Ma Bell, confused.

So, I needed an 1-800 number. There are lots of vendors. I picked AT&T. They were not the cheapest, but in telco services there are lots of odd offers and services. And it’s not crucial that number. Just something you also need to have. Getting the number itself was alright. They sent an email that it would take a nebolous amount of time (”several weeks”) before they were able to execute my order.

Months passed. No word from Ma Bell. Diving into voice-system-hell. Finally I got somebody that was the right division etc. He simply proclaimed that the number already worked. Which is great, and it actually did ever since. But they could have let me know.

Then I got an email telling me that I had not logged in their Buisness Website for a while, and that they would disable my login should I not do so within 30 days. So I logged in. A question that is innocent enough came up. AT&T would like to know which state I am. Not that they could deduct that from my address. But hey. Of course entering the info brings me right back to the same screen. Oh, Firefox quirk. Can happen.
Safari: Same result. So, do I have to buy a PC to tell them that I am in California? Of course, there are no links where you could contact that division of AT&T and let them know that they website is simply broken.

Neither is there a way to get in touch with AT&T mentioned in that email announcing me to lock me out of the website unless I would log in in the next thirty. Sure, I could spend an hour on the phone tomorrow with AT&T. Like everywhere, once you reach a human things are not even that bad. There are often ways to fix things.

But the problem is deeper than that: AT&T used to be a technology company. They invented the transistor and a couple of other important things. But in 2007 they can not even run a simple website. It fits in the picture that they spend billions, yes, billions not millions, for rebranding. Making them look to good to the outside. While everybody knows that internally it’s just barely good enough. Since they other telco’s suck equally bad they even get away with it. Time for a company like Apple to get into the cellphone Business. No, wait. Ok, nevermind.

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