My iPhone Review

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It’s hard to write something about the iPhone that takes a new angle. For the next few days you’ll be seeing hands-on reviews of the iPhone by folks like Walt Mossberg of the Wall Street Journal and David Pogue of the New York Times. Come Friday night, you’ll also see the first customer reactions. Thus, every possible angle is covered.

Lucky for me, AT&T dropped a gift in my lap last night.

I recently installed a landline for Truemors and today, out of the blue, I got a notice that AT&T is turning on DSL for the line. In fact, it was turned on five days ago. There’s only one problem: I never ordered DSL, and I don’t want a Dumb Slow Line. How hard could it be to cancel a service that you never ordered? The back of the order said you can get help via an online chat system 24 x 7. Tally ho!

This is the actual transcript of my support session:

Please wait while we find an agent to assist you…
You are currently at position number 11 in the queue.
All agents are currently busy. Please stand by.
You are currently at position number 11 in the queue.
An agent will be with you in a moment. Thank you for your patience.
You are currently at position number 11 in the queue.
The next available Agent will be with you in a moment.
You are currently at position number 10 in the queue.
All agents are currently busy. Please stand by.
You are currently at position number 10 in the queue.
An agent will be with you in a moment. Thank you for your patience.
You are currently at position number 10 in the queue.
The next available Agent will be with you in a moment.
You are currently at position number 9 in the queue.
All agents are currently busy. Please stand by.
You are currently at position number 9 in the queue.
An agent will be with you in a moment. Thank you for your patience.
You are currently at position number 9 in the queue.
The next available Agent will be with you in a moment.
You are currently at position number 8 in the queue.
All agents are currently busy. Please stand by.
You are currently at position number 8 in the queue.
An agent will be with you in a moment. Thank you for your patience.
You are currently at position number 7 in the queue.
The next available Agent will be with you in a moment.
You are currently at position number 7 in the queue.
All agents are currently busy. Please stand by.
You are currently at position number 6 in the queue.
An agent will be with you in a moment. Thank you for your patience.
You are currently at position number 6 in the queue.
The next available Agent will be with you in a moment.
You are currently at position number 5 in the queue.
All agents are currently busy. Please stand by.
You are currently at position number 5 in the queue.
An agent will be with you in a moment. Thank you for your patience.
You are currently at position number 3 in the queue.
The next available Agent will be with you in a moment.
You are currently at position number 3 in the queue.
All agents are currently busy. Please stand by.
You are currently at position number 2 in the queue.
An agent will be with you in a moment. Thank you for your patience.
You are currently at position number 2 in the queue.
The next available Agent will be with you in a moment.
You are currently at position number 2 in the queue.
All agents are currently busy. Please stand by.
You are currently at position number 2 in the queue.
An agent will be with you in a moment. Thank you for your patience.
You are currently at position number 2 in the queue.
The next available Agent will be with you in a moment.
You are currently at position number 2 in the queue.
All agents are currently busy. Please stand by.
You are currently at position number 2 in the queue.
An agent will be with you in a moment. Thank you for your patience.
You are currently at position number 2 in the queue.
The next available Agent will be with you in a moment.
You are currently at position number 1 in the queue.
All agents are currently busy. Please stand by.
You are currently at position number 1 in the queue.
An agent will be with you in a moment. Thank you for your patience.
You are currently at position number 1 in the queue.
The next available Agent will be with you in a moment.
You are currently at position number 1 in the queue.
All agents are currently busy. Please stand by.
You are currently at position number 1 in the queue.
An agent will be with you in a moment. Thank you for your patience.
You are currently at position number 1 in the queue.
The next available Agent will be with you in a moment.
You are currently at position number 1 in the queue.
All agents are currently busy. Please stand by.
You are currently at position number 1 in the queue.
An agent will be with you in a moment. Thank you for your patience.

So far, so good. It’s no big deal that I had to wait because I just had the chat window open and did other things while waiting.

Thank you for contacting AT&T Internet Services, my name is

[AT&T Person]. One moment while I review your information.

[AT&T Person]: I see you want to cancel your DSL service, is that correct?

Guy Kawasaki: yes, I never ordered it

[AT&T Person]: I am sorry you are experiencing this issue and will be happy to assist you.

[AT&T Person]: Guy Kawasaki, is 650-329-2020 your DSL phone number?

Guy Kawasaki: yes, I want to keep the number. It’s my business number. I don’t want DSL on it at all.

[AT&T Person]: Do you have a dial up account with us?

Guy Kawasaki: Dial up as in data/dsl? No. 329-2020 is strictly voice for my business.

[AT&T Person]: I see. Please call us up at 1-877-722-3755 under normal business hours and over the prompt, say Orders.

[AT&T Person]: Do you have any questions regarding the information that I just sent to you?

Guy Kawasaki: Why? I’m not adding/ordering anything. I am canceling something I never ordered.

[AT&T Person]: Guy Kawasaki, I am sorry for this inconvenience but please understand that I am a technician.

Guy Kawasaki: Why am I calling this number? So you didn’t take care of canceling DSL. I just wasted 30 minutes?

Guy Kawasaki: Why didn’t you just tell me you can’t cancel a service?

[AT&T Person]: I am sorry. I do understand your frustration. Do you have any questions regarding the information that I just sent to you?

[AT&T Person]: Is there anything else that I may assist you with today?

[AT&T Person]: Before you go, I would like to inform you that you may receive a survey in your email, requesting that you rate the service you received from me. Please take a few minutes to fill this out and let my manager know how I am doing and how satisfied you are with the support you received from AT&T Internet Services.

Holy cow: a survey!

Thank you for using AT&T Yahoo! Chat Support. You will now be disconnected from this session. The chat window will remain open until you close it. For quick answers, make the new AT&T Yahoo! Help site your first stop. Visit http://help.sbcglobal.net where you’ll find pages of product information to assist you. Again, thank you for choosing AT&T Yahoo! Chat Support.

What’s Yahoo! got to do with this? Maybe this is why Terry Semel bit the dust. I guess when the notice said that people can get help 24 x 7 it was only for installation and troubleshooting, not an adminstrative task like canceling an order.

Thank you for using AT&T High Speed Internet. You may now close this window.

Your session has ended. You may now close this window.

Okay, so I call AT&T the next day. I start the process at 11:33 am. At 11:45 am I speak to a human, she does some research, and tells me I need to speak to the DSL folks at 11:52. At 12:00 I’m off hold and speak to the next human. She tells me I need to speak to another department and transfers me. This person does more research and tells me that the order was a mistake (no kidding!) and that it’s already been canceled. At 12:07 I ask him what I should do if I see charges on the next bill. He assures me that it this won’t happen, but if it does, I should call back and tell the person—I’m not making this up—“Stanley canceled this on 6/27/07 at 12:00 pm.” I guess there’s only one “Stanley” who works at AT&T.

At 12:08, thirty-five minutes into it, I think I’ve canceled DSL that I never ordered. Give or take a few minutes, it’s taken a total of sixty eight minutes of my life to do this.

I love Steve. I love Apple. I’m even open to spending more on a phone than a computer, but AT&T? The slowness of its data network is only exceeded by its lack of customer service. Can I just buy an iPhone to use as a PDA to impress my friends, listen to music, watch video, and access the Internet via Wifi while not having anything to do with AT&T? Can you hear me now?

