This unedited transcript from a recent “customer support” chat is pure, undiluted idiocy. Do not be surprised if after reading it, you feel a little dead inside, or a little stupider. That’s how you know the customer service chatbot—or person, which is kind of sad—is doing its job.
Welcome to AT&T. My name is Peter. How may I help you today?
Peter: I will be happy to answer your questions regarding AT&T services. I specialize in setting up new phone accounts and High Speed Internet service.
you: Hi Peter, I’m comparing services in the Columbus area. I’m looking for basic internet and cable tv. I wasn’t very lucky in finding prices on the website.
you: I would like 2mbps internet and basic or standard tv service.
Peter: Do you currently have local service with AT&T?
you: I do not, I moved in a few days ago.
Peter: To clarify ordering DSL online does require a basic home phone line; which ranges in price from $5-$17 per month, and this would make your High Speed DSL prices $10 cheaper per month. Also if you place the order through phone you will be not eligible to get the current online promotions.
you: I’m in no need of a land line.
you: What online promotions are you speaking about?
Peter: May I ask from which state you are?
you: I’m from **. I’m a new graduate student at ***
you: So my new residence is Columbus OH 43201
you: I mention it becuase I’ve been offered student discounts at other companies
Peter: Good news though if you order online today you will receive the New Line Promotional credit making your phone activation free of charge which would cost you $38 to $40.
you: I don’t want a phone.
you: I want internet and tv.
Peter: However you can go for U-verse services if it is able in your area?
[Shouldn’t he know if it’s available in my area? I’ve provide my location.]
Peter: AT&T U-verse service is 100% digital television delivered over an Internet Protocol (IP) platform using fiber optic technology. AT&T U-verse also offers High Speed Internet and Voice (in limited areas) over IP access into your home.
you: That’s fantastic, but I’m just looking for price quotes on basic internet and tv service. I don’t need anything besides basic cable and 2Mbps dsl.
[A few minutes go by while I wait for a response.]
you: Well thanks Peter, but I think I’m going to find another service.
The customer, Will, adds, “I was then directed to a review of my chat session.” His review was not favorable:
I let [AT&T] know I had no interest in being pushed canned lines by a salesperson with a shaky understanding of the English language, but would have expected, as I have experienced with other websites, online site assistance.