Saturday, October 10, 2009

AT&T: Why Do You Make It So Hard To Give You Money?

So, we've got AT&T for our cell phones. We've been relatively happy, we're simple users - we just make calls and we don't really text.

Our last 2 year contract is over and now it's time to upgrade phones. I don't really like how in the U.S., the cell carriers have a lock on the market and force you to subsidize people's phones. I wish the phones weren't locked to carriers and you were free to move between them (yes, I know you can buy unlocked phones, the point is that the 99% of folks are locked into their carrier).

Anyway, it's time to get new phones, and we're also going to add a line (move the home phone to a cell line).

I get a corporate discount. Why do I tell you this? Because you can only use your corporate discount on the web page. When I called in to do the upgrades, the kind lady informed me that I get a discount, only she can't give it to me. ungh? Yup, she can see the discount, but can't use it. Great, only the web page was down at that time, so I couldn't use the web page.

When I can finally log in, the web page is even slower than Comcast's. It literally takes from one to three minutes for each link to be processed. It's like I'm using dialup, only, I know I'm not using dialup because I can watch a YouTube videos while I wait.

So, I go through the agonizing steps to get my new phone, and then try to add Mary's phone. Whamo, I'm logged out of AT&T and am presented with a login page asking for my zip code and phone number. Evidently, you can only upgrade one phone at a time, even though they're all on the same account. Oh, and the free phone I just upgraded to? It costs $18 to activate. Fine, whatever, I pay the price and finish the order. I click on "continue shopping" and it logs me out again.

After much swearing, I try to log in again to get my phone upgraded. Nope, not tonight, the server is having problems and cannot log me in because of server error 114.

AT&T: I'm trying to throw money at you. Really, your mediocre service is fine, I want to buy some stuff and upgrade my plan. You're making it incredibly difficult to do so. If it weren't such a pain to switch carriers, I would...