Photo credit: Pia Torelli/Reflex News/WpN

By | 2016-10-24T14:20:10+00:00 June 27th, 2007|Categories: Uncategorized|106 Comments

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About the Author:

Guy Kawasaki is the chief evangelist of Canva, an online graphic design tool. Formerly, he was an advisor to the Motorola business unit of Google and chief evangelist of Apple. He is also the author of The Art of Social Media, The Art of the Start, APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur, Enchantment, and nine other books. Kawasaki has a BA from Stanford University and an MBA from UCLA as well as an honorary doctorate from Babson College.

106 Comments

  1. Michael Sitarzewski June 27, 2007 at 2:27 pm - Reply

    Not being an apologist, but the AT&T reps that handle your DSL are not the same people that will handle AT&T Wireless. I’ve never had a problem with Cingular service… I hope that continues with the new AT&T. True though, the 2.5G network can be pokey.
    *************
    I understand what you’re saying, but all the bills are on one statement. And I expect, and get, great service from all parts of Nordstroms, so why not from all parts of AT&T?
    🙂
    Guy

  2. Gamermk June 27, 2007 at 2:41 pm - Reply

    Ya no big shocker here. The internet and phone industry seems to be flooded with customer service that’s more interested in passing you on to the next person rather than actually helping you with your problem.

  3. yy June 27, 2007 at 3:01 pm - Reply

    kind of strange that on the otherside of the world, seoul, korea, the customer service is pretty amazing. i just got my dsl hooked up to my new apartment and i ordered it in the morning and had it installed in the afternoon – the same day! and the technician was more than happy to wait for me when i was running late to the apartment. after he installed it he told me that i could call his mobile number for the next 2 weeks 24/7 just in case there was a problem
    i don’t think i could ever go back to the other side

  4. Quais June 27, 2007 at 3:02 pm - Reply

    Interesting experience. Here in Australia, it’s Telstra who have that same type of customer service, specially since they moved to India to cut costs. Pissed off a whole lot people.

  5. Jojo June 27, 2007 at 3:05 pm - Reply

    Nothing unusual with your experience. It is the norm with many companies. I know they don’t care how much of our time they waste, but what I find amazing is that they fail to see the amount of time (and therefore $$) that they waste with processes like this. And so few companies appear to have traceable incident numbers. Oh sure, they might give you an incident number, but try and call back to follow-up on it. You’ll usually find that the incident wasn’t updated, doesn’t have any notes, they don’t have access to the system that has the incident, the notes don’t say what you thought they should say, they can’t find the incident, etc., etc. When you experience modern customer service, it makes you wonder when you see those glowing “productivity” figures that the FEDs issue about how wonderful companies are doing in terms of working more efficiently.
    re: Michael Sitarzewski – It is not unreasonable to expect a single point of contact for ALL customer issues. the telco companies are famous for routing you through one number after another, probably hoping you will give up and go away.
    btw: Call the president’s office at any company where you get this type of customer “disservice” run-around and you will usually be forwarded to executive complaints. They can often get to the bottom of things.

  6. WastedTime June 27, 2007 at 3:08 pm - Reply

    Why title the post iPhone review? After you wasted sixty-something minutes of your time with ATT; you’ve managed to waste another 5 mins of everyone else who read your post looking for thoughts on the iPhone. Interesting how you are griping about ATT misleading customers with live chat that is worthless – and now this misleading blog title.. which has nothing to do with the iPhone review and instead ATT’s customer service. Thanks for nothing.

  7. Dave Kurlan June 27, 2007 at 3:08 pm - Reply

    As bad is this was, it could have been worse. Your chat session could have been outsourced to a foreign country where you wouldn’t have been able to read what they were saying.
    Seriously, when are all companies going to learn that if they pay more attention to the process of delivering their product or service, and building a product that is ready to go upon delivery, there will be less pressure on customer service and technical support? And until they do that, when will they realize that they will successfully unsell nearly every customer who must endure their crappy support because the other guys can’t possibly be this bad. Unfortunately, it seems, they’re all this bad.
    “We can rebuild him”. If we can rebuild people, why can’t executives make the decision to begin the rebuilding process and provide adequate training instead of providing them with a script and a manual and saying, “Good luck. This book should have all the possible scenarios you will ever have to deal with.”?
    There should be an option of being able to deal with small boutique companies who can pay attention to trivial matters like customer service but the small companies are shut out from the markets where these problems are so chronic.
    Bring back the general store!

  8. Margaret Howe June 27, 2007 at 3:09 pm - Reply

    I’ve had nearly this same exact experience but with Qwest. LOL. Its the way all these companies do business now. Wait, connect to someone else, wait, call this number instead, wait. (And pray you don’t get lost in the process!)
    I never thought I’d say this, but I actually miss the good old days of having a local office to go to where I could pout at the receptionist until they fixed what they messed up.

  9. Darren Ehlers June 27, 2007 at 3:16 pm - Reply

    Sucks to hear this. When Cingular bought AT&T Wireless it was such a relief b/c AT&T support was so unbelievably horrible. Unfortunately, it sounds like AT&T culture has taken over yet again. Personally, I think it was a horrible mistake to re-brand Cingular as AT&T (sorry, at&t).

  10. Leigh June 27, 2007 at 3:30 pm - Reply

    Just pop in your T Mobile Sim card and you can use the iphone with T-Mobile.

  11. Jennifer Jeffrey June 27, 2007 at 3:31 pm - Reply

    An intriguing follow-up post might be: Why Does Customer Support at All Major Telephone Service Companies Suck?
    I had a similar experience at Verizon, only worse: seven different customer service agents on three consecutive days for a total of over 3 HOURS on the phone to cancel something I didn’t order and that they took me to collections for, claiming nonpayment.
    Nordstroms has great customer service, but last time I checked, the earnings statements for the major phone companies looked fine and dandy. What gives?

  12. Larry C June 27, 2007 at 3:43 pm - Reply

    Hey Guy, I can feel your pain. I never figure out whether the automation is supposed to speed up or slow/turn down the customer service. It usually take me around 15-20 min before I can talk to a real person (on a lucky day).

  13. moni June 27, 2007 at 4:07 pm - Reply

    My experience with AT&T was even worse than the ordeal you describe. It had to do with AT&T wireless moving customers to Cingular and the Customer service red tape I had to go through to claim the “phone insurance” on a damaged phone. I’ll spare you the details, but the experience made me move carriers.
    I’ve been on T-Mobile since, and I can’t say how much better it is because I luckily haven’t had to deal with the customer service much.

  14. docsanchez June 27, 2007 at 4:09 pm - Reply

    I’ve had similar issues with Telus here in Canada. I once had put an additional $80 on a bill under “Other”. No explanation. Just “Other”.
    I, being one who actually reads my bills and not giving the phone company access to direct withdrawal from my bank account, called them up to ask what “Other” meant.
    Apparently two years earlier I canceled my account and moved twice in one day having their service installed three times at two different addresses. In the same day?! Obviously this wasn’t the case but they insisted that is what happened because that is what their computer said. After hours and several phone calls back and forth I finally had a “manager” agree that didn’t make any sense and must be a mistake.
    After that I now hate Telus more than anything else in the world. I hate them with every fibre of my being. Incompetence and arrogance and blindly “just doing my job” is a dangerous combination. Especially as a customer service policy.
    I wish I could say that was the end of it. But no. Three years later the exact same thing happened again. They found the same mistake from 5 years earlier and wanted their money.
    This set of conversations went much quicker. I don’t think I said much beyond “you’re calling me after five years?!”
    They apologized and thanked me for my patronage.
    I still hate Telus… my rage burns. That’s not something that should happen after a call to a customer service line. Why are phone companies so bad at this?

