dslreports logo
    All Forums Hot Topics Gallery


Search Topic:
share rss forum feed


Saint Charles, MO

Funny Customer Service Moment

I dreaded making the call, but it has been over a year since my original U-Verse installation and contract; upon noticing the latest bill's full price I decided to try to negotiate another year of locked in rates. I called the almost super secret customer retention number found online -- (866) 446-4115 -- and, armed with current U-Verse and local competition's deals, I made the call.

It actually went OK. The CS person took me through the exact hoops I was expecting to jump and fairly quickly offered $20 off full price per month for the next year. I was happy.

The funny, perhaps sad, part of the call was when I mentioned our local cable offer; 30Mbps service + phone for $5 less than U-Verse's current offering (which is actually $10 less than their offer last year that I signed up for). I guess I made the mistake of saying "30 Mbps" because she went into a short spiel on how I should be cautious of the competition's inequivalent speed terminology. She continued to warn me that while they may offer 30 Mbps (megaBITs per second) upload limit, my current U-Verse plan was in fact 12 MBps (megaBYTEs per second).

I was taken back for a moment, but figured that this CS person was probably not technically trained, rather she was most likely trained in customer service. I attempted to make a correction, stating that I have measured my download speeds hundreds of times and done many speed tests and I was surely getting 1.4 MBps max, which roughly translated to 12 Mbps. She hummphed as if to indicate there must be something wrong with my service and continued to insist that U-Verse offered packages in MBps speeds, e.g. 6 MBps, 12 MBps, 18 MBps, etc. I corrected her a bit more firmly this time, saying I'm absolutely sure what speeds I was promised and what speeds the service is actually performing at, both upload and download, and further I have only ever seen ISPs advertise in Mbps in the 15+ years I have used and shopped for ISP.

I got some flak for my more aggressive contradictory statements so I couldn't take it anymore and said, well I'm not going to discuss it anymore because what you are saying is absolutely not true. She bounced off of the subject impressively well and we finished up the renegotiation without another hitch.

After the new rate had been determined I had cooled a bit and though that this person really didn't know -- but SHOULD know -- the truth about their service, so I attempted one more tactful effort at enlightenment. I apologized that I had already beaten it into the ground but I had to try once more to let her know how U-Verse advertises and delivers their service; I pulled up their internet bundles page and read off the speeds, noting the lowercase 'b'. Within another moment I learned that this was a futile effort, as she huffily told me "well, I have a Master's in IT, so...". I didn't go into asking what an IT Master degree entailed. I just chuckled lightly and said thank you and goodbye.


San Antonio, TX
hahahaha, a Masters in IT and working as a customer service rep. Maybe that is why she works a phone job because she did so bad in it and doesn't know that all ISP advertise in megabits


Union City, GA
reply to qlopp
A Masters in IT? That's like having Masters in medicine. That's such a general degree in a field with so many different aspects. She does have a phd in reading BS from a script. Personally I can't stand any of the big ISP all of their customer service reps. have poor knowledge of the product they are selling or promoting. I just deal with AT&T because they feed me the least amount of BS. Comcast is never welcome in my house, ill deal with slower DSL rather than give Comcast another red cent of my hard earned money.


Saint Charles, MO
I will say that the process, primarily facilitated by finding the retention number online, was a delight compared to going through the painful process of calling 800 288-2020.

Other funny happenings related to this call:

During the Bits/Bytes exchange I kept screwing up the term I meant to say; the first few times I dropped some F bombs (Freud bombs) by switching bits/bytes, then quickly correcting the mistake each time. It went from comical to annoying by the third or 4th time but my brain was locked into Saturday morning just-woke-up mode. It didn't really have an effect on the Master degree recipient as she knew what I meant after each correction and also knew that my service delivered 12MBps upload speed

Second "funny" thing: upon the CS closing with a preformed 'goodbye statement', and having just schooled me with insinuation that her education in Information Technology vis-à-vis advertised download speeds was superior to mine, my phone just went dead. I figured she couldn't wait to hang up and go to the next caller. Ten seconds later I get a call on my cell and it's her again, apologizing for the dropped call and assuring me she hadn't hung up on me. Turns out my U-Verse RG had just decided to fail at that instant. I absolutely believed that this happened due to a software switch/reset during the bundle price modification. Nope, my RG just decided to drop a steaming load right then and there; the coincidence was mind boggling. I didn't believe it until an AT&T tech came out that evening and replaced my dead 3600 with a 3801 and internet/phone came back to life immediately. The calls to their regular tech support were pretty painful because the 1rst level phone operator came off as having a box of hammers for a brain. I take major responsibility for the extended length of phone calls, however, due to insisting that my service drop was related to the recent change in price/package i.e. service disconnected by computer on their end then not reestablished. Still, it was just amazing how many times I had to repeat simple stuff and make simple conclusions for the "tech" rep; stuff like explaining five times that I lost U-Verse phone operation so my U-Verse phone # wasn't really the best number to call me back on. And my favorite diagnostic thumb twiddler... "yes, I've reset the RG. Yes, I've unplugged it, waited, then plugged it back in. Many times today. Do each operation again? Why not."
Expand your moderator at work


Miami, FL
reply to qlopp

Re: Funny Customer Service Moment

If only that were true. Then U-Verse could offer more streams with less compression and could compete with DOCSIS 3 on internet speeds.


reply to qlopp
I think it should be apparent by now that MBps and Mbps mean the same thing to most people. It's just something we have to expect and it is generally pointless to try to make a fuss over it - waste of time.

Lisle, IL
·AT&T U-Verse
said by waste :

I think it should be apparent by now that MBps and Mbps mean the same thing to most people.

That is kinda like saying a pint is the same thing as a gallon (actually pretty much identical, as there are 8 pints in a gallon).

Unit conversion ignorance should not be accepted or expected


Milwaukee, WI
·AT&T Midwest
·Time Warner Cable
said by ILpt4U:

Unit conversion ignorance should not be accepted or expected

Agreed. Sometimes the difference can hit you in the wallet. I have had many problems with phone AND IM chat reps at wireless carriers quoting prices such as 0.10 cents, $0.10 cents, 0.05 cents, and so on.

It's exasperating trying to get them to understand the relevance of decimal points and units, and getting them to express them exactly as in their script or on screen without their own semi-automatic, often inaccurate, addition of a unit.
Find your USNG coordinates:

Chicago, IL
reply to qlopp
I will have to do the same - I'll do it Monday in the hope that the Christmas spirit will engross Ma Texas and my rate will go down again!
Illegitimati non carborundum