In an earlier post, I explained why I changed my internet service provider from AT&T DSL Direct to Time Warner high speed cable internet. Now, after several months of uninterrupted service from Time Warner, I have had an opportunity to experience Time Warner’s customer service and compare it to my experience with AT&T customer service.
My experience with Time Warner customer service
A service interruption of over 30 minutes last week prompted me to call Time Warner’s customer service line. This is only the second service interruption that I am aware of in the several months that I have been with Time Warner. The previous interruption lasted only a couple of minutes, the time it takes for the modem to reboot. After going through the automated phone tree, which took two or three minutes, I was advised by the computer that there was an outage of service in my area and that technicians had been dispatched to fix it. Sure enough, a few minutes later my service resumed. End of story.
My experience with AT&T customer service
Service interruptions with AT&T were frequent, especially when it rained. Most lasted a few minutes, but there would be the occasional outage that lasted an hour or more. At those times, I would call AT&T customer service. The automated phone tree provided no help, so I would elect to talk to technical support. After waiting for many minutes, I would be connected to a technician. In response to my inquiry about a problem with their network, the technician would put me on hold while he or she ran a check on the data line. The technician would always come back and say there was no problem with the network. I would then be put through a series of diagnostic tests which I had already performed prior to phoning customer service: power cycle my modem, power cycle the router, reboot the computer, check my network cable connections. After 20 to 30 minutes of diagnostics, the technician would invariably conclude that I needed a new modem and offer to sell me one for $75. I always declined and hung up the phone. Eventually, my internet service would return. This scenario played out exactly this way every time I had an extended service interruption and called customer service. In the end, the problem was always with AT&T’s network—always, never with my modem, router, or cable connections. If I had followed the technician’s advice, I would have purchased numerous modems that I didn’t need.
I expect to receive honest, factual information from customer service delivered in a timely manner. Time Warner gave me that kind of response this time; AT&T never did.
K. C. Knouse is the author of True Prosperity: Your Guide to a Cash-Based Lifestyle, Double-Dome Publications, 224 pages