  15. mario Bucolo June 27, 2007 at 4:10 pm - Reply

    Hi Guy, same problem in Italy, it was 15 days I fight with Telecom Italia to explain that the 800 euro invoice they sent to me is for a landline I never order and I never used!
    About iPhone, hope Steve will hear you!
    Ciao
    Mario

  16. Dan June 27, 2007 at 5:09 pm - Reply

    Re: Cell phones will soon be a democracy. Apple is the definition of “lock-in,” you want Democracy? Try Dell selling unlocked high-end Nokia’s

  17. Lary June 27, 2007 at 5:27 pm - Reply

    Guy,
    I am sure this will be one of your most read posts- It resonates with everyone. It is also nice to know that even someone like Guy has to deal with “support” issues too!
    -Lary
    www.EpicUnderground.com

  18. Mike RJ Miller June 27, 2007 at 5:36 pm - Reply

    Guy,
    A great post that will resonate with a lot of people. I just spent 4 days of 2-3 hours per day to get service. I wanted to spend money with them and they made it so difficult.
    I have an idea for a video/movie project titled “Why does it have to be so difficult”. And record some of the absurd conversations I’ve had with “customer service” representatives from big companies and then go inside these call centers and expose how these reps are educated, compensated, incented and supervised. And insiders expose if you will. Anyway, it’s become accepted that customer service sucks from big companies. Apple is one of the few good ones, but still I’ve had some crazy “chats” with their support on my kids Mac Mini scratching disks. They scratched the movie titled “Final Cut” so they tried to replace my software called “Final Cut”.
    Thanks for the great reads!
    Mike

  19. Douglas Karr June 27, 2007 at 5:36 pm - Reply

    I had a very similar experience! Incredibly frustrating. http://dwarfurl.com/71ccf
    One thing to notice about this: Most retailers offer means of signing up very easily online, but none of them offer cancellation online. I’m quite serious in the belief that this method of exploitation should be illegal, not just bad service!

  20. Paul Woodward June 27, 2007 at 5:45 pm - Reply

    Lenny Bruce was on the mark here: “Communism is like one big phone company”. Think the old Soviet Union. Think phone company. Endless queues with nothing at the end.

  21. Harry J. Chong June 27, 2007 at 7:24 pm - Reply

    Bureaucracies my favorite business!

  22. Scott Yates June 27, 2007 at 7:45 pm - Reply

    >>Can I just buy an iPhone to use as a PDA to impress
    >>my friends, listen to music, watch video, and access
    >>the Internet via Wifi while not having anything to do
    >>with AT&T?
    Nope. You buy the phone at the store and then activate it through iTunes, but the plan is required. Too bad.
    And to “Leigh” who says you can just pop in a sim card, Nope to that, too. No slot. The only connection is to the computer and iTunes.
    All these problems, and still I’ll get one because I want a phone that’s 100 times better than my current phone. It’s true that it could have been 110 times better, but for 100 times better I’m not going to quibble.

  23. J June 27, 2007 at 7:56 pm - Reply

    You people and your “horror stories”…one Thanksgiving night a few years ago I received my monthly statement online for Verizon and to my amazement, my typical $60-80 bill was a whopping $1200. Several months and several dozen phone calls, emails, letters, etc. later I was finally able to resolve the issue.
    It turns out they had “upgraded” their billing system which caused all of my plans promotions and pricing to be deleted, so I was paying 45 cents a minute for every minute from the 1st minute.

  24. Matthew June 27, 2007 at 8:17 pm - Reply

    I couldn’t agree more.
    I left Sprint for AT&T Wireless’ “new” (at the time) GSM network. Long story short, AT&T over promised, lied, and ultimately never delivered. And customer service was as bad as the network.
    I left AT&T for T-Mobile. I’ve been blown away at how good TMob’s customer service is, and frankly at how honest they are. If there’s a problem they can’t fix they admit to it. Unsupported phone? No problem, they spend the time to get it rolling on their service.
    So, my concern with the iPhone (as a shareholder and a customer) lies entirely with the company Apple is in bed with. And it’s not for a short period of time, either. Some accounts have it that this is a 5-year exclusive.
    Apple clearly sees the iPhone as a long-term project, the market for mobile handsets being so mammoth and all. In that sense 5 years is nothing. But for a customer like me who will only buy unlocked (carrier-free, SIM-free) handsets, 5 years is an eternity.
    Good luck, Apple. AT&T’s rather pathetic image is going to reflect on you more than you have calculated for.

  25. Eric Pennington June 27, 2007 at 8:38 pm - Reply

    AT&T doesn’t have a clue what a customer is or how one should be treated. I know, tell us something we don’t already know.

  26. Andreas Pizsa June 27, 2007 at 10:08 pm - Reply

    I *love* the transcript, Guy – thanks for posting it!
    Do you believe that was an actual person? It rather seems like a chat bot that failed the Turing test.
    The last time *I* remember that someone addressed me by both my first and last name was a dumb computer program sending out e-mails.
    Seriously, given the quality of the conversation, one could make billions with a chat bot system that replaces all these “operators”. Imagine…. no loss of quality, but *no* waiting time for the customers – the number of ops just scales more or less endlessly! And you charge them only half of what they pay these human androids… 🙂
    A.

  27. Tom June 27, 2007 at 11:33 pm - Reply

    I too hate their customer service. I just moved into a new apartment. I placed an order online for a new landline and DSL, with installation scheduled for about June 13.
    I get an email from them the next day saying I already have service at my apartment. It turns out the previous resident hadn’t canceled their service, and until they did or my landlord proved that I was the new resident, they couldn’t sign me up for new service.
    Two weeks, three orders, three new phone numbers, and about 20 phone calls to AT&T and my landlord later I finally had phone and internet service.
    I now know their automated phone service (which is THE most painful thing ever to use) like the back of my hand.
    The one good thing that happened was our DSL magically turned on 4 days before it was supposed to (why it was supposed to take 4 days to turn on in the first place… I have no idea)

  28. Brian June 27, 2007 at 11:38 pm - Reply

    Show me a Cell/Telco with competent service and I’ll show you a foreign company.

  29. Pete Quily June 27, 2007 at 11:39 pm - Reply

    too bad, I think most of us have had time sucked out of our lives from these huge monopolies/semi monopolies, they claim they care about your business as they waste your time, and aggrevate you because they’re too cheap to hire enough staff/and or train them properly.
    Often you’ll be on hold and finally nearly get through when they hang up on you and you go through voicemail hell again. sometimes you’re trapped in a loop and there’s no escape button. Telus and Rogers are just as bad here in Canada.
    The downside of monopoly capitalism is you get capitalistic prices with communist type service.

  30. amhey June 27, 2007 at 11:43 pm - Reply

    I find it egregious (for those that have AT&T DSL) that when DSL service goes down that they don’t post on their website outage reports of bad servers, bad lines,outage regions – Netcom (and other ISPs) had this years ago in the days of dialup.
    I absolutely refuse to unplug my computer, remove my router and do the other gymnastics required to test my systems under their standard DSL troubleshooting protocol. The latest incident there was a storm and no dial tone on the line – quite clearly nothing to do with my OS, computer, etc. Their customer service scripts are hierarchical and they must lose millions in customer support – not to mention goodwill.
    I can’t believe that there aren’t some remnants of the old AT&T that will fix this appalling situation having suffered similar episodes with the old SBC support. They used to have a policy of minimal number of handoffs. For a company that is supposedly expert in telecommunications they can’t even pass your phone number to their chain of customer service reps.
    Let’s hope that the AT&T board read this blog and force appropriate action.

