Comments from an AT&T customer service rep:
August 30, 2007 5:03 PMModerate |Flag for review
There is nothing shocking or secret about the AT&T customer service policy. The policy was put together years ago by a platoon of lawyers in order to protect AT&T and the customer (believe it or not.) I know because I have been a Service Representative with AT&T for over 20 years. What I have seen happening in those years is this: what was once a true Service oriented mentality has become a Sales oriented / bottom line mentality. Within the company, Sales and Service are synonyms. One is said to be servicing their customer well by causing that $20 monthly POTS line account to become a $150 - $300 monthly bill by adding "Bundles" (which the company claims the customer wants, when in reality they don't), second and third and fourth lines, adding Cellular, Dish Network or U-Verse, DSL, or whatever else they can possibly think of to cause that customer to be paying as much as possible on a monthly basis. But there is still nothing particularly "wrong" with that either. AT&T is a publicly traded, for-profit company. The real problem is the people who work there. From the CEO down to the lowly CSR. With few exceptions, their sole motivation is the bottom line. How many DSL's, Dishes or Packaged services got sold that day? AND THEY DONT CARE HOW IT HAPPENS. If the numbers are good, you might get lucky and have a great experience with your CSR on a given day. But if the numbers are bad, and the Division President is coming down on his GM's, then the shit trickles down from the GM to the Sales Managers to the Team Leaders down to the CSR's whose performance numbers may not be that great. Threats are made. Insults hurled. Pressure is brought to bear. Then you hear that saccharine greeting on the other end of your phone..."Thank you for calling AT&T, how can I help?" YOU are toast. In many cases, like it or not. I cant tell you how many customers I have talked to...angry customers. YOU will be lied to. YOU will be presented with promotions and gimmicks that either don't exist, or are "embellishments" of actual promotions. In many cases, the CSR is acting on orders from his/her Manager, who cant get chewed out again by their Sales manager or the GM again. In other cases, its the CSR's lack of Training that is to blame, as AT&T views training as a drain on the system, and would not do any of it unless the Unions which represent the CSR's and Technicians insisted upon it. But there are still other cases of simple greed. CSR's get a nice commission in addition to their excellent salary. Any method that can be used to boost their bottom line while not getting caught is OK with them. And if you make your numbers reliably, Management has been known to turn a blind eye to questionable, sometimes highly questionable sales practices, in spite of the multitudes of customers, many of whom have been loyal to the company for decades, calling in to the Customer Care Center 3, 4...8 times to have some package removed that they didn't ask for, or were unaware they had alternatives to because the CSR never offered it to them. You donut offer the most affordable plan to the customers; you offer the plan that costs them the most so we can collect $600 a year for a service that costs the company $10 a year to maintain. Multiply that out by the millions of customers AT&T has and what do you get? Then imagine all the other customers...the ones who donut call us. They just assume that we wouldn't steer them wrong and they pay their phone bill for months...years...decades...never realizing they are paying for services they donut need, donut want or donut even know that they have because they donut read their bill. You may be thinking that I'm shilling for the Unions. Far from it. The union spends all of the dues it collects from me and all my "Brothers and Sisters" defending and in many cases, getting fired employees who were fired with good reason, back on the job. Why? Because the company has to make a case against the person they want to fire. And if they messed up some minor detail of that case, they will lose their Arbitration hearing to the Union and the CSR who paid for his brand new Escalade with the money he made from lying to you over the phone, gets his job back, in many cases, WITH BACK PAY. In the meantime, the people who go to work everyday and bust ass and remain ethical are lost in the morass. The union is obsessed with this kind of bullshit, while the rest of the employees are forced to work overtime, which is a clear violation of our Union contract. But because the union thinks it ensures job security, they donut put up a fight. But I digress...Ultimately, if AT&T ever ACTUALLY put their own policy into effect, they think they would lose profits.