Thursday, July 06, 2006

Customer non-service

When you get a BellSouth DSL account, you also get the ability to use dial-up for 20 hours a month in an emergency or if you are roaming in BellSouth's area.

Which is all fine and dandy, if you happen to know the number you are staying at because BellSouth (we'll call it BS for short) has aparently taken down its pages that gave you a list of access number by state and substituted a fill-in form that requires you to type in the number you are calling from.

That, of course, is oh so helpful if you are not sure what number you will be calling from. Say you are on the road, as I was. As a matter of fact, I was in southern Indiana right over the river from Louisville at one point, and it was cheaper for me to pay the 6 cents a minute to dial the Louisville number than it was to pay the more expensive roaming fees outside of BellSouth's area. So I had to scramble before I left home to find a Louisville number so that I could plug it into the blasted form.

Later, I was in the Lexington area. I wasn't sure what number I was going to be at there, so again had to scramble to find a dummy to plug in.

Here's the transcript of my "chat" with customer services before I left:
BellSouth eAgent > I'm not showing a page for all dialup numbers in a state, the only option is to enter the number from whrer you are connecting from and it will give you a number

(Me: I've removed my e-mail)> That is lousy customer service. You used to have a full page. How am I going to connect if I don't know the number I will be at beforehand?

Me> To whom can I address this complaint? At least Bellsouth should have the option to enter a city, not just a telephone number

BellSouth eAgent > You would need to fist find the number to your location
Boy, that was a help, wasn't it?

If BS is going to take down the full-state access pages -- a move that is oh so customer friendly -- why not put an option on the form that at least allows you to enter the city and state where you will be so that you can generate a dial-up number?

That would be too simple, I guess.

Another one for the annals (you can drop one "n" if you'd like) of customer service.


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