  31. Liz June 28, 2007 at 12:23 am - Reply

    Excellent post, Guy!

  32. Vitor Domingos June 28, 2007 at 12:52 am - Reply

    Oh, here in Portugal with the incumbent operator is the same think or worst. That’s the kind of problems with the large operators, they cannot address customers problems efficiently.

  33. Jake in Seattle June 28, 2007 at 12:55 am - Reply

    It seems that the executives at AT&T just cannot get it through their heads that they shouldn’t be in any business that deals directly with consumers. Anyone remember AT&T Wireless? They had the worst reputation for coverage and abysmal customer service – so they sold the company to Bell South to create “Cingular”.
    I’ve enjoyed being a Cingular customer for the past several years, though in the short time since the switch to becoming “the new AT&T” the service level has already dropped considerably. Perhaps some of this can be explained by a Cingular (now AT&T) salesperson who confided in me “they cut our pay and bonus plans – selling AT&T is not as much fun as when it was Cingular”.
    To me AT&T is still part of Ma Bell, with a brand image of an old school, stodgy, line-item accounting business focus ~ and today’s wireless market does not fit that model.
    Plus why do companies insist on buying strong brands that appeal to customers, then abandon them in favor of bringing back tired brand names with poor reputations.
    It’s certainly not to keep loyal customers. Can we say ego stroking?
    RIP Cingular

  34. Jon June 28, 2007 at 1:14 am - Reply

    Hi Guy, save yourself some time and add great convenience to your life while traveling – just get yourself a satellite card for your laptop with a satellite phone (or just use skype) 🙂
    Jon

  35. Hooshyar Naraghi June 28, 2007 at 2:35 am - Reply

    Geeez, I just received my AT&T DSL kit in the mail the other day and I was going to install the modem. What to do now? I jumped off the ship of bloody, nasty Comcast. Who are other vendors?
    Guy, it is amazing you posted the transcript of your customer service experience. I wanted to do the same with my dozen of times I spoke to Comcast “humans.” The worst part is they don’t resolve your issue and have the audacity (or bozocity) to end the call by asking “Is there anything else you want help with today?” It seems these big companies train their customer service staff in the same night school.

  36. st_labrat June 28, 2007 at 3:12 am - Reply

    what make you think OTHERS are any better? wait until you hear “we are newly introduced automated support system … “, you would never going to talk to a human being… “I do not recieve a correct answer, please try again…”, after 3 times, you got cut of… “you may try at later time. Good bye”.
    Consider youself lucky and task completed with the help of “stanley”. (kid you not, I spend more than 1 hr to cancel a wireless phone that cost my mother >100 dollar for 3 local calls=should be 0.75… no refund. 45 minutes was spend on automated answering system keep going “I am sorry”. I have to pretend I got a dail tone phone to get hold of a human being…just lucky to got cancelled on time…. Believe it or not, I got two more phone calls later to ask me to renew the service at a “discount introduction rate”, by human being! Guess what my answer was…

  37. Chris G June 28, 2007 at 3:19 am - Reply

    Nice. I had a very bad experience with Cingular, so your transcript does not surprise me. I have a current post on my site— What are your expectations of a cellphone/mobile-device? ( click my name )

  38. Paul Sweeney June 28, 2007 at 3:21 am - Reply

    Have to say, this experience does sound like a “bot experience”. Isn’t it really really simple to book a call back so you don’t have to wait on line? The more people post these kinds of experiences online the less likely companies are to let these things go on, especially when customer reviews of products and services are going to play such a strong role in the search and selection activity. Damien Mulley in Ireland is going through one such process with a company, and has posted it on line. It hit the main newspapers the next week. http://www.mulley.net/2007/06/21/legal-letters-sent-to-me-on-behalf-of-sky-handling-partners/

  39. Solutions Talk June 28, 2007 at 4:34 am - Reply

    AT

    Today’s Notable Quote: It’s hard to write something about the iPhone that takes a new angle. – Guy Kawasaki, from his How to Change the World blogpost on iPhone/ATT launch. According to authors Joseph Pine and James Gilmore, the easiest

  40. AppDev June 28, 2007 at 4:58 am - Reply

    Boy, did AT&T tick off the wrong person!

    Today, Guy Kawasaki sounded off on his experience with ATT customer service (“My iPhone Review”). It was the perfect zinger, coming in from left field when the entire media universe is just hours away from the iPhone love-fest crescendo.
    A million

  41. Drew Thaler June 28, 2007 at 4:59 am - Reply

    Ironically, the *old* AT&T (before SBC took over the company) was a lot better about customer service. I switched to them for local phone service and business DSL a few years ago because it was one of my only options to avoid SBC. I wound up quite liking their service. But, like the Blob, there was just no escape… SBC gobbled up AT&T and stole its name, and now my phone service has started sucking again.
    I doubt that Cingular will fare any better. If you are dealing with them and accidentally get a good customer service rep who survived the merger, rest assured that they won’t last long.

  42. Super Mega Action Weblog Plus! June 28, 2007 at 5:07 am - Reply

    iPhone is coming

    Mike was chatting today about wanting an iPhone, but without the phone (just the i?). What he meant was hed like all the features of the iPhone without being tied into a new phone contract, which makes sense, cos it&#…

  43. John June 28, 2007 at 5:54 am - Reply

    The “old” AT&T was a good company – not perfect, but generally pretty good. SBC has been horrible for a long time; I became their customer when I moved to TX (from Verizon territory) and had immediate problems; adding unwanted services to land lines seems to be company policy.
    I’ve been a Cingular customer that whole time, too, and they’ve been decent. Not great, but decent.
    Now that AT&T has bought BellSouth and become the sole owner of Cingular, I’m worried that the AT&T philosophy of customer-loathing will become prevalent there. It’s really unfortunate, because I’ve found their coverage, phone selection, and pricing to be quite good.
    In our uncompetitive telecom/broadband market here in the US, we’re often stuck with a choice between two unappealing providers (here in Houston, it’s Comcast and AT&T, and they both suck).

  44. Moments of Clarity June 28, 2007 at 5:56 am - Reply

    Eerily Similar to My Dell Experience

    Guy Kawasaki points out a possible challenge to the iPhone’s success…its involvement with ATT. Does this transcript of the help session sound familiar? It’s a non-native English speaker from somewhere else that has absolutely no capacity to understan…

  45. Andrew Denny June 28, 2007 at 6:19 am - Reply

    Not strictly comparable with your experience, but I got a phone service with a company where the technicians also handle the sales side. I’ve had it a year, and every time I’ve phoned up I’ve waited no longer than 30 seconds for a human, and there’s no Touchtone Hell.
    But I pay nearly twice as much as most of the advertised services. To me, this is worth it, but many people still go for a cheap service in the hope they’ll not need phone or online support.

  46. Chip Overclock June 28, 2007 at 6:25 am - Reply

    I agree with many of the other comments: the elimination of any real “customer service” is definitely the dark side of the e-commerce revolution. Unfortunately, the trend fits in well with the desire to lower costs from the business side of the house, and the desire not to deal with people from the technical side of the house. Unless customers show a strong preference for good customer service, this will be the norm. Unfortunately, since so many (most?) internet-based services have crappy customer service, there’s really no competition to which to turn. It’s sort of like price fixing or collusion (except its really more like game theory in this regard). My best customer service experience come from internet services which also have a brick-and-mortar or mail-order component, e.g. LLBean and the like, which have a history of good customer service predating the internet.

