Monday, November 29, 2010

Sell Your Stock in AT&T

I recently ordered AT&T's VoiceMail service.  A more schitzophrenic company, I do not know.  They sent me the user manual above, to access the service.  Look carefully at the key codes.... Does your phone have these symbols on it?

This is hilarious.  I decided to get a land line for my home, after going wireless for five years.  We are settling down in one place, so why not?  Cell service sucks here anyway.

I ordered the land line and the guy at AT&T in sales was great.  After a couple of weeks, I decided to get the VoiceMail service as well.  I called the guy back and he activated it (he gave me his direct line - nice dude!).

A week later, they sent me the "user guide" for AT&T Voice Mail and other services.  Look carefully at the image above.  Somewhere, in translation, the instructions were garbled.  And no one did a proofread before sending this guide out to hundreds of thousands of customers!

You can sort of figure out what happened, I guess.  The keystrokes shown are computer keystrokes - left arrow, right arrow, tab, etc.  But of course, those keys don't exist on a regular phone.  The one I like best appears to be a misunderstanding of the word "pound sign" which leads me to believe the manual was typeset or printed in India.

It is pretty embarrassing, really.  Can you imagine if Chevrolet delivered 100,000 cars with an owner's manual  entirely in Swedish?  The hue and cry would be pretty fantastic.

Fortunately, the Voicemail instructions are available online, and you can also access * codes at this site.  Other calling features for AT&T are shown here.

OK, so everyone goes online for this stuff now.  No one reads the f-ing manual anymore, except me.  But it is pretty freaking embarrassing when you send out something like this without proofing it.

FYI, from what I can determine, you can decode the manual above as follows:

ESC = *
Scroll up ^ = 5
Page up = 6
CR = 7
Left Arrow <- = 8
Right Arrow -> = 9
British Pound Sign = # (pound sign)

Pretty Freaking Embarrassing!  AT&T is not keeping their eye on the ball.  The services are sloppily done, and it is like three companies that hate each other (landline, wireless, and DSL) all working together under one roof.

I am sitting here, speechless, that some idiot didn't get fired over this.  Probably promoted!

Needless to say, I'm not buying stock in AT&T anytime soon.