Home Phone Outage: SBC Can Bite Me...

Posted by Dan on Jun 24, 2003 @ 7:22 PM

SBC/Ameritech—or whatever they're called now—has really pissed me off. I haven't recieved my last two bills—which are supposed to be sent electronically. Anyway, the bills hadn't shown up for the past couple of months (May & June) via e-mail. I didn't notice in May that I hadn't paid the bill. Normally I rely on getting the bill to remind me of it and when it never showed up, it just slipped my mind. Well, I didn't get a June bill electronically either, but I got an invoice-looking envelope (SBC's bills come in a very distinct envelope) from them around the June 20th. I assumed this was my June bill, so put it aside to pay after I get paid this Friday. Granted, I should open all my mail the day it comes in, but the majority of the stuff I get is junk mail and unless the letter jumps out at me that it needs my attention, I'll open everything up later on.

Anyway, SBC decided to disconnect my home phone Monday night because I hadn't paid the bills—which was essentially just one month missed, May (since the June bill isn't due yet.) I can see shutting off service if I've gone months without paying, but the bare minimum that a phone company should do is to call you to warn you of disconnect service.

So, anyway, SBC wants like a $36 service fee to re-activate the account. I told them that while I certainly should have noticed not getting a bill, them not calling me before disconnect was extremely bad customer service. My response from them was "How do we know that a billing problem has occurred if you don't call us?" Well, my answer to that would be, "Well, the fact that a customer under good standings suddenly didn't pay his bills." That's really besides the point, the bare minimum they should have done is called and left a message—a machine calling would have been fine. If it would have been flagged to my attention, I would have called them immediately.

I obviously need to pay closer attention to my bills, but SBC's attitude was basically "tough shit, we don't care about you as a customer." They really ticked me off, so I said screw it, I paid my bill over the phone and switched to AT&T Local Service—which promises me I can keep my current phone number.

So, for the next week (anywhere from tonight until next Tuesday) you might not be able to reach me via my home phone. You can still reach my cell number though.

Categories: Personal

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