  47. Coolest guy in Latvia June 28, 2007 at 6:45 am - Reply

    that is some negative publicity for iphone services 🙂
    Though I don’te remember if I have ever received a fast and accurate help at any serviceline…

  48. John June 28, 2007 at 7:26 am - Reply

    Customer support is an afterthought in most products and services. I have a feeling it’s similar to documentation in the software development field.
    I had a similar experience last week with Time Warner. I tried to access online support (which is hard enough to find on their lousy web site) to reschedule an install and they couldn’t help me. Instead they gave me a phone number to call and reschedule. How pointless. Moreover, the most interesting point to make is that if I really needed tech support for my internet connection _that isn’t working_ … Would I be on the internet asking for help?

  49. Marc Davison June 28, 2007 at 8:01 am - Reply

    The iPhone is one sexy piece of hardware. I admire its ascetic in the same way I do a gleaming new Porsche. The only difference is Porsche is powered by a Porsche engine. The result is a glorious ride. iPhone is powered by a Hugo engine…er I mean AT&T. I think I can resist and wait a few years for Verizon.

  50. Joshua Gregory June 28, 2007 at 8:29 am - Reply

    Guy,
    I have to admit, the article threw me for a loop. As I was reading it, I kept asking, what does DSL have to do with his new iPhone?
    Regardless, that is a great perspective on the PDA angle.
    I think that in 2 years, not only will there be devices better than the iPhone, there will be a better iPhone! Have you looked back at first-gen iPod photos? That thing looks clunky compared to the new hotness apple is producing currently.

  51. James Higginbotham June 28, 2007 at 8:44 am - Reply

    I, too, have been hurt by the AT&T issues. I used to use SBC, which I think is a branch office of Satan, Inc. I moved to AT&T local service happily, until they bought SBC. Now, I’m stuck with them in my area and no other choices (hint hint telecom – come to Austin). In the meantime, if I want to change my current phone plan, I have to pay a $20 activation fee for a phone service I already have! Figure that one out.
    On the same token, Cingular was horrible, their store sales people are not helpful, and the network is slow. Before I switched, I had the “Blue Plan”, which was basically the AT&T pre-Cingular-pre-AT&T plan. When I went to pick out a new phone, I had to move to the “Orange Plan”, which was pre-AT&T-again. So, What it would it be now – move to the Blue Plan, which is what I have, but pre-Orange Plan? Give me a break!
    I couldn’t imagine buying an iPhone and having to go back there. I was treated better when my car was stolen!

  52. Jack June 28, 2007 at 9:13 am - Reply

    Gee, thanks, I think. Your AT&T tech issue is more hassled than my Verizon issue. So, I guess I stay put. Devil you know …

  53. Mike June 28, 2007 at 9:30 am - Reply

    I worked for SBC for 8 years, and I specifically worked “around” these centers and issues for some time. The issue, ultimately, is the culture fostered in management: Career management rather than properly managing the biz.
    Whenever I was exposed to executives, I was often surprised at how good of managers they were. The issue is the 4th to 2nd line middle managers. What is rewarded is what gets done. Action on the issue you bring up will only take place based on the reports the executives receive. Generally speaking, the 2nd to 4th lines are not even measuring the right things in the first place. The majority of the data are “scrubbed” and all news ends up being good news. Now that the mid-mgrs have been producing sub-par reports for this length of time, you can imagine the shock that may occur if more accurate data were reported. There would be significant reprocussions as well. And since you don’t know whom your next boss will be, or who will have influence over your career in the next 18-24 months, the “bell-head” mgr keeps on keeping on. And you have your transcript.
    Big shocker, huh? Yeah right. I suppose inevitably this occurs at any organization that has scaled to what at&t is today. The front-line managers are focused on career, annual bonuses, and probably just survival. Showing real data in the 2nd to 4th line realm will either be ignored, scrubbed, or you have officially commited career suicide because you are no longer a team player.
    Service has also been commodotized. The next CEO’s background is finance, not marketing. Has that been and will that be significant? We’ll see. at&t has so much cash and market share right now, they have a lot of room to make errors or stay numb to the tiny pricks blog posts like this make.

  54. Ansi June 28, 2007 at 10:37 am - Reply

    There is only one “Stanley” at AT&T that is associated with the number 650-329-2020. Call centers keep track of everything.
    I’m sorry to hear about the trouble you went through. I’ve have had similar problems with not just AT&T but many others as well. What I’ve found is if I do a little research and narrow down what to do and which number to call or email. Most of the time I get away with email, and I’ve never had an email not replied so far or with instructions on where to call and so forth.
    I guess most of the time, people call with stupid questions and because of that people who call in for serious matters get bounced all around.

  55. Moses June 28, 2007 at 10:54 am - Reply

    This is one of the funniest thing I’ve ever read. So sorry you went through all of that, I’m sure alot of us can relate.
    What happened to the good old way of having only one person deal with a problem that a customer have. Nowadays, we get to talk to 5 different people from from different departments. I love it.

  56. Cynthia Pinsonnault June 28, 2007 at 11:31 am - Reply

    I feel your pain. Some time back I had an encounter with tech support at what is now AT&T: http://cyntheta.blogspot.com/2006/02/ing-tech-support.html
    So many companies, big and small, care only about making the sale and really don’t care too much about what comes after. One the responses here mentioned the culture created by management. We live in a disposable society and many corporate cultures have decided that customers are disposable too.

  57. Finite June 28, 2007 at 11:57 am - Reply

    Apple.com says “Minimum new 2-year wireless service plan and activation fee required to activate iPhone features, including iPod; plans are subject to AT&T credit approval.”
    This also conveniently precludes using 1.0 as a spare ipod after upgrading to 2.0. When I am king, CEOs like Steve will go to jail for planned obsolesence tricks like these. BOYCOTT APPLE!
    (Hi, Guy. I used to be on your Apple evange-list in the 90s, and am now a linuxppc refugee. No hard feelings:)

  58. Axure June 28, 2007 at 12:22 pm - Reply

    Perhaps you should use your position as an influential person in tech world (and convince other influential friends) to spread a strongly stated point of view that the marriage of iPhone and AT&T is the most stupid thing that could have been done and that people will suffer.
    And the motivation behind that shouldn’t be to hurt Apple (OK, it should be to some extent, they deserve it), but mainly to save some people’s pain and to save Apple from their own stupidity and help them break with this idea.
    (Not that Apple has an extremely good customer service either… I’ve suffered it even here, in Poland.)

  59. Rimantas June 28, 2007 at 1:14 pm - Reply

    “The only difference is Porsche is powered by a Porsche engine. The result is a glorious ride. iPhone is powered by a Hugo engine…er I mean AT&T.”
    Marc, iPhone is powered by a Porsche engine, I mean OS X. It’s the roads you will be driving that you get from AT&T.

  60. Nathaniel Smith June 28, 2007 at 3:15 pm - Reply

    Interesting to read this post just a few minutes after reading OpenMoko announcing ship dates for their fully-open cell phones. Certainly won’t be as fancy as the iPhone at first (though the photos so far are very pretty), but in the long run I’ll take an open platform over the locked-in-locked-up iPhone. That I might be forced to spend years dealing with AT&T tech support because of a deal that Apple Inc.’s executives made — for their benefit, not mine — is just crazy.

