Monday, September 15, 2014

AT&T Are Satan Made Manifest

I recently added a cellular wireless hotspot device to our AT&T "family" plan, along with adding a 10 gig data allowance per month.

All went well for a day or so, when the mobile hotspot downloaded a firmware upgrade and the display became slightly less useful. The prominent green "progress" bar depicting my data usage went all-green 24x7 rendering it a useless waste of space. However, the data usage and the number of days left in the billing cycle were displayed so I just went with it.

The weekend rolled round and I expected all these values to clear since I was at the end of the "days left" countdown, but that did not happen. The device has been showing "0 days left" for three days and the data usage count, while rising, does not reflect this billing cycle's usage.

Not only that, I keep getting text messages on the thing urging me to set up some sort of online account. I would do that but Mrs Stevie takes care of the phone bill1 and has her own account already up and running. I am not so wet behind the ears that I would set up a second account so that AT&T's billing automation can bleep itself to a fare-thee-well and give us a month's extra grief sorting it all out, so, the store we used to upgrade the service and activate the device not opening until a helpful 10 am weekdays (two hours after I am miles away in Jamaica peering myopically at the destination display to see where my connection is) I called AT&T's "help" line.

For five minutes I listened to annoying music and witless adverts for more services I don't need and don't want (the logic of trying to upsell people already having trouble with their product is bewildering to me) and I was connected via a scratchy, hiss-filled line to someone whose accent was from near the Gulf of Oman. I could barely hear him.

Ignoring the irony we both attempted meaningful communication but I could only hear one word in three and one of those was "password", something I wasn't handing out on a bet (because I don't know it - Mrs Stevie's account, remember). Eventually this stalwart decided to kick me up to level 2 support (the people who have less script, more knowledge going for them) and I got three more minutes of adverts and then - silence.

The bleepers cut me off.

So another win for American Technology. The company that at one time defined the telephone business cannot organize a simple firmware upgrade that doesn't nerf a brand new device and then cannot organize a clean line on which to address the issue.

Good here, innit?

  1. I take care of the mortgage so it all "evens out". Her words

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