I know AT&T sucked, but this merger is sucking even more. I honestly think I’m about to lose my mind dealing with this crap.

Scenario: I made a payment to my cell phone company (even though I’m supposed to be on automatic payment) and I cannot make any outgoing phone calls because it says I need to make a payment. I, amazingly enough, can receive phone calls.

I contact AT&T to get this resolved, the “overseas outsourced representative” gave me a set of instructions to follow at which time, “I should be able to make outgoing phone calls with no trouble because it shows that I don’t owe any money”. I follow her instructions, yet, I’m still not able to make any outgoing phone calls because “I need to make a payment.”

Now, here I am, 7 days and 10 different customer service reps later, and $50 poorer still unable to make outgoing phone calls. I’ve even been hung up on twice by their customer service reps after they called me (and no, I wasn’t cursing at anyone yet, all I managed to get out was “hello, this is she…”).

Back in my day, life was simple: you paid for a service, you got the service. Maybe something got lost in the big conglomerate translation.

UPDATE: 11th customer service representative. I can make outgoing calls now, however, AT&T doesn’t want to compensate me for the 7 days that I didn’t have phone service, citing that “I was able to receive phone calls and I received two phone calls during peak hours which is why my balance was reflecting those charges”. Well, isn’t it funny because those two calls were their customer service representatives calling me to “resolve the problem” (that wasn’t resolved).

I’m now grasping at reasons to stay with AT&T (or is that Cingular now) besides their being the only carrier which supports my Nokia phone…

UPDATE 2: Well, after the situation was resolved and I was fairly compensated (they gave me 8 days and credited me for their service calls), and all was right with the world once again — I checked my email to find this:

Dear Mike Hawkins:

Before you ask – no, I have no idea who Mike Hawkins is and the 9 previous emails attached to it make no mention of a Mike Hawkins.

I thought about what my response should be, and was really tempted to go with “Dear Verizon Wireless…” but instead it went more like “You know what would be great? If my name was Mike Hawkins…”.

Not only could they not resolve my issues in a prompt and courteous manner, this just proves that they don’t even read the emails that are sent to them. Cingular/AT&T email support is disorganized and ridiculous at best.