  61. digitalzone June 28, 2007 at 5:13 pm - Reply

    Guy,
    mater of fact.
    “There is only one “Stanley” at AT&T that is associated with the number 650-329-2020. Call centers keep track of everything.”

  62. Neuland June 28, 2007 at 5:22 pm - Reply

    Why stand in line for an iPhone? Watch the madness live 24/7!

    Thanks to one of the new video broadcasting (or narrow-casting, just as you like) sites named Mogulus TV, we can now watch the lines building outside various Apple stores across the country. Rubbernecking in the age of My Space. Enjoy!

  63. Mordy Golding June 28, 2007 at 8:38 pm - Reply

    Awesome post Guy.
    As much as I love the iPhone (and Apple), I can’t justify moving over to the AT&T Network. I’ll have to wait until the next generation iPhones come to other carries. For now, I will have to live with my Treo, which while not nearly as sexy as the iPhone, does work quite well.
    I can’t remember where I found out about this, but there’s a cool site called “Get Human” which has numbers and information to a human on the phone. The website address is http://gethuman.com/us/ and I’ve had good success with it.

  64. Just Some Crank June 28, 2007 at 8:45 pm - Reply

    I expected nothing from this review, but still I find myself disappointed.
    Phone companies suck because they can.
    Verizon? Sucks. They were assholes when they were New York Telephone/New England Bell/etc back in 1985 and they are still assholes today.
    AT&T? Sucks, sucked in 1952 and sucks 10x more today. Hell, the current company is more like the 3rd cousin of the original AT&T, but that doesn’t matter — they all suck.
    Sprint? Please.
    T-Mobile? Sucks — and the phone stops working when you get off the highway. They suck in Germany too.
    The only person who I’ve ever personally known who has gotten immediate satifaction from a telephone company is the Governor of a US state — and he only got help when he personally called the CEO of that company.
    The iPhone is a $600 phone. I’m sure its pretty nifty. But nit-picking over telcos is a collossal waste of time and energy.

  65. Dr.Mani June 29, 2007 at 1:18 am - Reply

    ===
    Can I just buy an iPhone to use as a PDA to impress my friends, listen to music, watch video, and access the Internet via Wifi while not having anything to do with AT&T?
    ===
    You mean I CAN’T???
    I was going to order one EXACTLY to do that – because it launches in India only a year later.
    But then, who needs a phone when you have an iPhone, right?
    I’m SERIOUS 😉
    Dr.Mani

  66. Deirdré Straughan June 29, 2007 at 3:41 am - Reply

    So there’s an upside to the iPhone not being available in Europe right away: Apple will have time to see just how badly they get burned on a bad partner, and maybe choose more carefully outside the US. God forbid they should end up in bed with Telecom Italia! – if you think you’ve seen bad customer service: http://www.beginningwithi.com/italy/living/telecom.html

  67. Webconomist June 29, 2007 at 5:26 am - Reply

    The large enterprise, such as AT&T is a Management System. It is a result of the rise of management theory, post WW2. Management inherently reduces risk where possible to focus on delivering profit through shareholder value, not economic value. This means the customer just isn’t important.
    True customer service means letting people actually make decisions. That is a risk, therefore it is bad management. AT&T senior management will avoid at all costs, even as Telus or Aliant in Canada do, letting people make decisions. Heaven forbid a nice letter arrives at their desk…

  68. Steve Roesler June 29, 2007 at 2:33 pm - Reply

    And that, Guy, is the single reason why it is 5:30 p.m. on June 29th and I am at home instead of in line at the Apple Store 15 minutes away.

  69. st_labrat June 29, 2007 at 5:06 pm - Reply

    Ha, I didn’t know iPhone got a feature that block the silly media people (like the spam filter). Smart indeed. I would tell some of the media (including some of them that bad mouth about Jobs, because they couldn’t get it for free), that minimum IQ might be required… they might not meet the scale to have it… hehehe.

  70. David Dalka - Creating Revenue and Retention - Chicago GSB MBA June 30, 2007 at 3:56 am - Reply

    iPhone

    Im not buying an iPhone today.
    Im not buying an iPhone Saturday.
    Im not buying an iPhone anytime soon.

  71. Matthew June 30, 2007 at 6:11 pm - Reply

    I completely understand why people wouldnt want to switch servers AND have to pay a ridiculous price for the device. That said, if I was working for Apple right about now I’d be more than happy to make the switch…
    http://www.thenewsroom.com/details/453262?c_id=wom-bc-mam
    –matthew from the tech desk at thenewsroom.com

  72. you said it June 30, 2007 at 9:44 pm - Reply

    Yeah, I had a bunch of those experiences with AT&T Customer Dis-service too. Except when I ordered DSL (AT&T is the local monopoly) they managed to turn off my regular voice service for 3 weeks! No phone for 3 weeks and they never got the DSL to work.
    AT&T is the biggest POS company in the world.
    I’d rather have all my teeth drilled out while having an IRS audit with no anesthesia. Don’t do business with AT&T if you can help it.

  73. Thomas Schmitz June 30, 2007 at 11:34 pm - Reply

    5 years from now battered scruffy iPhones (version 1) will be sitting in cardboard boxes next to scruffy old Macs in RePC and other used computer parts stores while lousy telco support will still be readily available.

  74. webmotion July 1, 2007 at 12:22 pm - Reply

    I can’t believe it! Thousands of miles away – in Hungary – we have the very same symptoms, only that it’s not AT&T eating the nerves but T-com and T-online and T-mobile and T-whatever…

  75. Teri Ross July 1, 2007 at 4:01 pm - Reply

    I have a perfect credit score – with one exception. I bailed on At&T in the middle of a contract two years ago. I had a similar support experience with them while simply trying to get cell service in Phoenix, AZ. That was simply the final straw after 18 months of very poor quality cell phone service.
    I would have stood in line and purchased the iPhone last night if it weren’t for the AT&T requirement. I agree, as long as AT&T is the sole service provider, I will not own an IPhone. Apple, can you hear us now?

  76. MB July 2, 2007 at 7:01 am - Reply

    Take a look at the survey. It asks for commments and says in bold “we will not respond to any comments or questions.”
    Nice. Invest more time and get nothing back, not even improved service.
    If Verizon would get equally priced, consistantly working service in Europe, I would have never gone to ATT three months ago.
    Oh, one other thing, “The fewest dropped calls.” It’s a lie. And the connection is aweful.
    Ad Agencies should be forced to use the brand they work for. It’d be great to get the message and the reality a little closer aligned.

  77. Epic Living July 2, 2007 at 9:07 am - Reply

    No Problems…When We’re Perfect

    The title of this post is my reccomendation for ATT to use as a marketing slogan. More specifically for the IPhone. C/NET News has an interesting piece on the current issues around activation for the IPhone. Usually when you take

  78. JD July 2, 2007 at 12:10 pm - Reply

    I hate AT&T / Cingular, etc. They suck…I’ve been through the same hell that GUY has gone through. I FEEEEL your pain!

