I’ve fallen out of love with many things in Texas, including the heat, the cold, country music, central air, and AT&T.
Yes, another rant about AT&T! But really, it isn’t a rant solely about AT&T; I’ll be covering my customer service experience as a whole since I’ve become adult living in west Texas. This includes internet, TV, phone, medical care, the whole shebang.
I want to start off by saying we have to always remember, as citizens and customer service representatives, no one knows the full extent of anyone else’s situation. This is why I feel it’s so important to voice my opinion on this massive issue. Many customer service representatives that I’ve talked to over the course of internet and phone outages have seemed less than concerned about the problems with their services, although being without them poses great risk to some individuals in the community; it isn’t frustration from being denied convenience for some, but safety.
My grandparents run their landline, cellphones, and internet off AT&T. Neither of them are in the best of health. Last week when AT&T went down (due to one of their employees cutting their fiber optic line), my grandmother was very concerned about what they would do if either of them were to need emergency medical attention.
Now, I know that they could dial 911 on their cellphone to reach emergency services, but they weren’t aware of this. Once I told my grandma this, she felt much better. However, I would like to note that the FSPD dispatch center’s phone lines were also not working, and that all of their calls were being routed to Upton County.
Another instance of awful customer service came when my grandmother reported her oxygen conversion machine was malfunctioning. The person she talked to about this basically told her that his company had plenty of customers in the Midland-Odessa area, so she was welcome to take her business elsewhere if she wasn’t happy with their service.
Well, that’s easy for him to say while he sits in his chair in an office answering calls like this daily. For my grandparents, however, this causes stress and could potentially (and would most likely) hurt their health greatly. In this area, my grandma doesn’t have much choice but to stay with a company that sees her not as a person, but just a voice on the other line.
Needless to say, I was willing to march over to Midland and let their office know how hopping mad I was that they were depriving my grandmother of a machine she needs to survive. But I was held back by reason. Kind of.
I’ve had these kinds of experiences with my internet providers, TV providers, phone providers, etc. For me, it is a frustration of being denied convenience. But when it comes to my grandparents, I’m constantly worried for them when these problems arise.
For many of us in west Texas, being without these services causes REAL problems that can have REAL consequences. That’s why AT&T’s switchboards light up like Christmas trees when their services go down; we aren’t angry entitled millennials trying to update our Facebook statuses. We are family members, and caregivers, and ailing citizens who have nothing else to turn to and nothing else in place to help us when things fall apart.