05 October 2012

Praise for James, the Best AT&T Technician Ever

If you've ever tried to chat with me, you know my Internet connection has been terrible for years. I had someone come out to the house in 2010 only for the ultimate conclusion to be that there was nothing obviously wrong. I gave up and consigned myself to living with the unreliable service. I acclimated to it, in much the way that one tries to endure working under an abusive boss. In the last two months, though, it grew so out of hand that I discovered I wasn't wholly desensitized to its volatility. On 18 September, I decided to go to AT&T's website and try to chat with a technician about the problem. I made it down to #3 in their virtual queue before I lost my connection to the server. (How serendipitous!) Frustrated, I tweeted to @ATTCustomerCare. I received the following response:


I sent the email and waited, not really expecting much to come of it. Later that afternoon, however, I received a phone call from a technician named James. This wasn't one of the outsourced technicians following a cue sheet. This was a guy who actually knew what he was doing. He'd researched my problem and account history before calling, to get a feel for the situation. We tried troubleshooting some settings over the phone, but we both knew it was unlikely to solve anything. A home visit was scheduled.

I forget that guy's name, but he took a look around outside and discovered a "bridge on the gap" (whatever that is), but that was something he couldn't repair. He had, however, placed a call to the crew who could address the matter and assured me that I was next on their schedule for the day. They apparently couldn't find the house, never called me...and closed my file. Seriously. I don't know how knowing there's a problem and knowing you did nothing about it adds up to a resolution, but that's what happened.

To my surprised, however, James called again that next night. We discussed the technician's visit and the second crew's blow-off. He shared my irritation, apologized and scheduled another visit. This time, the guy came with his supervisor. They identified problems outside the house and repaired that damage. They left me their contact information, insisting that I call them directly rather than "have to wait" for someone to schedule something. I took that to mean "So we don't look bad," but whatever. Within an hour of their departure, my connection was again down. I called and left a voice mail message. No response.

James, however, did call yet again to see how things had gone. He made note that I had left a message with that day's repair guys, but we both agreed to be patient and see if the guy got back to me. It was a Friday, so we set the follow-up for Monday. Sure enough, James called me on Monday. The technician had not. James dispatched a fourth visitor. That guy came out and replaced my modem. His thinking was that my modem had been worn down trying to stay synced with the incoming signal that was disrupted by the issues outside the house, and that since the third crew had repaired those matters, a new modem should work just fine. Great.

Except, naturally, it didn't.

Still, James stayed on top of things. He called to see what my connection was like following the replaced modem. I still had problems. We scheduled a fifth visitor, though this time I had to cancel because I felt run down and miserable. Finally, today I had a guy who came out and took a look around. He noted that some of the stuff in the phone box outside the house looked corroded, but that since we had stopped having home phone service several months ago it wasn't necessarily a red flag. Ultimately, we decided he would just put in an entirely new line dedicated exclusively to the modem.

This whole thing began eighteen days ago. To his credit, James has checked in with me daily, never letting up. He has not shirked the matter as others would have done - and, in fact, have done. He's cracked the whip to ensure that I've had someone out here until the problem was resolved. He's remained friendly in every call, never once indicating annoyance or a desire to not have to deal with this problem anymore. On the contrary, he has demonstrated remarkable patience and an unfailing determination to see this matter through to a satisfactory conclusion.

We are prone to complaining about dissatisfying customer service, and I've done my fair share of that over the years. Some of my complaints have even been in this blog. I do, however, also believe that it's equally important to recognize and praise those who perform their jobs well. He's monitored things from his end, he's communicated with other people at AT&T, he's researched my situation, even going so far as to investigate whether any of my neighbors running off the same node had experienced the same kinds of activity issues as me. James has been the House of Internet connectivity issues, only with a friendly demeanor.

Frankly, I'm now spoiled. James has raised the bar tremendously high for customer service and I'll not forget any time soon the attention he has afforded my situation for more than two weeks.

Note: I have tagged this post under "consumer complaint" to ensure that this positive testimonial turns up in search results, a reminder that sometimes these things go very well.

1 comment:

  1. So glad you had such a great experience with them. I won't tarnish the purpose of this post with my experience. :) Now maybe we can carry on a conversation without interruption! I think I owe James a "thank you" as well.

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