  79. joecool July 2, 2007 at 5:19 pm - Reply

    How would you rate the phone? Here is a poll: http://www.apopularitycontest.com/display_poll.php?ID=5560

  80. Woven Pixels July 3, 2007 at 8:59 am - Reply

    Doing the Least

    Here is an example of doing the least, and the unforeseen cost. How much is Guy Kawasaki’s time worth? AT

  81. Dmitry July 3, 2007 at 11:11 am - Reply

    Well, reading all this I can imaging what’s going on to happen here in Russia. Right now, we don’t have locked phones. You just buy phone you want, and SIM card of a carrier you want, separately.
    All the big carriers have some sort of automated voice\internet service to change your dial plan yourself so you just have no need to talk to them.
    If you have some trouble that requires human assistance, it’s a pain but not that worse.
    We don’t have yet carriers like AT&T that could be a monopoly for all services — landline, cellular, DSL, for a home you live in. So you deal with different specialised service providers. That’s might be not so financially effective (as complex providers give you discount and subside your phone for your loyalty) but more effective to manage as you can choose provider you want for each service.
    But now they all talk about triple play and staff like that so things will turn worse soon…

  82. GravensteinGuy July 3, 2007 at 1:54 pm - Reply

    Guy, great post – seems many missed your statement about writing something different about the latest Macingagdet (your first line, “It’s hard to write something about the iPhone that takes a new angle.”). I heartily agree with the whole modern-customer-service-stinks-at-large-semi-monopoly-corporations-and-here’s-an-example idea. It appears Apple is trying its creative/innovative best with its financial/customer care eyes closed.
    However, (if you will allow me my own “new angle” on yours) shame on you. Being in the tech biz you should be familiar with the term called ‘escalation process’ whereby service is provided on a tiered scale. My experience with large companies here in the u.S.A has taught me to state my problem/request with the first live body that answers and give them *one* chance to resolve it themselves. If they even *hint* at not being able to completely resolve it themselves or *redirecting* me to another department, phone number, person, etc., I immediately ask politely to speak with a supervisor or manager and repeat the above steps until I get to someone who is willing to take ownership of my situation. I have rarely failed to get my situation resolved using this method; however, I have had to climb the escalation ladder quite a few rungs on occasion.
    It’s unfortunate we have to use little tactics like this to infiltrate enemy lines in these postmodern “enlightened” times. Seems like values, morals and character need to be brought back into the business management curricula of higher education.
    We don’t want to publicly talk about those things being relevant today yet the populace screams into the blogosphere when we experience the consequences of their lack. (Greed, expediency, etc. leading to poor customer service)
    My .02

  83. Okinawa July 4, 2007 at 5:20 am - Reply

    Wonderful read Guy. 🙂

  84. Tyler Craig July 4, 2007 at 10:37 am - Reply

    Just be glad iPhone isn’t with Sprint. Within the last 6 months Sprint changed their policy so that the “customer service representatives” in the store can’t actually help you with customer service issues. If you have questions about your bill, phone, plans, etc, they point you to their crappy cell phones and tell you to call customer service. Henceforth, you have to wait 40 minutes for an answer on the store phone while the “customer service representative” behind the desk stares at you. I still can’t believe someone thought the system was a good idea!

  85. Edwin July 4, 2007 at 2:51 pm - Reply

    The reason the technician can’t help you is the phone people are trained to save you as a customer.
    I worked with a system that initially had an online cancellation ability. It made it too easy for customers to cancel so it was replaced with a message to phone in to cancel so that a person could pitch their save offers.

  86. Matt July 4, 2007 at 6:38 pm - Reply

    Customer service sucks everywhere. But, we as consumers are also to blame. We expect to call one number and have our call to go directly to the person that has the answer we want.
    When we reach someone and they don’t have the answer or can’t instantly connect us to someone that does, we get mad, demand to speak to managers, etc. That wastes time, money, and then fancy consulting companies come in to setup outsourcing and automation. It treats the symptom but not the cause.
    It’s currently a percentages game. I’m sure someone has the stats on what % of calls get resolved, re-routed, escalated, etc. That probably helps determine how to setup better queues, staff departments, bonuses, etc. There’s probably a huge revenue stream just from people that get fed up and end up paying. Vicious cycle but that is both poorly designed and designed to work poorly.
    What will happen is that companies will start charging more for higher-end service (think Apple ProCare). Enough people will pay for it and it will probably hedge the costs of customers leaving.
    Overall, I too hate getting directed to a resource that can’t answer my question. Kind of like getting directed to an iPhone review and getting an AT&T DSL customer service review…

  87. Dmitry July 5, 2007 at 2:01 am - Reply

    Support technicians are also humans.
    Here is quit job interview with some Verizon DSL tech support guy
    http://www.scribd.com/doc/49542/funniest-exit-interview/

  88. Trogdor July 5, 2007 at 2:08 pm - Reply

    Makes me think of this picture:
    http://images.despair.com/products/demotivators/apathy.jpg

  89. Chicago 2016 July 7, 2007 at 6:01 am - Reply

    At least the person spoke – or typed – English.

  90. Ian from www.thenewsroom.com July 8, 2007 at 10:43 am - Reply

    This is a good video overview of a week’s worth of reviews…http://thenewsroom.com/details/476174?c_id=wom-bc-js

  91. Scott Schuckert July 9, 2007 at 2:43 pm - Reply

    I was a long term and satisfied AT&T customer. I now hate the company with a passion beyond human endurance. I have just spent approximately FOUR HOURS spread over three days talking to “AT&T” about, of all things, a car charger for my phone. This was offered to me as a bonus when I upgraded my phone. I didn’t ask for it; they offered. I told them to send it with the provision that it be a Motorola OEM model (If I’m going to use something, I want it to be right) Note this is the charger shown on their “accessories” web page.
    They sent, instead, a cheap generic charger. First call was “ooops, we’ll fix that right away” When the replacement never arrived I called again; talked to seven different people (telling my complete story and giving all my account information each time). They gave different tales, ranging from “What do you want, it was free!” through “go to an AT&T retail store and exchange it” to “We’ll REALLY send you the right one, next week.” I stopped there.
    Today another cheap generic charger arrived. The THIRD person I spoke to said “Go buy one, send us the bill, and we’ll refund you.” Will you put that in writing?
    “We never put anything in writing.”

  92. eightblack July 9, 2007 at 5:15 pm - Reply

    Guy, I really do feel for you. But think yourself lucky. It could be worse. You could live in Australia and have to deal with our version of AT&T – Telstra. I swear to god, the IVR they use will ensure you lose the will to live.

  93. Rob Witham July 11, 2007 at 8:08 am - Reply

    I hear you. I have been using AT&T/Cingular for the past three years but I am finally changing. Poor service, three out of three phones were defective, clueless customer service, and on the list goes.

  94. Susan July 12, 2007 at 8:19 am - Reply

    Well, the good news for me was when my iPhone stopped sending my emails into the phone, I said, great, who do I call, my ISP service, AT&T or apple? I started with my ISP service and they said if I can get online with my iphone it isn’t them. Called AT&T and they established it wasn’t them in a very efficient way with people who knew what they were doing, so they transferred me seamlessly to Apple, and the Apple dude told me how to restart the iphone, which solved the problem. My initial feeling of being passed around didn’t result in the nightmare I had feared, a pleasant surprise.

  95. Susan July 12, 2007 at 8:21 am - Reply

    Well, the good news for me was when my iPhone stopped sending my emails into the phone, I said, great, who do I call, my ISP service, AT&T or apple? I started with my ISP service and they said if I can get online with my iphone it isn’t them. Called AT&T and they established it wasn’t them in a very efficient way with people who knew what they were doing, so they transferred me seamlessly to Apple, and the Apple dude told me how to restart the iphone, which solved the problem. My initial feeling of being passed around didn’t result in the nightmare I had feared, a pleasant surprise.

