This is a verbatim of the tail end of an endless day of trying to get accurate information about what is included in my AT&T wireless plan and how much it costs. Garry was afraid I was going to have a stroke and die. The telephone was horrible and we returned it, another long and tedious tale.

I had gotten emails from them with a variety of wrong plans for phone numbers that were never ours, or which were disconnected years ago — for long discarded telephones. Every email had incorrect prices. I had gone beyond frustration to frothing-at-the-mouth rage.

Q7 and lenses with cell phone

Agent : I see, thank you for all the information, Marilyn.

Me : And in return, I get what?

Agent : I have checked all my resources here, and the email that was sent to you contains the updated information of your new plan and the device that you have purchased.

Me : I do not want one of your generated documents. I want a real document. A simple typed email will do nicely, one that details the account and purchase information. Accurately. Without any wrong numbers. All you sent was a link to the online information which has no details. I want an actual document. Do you understand?

Agent : Yes we do understand.

Me : After all you have put me through, someone can sit down, and type out the information into an email, sign it with a real name and a return address, and email it to me.

Not links. Data. Accurate data. Correct numbers. The right account, the right plan, the right phone.

Agent : As much as we would want to send a typed email to you, we don’t have the record, because as what we have here on our end, we can only see the last order that you made and that is the Nokia Lumia.


THE PLAN. YOU KNOW, THE PLAN? Not the phone. The plan. P – L – A – N. I changed the plan today. Surely you can see that?

Agent : Your current plan right now on line XXX-XXX-XXXX is the Mobile Share Value Plan 300MB for $20, Mobile Share Value iPhone w/Visual Voicemail $25 a total of $45/month before taxes.

That will be your monthly recurring charges,Marilyn.

Me : That isn’t our phone number.

Agent : Oops! Sorry …

Me : And this includes texting? Because it doesn’t SAY so.

Agent : Your line is XXX-XXX-XXXX and your current plan is Mobile Share Value Plan 300MB for $20/monthly before taxes.

Me : $20?

Agent : This Mobile Share Value Plan 300MB includes unlimited text,unlimited international text from U.S to over 120 countries, unlimited talk, sharable data of 300MB, mobile hotspot feature.

Me : And the $45? If the plan is $20 … what is the other $25?

Agent : Sorry again, my mistake.

That is Mobile Share Value Plan 300MB for $20 and Access fee charge for the device for $25, a total of $45/monthly before taxes.

That is now the accurate plan details,Marilyn.

Me : Can I get a transcript of this call for MY records please?

Agent : Yes, Marilyn. You may.

Me : Thank you. I am so tired. You guys are trying to kill me.

Agent : So that you may use this as the basis for the plan change that you made today. We sincerely apologize, Marilyn.

Me : Shall I bill AT&T for 9 hours I can never get back?

Agent : Thank you for patiently understanding what we have discussed on this chat. We are really sorry, Marilyn.

Me : Yeah. I bet you are.

Agent : We really appreciate your time, Marilyn.

Me : Okay. Enough. I need to make dinner and take a few blood pressure medications before I explode.

Agent : Thank you so much for your time.

Me : Right.

Agent : Thank you and have a wonderful dinner, Marilyn.

We eventually wound up with a Samsung Galaxy Alpha because it has the best audio of any mobile phone AT&T had available. Also the loudest. I still hate cell phones, but at least we have one that works as opposed to paying for a phone, but not being able to use it (iPhones are overrated).

Categories: Anecdote, Communications, Customer Service, Humor

Tags: , , , , ,

41 replies

  1. Cell phone service is like cable tv service. We can’t afford to live with it and can’t live without it. They make it unable to understand and then add insult to injury with all types of additional charges that you cannot even decipher. A family plan is definitely the cheapest, but you need a minimum of four people which a lot of us don’t have. I’m making a monthly payment that could have made a car payment when I was a teen.


  2. All I can say is that I can so relate! There is nothing worse than getting my phone or cable statement and finding an error. My stomach turns knowing how many hours I’ll have to waste trying to compute stuff into these improperly trained, minimum wage earners who usually don’t have a clue. Sorry you had to go through it, hope it’s at least resolved!


  3. They speak on script, if you throw in a question not there they stall while typing it into their computer and still ususally come up wrong. Been there Marilyn I feel your pain!!


    • This stuff used to be rare. Now, it seems, it’s an international shared experience. Every time I have to deal with one of these service providers, I start to tense up and go into “war stance.” When it isn’t a nightmare, that’s the surprise.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Oops, sorry…I shouldn’t be laughing… I’ve had this conversation myself.


  5. Not wanting to go into the sordid deails, it seems to be an international disease. I think they call it modern, if modern is now speaking to brain amputated robots. Do you really think you were discussing this with flesh and blood. Perhaps your connection was exra terrestrial. George orwell was a schoolboy in comparison to this bloke.


    • I think these people are like the Manchurian Candidate (the movie). Brainwashed. Brainless. They are, effectively, robots in the flesh. They have a script. They cannot go off script because they know ONLY the script. The script is the same, no matter what the problem. It manages to not solve anyone’s problems. I believe this saves the sponsoring company money. It certainly is not solving any problems.


