ATT Chatbots (People?) Don't Even Pretend To Help Anymore

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.

Chat Information
AT&T product specialists are happy to assist you with your questions. Click below to begin your live text chat. Chat representatives will not have access to your personal account. This service is provided to you under AT&Ts Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.

Chat Information
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?

(Long pause)

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

(Another wait)

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.

(Another wait)

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.

(Photo: Getty)