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I received the most marvelous comment from Nancy Hatch (of “Spirit Lights the Way” fame) on yesterday’s post, concerning my letter of complaint to AT&T.  Here is her comment:

“Thank you for contacting AT&T, the Award Winning and #1 Bundle Service Provider in America.*

We’re sorry but all our representatives are busy.

Press #1 if you are patient.
Press #2 if you have a sense of humor.
Press #3 if you are waiting for a response to snail mail.**

#3 ~ Thank you for sending in a written complaint. The folks in our complaint department are still reading and digesting your letter and will get back to you at the . . .


*Provided that you have a phone jack presently installed on premises. If you need a phone jack installed, it will be like pulling teeth to get AT&T, the #1 and Award Winning Service Provider to actually provide the requested service.

**Really?! You used snail mail? The complaint department at AT&T does not understand why anyone would use snail mail instead of high speed DSL service.”

Yes, I used snail mail! “Why?” you ask!  Well. . .

#1. It was the only option given me by the reps.

#2. It was actually faster than using the phone. Using the phone meant entering every number sequence known to man – including the square root of pi (if you weren’t able to come up with that, you were directed to disconnect, dial another number, and start all over again); listening to so-so MUZAK, which would have been alright, except every third measure it was interrupted by a cheerful recorded voice exclaiming about their award-winning #1 customer service, and then explaining how I could pay my bill online and exactly how to accomplish that wonderful feat – ad nauseum. When a rep comes on the line, finally, you think that now, at last, with a real person to speak to, you will actually get your problem addressed or solved. No way. That “live-person-sounding” voice is another recording, directing you to provide them with a string of numbers that even the recorder should know by heart by now.  But a new twist is added:  you are required to speak  the numbers (having to speak them offers you more of an illusion that you are speaking to an actual person) – the numbers that you entered in order to get that far, and the zinger is that you are now required to not only know the square root of pi, but also the social security numbers of both your deceased parents. So you hang up, not being able to identify yourself accordingly, and go do the research required to get the advanced degree needed in order to be allowed to speak with an honest-to-God living, breathing member of the award-winning #1 customer service department. So, after acquiring your Ph.D. (Doctor of Phone), you get a good night’s sleep, if possible, and then awake refreshed, ready to begin your phone-trial by fire again.

#3. Even though I was not given an e-mail address for the customer service department, I did in fact send an e-mail to the support site shown on-line. And I got a reply!! It was a bounce-back, telling me to direct all feedback or complaints to the following address – which was the snail mail address I was given by the rep I was eventually allowed to speak to. (Going through my family’s archives provided me by Ancestry.com, plus a meticulous search through my papers followed by a quick refresher course in mathematics and I was armed with the required information.)  If any of you ever need that “Golden Address,” please let me know.  I will be delighted to spare you all the agony it takes to get it.

#4. SO, now that you are properly prepared for dealing with AT&T, I pose my own question:  These days, you know what the only difference between snail-mail and e-mail is? Neither do I.

‘nuf said.  At least I hope it is enough. . .

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