diet coke for breakfast

Tuesday, February 17, 2004

Posted by Tanstaafl
T-Mobile is a Lying Bastard Company

I feel this guy's pain. Getting my corporate discount out of AT&T wireless was a similar nightmare. It's only about 5 a month, but it hasn't showed up on my bill for 8 months.

So I called up AT&T's customer service # one Saturday. They told me that I would have to talk to their Business Office which was only open M-F. So I waited until Monday.

I called up the Business office. The woman who took my call told me that in order to get a corporate discount, I would need to be attached to a foundation account. "Ahah!" I told her, "I have the foundation account # to which I'm attached!" After looking me up, the CSR politely informed me that I actually HAD received the discount the prior month... but it had not shown up on my bill. This baffled me... the discount didn't show up on my bill... I paid the amount on the bill... how exactly did I "receive" this discount.

Well, apparently, it had accrued into some imaginary account that AT&T was holding for me. She said that she would correct the problem and that it would start showing up on my bill. I thanked her, but pointed out, that I should have been getting the credit all along (and had been getting it before I upgraded from digital to GSM), and I would like it applied retroactively back to April when I upgraded service. That's when the fun started.

She informed me that she couldn't retroactively apply it, but that she could give me a couple of months as a courtesy. It was at this point that I lost it. I explained to her that it was not a "courtesy" to fix a mistake that THEY had made when I UPGRADED my plan, and that if she couldn't do it, then she needed to find me someone who could. The rest of the conversation went something like this:

CSR: "Sir, It really isn't possible."
Me: "Well then I need to speak to your manager."
CSR: "Yes sir, but it may be a wait since the supervisors are all busy, and they will tell you the same thing."
Me: "Look, someone there can and WILL fix this for me, if that's not you, and you don't know who that is, then you need to go get me your manager right now."
CSR: "Umm, ok sir please hold for a minute"
<...Tall and tan and young and lovely, The girl from ipanema goes walking, And when she passes, each one she passes goes - ah...>x3min
CSR: "Ok sir, It's a total of 8 months since April, I show that 3 months have already received the discount even though they didn't show up on your bill and as a courtesy I can give you the discount for the other 5"
Me: "And these will show up on my bill?"
CSR: "Yes sir!"
Me: "Excellent."
CSR: "Sorry for any inconvenience and thank you for choosing AT&T wireless."

Of course, I'm waiting to see if these show up on my bill, and let's be clear... I'm not holding my breath.

Here are my rules for when you have difficulty with CSRs of any ilk:
1) Get their name and some sort of employee ID number
2) Ask to speak to a manager quickly... even if they don't transfer you to the manager right away, they become a LOT more cooperative when that threat is real.
3) Never take, "It's the policy" as a final answer. There is always someone who can override the "policy", and once I've gotten that answer, I make it the CSR's job to find the person with the override authority.
4) Be willing to walk away (this is true in ANY negotiation). You can threaten to cancel your service, membership, subscription, sale, whatever. Even if you don't end up cancelling, if they think you're serious, you might get some traction.

Now, Gina (an infrequent contributor to this site) is even better at this than I am. She actually got Netgear, to replace a broken piece of equipment AND give her a full refund... however, you'll have to ask her what magic levers she pulls to get results like these.

Brian --I understand the "Demon in the Sack" method works pretty well. Short of that, I honestly can't believe she got Netgear to do anything worthwhile.


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