AT&T as a Means of Grace…

Two great truths. One, moving is traumatic. Second, waiting is a key skill in the Christian life. There are subtle lessons found in checkout lines and car repair shops. More dramatic ones in hospitals and funeral homes. Expected ones while on retreats and those crappy surprises that come in technology. AT&T didn’t set out to be one of those times of spiritual growth. However, their customer service terrorism can either tear at your soul or become an investment in our souls development. We will choose.

On Thursday, the Wi-Fi and TV died. A first world problem and hardly the end of the world. The crisis was not that it was cut off ONE MONTH EARLY but in the process of trying to turn them back on. It was deemed impossible. I didn’t show good emotional intelligence. Yet,God can redeem this experience if we look for Him.

The first call was to tech support and repeated several steps over and over. Then came the department changes, different phone numbers to call, representatives going back and forth to supervisors etc. It wasn’t a tech problem. My move-order was dated wrong by them and they cut it off. SO, “just turn it back on?” Nope, impossible. “We are saving you from paying for service you can’t use”. Days turn into weeks and over 20 hours on hold has passed. But I waited them out. Ten days later, man in a truck tapped on the door and said “try it again”. Service is restored but all sense of humor is gone.

UMC pastor’s move. Moving is trauma but this experience stole my soul-and I allowed it. Where is God in this. What do I do with this experience? Here is what I have learned.

  • Call centers where English is not the first language is the way it is. Accept it, Don’t speak in slang, speak slowly, DON’T interrupt their script, and don’t yell. They aren’t the problem.
  • There are no supervisors or special departments. No amount of explaining will fix it and you will start over every time. You need a tech in a truck. That is what you must repeatedly ask for. I am not sure why this was so difficult but it was a local, hands on solution that fixed it.
  • It is not racism to ask for a North American. With AT&T at least, they have better access to dispatch when things are complicated. You still get a rich variety of accents but they seem to have a bit more authority and they called me back. The call center people did not.
  • Fill out those customer service reviews. The call center personnel are not the problem. Here you can yell. However, I only got reviews for the “good” calls. The person in the truck did not get the rating he deserved. The Tech is where things got fixed.
  • Do something productive on hold. I read an entire book and packed while on speaker phone.
  • I missed an opportunity to be thankful for having access to so much information while dealing with this intense hassle. God is with you, you. Are not alone.

I waited them out. Clearly, the trauma of the move exaggerated the experience. In AT&T’s defense, they gave a credit for the entire month of June. I passed through the rage and even laughed toward the end. The real lesson? I should pray and seek the Christ with the intensity of getting the Wi-Fi back on.

Where will God meet you today with an unexpected lesson for life?

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