Customer Support

One-hundred-and-Twenty minutes vs Twenty-One minutes

That’s the difference in time between Telephone and Twitter, in getting a resolution from AT&T Customer Service.

After sitting and waiting on hold and being transferred to SIX different departments, and sitting at my computer–waiting on hold most of the time, I took to Twitter.  As much as a way to pass the time, I was curious to see if I could get a response from AT&T using social media.


The problem was simple enough but somewhat convoluted. Nearly 15 years ago, when getting dial-up Internet as part of my residential service, I also acquired an email address.

Over the course of years, services changed, the home phone was discontinued in favor of cell phones and neighborhood broadband carriers changed twice.

It was my primary email and I had it forwarded to another account as uses changed over the years. AT&T no longer supported the email and it is currently handled by Yahoo!

I had recently received emails from AT&T  announcing  changes coming June 10th, and to consider an upgrade. When I tried to log-in, I found I had forgotten the password and it was not retrievable using old security questions that were vague enough 15 years ago that I didn’t remember the answers. The problem then, was verifying I was who I was.

I appreciate how difficult it is to get a lost password via phone and appreciate AT&T’s security protocols. Unfortunately, what I experienced was “security by obscurity”.

Telephone Support

I had already talked to six different people. One of the most helpful was the fifth person I talked to:  Amy Sullivan (AT&T employee number A5604C). She was the only one that truly listened and attempted to solve the problem, orchestrate and enlist others who could do so and conducted a group conversation with someone she felt could solve my problem. Eager, upbeat and positive, Amy was confident when she transferred me to Rayne, that the problem was solved.
Unfortunately after dropping the call and calling me back, Rayne read from her script and we walked through all of the things again that were explained to her in the conference call.

Rayne said she had to forward me to the “National Mass Market” for my state, as they were the only people who could assist.

She asked me to hold, then returned saying they had closed for the day but I could call during business hours which were from 7am to 10pm. I pointed out it was only 7pm, and she couldn’t account for why they weren’t answering.


It took six tweets [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] and an hour before I received a tweet from Geof @ATTCustomerCare

Through DM he asked me a couple questions, then he called me. After putting me on hold for only a few minutes, he returned with a reset password and waited while I quickly accessed the account and logged-in. BOOM! Problem Solved.

Impressively, his assistance and final solution came after his work day was supposed to have ended in his Central Daylight Time location. Geof put-in some over-time to help me. Awesome.

The Power of Social Media

On one hand, Social media gives individuals the capability to be heard. On the other hand, it gives responsible brands the opportunity to provide personalized service.

AT&T was responsive and impressively, one person had the power and ability to connect with me and quickly solve my problem.

Consider one social media person (Geof) skillfully handled a problem in only twenty-one minutes that six different people couldn’t handle in the span of over two hours.

I’ve been a long-time customer of AT&T. I bought my first cell phone from them and have been a long time customer for a number of their services.

And, while I was frustrated and upset over the laborious two hours of time spent on the phone today, I’m really impressed and thankful for the outstanding service I received from the AT&T Social Media Department–a model for other individuals and companies looking to provide exemplary customer service and responsiveness.

How About YOU?

What positive experiences have YOU had with big companies over social media–I’m curious, please share them in the comment section below.

DISCLAIMER: I don’t know that it needs to be said but, in case you’re curious: This post is NOT a paid testimonial and is a reflection of today’s experience only. My thoughts are mine (or so I like to think!) Otherwise, all copyrights apply.

I Love Cloud Based Apps!

It was an easy for me to move to cloud-based software services (apps) and put an end to mailing myself documents or carrying disks (I’m old! LOL) or thumb drives of large presentations. To have the convenience of having EVERYthing accessible from any Internet connected device was a dream come true!

The free services continue to grow in Higher Education and where colleges previously spent millions, Google and Microsoft are fulfilling the need. The two also have versions they promote as safer alternatives for younger students in K-12.

EdTechMagazine  wrote about this growth recently  on college campuses and shared a wonderful infographic:

Available at no cost to students and faculty, Google Apps includes cloud email, storage, hosting, word processing and collaboration tools. Previously, colleges were forced to invest millions in these services and struggled to modernize outdated technology, not to mention maintain email servers and data centers. Microsoft has followed suit with their Office 365 solution, and the cloud revolution is in full swing on campuses.



When it comes to authentication, most IT departments and end users trade internet security for convenience. Trying to remember long, complex passwords and using multifactor authentication is a pain and makes accessing data, e-mail and applications difficult. As the web has evolved, users tend to have user names and passwords for dozens, maybe even hundreds, of websites and applications. The cloud, while solving many problems, creates a new one: Our data is protected by only a password, with multiple points of failure.

Internet Security

If you have a wordpress web site you’re probably aware of the brute force attacks that happened at the end of last year and just this past April, where bots registered tens of millions of automated password crack attempts, targeting the default “admin” user name.

Automated computer programs are getting too sophisticated and too fast for simple passwords based on convenience.

Check-out the infographic below (click for larger image)

password-security-infographicRead the Complete article at: