I’ve been having intermittent problems with AT&T Wireless. I’m having difficulties using their “Fastest in Hagerstown wireless network.”
Because I drive for both Uber and Lyft, this problem is more than a small annoyance. It stops me from earning money. Either I cannot accept ride requests, or I cannot end a passenger’s ride because my iPhone’s upload speed is so slow, it’s non-existent.
Wednesday was particularly bad. While parked at the Valley Mall, Hagerstown’s indoor shopping mall, I was not connected to the network. I tried other places nearby, and the results were the same. I was not connected to the AT&T wireless network.
If I’m not connected to the network, I cannot receive ride requests from Uber or Lyft.
I then drove up I-81 to the Centre at Hagerstown, another Hagerstown area shopping center. I tested my network speed. Although my phone was now connecting, the speed was ridiculously slow. The upload speed was less than 1 Mbps.
I was near the AT&T store I picked up my new iPhone XR at five weeks ago. I decided to drop in and ask if they were experiencing an outage with the wireless network.
I spoke to a guy named Albert. I explained the problem. He told me no, they were not having any issues with the network. He then asked if I was on 4G or LTE. I told him LTE. He said that was the problem. He said the LTE network in the Hagerstown area was not reliable, and he recommends people switch their phones to 4G only.
I found his statement absurd. I asked him how AT&T can claim to have the fastest wireless network in Hagerstown yet recommend people don’t use LTE because it’s not reliable.
Albert then took on a condescending attitude towards me. At least that’s when I noticed it. He refused to answer my question. With a giant smile on his face, he said, “I explained how to fix your problem, but if you don’t want to follow my advice, have a nice day.”
The most bothered me was the giant fake smile on his face, not that he was trying to brush me off and have me leave the store. Albert told me, a long-time AT&T customer, I shouldn’t use LTE, even though I pay for LTE. At least not if I need dependable wireless service. His smile implied he thought it was somehow funny.
Does my problem with your service amuse you?
I asked him why he was smiling. I asked if he thought my inability to use a service I pay for was somehow funny. He replied he was smiling because I yelled at him ( I wasn’t) and that I sounded “crazy.” He seemed to associate criticizing him for poor customer service skills as “yelling” at him.
According to this AT&T’s representative, I sounded mentally ill because I questioned how they could claim to have Hagerstown’s fastest wireless network even though it is, in his words, not unreliable.
At this point, Albert’s co-worker Kim came over. She was the person who assisted me when I picked up my new iPhone five weeks ago. According to Albert, she was his manager.
She just repeated what Albert said. If I wanted a more reliable service, I needed to switch my iPhone over to 4G only. Funny, she didn’t tell me that five weeks ago when she assisted me with my new phone. When I asked her about that, she said she didn’t remember me.
Needless to say, I will be switching to another wireless carrier. If AT&T’s LTE network in Hagerstown is unreliable, I don’t have a choice. Not if I want to continue driving for Uber and Lyft.
Later that day, I was able to connect to the network again. I was then able to go back online with Uber and Lyft. I began asking my passengers what wireless service they use. None of them used AT&T.
I will ask more passengers what wireless carrier they use. Once I have a clear picture of what other people in my area are using, I will make the switch.
Looking for a terrible wireless carrier in Hagerstown, Maryland?
If you live in the Hagerstown area and need unreliable wireless service and also want their customer service representatives to accuse you of suffering from mental illness, look no further than AT&T. I want neither of these things so that I will be going elsewhere.
Yesterday I parked at the Valley Mall and did a speed test for both LTE and 4G.
Considering the massive difference in speed between LTE and 4G, it’s hard to believe Albert and fake manager Kim advised me to change my iPhone over 4G. But they did.
Customer service skills are going the way of the 8-track tape and MySpace. At least with AT&T, it is. Companies that care about customer service — AT&T doesn’t seem to be one of those — will implement more artificial intelligence (AI) to take the human element entirely out of the experience. Say what you will about AI, but AI has never accused me of sounding as though I was suffering from mental illness.