Wednesday, August 21, 2013

AT&T Thinks I'm a Perv

I have decided that the time you spend on the phone with service people, tech support, etc. should be measured in something similar to dog years. Yesterday I spent a combined total of about an hour on the phone with AT&T but it felt like 7 years.

Jayson's previous employer let him keep his cell phone after they fired him cuz they are just generous like that. They released his number so we could add it to our personal account. I called AT&T to ask how to do that and the nice lady sent me a link for the website, told me what to do and said that if I do it online it's free but if they have to do it for us over the phone they will charge us $18. I'm all about free, especially now.

I went to the website, followed her instructions and got one error message after another. Then I decided to actually read the email that the ex-employer sent when they released the phone and saw that they gave a different AT&T number to call for the transfer.

I called that number, told the gal what I was trying to do and how important it was that I do it for free. She was able to see that I did try to do it through the website but what I need to do can't be done online so she offered to do it for free.

Apparently when you have a phone that was previously on a global corporate account you can't just transfer that number to your personal family account. This makes no sense to me, I'm just telling you what she said. She said that in order for us to keep Jayson's same phone number, I would have to close out our current AT&T account and open a new one. Nothing would change except our account number. She would transfer our current phones from the old account to the new one and then add Jayson's number to our family plan. We'd keep our rollover minutes and everything would stay the same. All I would have to do is go to the AT&T website to create a new online account if I want to access our stuff online.

It still made no sense to me why it had to be done this way but apparently it does so I sat back and let her do it. The process took 30 minutes, I kid you not. In case you don't believe me I've included unnecessary photographic proof. The gal kept saying she was waiting on the computer to open the new account, transfer one number, transfer the next number, add the new one, finish processing, etc. I really thought AT&T's computers would be faster. I wanted to ask the gal if her computer was a 286 or 386 but figured she probably wasn't old enough to even understand what I was making fun of.

I dangled that participle on purpose because sometimes proper grammar just sounds stupid.

After the excruciatingly long wait, the AT&T gal said that all 3 phones had been successfully added to the new account, there would be no charge and now all I needed to do was set up a new online account.

Great, problem solved. I went to the AT&T website and began the process of setting up a new online account. Since our old account had been closed I tried to use my old user name but apparently the account wasn't closed enough to let me do that. I always use my own name as my user name whenever possible because it's one of the few names I have a chance of actually remembering.

Since Shannon Green is a fairly common name it gets snatched up fast on large websites. When this happens I do have a backup name that I use: shannnongreeen. That name is always available so I typed it in then stared at my screen in stunned disbelief when a big red error message popped up saying that I was not allowed to use profanity in any part of my user name. I shrugged it off thinking it was a glitch and retyped it. Again I got chastised for trying to use profanity in my user name. I still can't figure out what part of shannnongreeen is profane but now I'm all worried that AT&T thinks I'm a perv. Anyway I chose another one that I had to write down in half a dozen places so I wouldn't forget it.

Once that was done I logged in to my new account to make sure that everything was there like it was supposed to be. I figured the computer took so long to transfer everything because it was moving all of our history from the old account to the new one. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that's not the case at all. The new account does have all 3 phones on our family plan like they should be but there is no usage history for any of the phones. There is a little message that says since this account is new it could take 3-5 days for our usage history to show up.

I was wrong to make fun of AT&T for having a 386 computer. Apparently they're still using a Commodore 64. Bless their hearts.