I am probably one of 1% of my generation who insists on having a land line. Of course I have a cell phone, but I think those are the first things to go in times of serious trouble, and I like having a back-up method of communication. I even keep an old-school phone that does not require batteries (i.e., not cordless) in case I have a phone connection with no power. I’m probably only a few cans of non-perishables away from being on that Doomsdayers show on National Geographic, but I think it’s better to be safe than sorry so I refuse to feel like a weirdo or a nerd.
My boyfriend patiently agreed to have the land line installed when I moved in a few weekends ago. He clearly does not care either way, but knows I want one, so what’s the harm? Well, the harm is that AT&T is now officially the worst company I’ve dealt with in recent memory. They initially told me they could switch on service from the outside of the apartment, so no one had to be home on the day of the install. So my boyfriend, who works from home, had been out and came home to find a note on the door saying that they could not, in fact, install ours from outside, and we’d need to call to reschedule for a time when we could let them in. Already annoying, but, seemingly, not really their fault.
So I called and rescheduled. It should also be noted that they are the absolute worst company to call – worse than DWP, the Gas Company, or even Time Warner. You are generally on hold FOREVER. I do it from work so I can put my phone on speaker and do other stuff while I’m waiting. I’m surprised my office neighbors have never complained about the dreadful hold music.
When I finally got through, the man offered me a choice of having a 4 hour window in two days time, or an all-day window for the very next day. Since I am at work all day and my boyfriend had offered to stick around for the technician to come, I figured it would be nice to not relegate him to the house all day. So I said to the man, “I don’t want to have to wait around all day. Let’s go with the 8-12 timeframe.” This was supposed to happen yesterday. By 1 PM, they still had not shown up. I called to check (and waited on hold forever, again) only to find out that the original guy had screwed up. He got the day right, but put our window down as 8-8. Preposterous!! The woman on the phone got in touch with the tech and was told he could not give her an exact estimation, but we were the next stop on his list. By 6:30, he still hadn’t showed and my boyfriend had to leave to meet someone for dinner. I got home by 7:30 and expected to find a note on the door saying that we had missed the tech during the small amount of time that no one was home. But there was nothing. I called AT&T again but they were closed.
I was pretty much fuming at that point. That’s a pretty big screw up – how dare they blatantly waste someone’s time like that? Don’t they know, people have lives to live? You can’t just tether people to their homes for the day and not show up to do what you promised. Screw up aside (although that part still pisses me off too), the no-show was beyond unacceptable. How did we go from being next at 1:30 to not having anyone show up at all? Considering I’m about the last nerd on earth who even wants a land line, I don’t understand what this guy was doing the rest of the time. Surely, he has some holes in his day?
This morning, I was getting ready for work and my boyfriend went to the gym, since he couldn’t go yesterday while he was under AT&T-induced house arrest. I was putting make up on in my bathroom, which is at the back of the apartment, and thought I heard a knock at the door. When I looked outside, there was no one there. A short while later, as I left for work (late as usual) I noticed an AT&T van parked across the street. I wanted to put my car in park and start knocking on the window, but I was late and hungry and wanted to get to work in time to eat breakfast. I called AT&T when I got here, already ready for a fight.
Ironically, this was the shortest I’ve waited on hold to talk to anyone there. Ever. The woman was seriously sweet, so it was difficult to be really mean to her, even though that had been my plan since I walked in the door last night with no phone service. I told her the egregious circumstances, and also told her that I have never been so furious and was ready to cancel and switch to Time Warner. She put me on hold and came back to say, “I think it’s working. There’s a note here saying that the tech turned it on at 8:15 this morning from outside the house.” I called the number and my answering machine picked up. I had my boyfriend check the line when he got home and it was, indeed, working.
So what happened to the tech yesterday? Why did they not think they could turn on service from the outside in the first place? These questions will never be answered, and I suppose I should count myself lucky that I actually got what I wanted and a credit off the first month of service for all of our trouble. But honestly! The stress and aggravation hardly seems worth it in the end. Unless it turns out that the cell phone apocalypse is just around the corner, and I can charge people to make phone calls from my fancy land line. Then it will have been totally worth it.