When you gotta go, you gotta go. But when there’s a bathroom down the hall, you probably don’t need to use a portable urinal bag, and you certainly don’t need to leave it behind for the customer to find.
A few weeks back, an AT&T U-Verse tech was installing a line at the house of Consumerist reader Mark when he needed to relieve himself. But rather than ask Mark’s roommate if he could use either of the home’s two bathrooms, the installer just pulled out a “Brief Relief” disposable urinal bag and did his business there in Mark’s master bedroom.
“Upon finding the urinal, packaging and evidence, I called AT&T support and was laughed at,” he tells Consumerist, adding that he did ultimately reach the office of the president at AT&T but that a supervisor did come out to his house to pick up the left-behind bag o’ urine and admit that it was his employee’s.
A rep for AT&T confirms to Consumerist some of the details of Mark’s case, saying it had been in touch with him and apologized for the incident. The rep also clarified that it is not company policy for techs and installers to use these disposable urinals while on home visits. Employees are encouraged to relieve themselves before visiting a customer’s home and are told to ask permission to use a customer’s lavatory in cases where the need is urgent.
Granted, these devices do serve their purpose, especially for people on the road all day or working places where bathrooms are not readily available. It’s certainly better and safer than the risk of holding it in or trying to relieve one’s bladder into a water bottle, but if a toilet is available, it should probably be used for its intended purpose rather than end up with a grossed-out and ticked-off customer.
Luckily, this is the first incident we’ve heard of involving a cable tech leaving behind their personal biohazard, so we’re hoping that this is not an industry-wide phenomenon that consumers just don’t know much about.