NO, I’m NOT Happy to HOLD!


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My daughter moved into a new apartment recently and ordered AT&T internet service. They sent out a modem and it would not connect, so they sent her another one. It still would not connect so she set up a service call. They gave her a tracking number for this service call. She adjusted her work schedule to be at home and asked me to be there since she had encountered so much difficulty already and knew I was a bit more knowlegable on the subject.

When 3 hours of the designated 4 hour time window had expired, we called to make sure they were actually coming. The first thing that happened was having to sort through a long voice prompt system. When the final selection had been made, we listened to ‘on hold’ music for 18 minutes before someone answered. We gave her the tracking number and she said she couldn’t find it (not a good sign obviously) but she asked us to hold so she could check with a supervisor. We held another 15 minutes and still no one could figure out how to use this tracking number to actually track down the service representative. 5pm rolled around and still no service person! 4 hours wasted X 2 unhappy customers = NEGATIVE experience

The next day, while at work, my daughter gets a call – ‘This is AT&T – we are at your apartment building.’ They had never called or explained that they were going to come on another day but evidently assumed she had nothing to do but wait for days for them to arrive.

Then came the matter of the billing for two months WITHOUT internet service. Another series of phone calls with 20 minute on hold time. Evidently AT&T thinks its customer’s time is NOT very valuable. Or perhaps they think you will just give up and pay them whatever they are asking for??

How is it that some VERY LARGE corporations still just don’t get basic customer service? The next time this young woman has to make a telecommunications vendor choice do you think it will be AT&T? Not a CHANCE!

So what could be the potential negative spin of this ‘Caller on Hold’ customer service close encounter? $50/month X a LIFETIME = Significant loss.

Some months ago, I wrote a blog post titled Have YOU Called YOUR Office Lately. This episode with AT&Tshows why that question is certainly a valid one!

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Teresa Allen
Teresa Allen is a nationally recognized customer service speaker and customer service author. Allen is owner of Common Sense Solutions, a national training and consulting firm focused on bringing common sense to business and life. Allen is author of Common Sense Service: Close Encounters on the Front Lines and is co-author of The Service Path: Your Roadmap for Building Strong Customer Loyalty.


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