U-Verse Sucks, Zappo’s Rocks



Get ready for an “Ohio”-type story*—this is going to take a while. But I’ll start off with the bottom line.

AT&T U-verse sucks.

It all started yesterday afternoon when I tried to rent a movie from U-verse on Demand. (The Grand Budapest Hotel, if you are interested.) I was about twenty minutes into the movie when an error message came up telling me the movie was no longer available and I should contact U-verse.

Sigh. I bit the bullet and dialed U-verse and waded through half a dozen prompts and requests. Before I could reach a live person, my movie mysteriously came back on. I stopped waiting patiently on hold and went back to watching my movie. Although it wouldn’t let me pick up where I left off, I was willing to watch the first 20 minutes again. I was enjoying my movie, happily munching popcorn and drinking little Cokes for about an hour when the movie cut off again. Same message.

FINE. I called U-verse again, went through the prompts and tests, and finally reached a non-English-speaking customer service representative who couldn’t help me but was happy to schedule an appointment for a technician to come to my house today between 12 noon and 4 p.m. On a Sunday? Yes, he promised. I agreed to the appointment. I even received three text messages confirming it.

I waited for the appointed time, and moments before 4 p.m. I received a text message that the tech had been delayed but would be at my house within the hour.

I waited. He wasn’t. Another text message arrived asking me to reschedule. No.

Next, I had a painful text conversation with some poor guy in India or possibly Thailand that AT&T is probably paying under a dollar to handle customer service and angry customers. One of my biggest issues with AT&T is their pretend customer service. I hate their platitudes squeezed in between reminders not to text and drive. If they cared about customer service, they would pay people to provide it. They would train and empower people instead of giving them poorly crafted scripts and threats of what would happen if they lost customers on their watch. How can you put a powerless person in the position of customer service? You can’t. It’s wrong.

Here is the conversation (and yes it has it’s funny moments go ahead and laugh)

You are now texting with Sangeetha. Please note messages over 160 characters may not be received. As a reminder, Don’t Text and Drive. It Can Wait!

Hi. Would you like to get a status or reschedule?


I can help you with that,


For your security and to ensure we protect your privacy, I must authenticate your account before I can access your records to assist you.

Could you please provide the four digit Passcode associated with this Account?



Thank you. I have authenticated you.


Katybeth, I’m sorry. I see that, we need to reschedule the appointment with you to fix the issue.

No thanks I waited all day.

I apologize for the inconvenience. Please do not feel that way. Due to excessive workload, dispatch team was not able to assign a technician. Please give us a chance, this time sure technician will be assigned and resolve the issue.

No thank you.

I understand how inconvenience it would be from your part. Please wait, I will try everything possible from my end to help you today.

No thank you.

Please wait, I’m trying to get in touch with the dispatch team.

Really No.

Let me try to get a technician today if possible.


Please wait I’ll be right back with you.


I’m still try to get a representative from the dispatch team.

Katybeth, for the inconvenience cause, I will go ahead and process a credit of $10 from my end.

I have processed the credit for you. You can check the adjustments online or on your next bill.

Thank you. It’s not your fault. I won’t give a bad review. Eating dinner. Goodnight.

Thank you for understanding. What are you having for dinner?

Sweet potatoes.

Good. Please don’t go. I’m still trying to get an agent from dispatch team.

I’m sorry delay, Katybeth. Have your finished potatoes?


I’m sorry for the delay..

I really need to go

Thank you for waiting, Katybeth. Please don’t go yet. Be patient little longer. You’ll be rewarded.

I would request you to wait for the technician today. Since the technicians works till 8.00pm, they are possible technician can work on your issue and fix the trouble.

(I walked away from phone at this point)

If you have replied, I did not receive your text. Some phones restrict texts to 160 characters. Please shorten your reply and resend.

I have not received a response from you. Please let me know if you are receiving my texts so that we can continue.

Katybeth did you leave me? Please come back. Technician could come. Reply please.

Thank you for your effort. I’ll be here if the technician arrives.

You are welcome. I  want you to be happy. Are you happy?

A representative from AT&T just called to reschedule my appointment.

Patience worked. Glad I could help.

Thank you.

You are welcome. Thank you for choosing AT&T. We appreciate your business.

