A funny thing happened on the way to pay my AT&T Wireless bill. It turned into a great example of a customer service FAIL.
It all started back in July when my cell phone bill was due and, for whatever reason, my credit union's ability to process credit cards went down for the morning. I tried to pay my AT&T bill using the iPhone app and the payment kept not going through.
Because I was in the middle of set-up for a tradeshow, it was important to me that my cell service not be interrupted, I added a payment option to do a direct pay from my credit union checking account. And, thinking I was tired of the hassle of going through the steps to pay each month, I decided to set up auto-pay.
About a month later, I started receiving notices that my bill was past due. So I called AT&T. After working with their customer support, they confirmed that auto-pay was set up, and suggested that it would probably be a couple of days and the payment would go through. Just an issue between "billing day" and "payment day" that should resolve after the weekend. And the customer service rep told me he added a note to my file about the issue.
A couple of weeks later, AT&T started calling me again, letting me know that my bill was now very past due. And so I called again. This customer service rep told me that it usually takes one or two billing cycles before auto-pay kicks in. According to this one, the last guy didn't tell me about the delay. My options at this point were to pay this one and by next month or so, auto-pay should have kicked in.
So you're probably not surprised to learn that AT&T was calling me again last week. Nor will it surprise you that my bill was past due AGAIN. So this morning, I stayed on the line to talk to another customer service rep. She started the call ready to take my payment. When I explained some of the back story, she looked it up. Note, I find it surprising that they don't make this case history information more visible in their call screens. Anyway, after going back through it, she explained that it looked like their system had tried to process the payment, then gone to sleep. It would still need another two billing cycles before it would kick-in. Her suggestion was that I could pay October and November and that, by that time, auto-pay should work.
Now, it's important to keep in mind that I used their system as it's set up and, at no time had it successfully work. However, I find it laughable that I should keep dancing around, trying to make their crappy system work. Somehow, this is my problem? This is a customer service FAIL. It was all I could do to refrain from yelling at the customer service rep. At the same time, I felt bad for her. AT&T's shitty system put her on the front lines of a complete flounder.
And worse than that -- after going through all of this AND paying my bills, what compensation does AT&T offer me for their system not working? Nothing.
AT&T, your customer customer service SUCKS. Nice people on the front lines to not overcome a shitty infrastructure or shitty practices.