It’s amazing how you can call customer service multiple times and get as many answers. I got the boyfriend an iPhone. Apple told us they couldn’t make my month old iPhone and his brand new one be on a family plan, so they set us up with a second individual line of service under my name. The guy at the Apple store said I could call AT&T and they would be able to make it a family plan afterward. I’m not crazy about this idea, because I don’t trust wireless companies in the least, but I agree.

Later that night, I check my AT&T account online and see that I can combine them online. Excellent! No talking to people! But after clicking through a couple screens, I find that it won’t take place until the next billing cycle. Since that is December 3rd, and it’s only November 7th now, this a less than optimal solution. I cancel the action, and call AT&T.

I get a very nice lady named Charity who says she has to look up how to do what I want, then goes on to say “no problem”! Faint alarm bells are going off in my head, but I proceed. They should have been louder. She makes her changes, and tries to apply the family texting plan I wanted, but seems to run into trouble. She says she has to remove some MMS block, but is able to proceed. I look at my account online, and it says the FamilyTalk plan will start on 12/3. I ask her about this, but she assures me it is correct in her system. I give her the benefit of the doubt (hah!) and wait. Two days later, it is still listed for 12/3.

I call AT&T again, and get another lady, who understands my request. She confirms that indeed, it is set to go on 12/3, not immediately as I was told. I ask her to change it, but upon checking, says she is unable to do it before the next billing cycle. Sigh, that is patently ridiculous, okay, fine, but at least remove this family text plan, which I suspect was forced onto the account and would probably result in my being charged twice. She does, and I go on my way.

Fast forward a week. We have plans with some friends Sunday morning. I send a text message Saturday night to find out when we’re supposed to meet. I get no reply, so I go to bed. She calls me at 9am, saying that we’re meeting at 11am, and she sent me messages last night. Hmm, I didn’t get any messages. At first, I chalk it up to SMS oddities. But then, a light bulb goes on in my head. An dark, ugly light bulb. So I call AT&T a third time. I explain a bit of the recent history to the gentleman and my suspicions of the account changes being at fault. He tells me that I have no text plan at the moment, not even the default pay per use one. Ah hah! I ask him to put the pay per use plan back until the family plan kicks in. “Do you want me to make it a family plan?” he says. But those other people couldn’t do that. “Doesn’t mean I can’t,” he says. Huh. So, he does it, and bam, I have a family plan. And unlimited texting. All like I asked for over a week ago.

It drives me crazy that you have to hope that you get some customer service rep who knows what they’re doing. You can just as easily end up with some clueless person who does unspeakable things to your account. All in all, this didn’t come out too badly. My account turned out how I wanted, after some frustration for a week. At least, it looks good online, anyway. Let’s hope that porting his number and getting the caller ID modified get done also.

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