Jay Cross

AT&T is run by clowns

In Uncategorized on December 15, 2008 at 7:58 am

This is another saga in my series on dumb-ass, time-wasting companies that should know better.

I called ATT to report that my land line went dead three weeks ago. The automated message at 611 said they were experiencing heavy traffic and suggested I report the issue on http://att.com/repair.

I went to the ATT repair site and wrote down what was wrong. When I pressed CONTINUE, I was offered tutorials on how to rewire my phone jack and so on. I have a lot to do today besides helping the phone company sort out its problems, so I pressed CONTINUE once more.

It seems that I have to register in order to report a phone problem. Curious. The phone company never has a problem identifying me each month they send out the bills.


The next page asked for my Online Registration Code.  Huh? A sidebar  explains:

As part of our efforts to meet the requirements of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and to protect your privacy, we have enhanced our online security features. AT&T now requires an online registration code in order to register for an online account. When you request the online registration code you will be able to select a delivery method that is convenient for you. You may select to receive an email to the email address we have on record, a phone call to the telephone number we have on file, or a letter via U.S. Mail to the address we have on record. Once you have received the online registration code you can enter the code in the space provided on the online registration form.

I click “Request an online registration code.” I (again) enter my phone number. Plus the last four of my Socail Security Number and my zip code.


Okay. I put in my other phone number, the one that has not worked for a month.


I went back a few screens and clicked that I had forgotten my password. ATT sent me a temporary password. I entered it.


I started a new conversation online. This meant my earlier trouble report would vanish. However, I got in! But after I select a new password, I have to make up two security questions to protect my privacy. Could not any hacker make up her own questions?

Finally, several screens later, I am back to my Repair Request. I enter the problem. (Back in the beginning I was asked to enter my primary phone number after I had entered the number I was asking to be repaired.)


My “Account Manager” page appears to link to only one of my phone numbers. I cannot find a way to add my second line.

I go back to the beginning page. It features this woman, who appears to be having a much happier time reporting her repair. Or maybe she’s just check her phone bill:


I try to open an account for my second line.


I enter the last four of my wife’s Social Security Number.


I give up. I have spent an hour dorking around with this Kafkaesque site.


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