Wednesday, March 23, 2011

AT&T Wireless... Suck It!!

That's it. After nearly seven years of taking your crap, I have had it! Despite your bad behavior over the years I have defended you to Husband, who wanted to leave you a long time ago. Now I see the error of my ways. Husband was right all along (shh, don't tell him!), as a provider you suck. AT&T Wireless/Cingular, whatever you're calling yourself these days... you can kiss my ass!!!!

It was almost seven years ago that I led Husband (Boyfriend at the time) into a seedy little Cingular store down University Ave. Husband's family was never very technologically advanced - think typewriters and Tandy's used to write school papers, not in the 1980's but the late '90's and early 2000's. So, expecting him to have a cell phone was pretty much out of the question. Until one fateful night, when his train was beyond delayed and my overactive imagination led me down the path of full blown panic attack. Begrudgingly he agreed that it was time to take a step into the 21st century and get a cell phone. Seedy Cell Phone Man did his best to convince Husband that he needed the top of the line phone, but sadly (for Seedy Cell Phone Man) Husband walked out with the most basic phone and plan they had. I didn't care, as long as I could call him when I needed to I was fine.

As time went by, Boyfriend became Husband and our lives were merged. As is tradition, I left my parents' cell phone plan for my husbands. There we were, two cell phone numbers on one plan, united at last. Overall I would say our time with AT&T has been relatively painless with the exception of Husband's monthly tradition of squawking every time we get the bill and the ever unpleasant trips to the store to upgrade our phones, thus binding us to the company for two more years. It seems that it is nearly impossible to set foot in one of their stores unscathed.

Let's start with the fact that almost (note the word "almost" people!) every employee that works at AT&T Wireless seems to be trained in either one of two modes of thought: Dipshit or Asshole. Sometimes you come across that rare sparkly jewel, the one trained both ways, the Diphole (or Assshit, whichever you prefer). The Dipshits are the ones that have clearly memorized a script pertaining to their product, but should you ask them a question that deviates from the script their face goes blank and in a blind panic they frantically scramble for a piece of the script that might apply. Admitting that they don't know? Not possible! The script must have answers. If it doesn't, blame the customer. It's the question/questioner that is faulty, not them. Dipshits.

Then the Assholes. Gotta love the Assholes. You probably know them well. You walk into the store and their smugness almost overtakes you. They are clearly far superior (never mind they work in a cell phone store at the mall) and they will only deem you worthy if you are there to buy the latest and the greatest. So, when you approach them with your Palm Treo from four years ago to inquire about getting the touch screen fixed, their nose instantly wrinkles up in disgust and they suggest throwing it away. When you tell them not to be insane, that it's a perfectly good phone, they tell you to contact Palm because they don't deal with such antiquated technology, all the while practically pushing you out the door as if you are some sort of cell phone leper. Assholes.

Last summer our relationship with AT&T Wireless nearly came to an end when Husband decided it was time to get his free upgrade. At the time I was around 37 weeks pregnant and in that lovely window of about five days when I wasn't on bed rest. Although I wasn't on bed rest, I was huge, uncomfortable and having Braxton Hicks contractions like crazy. The plan was to go in, pick out the cheapest and most basic phone they had, get the free upgrade and leave. What should have been a thirty minute trip to the store ended up taking almost two hours. We walked in and instantly were greeted by a Dipshit. She was all smiles as she recited her script and when Husband tried to interject so as to cut to the chase her poor face went blank. He wants a cheap phone and quickly?? Huh? Never fear, she quickly plastered her smile back on her face then started up the script again, "iPhones, blah blah blah, data plans, blah blah blah..."

Ultimately, we were able to refocus her and she helped guide us over to the dark corner where they keep the cheap, non-data plan phones. Pushing the cobwebs aside Husband quickly picked out a simple flip phone and she guided us back over to the register. She babbled on and on about how it was a free upgrade but we would be incurring various expenses. When questioned about said expenses again the blank expression returned. Being that I had already been on my feet for about twenty minutes, Husband didn't press the issue and handed over his credit card. All smiles she started to ring us up and then put his old SIM card into the new phone. I'll never quite understand what happened next, but somehow Dipshit switched (through the computer system) my SIM card with Husband's so now all my information was on his new phone. Furrowing her brow, Dipshit claimed that it was no problem she just needed to see my phone and she could fix it. Wanting to expedite the matter I handed over my phone. After several more minutes my phone was back safely in my hands and we were that much closer to leaving the store.

As I waited I decided to look through my (antique) phone only to discover that half of my numbers had been erased. When I confronted Dipshit with the problem she tells me that Palms don't have SIM cards (never mind the fact that she just put one in my phone??) so she couldn't have erased it. I insist that half of my numbers are gone and that she fix it. At some point I become so exhausted and frustrated that I find myself sitting on the floor. (Hello, no chairs in the whole freaking store??) After about an hour of her fumbling around and talking to her manager (the Asshole variety) she insists that either the numbers were never there or I deleted them and didn't realize it. Feeling completely pissed off but like I might go into labor if I stay there any longer Husband and I leave. Oh and to top everything off Dipshit also tells me that she accidentally gave my number the free upgrade so if I want to upgrade my phone I'll have to explain the whole situation to the next Dipshit and they'll have to upgrade Husband's account which will really be my account. Huh? What?

Not wanting to be hasty and feeling that my pregnancy hormones might just be getting the better of me, I let that whole situation slide. Until today. I've been wanting to upgrade my phone for a while now. Several months ago the touch screen stopped working which wasn't too much of a problem, but now I'm finding that it also won't hold a charge. So, today, after little G's morning nap, I bundled us both up and made my way over to our local AT&T Wireless store. As I walked in I was instantly greeted by a smiling employee. Not wanting to judge, I stood there hoping I had encountered a non-Dipshit/Asshole. I explained that I was looking to purchase a new phone and he quickly led me over to his computer to check our account information. Slowly he started to reveal his Dipshit training. Trouble turning on the computer? Check. Trouble navigating the computer system? Check. Eventually he took my cell phone information and accessed my account information. I stood their waiting, mentally preparing myself to explain the debacle from last summer (my account was accidentally upgraded blah blah blah), but instead he stops and gives me this look. That smug Asshole look. What is this? Can it be? Have I encountered the rare Diphole? Indeed I had. Diphole wrinkles up his nose and in an unbelievable condescending tone tells me that I am not authorized to make changes to the account including upgrading my own phone. Completely shocked, I said, "Seriously?" With a little laugh he mockingly replied, "Yes, seriously." He went on to explain that if my husband wanted to he could call and grant me authorization. Or if he didn't want to do it over the phone, Husband could escort me to the store and help me buy the phone there. Feeling completely talked down to, I informed him that I was his wife not his child and I should not need him to grant me authorization. "All it takes is ten minutes on the phone ma'am." I refrained from telling him that my husband was in an all day mediation and didn't have ten minutes to deal with this nonsense as he had assumed that I was a grown woman who could upgrade her own freaking phone. I also refrained from telling him that I would be glad to walk to the other end of the mall and visit a little store called Verizon.

Thus, I suspect my relationship with AT&T Wireless will be coming to an end. Unfortunately Husband is at the start of a two-year contract with them, but that doesn't mean I can't move on!