Customer (dis)service

As an understatement few industries in US are are screwed up as telecom. I wanted to write about something that happened to us and AT&T (our cellphone company) this week, and just then I found this article on NYTimes titled Verizon Customers – Just Say No!. Aaahhhh those days when we were Verizon subscribers and what a piece of crap they made us feel every time we spoke to them.

Anyway back to AT&T our current service providers. So a few weeks back we realized that there was a $170 charge on our credit card through our autopay account. It turns out Hrishi had signed up for a 30-day broadband trial offer for his laptop. He used it and then canceled it within 30-days, but he was charged the early termination fee nonetheless. So once Hrishi figured out the charge, he called them up and asked for a refund. They agreed to the mistake but was told told that any refunds can be processed only for 100 days (what the #!@#??). Obviously, things like these are typically in invisible ink. This time it wasn’t even there. So Hrishi filed a complaint with Better Business Bureau. Lo and behold, the money was returned WITH an apology within 2 days. So…why did AT&T go through these pains….let me guess. It’s recession and this is probably the way they try to make sure to “collect” on paying customers!

Moving on to the next one. I had helped a friend with a T-mobile connection 5 years back. The account had been closed in 2006. Last month they figured out that the last payment on that account had not been made. How do I find this out? My credit score went down, so I checked my credit-report to see what happened. It showed a delinquent account in my name, that just made it through the gutters in the T-Mobil office to the credit score organizations last month. It took me a few hours and a few emails to figure out the chain of events t-mobil – friend – relocations – address-change – t-mobil selling the delinquent account to another company – lawyer offices – etc…

The worse is….I don’t think this is getting better anytime soon. Yuck!

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