Dealing with AT&T - Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Strengths

September 4, 2013

By CBI Telecommunications, Author:  Kathy Rhoda

Strengths of Dealing with AT&T:

AT&T is a widely known for having the majority of the customer’s land line service. The company is heavily regulated through federal tariffs, state regulations.  In addition there are multiple fees and surcharges that are also on their invoices based on the region, city and township.  Trying to cut through the red tape can be painful process. AT&T does provide discounts and bundling based on client location and the product suite the client is looking for. For enterprise clients, they also provide an account team with an escalation path. So, if issues are not resolved in a timely fashion, the client knows who to call next for answers. AT&T also has an automated system for tracking client issues and concerns.  The person entering the ticket information receives automatic responses on the status of the issue as well as an estimated time to complete the request.

Weaknesses of Dealing with AT&T:

Customer service with AT&T can be a challenge.   The company is still divided into regions and most customer service representatives do not overlap skills from one region to another. It is important to know the correct billing inquiry number which is typically dependent on the state(s) and service region. Different regions and operating companies within AT&T handle certain services, so it is important to have accurate contact people and phone numbers.

Once you dial the number, there are typically numerous call tree and integrated voice response systems that attempt to route your issue to the correct department.  Sometimes this takes several attempts before reaching a representative who can actually assist with the issue.

The same issue holds true with repair and trouble ticket issues. The numbers on the invoice are sometimes incorrect or route incorrectly and it may take several attempts to get the appropriate customer service representative.  The AT&T repair webpage is helpful at trying to pinpoint contact numbers and it also gives the option of putting in a trouble ticket on line rather than dialing numbers and being transferred around.

Opportunities

With a wide range of products available can bundle services together for deeper discounts.

Strong global network presence

Strong local presence and Ethernet capabilities  

Threats – Hidden items to watch for with AT&T:

Contract rates do not get applied to services and rates are billed incorrectly.

Hidden terms and conditions in the contracts that are not favorable to the client

Heavy turnover of the account / service team

Conclusion:

AT&T can be difficult to work with because of the number of operating companies and multiple layers of red tape that must be manipulated in order for things to run smoothly with customer service and billing.  They do have a strong global network and many high bandwidth services that are in high demand for enterprise clients.  With the right contracts, SLA’s and account team in place; dealing with AT&T can be worth the extra effort.

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