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How important is your business really to AT&T?
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Editor, Manteca Bulletin,
Your World delivered or More Bars More Places. I’m having trouble figuring out where my calls for help with my Retired Employee Wireless Discount are going.  Maybe that Bars slogan has something to do with it. Over the past month I’ve been in the corporate store or on the phone with at least ten different AT&T employees dedicated to helping me out. One of my problems was I needed to prove to them that I was a retired employee.

So I took my old former Pacific Bell employee identification card and an SBC check stub from Nov. 2000 as my proof.  Their corporate phone store accepted that as proof and faxed it to the powers-that-be. Now, why a company phone center or discount center that says it is on the leading edge of technology couldn’t call AT&T Retiree Services while I was standing in front of them with my valid California driver’s license and Social Security number is beyond me. They stated that they don’t contact other departments such as Retiree Services to fix their own mistakes. It was my responsibility to fix their mistakes and to get all the ducks in a row. Did I mention that I’ve had this service and apparently the discount for over 15 years?  At one point I was told, after this is all cleared up, I’ll lose my discount for a few months but I could call and get it rebated. Hearing that, I dug in and tried unsuccessfully to convince them that once they accepted that I was a former employee it would make sense that they should credit my account, right then, for the funds that they took from me in error.

“But wait,” they can’t do that. I need to call them and work with them to make that happen. Asking them to credit my account at the same time they admitted my identity somehow violated the approval process and validated their position of power. So handling this twice somehow must be more cost effective.  They have filed a case now, I guess before they thought I wasn’t serious, and promise that I’ll have the verdict in 48hrs. There should only be one option: re-instatement.  AT&T’s new business plan must call for the elimination of retiree benefits as a way to save money.

They are still working on beating me into submission by texting me daily to remind me that my discount is being discontinued because I have failed to contact them. I guess the “them” is not the group who answers the phone number that my cell phone instructs me to call.  I’m either transferred or directed to call another number each time. Maybe I shouldn’t have tried using defunct Burger Bucks to pay my bill. By the way, 48 hours have passed and I haven’t heard from them.

Please hold, “Your business is important to us”.
Steve Dresser
May 18, 2010