EECB Results In Excellent Customer Service From AT&T

Reader Ian launched an EECB (Executive Email Carpet Bomb) that landed on AT&T and resulted in some excellent customer service:

Greetings O exalted ones!

:-p

I just wanted to share a success story from several months ago, in which an EECB scored a direct hit on AT&T Mobility, and resulted in some top-notch service while my problem was resolved.

I have an iPhone, and use a GoPhone prepaid plan with it. I started using my phone a lot more for work, so I needed to change my rate plan to get more minutes. This in and of itself was quite an ordeal, as I was told several different stories about when in the billing period I could change my plan, but regardless, eventually it was done.

And then I started running out of money. Fast.

It turns out that they had removed the data package from my account, so I was paying 10¢/kb. And I go through a lot of data. It was adding up to $150-$200 per day, and I kept having to reload my account to be able to make phone calls. When I called AT&T to resolve this, I was told that they had to escalate it via email, and that it would take a week or two, and I just had to wait. The agents I talked to said that they could refund the amount charged so far, and I could keep calling to do this, but that was extremely inconvenient.

So about 4pm on a Tuesday, I sent off my EECB. I laid out all the background and what was going on, and how this was not only affecting my productivity (since I use my phone a lot for work, keeping up with client emails, etc.), but also was putting me in quite a financial pinch, since I had to add several hundred dollars to the plan before they had processed the refund (in the form of a credit to my account).

The next morning, I got a call from someone at the “Office of the President of AT&T Mobility”, and she called me back every day until the problem was resolved. She credited my account every morning for the previous day’s charges, and even called me on Friday afternoon to make sure she credited me enough to get through the weekend.

All in all, I ended up getting absolutely top-notch service, and was turned back from being an extremely dissatisfied customer (I had even unlocked my iPhone and reactivated my previous T-Mobile account just in case, and back when this happened, unlocking it took almost 2 hours).

Thanks for everything you guys do for all of us consumers, and providing the resources and advice to make sure we get taken care of!

~ian

For more information about how to learn to launch your own EECB, click here.

(Photo:Vince Brown)

Comments

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  1. mrbiggsndatx says:

    way to go AT&T. sorry it took BOMBS

  2. I’m honestly suprised EECBs work. Obviously Consumerist has proven they do, but I’m still amazed to see corporate giants, especially at an executive level, go out of their way to help an individual consumer when all it means one little tiny drop in their financial buckets, relatively speaking, and a little PR on the web not likely to get any attention from MSM or large numbers of people [no offense, Consumerist mods.] But bravo to all who pull it off or facilitate it!

  3. Vanvi says:

    I’m starting to get sick of EECB stories. It’s good to know they can work, but it seems like they’re being abused and will become ineffective. It should be a total last resort.

  4. ivanthemute says:

    @BayStateDarren: Why are you suprised that EECBs work? It’s rarely the actual C*O of the company who does any work, but it does get you through to folks who can cut through the red tape and lies. Take Ian in the story, he got through to the “Office of the President” for AT&T mobility (nevermind the fact that AT&T has an Office of the President for each major item and that the agents there are merely tier I and tier II level personnel with authorization to say yes.) In the end, the company that responds is only doing what it should do anyway, and they get some good press about it.

  5. jtheletter says:

    @Vanvi: The problem, as I see it, with an EECB being the last resort, is that there aren’t too many options ahead of it anyway.
    What can one do after weeks of zero help from customer service? Escalation to supervisors is often spotty, we have seen insider accounts that tell us these “supervisors” don’t even have any extra power in some companies. And even though just about every account supposedly has notes or service tickets you end up having to explain the problem from scratch every time you call, usually racking up hours of time on hold or being transfered.
    If customer service would properly escalate difficult issues to people empowered to resolve them, instead of dealing with them through delays and passing the buck, the EECB could be a truly “last resort” tactic. As it stands now, however, if your problem is anything other than the most routine, in many cases there is no next step other than an EECB.

  6. sprocket79 says:

    I think they are becoming abused too. The large company I work for got an EECB for the most ridiculous issue possible. This person launched the EECB within minutes of his order before s/he could even wait to see if there would actually be a problem. Yeah it made everyone jump into action, but if this person had waited he would have seen that there would have most likely not been an issue at all, s/he was just impatient. That ticks me off. Now I would have no problem launching my own EECB if there was an issue that had taken a really long time to resolve and I was getting nowhere, but (luckily) I’ve never had to resort to it. I just think people are abusing the tactic because we live in such an instant gratification society.

  7. @ivanthemute: It implies they have consciences, which upsets my little picture of the world.

  8. tme2nsb says:

    EECB didn’t need to be done on this AT ALL. Speaking to the High Usage Team would have had this resolved…

  9. jhat says:

    I don’t want to get into the argument about if it was ok to send an EECB but I thought I would offer a different solution. When I had problems with AT&T I simply filled out a complaint with the FCC. It’s really easy to do online. It does get their attention and motivates them to resolve the problem. This suggestion was given to me by my mom, who happens to work for AT&T. It did take some time but I got a call from AT&T’s executive complaint department and was told that everything was taken care of and it actually was.
    [www.fcc.gov]

  10. elf6c says:

    EECB’s will be viewed as spam and stop working within 24 months, just watch. And that makes me a sad panda.

  11. tmlfan81 says:

    The guy is paying $200 a day to refill his GoPhone account so he can use his iPhone and when he has to resort to an EECB you think it’s an abuse?

    I’d want immediate resolution if I had to fork over $200 in a day – every day – to keep my service going.

  12. @tme2nsb: wow, thanks. i guess that’s what several calls and escalations wasn’t able to get me.

  13. @tmlfan81: thank you, at least someone gets it. i would have had no problem waiting if it wasn’t for the magnitude of the charges and “oh well, just wait” attitude on the part of all the phone agents

  14. @tme2nsb: ps: that phrase you mention? “high usage team” gets 4 hits on google. one of them is this entry.

    sorry i’m not carnac.

  15. oakie says:

    @tmlfan81: if you use the service, pay for it. duh.

    but for all those who question EECB’s, think of it this way… it’s a positive for both parties. the consumer doesnt send out a negative impression that could impact hundreds who read it, and the company gets a free ad showing glistening customer approval.

    if EECB’s were used properly, the customer would get what they want AND prevent this type of abuse from happening… by way of reporting negatively regardless to shine light on the issue.

    but of course only on an issue that is truly a “wrong-doing” and not in any way facilitated by the consumer’s actions. like this example.

    in the military, we called this “bucking the chain of command”, and people who did it faced unofficial retribution by the hands of their immediate supervisors.