      • Not only that, but somewhere at the beginning of the conversation there may have been a message to the effect that “this conversation will be monitored.” What that really means is that the agent you spoke with is running scared and can only answer with “stock” answers and, almost insincere, politeness. I feel sorry for these folks as I’m sure they can never say what they really want to.., and certainly nothing that puts the company in a bad light, and they do this all day long. Poor bastards, but I believe the word we’re looking for here is “honesty”, which is looked down upon, and discouraged, by corporate. Where’s Robocop when we need him?


        • I blame the company that hires these people, doesn’t train them, pays them minimum wage then hands them a script to follow … and they are supposed to make customers happy. How can they do that without the tools? Yet, I have found good customer service people at AT&T. They aren’t all entirely lame (though clueless and lame seem to be the dominant group). Some DO know something and can go “off script” to deal with a problem.


          • I don’t think they are trained to make customers happy.., I believe they are trained to PROTECT the “company”.., but trained they are. Those rare individuals that are smart enough to get around the script and keep their jobs, are soon recognized as an asset to “The Company”. I can only guess they are given a freer hand. The others, the automatons, are strictly guided as they’re not trusted to think beyond “company” policy, or within it.


  6. It seems a lot of these companies are like this. Many people don’t even bother trying to complain and get things straightened out. I had a fight with Rogers up here. Every month I’d have to phone them and try to fix things. And they’d do it all over again. I could never get the same agent so I’d have to explain it all again. They initially told me it would cost me $30 dollars a month. I was getting for well over $100 … and on and on. Finally I dropped them. Is it a scam? or just business as usual?


  7. I have my battles with Bell on a regular basis. Peter sits there and laughs while I become apoplectic.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I’m so glad I don’t have to put up with cell phone carriers because it just seems like a mess these days. I have a line on my parents’ plan with just whatever basic crap and my nine year old fliptop that I rarely even turn on. Heaven forbid, but when they pass on, I just may go back to being cell phoneless…

    I could also never be a customer service rep, because I would have never typed those last handful of lines by secret Agent man, who managed to maintain his professionalism in responding to your venting (which I’m not criticizing, by the way). I’m too snarky for the job….

    Liked by 1 person

    • We don’t depend on our cell phone, but I keep it with us when we travel. At home, I mostly just turn it off. I hate the company, I hate the phone, I hate the intrusive nature of the technology. Hate it hate it hate it. But we are getting on and we drive OLD cars and I’d hate to break down somewhere and not be able to call for emergency service. So … we have a cell phone. ONE phone. For both of us.


  9. Very complicated. Sometimes I just want to get rid of all the ‘PLANS’ to have my peace of mind. It is so frustrating to get the things smooth and working in favor.


  10. I was with AT&T thought I would lose all my marbles. Looked into other plans and phones. Then I had enough, bought a decent phone on ebay -used. And signed up for a monthly plan without contract. Unlimited talk and text and 2GB (for downloads that I don’t need). I buy a phonecard for $45 every months. No more stupid bills and stupid questions. I do this since 3 years and I am very happy with it.


  11. I know your pain! A long time ago, I wrote a similar post about my dealings with Telkom, the largest internet and landline provider in South Africa. After that, I hoped I never had to deal with them EVER again. But alas, just last week, I ran out of my data and just simply wanted to TOP UP (as in buy additional data). I called for two days straight, i was passed on from one department to another, I was on hold for ever, but despite all that, not one of their guys could tell me how I could buy additional data! And you can, because their website says so. But no one knew. It was so frustrating but I was on the verge of losing it. so I decided to let the month get over (4 days wait), and get my monthly data on the 1st. I abhor these companies.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It really isn’t the customer service rep’s fault. The company that hires these people should actually train them so they know what they are doing. But they don’t. They hire people who know nothing, pay them as little as the law allows, teach them nothing, and hand them a script and a telephone. And wonder why their customers are not happy.


  12. 9 hours? Sadly in this day and age that’s pretty good going 😦

    My landlne/TV/internet account is still “attached” to my old phone number (though I get billed at my new number – how does that work?), but I’m worried if I phone them up about it they’ll accidentally cut me off.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Every single time I have to deal with the phone company, the cable company, the electric company — ANY service provider — it’s a crisis. So I wait until everything stops working. THEN I call. Otherwise? I’m with you. Just let it be.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Marilyn you seem to be having an unfair number of issues of late….I had one today where my internet went down. After three hours I contacted my provider and lovely man from India told me i would have to reconfigure my modem……no idea how to do that…..I rang back later and another equally lovely man from India told me there was an outage in my area and that service should be resumed soon, this was two hours after my first call…thankfully this lovely man from India was right…..sometimes it does work in your favour….


  14. i spent 4 hours and 5 different phone calls to India over a 4 day period to finally get my cell phone connected to the “plan.” I really do (did) feel your pain, Marilyn!!! Hope all is well now. Judy


    • They finally got it right. It’s hard to believe, unless you’ve been there. Garry was really afraid I would collapse or something, but I survived 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • I know. Each one would give such specific directions, step after step, over and over and nothing worked. Finally we’d get it to work but by the end there was always something wrong and they’d tell me I had to call back in 24 hours..Then I’d go though all this again and something else would be wrong…over and over and over and they all used exactly the same words, no matter what I had said, “Thank you, and now…..” So polite and soooooo clueless..and all with East Indian accents, some of which were very hard to decipher. I thought it would never be over. Then they told me that the next time I come to the states I’ll have to get a new sim card and do it all over again. Ah well, I’ll worry about that tomorrow–or whenever.


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