A Word on Customer Abuse, Telecom Style

Memo to the new AT&T powered by SBC:

Get your facts straight and your systems aligned before you trumpet exciting service offers or incredibly low pricing. And spare me the bit about excellent customer service.

As a loyal DSL customer, you offered me favorable renewal rates if I upgraded my service online. In a letter from SBC Yahoo! Marketing: “in celebration of your anniversary and to show gratitude for your continued membership we’re offering you several renewal options.” However, comma…

Due to “unique” circumstances, I am not able to access the offer online. In fact, I am in a gray zone, geographically, from my server and therefore ineligible for any favorable renewal pricing whatsoever. A policy decision, made roughly a year ago, means that the best rate I can get is substantially higher than my current rate for the same level of service. If I wanted to upgrade, it would cost even more, not to mention installation fees.

This important information is mine after more than 20 attempts over a period of weeks—and endless time-wasting interactions with SBC’s automated service—to take advantage of my special anniversary status.

This is customer abuse. I resent the waste of my time. I resent being charged higher rates for a service I already have, especially when I was offered lower rates “to show gratitude” for my continued loyalty. I resent your cheerful promises of better service, better rates, and more satisfied customers. Most of all, I resent being held hostage without proper information to make an informed decision about your service offerings and your rates.

I know I am not alone in my frustration. I know that you, as a company, are far from being alone in this customer abuse. We call this progress?

Categories: General Advice

About Susan Marshall

founder susan marshall

Susan A. Marshall is author, speaker and founder, whose mission is to create a stronger, more confident future, one person or team at a time.  Through personal experience and hands-on work with executives from diverse industries at all levels, Susan has had the privilege of helping thousands of people do the difficult and exhilarating work of growth.