In a mood.

I’m in a bit of a mood, which was not helped any with my recent experience with AT&T’s support.

Note to self: Do not attempt to contact support when you’re “in a mood “.

Additional note to everyone that has ever contacted support: Nine times out of ten, support is dealing with someone “in a mood“, it’s a tough job. Please try to remember that. That doesn’t mean that bad support can be dismissed, just try to imagine you’re in their shoes.  I’ve been there, done that, I will flip burgers before going back to phone support for an ISP – just sayin’

You see, I have a micro cell that was given to me by a friend since they were unable to use it.  I’ve had it for a bit, and recently decided to dig it out and see if it could improve phone usage in the house.  For the most part I have a marginally useful signal while my wife and son have marginal or no signal.  I go to set up the micro cell and, of course, get prompted to agree to some long users agreement and some statement about buying an unlimited calling for the micro cell.  I decided the best course of action was to call support (that’s why they’re available right?)and ask a simple question: “will activating this micro cell incur additional charges on my account?”.  I dial the number and get greeted with a phone tree that “I can talk to in complete sentences”.  When prompted to say why I was calling, I stated “Micro cell sales” and got a cheery “Great, to direct your call, what kind of phone would you like to buy?”  I respond with “M I C R O  C E L L” which received a hearty “Transferring” followed by a loud series of beeps and then dead air…  my phone showed to option to call again, I hate phone trees most days, today was no exception.

Well, luckily, I’m a technologically proficient individual, I’m hip, I text, I chat, I’ll just use the on-line text support, that will be easier and better right?  (I see you shaking your head out there!)  What follows is the transcript from said chat support.  Admittedly, I’m a bit irritated by being hung up on by a computer, so I have to start if off with a jab…

MARK: Your phone tree is a failure AND just hung up on me.  I have one simple
      question, I have a 3G micro cell that was given to me, I was going to 
      register it, but it's not clear if there's an additional charge to my 
      account for using a micro cell. I simply need to know if activating 
      a micro cell on my account will change my account in any way.

10 minutes pass…

MAY:  I appreciate your patience while holding, I will be happy to assist you.
MAY:  Hi Mark.
MARK: Hello May.

See, I’m friendly!!

MAY:  I'll be happy to assist you with your concern.
MAY:  AT&T MicroCells are sold at a retail price of $149.99 and are currently
      eligible for a $75 mail-in rebate. The AT&T MicroCell purchase price 
      must be $75 or over to qualify for the mail-in rebate. The rebate form 
      and details can be located in the FAQs section of

Oooookay, did you even read my question? I really wanted to be snarky, and maybe I was.

MARK: May, while I appreciate that information, I HAVE a micro cell. I have a
      friend that had one and could not use it. I simply want to know if there
      is a monthly charge incurred by activating it on my account.
MAY:  I see.
MAY:  No, there is no monthly fee for the micro cell and no activation fee.

Woot! Okay, feeling lucky, lets' see if there's any reason 4G should be used instead of 3G

MARK: awesome. Thank you. Any reason I could or should not use a 3G microcell 
      vs a new 4G one?
MAY:  With 3G microcell you will only be billed one time fee.


MARK: Now wait, you just said there was not a monthly fee, and no activation 
      fee. Now you're tell me there is a fee?
MAY:  Sorry! I forgot that you will be using the micro cell of your friend.
MAY:  Sorry, my bad.
MARK: Okay, just wanted to make sure before I activated it on my account
MARK: Thank you.
MAY:  Alright. I understand. :)
MAY:  You are so welcome Mark!
MARK: Thank you for you help, have a nice day.

I didn’t capture the last line since I closed the chat window as soon as I pressed enter.  As proof of the rest, I’ve attached screen shots, really I can’t make this stuff up.

Moral of the story?  Not sure, but it might be something about making sure you read the question and pay attention to what’s being said when you’re on the “giving support side”.  From the “receiving support side” might have something about verifying information, but then I have activated it yet because I’m still a bit paranoid about it and it will be another month before I get another bill even if I do activate it.


By Mark

I work in IT and ride Motorcycles. I do one to support the other.