April 9th, 2013

Peter G

Caught In The Web

Good evening, folks, and welcome to Sine Timore Community Theater.  I am your host, Peter G.  Tonight, I will be performing for you my new one-man show, "AT&T Screwed My Dad Like A Bitch."  Lights, please.

Act 1, Scene 1:

My dad keeps getting emails from AT&T, telling him about how his AT&T DSL is so much slower than what he could be getting with AT&T Uverse.  So he asks me.

Don't do it.

"But it's so much faster."

First, you don't do much that requires the faster rate.  Second, I remind you of the family curse, where nothing is ever easy.  Thirdly, and most importantly, this is AT&T we're talking about.

But daddy thinks it's great, and Uverse will save him about $60 a month on his phone bill (he even offers to put my phone on the family plan, just like he has my sister and my mom's mom.  I said no).  They make the arrangement for the guy to come out on Saturday to install the new equipment, between 1PM and 3PM.

Act 1, Scene 2:

Dad starts waiting at 1230PM for the technician to show up.  At 345PM, he calls AT&T to ask WTF?

"Oh, we had another trouble ticket that took longer than we thought."

"And it didn't occur to you to call me and say he couldn't make it?"

"The technician should have called, we're just the call center."

"Well, there's nobody here during the day, I need a weekend appointment."

"All weekends are booked until June.  Are you sure you can't do a weekday?"

"That won't be possible until the middle of May."

So the appointment is made for the middle of May.

Act 1, Scene 3:

Sunday morning, Dad discovers the Internet isn't working and can he use my connection?  (He always wondered why I stayed with my account with Xnet.  Now he knows.)  As he checks his email and such, he calls AT&T.  Even though the technician never showed up, AT&T switched the house over anyway.  Since his modem is for AT&T DSL and not Uverse, it won't work.

The guy on the phone tells my dad that he won't be charged for Internet during this time.

"And when do I get my Internet back?"

"Well, you made the appointment for the middle of May."


"Well, we have an opening tomorrow for someone to come by...."


"Sir, I understand you are frustrated.  Let me transfer you to someone that can help you."

"Thank you."

And the guy transferred dad to a department that was closed for the weekend.

...and at that point, I went for a walk.  For a couple of hours.

Act 2, Scene 1:

Dad has been calling, trying to get answers and even getting me involved in hopes that techies speaking a common language can make things happen.  The call gets handed around five more times (and two disconnects) and I'm finally told a pending order is with Uverse and they can't switch the DSL back on until that pending order is removed.  I need to call a number, the department is closed for the day, but it's the Ordering department.

What's the earliest I can call?


What time do they close?


I hang up and tell dad, we just got the runaround again.  I got the information at 5:45PM.  Regardless of where they are, the latest it would be is 6:45PM.  They should be open for another fifteen minutes, but they are "closed".  My dad takes the information and decides to call tomorrow.

Act 2, Scene 2:

Nine different people and two more disconnects.  Finally, he gets somebody in a different department at AT&T.  "Do you work for AT&T or Uverse?"

"I handle both."

"No one showed up to change anything, so it's someone pushing a button.  Can't you switch me back on?"

It takes a few hours of calling around, but the person succeeded, and my dad's DSL is back on.

I caught him mumbled, "Shoulda listened to you," but I didn't pounce on it.

The end.  Tip you waitstaff.