While I was texting with Sangeetha, I returned a pair of Cole’s shoes to Zappos that we had bought in April but that were falling apart already. The Zappos representative spoke English, was friendly, exchanged the shoes for a different pair that cost more money, and did not charge me for the difference in price. She then e-mailed me a postage-paid return label. While we were working out the details, I learned it was raining in Las Vegas (where she was), and she asked me if I’d gone to Lollapalooza this past weekend. She was so happy to help me and hoped I would come back to shop at Zappos.com again soon.

Zappos appreciates my business. AT&T sucks. I’m ordering a pair of sandals and canceling my U-verse.

Odd Loves Company,

*If you are new to Odd, you may not know, that we call any story that takes a long time to get to the point an Ohio story, because people from Ohio (we love them all, very much) have a meandering approach to storytelling.

12 thoughts on “U-Verse Sucks, Zappo’s Rocks

  1. Oh AT & T….how we all “love” you. I have a story and although it does not involve a text message with AT & T it does involve an AT & T store…or was it Cingular. Whatever it was it was ridiculous. We had gotten new phones and I was having problems with mine. We took them into the store to have them worked on. It’s a little hazy to me what the issue was since it was probably 12 years ago but regardless something was not working. So….we took them to the shop in an upscale combo shopping/neighborhood to have them work on it. The tech said he could not do whatever needed to be done to it at the moment but he would keep them overnight and take care of it and call us the next day with what time we could pick them up. I keep thinking “them” because something makes me remember that it was more than my phone. I think Mr. Diamond’s was also involved. In fact I am sure of it. Anywho—-the next day comes and goes and no word. Another call placed with no satisfaction. A couple days later we discovered that the tech had planned to take the phones home to work on them (Who does that?) and they were stolen. Supposedly. Out of his car. So we got brand new phones again. We were less than amused as you can imagine. And this was not even having to deal with someone in another country—it was right here in the US of A. Of course it was North Carolina which is sometimes considered another country but this was a fairly forward thinking metropolitan area so one would have thought that it would have had a different ending than this.
    Did I ever tell you I was born and raised in Ohio?????????
    Happy Day to you!

    • I knew it! The moment you started the story this was going to be an Ohio parody. But only someone that was born in Ohio could do it so very very well. Thanks for the morno giggle 🙂

  2. I bought a pair of sandals from Zappos with my daughters encouragement. They arrived the next day. I called AT&T and they missed their appointment without notifying me, twice. Zappo’s should consider branching out to the cable, internet, cell phone industry. Maybe partner with Amazon.
    El Morno later?

  3. You know, these huge cable, internet, cell phone, and TV companies could learn A LOT from the mom-and-pops. I get that they have waaay too many complaints (and whose fault is that again??); I get that some poor, underpaid gal or fella in some Third World country is battling a language problem and trying to handle an issue not of his making. But seriously?? C’mon, people — DO BETTER!

    • Yes they could. AT&T sent me a customer service survey that focused primarily on their oversees, underpaid, customer service worked. I gave him great reviews and blasted them at every opportunity in the comments. No crime in working and trying to do your job -the crime is in not being provided with the tools to do and being held accountable when you fail. Ok.off my soap box. DO BETTER sums it up.

  4. “Katybeth did you leave me? Please come back.” That’s just hysterical.

    I’ve had similar issues with Comcast and overseas customer service, but only via phone. Seems like I maybe could be more patient if I was getting such amusing text messages.

    I am curious if you ever did get to watch the rest of the movie.

    • Oh and thanks for the Zappos plug. I’ve always been leery about using them, but the service sounds wonderful. And I can confirm it was raining here in Vegas. A rare event this time of year – has cooled things right off.

      • Zappos is amazing. I thought it would be hard to shoe shop by mail but they make it so easy, and fun. This morning I received an e-mail that started this way:

        “Hello, VIP Katybeth! Thank you for contacting the Zappos Customer Loyalty Team. My name is Carol (aka the Crazy Cat Lady) and I will be happy to help you today.

        Fun, frivolous feline fact: Cats actually sleep 70% of their lives, which equates to about 16 hours a day. They sleep more than any other mammal besides bats and opossums. And that is where we get the term, “catnap”!

        And then she confirmed my order…

        What’s not to love.

        I always do chat or text when I know I will be dealing with outsourced support. I can’t understand them and feel rude constantly asking them to repeat the information.

        Yes, Sangeetha and I finally bonded. Sometimes the best path is the one of least resistance and God knows he was do his best to make me happy with limited resources. For the record I would not have accepted the family elephant.

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