  96. James Dalman July 12, 2007 at 1:55 pm - Reply

    Guy…
    I too feel your pain (as well as the rest of you). I just “hired” AT&T for a phone and DSL because Cox Cable wanted to shaft me with high pricing and make me commit to a three year deal. Anyways, they botched my order three times already and I have been tempted to give up technology all together. This has been the year from hell for working with companies like NameSecure, AT&T, and Dell.
    Well, I must go because I have to go give AT&T another hour or two of my time to see if they can unscrew what they screwed up.

  97. subcorpus July 17, 2007 at 12:27 pm - Reply

    my friend bought the iPhone …
    its really kewl …
    but cant use it outside US … and we are in maldives …
    that sucks …
    but still … its very kewl …
    hehe …

  98. Rajesh @ Blogworks : blogs & social media in India; public relations; brands & marketing! July 21, 2007 at 11:14 am - Reply

    Blog the Talk – Edition 4: Guy Kawasaki on Internet, Investment and Investors!

    Blogworks- Blog the Talk discussion series was conceived to feature the best of learning from the ‘live web’ through panel discussions, talks and one-on-ones – mostly conducted online. Blog the Talk series is presented by HP India, Personal Systems Gro…

  99. CustomersAreAlways August 3, 2007 at 3:45 pm - Reply

    AT&T and Apple: Will the Marriage Last?

    As all the dust of the iPhone mania starts to settle, a new reality starts to hit home for many people. Yikes, I had to sign up with AT T just for this iPhone to work! For some people…

  100. Marcia Manzello August 6, 2007 at 9:28 pm - Reply

    Dear Steve Jobs,
    Thank you so much! It has been widely rumored for months, and now it finally arrived, I am thrilled with my new IPHONE!
    We have to admit it’s quite lovely, the sleek, minimalist design it is overwhelming, the vivid display looks amazing, fun interface for navigating multimedia, terrific Web browser, syncs well, the functions flow seamlessly into each other.
    Overall, and despite the high price, as predicted the IPhone is a revolutionary success, and I was not reluctant for a second to cancel my contract with T-Mobile.
    I am pleased, and no regrets for jumping out off the fence and get the IPHONE. I feel terribly sorry, for the ones that can’t afford it, and chooses to speculate posting undesirable reviews.

  101. nancy August 16, 2007 at 10:58 am - Reply

    I’ve spent over 10 hours on the phone with AT&T customer service this week with far worse results. It is the most horrendous customer service in this universe and any other. My latest email response from them tells me they are still reading from some script and ignoring anything I say or write to them. My only savior has been someone named Lavonne (sp?) in Bellsouth’s residential service department. She is apparently the only person in the company with ears and a brain.

  102. Gary August 19, 2007 at 10:22 am - Reply

    AT&T THE VINDICTIVE COMPANY. I disputed a (first time) $1822.00 international roaming charge for approx. 6 weeks. My wife added the 5.99 roaming service, to be with her dying father(3 weeks)in Colombia and be able to stay in contact with me at home. She was never advised the high cost of making calls, some of which came in at over 140.00 each! I spending countless hours over 1 1/2 months calling the 800-331-0500 CS line and speaking to several supervisors. None of them called me back as promised. On 8/17/07, at about 6pm, I spoke to CS Supervisor, “LOUIS STRABRIDGE,” Who told me that all “the notes” say the charges were valid. I asked for a copy of the call transcription when the roaming was added to prove they did not explain that some of the calls would be as much as 8.00/min and he said they would not. I told him I was never called back by any of the supervisors as promised and said this was terrible customer service. Louis asked me for my cell number so he could call me back. AT 1:45 AM THE NEXT MORNING, MY CELL PHONE RANG AND WOKE MY WIFE AND I. WE THOUGHT IT WAS A FAMILY EMERGENCY…NO IT WAS AN AT&T CUSTOMER SERVICE REPRESENTATIVE!! I demanded to speak to a supervisor to explain the need to call so early. Supervisor “DIANE GERTIN,” SAID SHE WORKS WITH LOUIS STRABRIDGE BUT HE LEFT FOR THE DAY. SHE RUDELY SAID AT&T CALLED ME BACK BECAUSE I WANTED THEM TO. Was this call intentional? ABSOLUTLEY! The next day I went into my local corporate store and the staff was shocked saying the company never calls people that early. They checked my open file and FOUND NO NOTES EXPLAINING THE CALL. I will of course have the call listed on my phone bill as proof. THIS IS A PRIME EXAMPLE FOLKS OF HOW A LARGE SEEMINGLY CUSTOMER SERVICE ORIENTED COMPANY BEGINS TO ROT FROM THE INSIDE OUT. I plan to draft many letters for my local newspaper editors and visit many forums on the net. DON’T THEY APPRECIATE THE OLD MARKETING ADAGE, 1 PERSON TELLS 2, WHO TELL, WHO TELL, WHO TELL WHO TELL, WHO TELL…….

  103. Jay August 22, 2007 at 8:41 pm - Reply

    I made the huge mistake of getting an iPhone.
    It is almost as though Microsoft built this thing, it does not work as advertized.
    Further, and most important, the ineptitude of AT&T as a service provider is almost impossible to describe in words!
    If you are considering getting one of these abortions, do yourself a very big favor and take this advice: DON’T DO IT! Yes, it looks cool…but it is an incomplete and barefuly functional product on the worst network in the known universe. And…
    You will get a 300 page bill – IN A BOX! – every month!

  104. energizegrowth August 23, 2007 at 1:18 pm - Reply

    Not an IPhone story, but an IT recruiting nightmare story…
    I recently went searching in my business community for a technical support person. I contacted the Chamber of Commerce. I got 4 names.
    Only 2 returned my phone call after 10 days.
    We had a pleasant conversation and I shared my critical requirements. I told them I don’t pay by the hour. I pay retainers and am willing to pay top dollar for the right IT consultant. They sounded excited.
    I requested, prior to hiring them to come here onsite, that they send me 3 references of companies they have helped.
    Now this is where the fun starts.
    9 days have passed. Lyle at Connecting Point Computers disappeared and never returned my follow up call. Mark at CMIT Solutions sent me this response (6 days later):
    “I apologize for being so slow getting back to you. You had asked me to send you some customer references and I have been personally stewing about your request ever since.
    We would very much like to be the IT department for your business. Unfortunately, I am not willing to take the time of my established customers to have you check references. I value their time too much. The only other account that has asked me for references was Washington Mutual. I did ask customers to take the time then, but it was for a very large account. I don’t want to ask customers too often.
    If there is anything else I can do for you, please don’t hesitate to let me know.”
    Now, what could I POSSIBLY ask him to do for me? I’m stumped while he is “stewing.”
    If you think the iPhone and DSL stories are bozoish, then mine isn’t too far behind.
    — Lisa Nirell
    www.energizegrowth.com

  105. Shoestring Branding September 25, 2007 at 11:40 am - Reply

    Are You Delivering On Your Brand Promise?

    I spend a lot of time on the road, so my travel experiences have become an endless source of branding article ideas. Here’s one of them:
    A few months ago I was boarding the courtesy shuttle bus of one of the largest car rental companies in the countr…

  106. Weisenheimer Vienershnitzel November 13, 2007 at 4:18 pm - Reply

    Sup? My name is weisenheimer vienershnitzel, and I’m thinking about getting an iphone for the holidays. Does anybody think its worth all the money for me to get it and pay for html?

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