9:30 am: Monday morning I lose Internet connectivity. I call AT&T U-verse tech support and they diagnose the problem as a bad modem. The tech support rep estimates that I will receive my replacement modem by the 20th. This is very bad timing–I took a week of vacation from work so that I could work on a college paper, and now I will be without Internet service for most of the week. I guess I will just have to go into my office to do my research. But these things happen, right? The tech support rep tells me that I will have to take the defective modem to a UPS facility for return. Great–I live in a small town, and the nearest facility is in another city. Also, I have a steep driveway and delivery trucks always leave tire marks.
I also am told that my account will be charged $100, but that it will be credited back within two billing cycles after their warehouse received my defective modem. Q: Can I ignore that charge on my bill and just pay for my service? A: No.
3:00 pm: My modem starts working again, so I call AT&T to cancel the order. The AT&T rep confirms that the order has been cancelled.
Everything is great and I am happy.
5:38 pm: AT&T sends an email informing me that the new modem has shipped. The email provides a UPS tracking number.
6:42 pm: I call U-verse tech support to stop the shipment. I am told that the order is in the warehouse and it cannot be stopped.
6:56 pm: I call AT&T billing to ask about the $100 charge, and I am told that the charge will not appear on my bill if the shipment is stopped. The AT&T rep is in billing and tech support has to stop the shipment, so she transfers me to tech support. Again I am told that the order is in the warehouse and it cannot be stopped.
7:13 pm: I call back, because surely someone at AT&T can go to the warehouse and remove that package from the outgoing shipments. I explain that the nearest UPS facility is in another city and I don’t often go there. Also, I do not want the UPS truck to come to my house because my driveway is steep and delivery trucks always leave tire marks on it.
After placing me on hold for a few minutes, the rep tells me that UPS already has the package and there is nothing he can do about it. I ask him when that happened, because to that point I had been told that the package is in their warehouse. He asks me who had told me that, and I replied that at least two people had told me that–including him. He insists that UPS has the package. I check the UPS tracking info, and tell the rep that the status is “Order Processed: Ready for UPS.” I am place on hold again for a few minutes, and the tech support rep returns and tells me that he has successfully cancelled the order and that I will not receive the modem.
I am skeptical.
11:35 am: The next morning I check UPS tracking, which shows that the modem has left AT&T in Memphis and now is in Doraville, GA. It is coming my way.
11:57 am: I call AT&T tech support and inform the rep that I had been assured that I would not receive the modem, but that it appears to still be in route. I ask if she or someone else at AT&T would use UPS Delivery Intercept® to request a return to sender. (I would have done myself that if I could, but the shipper has to initiate that request.) After putting me on hold to check on it, she tells me that AT&T shows the order has been cancelled and that I will not be receiving any equipment from them. I repeat my understanding of the situation back to her and she confirms that UPS will be returning the modem to AT&T and it will not come to my house.
Again, I am skeptical.
5:30 am: UPS tracking shows that the package is out for delivery to my address.
2:10 pm: The package is presented by UPS and I refuse delivery.
I wish that this was an isolated incident, but since I upgraded my Internet service to U-verse, every single transaction with AT&T has required multiple phone calls, and I have received contradictory information and headaches. Way to go AT&T.