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Monday, June 15, 2009

Beware of the Gumptionista, AT&T Wireless!

I hope my hellish day today is not a reflection on what my week is going to be like. My morning started off fine. I drove to my doctor’s office and picked up the sick note to fax to Southwest Airlines so I could get a refund. I haven’t needed a sick note since second grade, but, whatever it takes. I then tried to make a phone call on my cell phone, and lo and behold, nothing. I receive a Call Failed on any outgoing call, and all incoming calls go straight to voicemail. When I try to get into my voicemail, I get a Call Failed. I went to the local AT&T store twice today. The first time, they removed the battery and waited and it seemed to work for about 5 minutes. As soon as I got home, I had the same problem. The second trip to the store, they recommended that I go to the warranty location and get a refurbished phone. Through a friend who works as a Project Manager for AT&T, I was able to get my hands on the e-mail address of the CEO. I sent him an e-mail this afternoon explaining that I am a business owner and this is the only phone I have. I paid a lot of money for this phone a mere 5 months ago, and will not accept a refurbished phone. I requested a brand new phone (Blackberry Bold is what I currently have) and also a month of free service, since the Call Failed problem happens often.

A friend of mine, who sensed that I was going to slit my wrists over this issue, came over after work last night. He is my technical guru friend. As soon as he stepped foot in my parking structure, he lost his cell service. Thank God! I am not crazy after all! He called AT&T via Skype from my house, and was told that a cell tower had been down in my neighborhood since 8:00 AM. They were having issues bringing it back up and expected that it would be up with service back to normal by the morning.

This morning I woke up to the wonderful sights and sounds of Call Failed, again. I decided to get in my car and drive to see where I could get a signal. I got less than a 1/2 block from my house and was able to make a call. I called AT&T Customer Service and talked to them for 30 minutes before they switched me to technical support. Customer Service said that there was no report of an outage, but then Technical Support said there was an outage, and it was expected to be back up in 1 hour. Here we go again. While I was on the phone with technical support, the office of the CEO of AT&T left me a voicemail. I called him back and we discussed my e-mails and the situation. He was a nice guy, and very helpful. He has since called me twice today to give me updates. As of 1:00 PM, my service is still out so needless to say, I am getting frustrated. I am looking forward to a resolution. I supposed I should go back to a home phone for these types of situations, but I am fighting it tooth and nail.

Regardless of the situation or the problem, always go to the top. It may seem like a small issue, but if it's important to you, let yourself be heard. Also, it helps to blog and twitter on these issues. As someone recently told me, companies are starting to pay attention to social networking, because of the press issues.

I'll keep you posted.

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