ATT Customer Support Experience

It was really weird.  One day everything is working totally fine on my phone and then the next day whenever we made outgoing calls, the caller ID on the receiving person’s phone would show as a private caller.  While most people would find this as just a minor nuisance, this was a bigger problem for Mrs. F as she works from home and when she makes business calls, people need to be able to know that it is her calling.  She is not a big tech person and I was at work where I don’t have good internet access (although I didn’t think of it at the time, that I’d be able to log in with my superslow laptop tethered to my phone).  If I had thought of it, I would have logged into the AT&T uverse interface and checked the settings – which is ultimately what the problem was.  Not expecting the problem to be that simple, I first called customer support.

I really don’t like the customer support experience, but I’m getting some experience with it.  I just prepare myself for what is about to happen.  You first have to answer those annoying prompts – and have it not recognize what you are saying multiple times – and ultimately – after yelling some expletives which it also doesn’t seem to recognize – they forwarded me to a live person.

She didn’t have too heavy of an accent, but I had a hard time hearing her.  She was pleasant enough, but it took me several tries to explain what the problem was.  You try playing out in your head how you would explain to someone that all outgoing calls show up as “Private Caller”.  Anyway – she went through a few questions and then said that she would “reset my profile” and we could see if that would work.  I asked her if resetting the profile would disconnect the phone service, as Mrs. F may have been on a work call.  She said that it would disconnect the phone for a few moments.  I then had to try to use my cell phone to reach Mrs. F and make sure it was okay to reset the phone.  U-verse customer support was very patient with me – and I was very patient with her – for which you need to be prepared as it can be hard to stay patient with this type of stuff.

She goes ahead and resets the profile (after I got the go-ahead from Mrs. F) and then I have to ask Mrs. F to call me on my cell phone so I can see if this worked.  It still showed up as “Private Caller”.  Gotta love that.  So then the nice woman without too much of an accent said she’d have to escalate my problem to Level II support.

I sit on hold for a while listening to stupid tips on how to troubleshoot common problems.

Level II support was equally nice and this gentleman only had a slightly heavier accent, but was very easy to understand.  I have to admit I’m not sure that the customer support was outsourced to another country – their English was that good.  He again tried a few things without success and then said he wanted to log into my account, but he would need my internet password.  I went ahead and gave him my password – and I’m assuming it isn’t a huge deal as I’m sure plenty of staff at AT&T have computer access that would allow them to see the user’s passwords.  I don’t love giving out my actual passwords, but what the heck – he was trying to help me out.

After logging into the website, he said that the setting for blocking outgoing calls from showing caller ID information had been reset to block my outgoing calls.  He changed the setting and asked me to check it.  I then had Mrs. F call my cell phone again, and this time everything worked as it should have.

So – after 45 minutes of troubleshooting with AT&T, I could have just logged into my own account and fixed this.  If I had remembered I kept a crappy laptop at work just for instances like this to get internet access, I definitely would have tried that first.  I am surprised that it was a simple fix, as I would not have expected the system to just spontaneously change my settings.

Gotta love technology.

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