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AT&T; Tries to Sell Me the Service I Just Cancelled

I just cancelled my long distance service with AT&T; (after my home phone number finally rolled over to Vonage). The end of the conversation went something like this:

AT&T;: Have I been able to resolve all your concerns?
Me: Yup (anxious to get off phone.)
AT&T;: Would you like to resubscribe with AT&T; Long Distance?
Me: (incredulous silence) ... um, no thanks.

I know these folks at the call center are following a script, so I don't blame them. I want to know why AT&T; employs idiots who think that question belongs in the script. Asking me to re-up with AT&T; on the same call that I cancelled my service is embarrassing for the call center rep, and treats me, their former customer, as a complete idiot. Do they seriously envision the call going like this???

AT&T;: Would you like to resubscribe with AT&T; Long Distance?
Me: Well, you're not offering me any incentives, and I've obviously found a plan that provides more value than the one I had with you guys, which is why I just cancelled my long distance plan... but, what the hell! You guys have faced an uphill battle since deregulation in 1984. Let's do it, Sanjay!

AT&T; doesn't get it--they look at customer service as a cost center, and are trying to recoup some of their costs by insulting both call center reps and customers.

Vonage, on the other hand, has a self-service customer service model that allows me to complete the most common tasks online, on my own schedule. Their customer service costs are lower, and their self-service transactions are completed faster, which makes customers happier.

Which model do you think will be sustainable in the long term, considering the plugged-in nature and finely-tuned bullshit detectors of the younger set?

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Comments (Post | Latest)

1. Dan Sampson said on Mar 6 2005:

Consider your self lucky. I had a horrible time with Qwest DSL and so when Comcast High Speed came into town I jumped ship as fast as I could. I am still being billed for my Qwest DSL. I have now cancelled it numorous times and had my bill refunded the amount that I shouldn't be billed.

But bottom line is I still get billed. Now is that a good business practice?


Hi, I'm Kareem Mayan. I co-founded eduFire, an online video tutoring company.

I've done time at ESPN and FIM.

I advise WorldBlu, helping them build democratic companies.

I moderated a council for Creative Good.

And, I helped bring Barcamp, a technology un-conference, to LA, which is where I live. I am now living and working in cool cities around the world.

More about me.

Opinions stated here are mine alone.

Contact: blog -at- reemer


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