have a baby, I have all kinds of crazy hormones running around, and honestly do not have the energy to sit on the phone or type out a "letter of appeal" without crying, screaming, and threatening non-lady-like actions.
As a woman who has three other children running around, I don't have the time to sit on the phone to explain this or type out a letter of appeal.
And as a customer who I believe has never even been late on a payment to AT & T, this is completely ridiculous and I will never NEVER never use AT & T for any other service in my lifetime. Even if they are the only one available...I'd rather go without, thank you.
So, it looks like I am going to pay it. $135.53 to a collection company because I worry that my personal credit is being affected and I just can't talk about it or worry about it or wonder if my "intent to appeal" has been granted anymore.
And isn't that just about the worst Customer Service story you've ever heard? Ay ay ay.
And if you would like to help a sister out, link to my blog from yours, post it on facebook, or e-mail all your friends and family. I'd like to think that somewhere out in the cyberworld this post might just make it to the right person who can give me a freaking answer AND my $135.53 back.