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Friday, November 19, 2004
Planned Obfucklescence
The latest consumer-fuck: the AT&T/Cingular merger.

It's almost 5:30. I've now been on hold with AT&T for over 40 minutes! I'm just trying to get an explanation for a $163 "GSM EQUIPMENT (CHARGE)" on my current invoice. They've transfered me to three different people, and I still haven't been able to get a straightforward itemization. There must be a word for this -- when corporations fragment information among customer support offices to frustrate your attempts to understand your bill or get technical support. If not, I've got one:

Planned Obfucklescence

I'm experiencing it right now.

(That voice-operated phone tree isn't making anyone's life easier, either. Except maybe the fingerless.)
Blogger Tomohiro Idokoro comments:
AT&T's Response:

Dear Mr. Atwell:

Thank you for contacting AT&T Wireless, now a part of Cingular Wireless regarding your recent e-mail nquiry.

If you would like us to address any issues you have encountered with your wireless service, we would be happy to do so via e-mail. You may e-mail us back with more information. Once we receive our information, we will be happy to assist with your concerns.

We apologize for the delay in responding to your email.

We strive to continually improve our email Customer Care experience. We invite you to complete a short, online survey by clicking on:

http://66.205.80.21/1110/1003/index.cfm

Sincerely,
Lisa P. 611
AT&T Wireless, now a part of Cingular Wireless
email Customer Care
attwireless.com

If you need to respond to this email, we suggest you use the "reply" function of your email application, making certain to keep the entire email history in place. A complete listing of options for contacting us can be found on our website at: attwireless.com/ocs/contactus/ContactUs.jhtml.
What? Being on hold for 40 minutes isn't detailed enough? You want more information? Here's some information: you're on the list.