You have been a part of my life for a very long time. My entire adult telecommuncations life has been spent making out checks to you, or clicking “make payment now” links on your website. I have given you thousands and thousands of dollars and tons and tons of my attention over the years. You have both enabled me to connect with the world and then made it maddeningly difficult to do so. So it is with complete sincerity and utmost seriousness that I say the following:
May your entire company and everyone associated with it jump straight up my butt.
Go on. All of you. No, more. Keep going. I can take it.
What’s wrong? You’re suddenly afraid of hurting me? That’s odd.
Because you have been a pain in my ass for as long as I can remember.
I am woozy with AT&T fatigue. I have dealt with your constant barrage of stupid letters in the mail, your sickeningly cheerful salespeople who will kill a person’s spirit with a smile on their face, your dishonest marketing, your bait and switch attempts, your bills that creep up in cost and have to be monitored, your inability to honor my request to have a PLAIN FUCKING PHONE LINE, your constant telemarking attempts to sell me shit I have repeatedly refused. I have stuck with you over the years in part out of some sick sense of battered customer loyalty and, let’s be frank, laziness and ennui. Because what was I to do? You were the only game in town for a long time. You like it that way.
When I moved into the house and asked to have my service transferred here from my apartment, your salesman smiled widely and helped me do just that. Except not so much, because the service I had transferred wasn’t even available in my new neighborhood. Isn’t that something you guys should know and tell a gal before signing her up for something she can’t technically even get? Your company was more than happy to not tell me the details (and how could I have known otherwise?), and then to charge me for service I was never going to be able to get. I sucked it up and held out for a variety of reasons I will not get into here. For more than a year, I endured dismally slow internet speeds. I’m talking speeds that made it impossible to do more than one internet-related task at once. Uploading a photo? Great. You will be doing so for a very long time and if you are planning on watching a YouTube video at the same time, you are just going to have to fucking wait. Want to watch Netflix streaming through the Wii? Okay, but you better CLOSE EVERY BROWSER WINDOW IN EXISTENCE.
Finally. Finally!!! in late 2010, I got an e-mail from AT&T saying that U-Verse was being rolled out in my neighborhood. Oh, happy day. I was super excited. So excited that the whole reason why I got that e-mail is because I had signed up to be notified once it became available. In late December, a regional manager came to my house twice (once when I was walking out the door to make an appointment and another time when I was at work) to talk to me about U-Verse and all it offered. I never quite understood why this young man did not leave a card with me, because I really wanted to talk to him about getting set up. But I suppose that’s neither here nor there.
I decided to go ahead and sign up online. I meticulously crafted the bundle that would work best for my household. I spent lots of time researching options and finally came up with something I thought would be perfect. I added services to my cart and went to the checkout. The site told me sorry, but my order could not be processed online, and that I’d have to call and talk to a human. Boo. So that’s what I did a few weeks later. In the interval, I got who knows how many e-mails and letters in the mail from AT&T, pleading with me to sign up for U-Verse. All the letters talked about the bundles of cash AT&T was dying to give me to sign up for the service. Honestly, I wasn’t even interested in that. I just wanted faster internet that wasn’t reminiscent of dialup speeds.
A very helpful saleswoman got on the horn when I called and helped me pick out the bundle I wanted. She was so super nice. That’s why when we got ready to check out and she came back from my “credit check”* and told me my installation fee, due immediately right there on the phone, was $449, I was taken completely aback. Did that include the first month’s bill? No. She was super excited, however, to tell me that I would get an $80 rebate after four weeks. I kept trying to get her to explain what charges added up to nearly $500 for a simple installation, but she could not make any sense to me, despite how nice she was being. She kept putting me on hold to “talk to her manager.” Huh. After balking again and again (and asking Twitter how much THEY had paid for their U-Verse install; the average response was “they paid ME!”), I realized that I was being taken for a ride.
Imagine that: A longtime customer comes to you to ask to pay you more money every month than she is paying now, and you respond by trying to bilk her out of half a mortgage payment up front.
And then! When she tells you she would like to see the offer in writing so that she can think about it, you refuse to send that to her.
And then!! When she tells you she needs to consult with her boyfriend to make sure they can cover the cost, you tell her that she needs to call her boyfriend while you are on the line, otherwise no deal.
I realize those things are probably in the sales handbook, which is why I again want to reiterate my overarching thesis: AT&T, PLEASE JUMP STRAIGHT UP MY ASS. ALL THE WAY UP THERE. DON’T BE SHY.
Adding supreme insult to injury are the (wasteful, spammy) letters pictured above, which just will not stop fucking showing up in my mailbox, even after I have tried TWICE and failed to get your precious U-Verse service. I get at least one a week. You want to give me $300 to sign up for U-Verse, huh? Is that AFTER I donate my kidney to your CEO? Is that in the fine print?
I am writing this letter so that perhaps someone with a soul in your company might see it and pause long enough to realize that treating your longtime customers like this is, oh, I don’t know, FUCKING ATROCIOUS? And should probably stop?
Anyway, I am canceling all my AT&T services as a result of this incident, not to mention your cumulative history of dicking me around. It’s something I should have done a long time ago. Sadly, I still have cell service with your company because I have an iPhone. But now that Verizon has entered the iPhone market, it shouldn’t be too long before you can scratch my name from your roll of huckleberries for good.
Your trampoline + my ass,
*Before you go thinking this is something related to my credit, rest assured that my credit is good. Better than good. Great.