Saturday, April 04, 2009

Does AT&T Deliver? Google Voice Rescues Us From AT&T's Failure.

AT&T Fails, Google Voice Rescues.
With All the good things and bad things with AT&T, which is my primary carrier seem to be in question.
Recently I had my phone section of the resident connection go down (Bunch of our neighbors did too). But the DSL connection on the same copper line worked. The way the line got affected, (Static, loss of dial tone, incoming caller ID loss, and finally no connection, all happened gradually) pointed to a switch somewhere than a line problem.
But try getting your information to AT&T, you have to go through very inefficient automated trouble ticket generation process which always leads to technician visit arrangement. That itself is not a problem but it takes two days to get someone over. They are rigid about times as well, four hour time slots that you need to be at home. So for a problem that started on Tuesday night, they will only attempt to look at on Friday afternoon.
Luckily we had Google Voice and were able to solve our problem by routing incoming calls to our cell phones and home phone. We also discovered that we could call Japan for less than half what AT&T charges, through Google Voice. That is another loss for AT&T as we spend 6-8 hours of calls to Japan monthly, in addition to Germany and The Netherlands.. Now All those calls might get routed to Google Voice. Thank you Google Voice and GrandCentral (Where we setup our accounts).
So continuing with AT&T, Friday comes, someone starts checking the line, realize that it is not a line problem, gives us a call saying it is been fixed. (No visits necessary) It could have been solved simply and faster with less cost to AT&T as well. What about my four hours?.
AT&T could also have solved this problem with those "Thomas Andersons" in India (No offense Indian support people, in fact I enjoy talking to them, mostly when I get help to re-register my Microsoft products when the software / Microsoft thinks they are not genuine) with simple tools and fix your switch (at least assign it to a tech), and got us talking to whomever we want in a short time. Less cost, less frustration and happy customers!
We have been a customers of AT&T (Pacbell, SBC) for more than twenty years and we have a monthly bill of more than $300 combined wireless, DSL and phone bills, (Home only, Business phones and services we pay more). Have managed to stay trouble free for long stretches. But since AT&T came on board, we have had more trouble than with both Pacbell and SBC combined for given time periods. Sometimes it helps to talk to a human, AT&T.
Lately we have also been reading those Comcast offers more closely. I will be able to get the same services for $100 less what we currently paying and even though we do not use, Comcast has already hooked us to their digital cable.
I hope Andy Abramson is right, at least regarding our AT&T wireless service.
Hope AT&T reads, it will be good for all.


Blog Widget by LinkWithin