more at&t frustration

It’s been a long time since I’ve had to complain about AT&T but I have to tell you, cell phone companies are the biggest joke known to man.

It all started when some guys at work told Steve that he’s eligible for a discount through his employer.  He kept telling me to do that… ha.  I kept saying “YOU need to find out how,” and he finally did.  Just take a paycheck stub into one of the stores, he was told.  So last Sunday we went in there together but it was just as I predicted…

The account we had was the same one Steve first got in early 1999.  Somewhere along the line, I believe when we added my phone, so around 10 years ago, someone with AT&T screwed up and the account changed over to have my name on it, Steve’s nowhere to be found.  It was never a problem though, so I never said anything about it.  But, of course, because it was his paycheck stub and his discount and my account… no dice.  So the guy in there is telling us we can change the name on the account… for $18 a line.  Let’s see, $18 a line times 5 lines… oh, yeah, $90.  Not happening.

That’s just stupid.  $18 to change the name on an account, PER LINE?  Not even just a per account fee, but one per line!  I don’t usually act this way but I got kinda loud, I stated that I was NOT paying $90 to change a name on the account, it’s asinine.  Everyone was looking at me, heh.  We ended up leaving, the guy wrote his number on a card and told us to call if we got the account changed over.

The next day we called with the plan to ask them to please waive the fee – after all, look back in your records, it’s your fault the name’s not correct anyway.  Steve takes the phone after I’ve authorized him to speak (see: asinine) and then the woman tells him oh, yeah it is $18 a line but if you do it on the internet, it’s free.  Say, what??  Couldn’t have told us that in the first place?  (But again we’re back to why is it free online but not free in the store or on the phone??)

I started the process right away and was told that we were waiting on a credit check for Steve, check back later.  So I did.  Same thing.  Again on Tuesday.  Again on Wednesday.  Finally, on Thursday, when we were both present, I called in.  Something wasn’t happening like it was supposed to online, so back to the phone we go.  The guy we got on the phone said that he’d waive the $18 per line because we at least tried to do it online.  (He was really nice about it so rather than saying it, I only thought “heck yeah, you will.”)   It took for.ev.er.

Finally we were finished with all five lines and he’s telling me how we’re going to get two bills this month, both pro-rated, and that all our plans and features have transferred over.  This was also good because online it was going to raise my internet costs by another $10 a month, though I don’t know why.  I figured I’d complete it then go into the account later and put it back, or call them… again.

Also stupid: I lost the insurance on my phone by doing this.  You can only add insurance within like the first 45 days of getting a phone and apparently you can’t transfer it, so I didn’t get to take it with me and I don’t get to re-add it.

Half stupid: all lines now have an 11 month contract on them.  Steve is not going to like this one when I finally get around to telling him.  On three lines, having an 11 months on them actually shortens the contract but on the other 2, Steve’s and his dad’s, they now have a contract where they didn’t have one before.  Steve’s has been out of contract for years upon years now and his Dad’s a few years as well.  Neither of them want theirs under contract, they want to be able to cancel at any time if they want.  The real sad part about this is they’re forced back into contract without the benefit of getting a new phone.  As for mine, it takes 2 months off my contract and I think it takes a year off of Sarah’s, maybe about 9 months off my mother-in-law’s phone.  So I’ll be able to get a new piece of crap in October rather than December now.

Not finished yet, though, of course not.  Early this morning, I got an email from AT&T stating that Sarah’s line was about to go over her text message limit… um… what??  We’re supposed to have unlimited family messaging and even if we didn’t have unlimited, we only had this new account for 2 days.  Over limit!?  After a lot of trouble getting the online account going again I was able to get in and see that we were going to have all these overages of 20 cents a message and 50 cents for a multimedia message.  Of course, I flipped out, but I couldn’t call, it was about 5 am.  Instead I added family messaging and went back to sleep for a while like usual.

Getting home later I called up AT&T and asked them to back date the family messaging plan.  Unfortunately I apparently screwed that up because supposedly they can only back date it when it’s first added, however, the woman I talked to said she will put a note to refund the overages.

Just… really?  Unfortunately, this IS worth my time, Steve’s supposed to get a 19% discount.  When you’re spending $200 a month on cell phones… that’s a lot.  However, we don’t have the discount yet!  Of course.  I called the number the guy wrote on the card for me, turns out it’s his personal cell phone and he’s not working today.  What an idiot.  So he says to go in at any time and tell someone else that HE said it’s ok and started, just to send it through, or wait until he works on Monday.  It’s gonna have to be tomorrow, on Sunday, because… duh duh duhhhhnnn… now my name’s not on the account OR the check stub so is someone else going to work with ME on this?  Doubtful.  This is just ridiculous.  I don’t see why both our names can’t be on this account, but whatever.  Oh, I also failed to mention that this guy told us the discount could take months to start applying… what the heck!?  I swear, if it wasn’t such a good discount…

Sheesh, I can’t wait for this to be over.