Ring Around The AT&T Help Lines

Rachel, who had recently moved, called AT&T for help with her DSL line, but was told she’d have to call a different number because her account originated in a different state. She’s discovered that her cell phone’s area code forces AT&T’s system to transfer her to the wrong customer service center.

She writes:

My fiance and I recently moved from North Carolina to Ohio. I have a North Carolina cell phone number, and set up our DSL service with that number on the account, as we are some of those crazy Millennials who don’t have a land line.

Our modem manual instructed us to call AT&T for a password so we could log in, and set up our account. So, I called the number given, and, when prompted, entered my cell phone number as the one associated with the account. When I finally spoke to the CSR, she informed me that I was on the help line for the 9 states region, and, as my account was an Ohio account, I needed to call a different number, which she gave me.

I called that number, and, again, when prompted, entered my cell phone number. Again, I ended up in the 9 states region help line. The CSR gave me the Ohio number,

“But I have that number. That’s the one I just called!”

The CSR apologized, and offered to transfer me directly to the Ohio region help line. I was transferred, and, for a third time, was told to enter my phone number. Once again, I did. Once again, 9 states region help line. I apologized to the CSR:

“I know this is the wrong number. I’ve tried dialing the Ohio number, but since the number on my account is a North Carolina number, I keep getting routed here. Is there anything I can do to prevent this from happening?”

She thought for a moment.

“No, I’m sorry.”

I asked to be directly transferred to a CSR in the Ohio region. She said she could, and then the line went dead- no hold music, no anything. I waited a few minutes, and hung up.

My fiance finally figured out the solution. When asked for the number associated with the account, he simply kept saying “I don’t know.” He got to an option to enter our account number, and off we went.

It seems like this is a problem that’s going to crop up more and more in the future- I understand that it’s easier for people to remember their cell phone number then to look through piles of paper for their AT&T account number. But if their could be some sort of prompt to ask which state the account was located in, it would make life a lot easier for those of us whose cell phone numbers aren’t local numbers.

Have you encountered a glitch like this with AT&T or another company?