NEW: Follow up from AT&T posted below.
My original Jawbone bluetooth headset is on its last legs and I've heard great things about the new Jawbone Icon. After mulling it over for about a week, I rolled over to the AT&T store in Pleasant Hill to pick one up. What a mistake!
Now, both my wife and I have been AT&T customers for a while. She's been on AT&T since I've met her, and I switched from Verizon for the original iPhone. Not that our measly few thousand dollars should make a difference to a behemoth like AT&T, but I'd like to think that in this day and age putting a little extra spit-shine on your customer service would be an obvious thing to do. Man, I could not be more wrong.
I walk into the store and am greeted by a cheerful young lady holding a clipboard. "Can I help you?" she asks. Pleased to be greeted immediately, I tell her, "Yeah, I'd like to pick up a Jawbone. I already know what I want, I just want to buy it."
"Alright sir, it's going to be about 15 minutes before someone can help you. Can I have your name?"
"I don't think you understand. I just want to buy it."
"I understand, it's just that it's really busy right now and everyone's busy helping other customers."
I eye a desk with 3 unmanned cash registers. "Honestly, I don't need any help at all. I just need someone to unlock the case and take my money. 45 seconds, tops."
With the hollow warmth of a stripper she repeats her refrain, "It's going to be about 15 minutes before someone can help you."
"Forget it," I said, "nevermind."
In less than 10 minutes, I loaded back into my car, drove to Best Buy, and was out the door with my new Icon. Don't take this as an endorsement of Best Buy; I wouldn't buy anything serious there. In this case, though, a company I don't care for (BB) got my money while the company I supposedly have a relationship with got nothing.
Even more infuriating: I tried to send their customer service an email -- you can only do this if you're logged in as an AT&T customer. So I log in and... their website borks out. I get the logged in frame and logged out interior, with a logged-in portion floated left below. Totally broken. Checked Twitter and their customer service there is closed.
Today was the official announcement of the new iPhone -- I won't be buying it. Not that I wouldn't love to, but I won't be sinking any more money into a company as terrible as AT&T. As soon as my Droid arrives, I'm out.
FOLLOW UP: An AT&T customer care representative tweeted me this morning in reply:
@entendu Sorry for the bad experience. Register your account on line at att.com/wireless and shop for accessories.
I'd laugh if it wasn't so pathetic.