Tuesday, June 07, 2011

my $732 sketch

ScanI sketched this while on the phone with AT&T . . .  for an hour and a half!

I was cut off three times. Once by an operator who said their system was down and she couldn't access the records, then she hung up. The second time I called, someone put me on hold, then eventually the call was abandoned. When I called the third time a message said the phones were off-line and that I should call back tomorrow.

I called a forth time and got a very helpful account rep. He said that my account was suspended by my request, which I knew.

But I asked him: "If it has been suspended, why am I still being charged $122 a month?"

He left me on hold and returned in about 5 minutes. Said that that is what AT&T does with suspended accounts.

"Wait a minute" I said "you mean to tell me that I can't make calls while it's suspended but I still get the same charge a month. Why would I ask for the suspension?"

"That is the policy here at AT&T, Sir. This is what was done with your account."

"But then why would anyone "suspend" their account? It just doesn't make any sense."

a new sketchbookI gave him the details and history of being away in China for months at a time, calling AT&T to ask what could they do for me while I was away. How they recommended that I "suspend'" the account. I told him I was told that I would not get charged. "I mean, why should I be charged?" I reasoned.

"Just a minute." and he was gone again.

After what was another 10 minutes he came back and told me that there were two kinds of suspensions. The kind I was on and a "Vacation Suspension." With the later type I only get charged $10 a month for the privilege of keeping the number while away. "Let me see if you qualify for this." And he was gone again for another 10 minutes. Long story short he put me on the "Vacation Suspension".

In the end, when I calculate it all up, I saved about 732 bucks over six months by persistently calling AT&T and asking cogent questions. Not bad for an hour an a half of my time.

And here's the best part, while on hold I got a sketch done in the new sketchbook.  (Cool cover, no?)

Hallmark Card: “I’m so miserable without you, it’s almost like you’re still here.”


Anonymous said...

Persistence does work!!
The other tip I was told is 'never talk to the monkey when you can talk to the organ grinder'
e.g. I recently had a problem with a telephone company here in Italy-I wrote to the Director of Customer Services- I got a reduced tariff and 135 euros rebate- from one letter - I now have a direct number for my personal contact- Sabrina...

daveterry said...

Hey, I like that quote! Good for you. Sometimes we just don't have time for this but when we do, it's worth it. Congrats on your reduced tariff.

Anonymous said...

Yes it felt like a major triumph - David & Goliath sort of thing.

re quotes

Here's a couple for your list if I might be so bold-
'I have written less than most people who write, but I have drunk more than most people who drink.'
Guy Debord

'Do it yourself is a response- not a motto'
Rowland Jones


daveterry said...

Thanks Rowland. Duly collected.