Disclaimer: If you are a regular reader of this blog, skip this post. (I have pictures of my trip that I want to post soon.) This is for people who do a google search for bellsouth or customer service or disconnecting from bellsouth or some such thing.
You see, we moved. We transferred both our interntet and phone service to a provider other than bellsouth. I had few complaints about bellsouth while I was with them, but the other provider was a better deal. No hard feelings.
Except that I can NOT get bellsouth to let me go. I can't even talk to a human. It has frustrated me to no end. To the point that I am putting it here for anyone in the world that is interested to see. Because I can!
I started in earnest on July 27 trying to be disconnected. This is the one and only time I got to talk to a real live human. As soon as she found out that I wanted to have my service disconnected, she said she would transfer me to an "expert", and was never heard from again. At 17 minutes, my cell phone was disconnected for whatever reason. I didn't have time to invest another 17+ minutes into the process again right then.
Thursday and Friday were busy days at our house. Major home improvements...company coming, etc. I didn't have time to sit down and deal with this.
So I did what I shouldn't have done and took the number with me on vacation. Monday was a travel day, and I couldn't deal with this in an airport or on a plane, but bright and early Tuesday, I was on it! I thought I would get it out of the way, so I could enjoy the rest of my get-away. After all, each day that I am connected is costing me about $2.
So I tried twice on Tuesday, and was put on hold. Once for 20 minutes and 49 seconds before my call was dropped and the next time for 43 minutes. I was on vacation, and had plans for doing other things besides sitting on hold trying to disconnect my residential phone and DSL, so I hung up at that point. I am pretty sure that 43 minutes is way too long to expect someone to hold.
While I was on hold, I sent an email to bellsouth. I got back a reply saying that they were sorry, but they could not handle this request online, and that I could call the number that you see above during regular business hours.
I replied to that email questioning their sanity, but didn't receive a reply to my reply.
I called my bank to stop the automatic payment that is set up to pay this bill, but was told I would have to come in person to do that. Since I was 1500 miles from home, I was unable to to do that right then.
Wednesday morning, I knew I shouldn't but I did it anyway. I got the charger for my phone, put it on speaker and exactly 1 minute after opening of regular business hours, I called. I was thanked for my patience each and every minute that I was on hold, and I was assured that if I continued to hold, my call would be answered in the order in which it was received.
I made coffee, and ate my breakfast. I washed the dishes. I went back to my room and checked facebook. All the while being thanked repeatedly for my patience and assured my call would be answered. I couldn't fathom how many people had called in the minute before I got through to be in line ahead of me, but it must have been quite a few. Thousands or millions, maybe.
After about 104 minutes, I was pretty sure that I wasn't going to be helped. I was at a monastery, for pete's sake, and one of the things I'd come to do was to spend some time with God, and this was surely putting a dent in the time. So....I left my phone plugged in my room, turned down the volume on the speaker and went to the chapel. The good Lord and I had a nice little visit. I got back to my room just in time to hear it disconnect. God's way of telling me that disconnecting phone service was NOT what he had in mind for me to do with these few days. Wanna guess how long I was on hold for??? Don't peek!! Got a number in your head? Oh, go ahead....look!
Can you add all these hold times together?? I'll save you the trouble...it's close to 4 hours.
I fired off another email or two. This time I got a reply saying that they COULD disconnect me, if I could provide them some piece of information like the amount of the last bill or payment or the last toll number called. Since I had access to my bank statement online, I emailed the amount of the last payment. Only to receive another email the following day saying that they would need to confirm that I was authorized to make these changes. WTH??? But that I could call that 1-888 number you see above. What would be the point?
I have sent more emails with no satisfaction. They apologized for the "inconvenience". Really?? 4 hours on the phone to complete a 30 second transaction is an inconvenience. I asked for a credit to compensate me for my time. And I also want the service to be disconnected retroactively - to when I first attempted to do it.
I start back at work next week, and I'm quite sure I won't be able to spend several hours of my day on hold.
But I will be at my credit union on Monday morning to do my own disconnecting....Bellsouth from MY checking account. Bet they disconnect me then. Faster than they can say "Thank you for your patience!"
All I want to say is that this is the most pitiful excuse for customer service that I have e.v.e.r experienced in the 46 years I've been circling the sun. If I knew where to go to report them to someone who cared, I would. But in lieu of that, putting it out there on the internet will have to do!
Don't get Bellsouth. You will NEVER be able to disconnect.
I will add that I asked for another number where someone actually answered, and they gave me an after hours number saying that it "might" be better. I tell you, I am NOT holding my breath!