AT&T subscriber who’s in the market for some service and you also like hitting jackpots? You will hit the jackpot of customer service experiences if you manage to get Amy Bennett on the line. What a charming and logistically effective pile of sugar that sweetheart is, let me tell you. And, unless she actually really loves her job, she missed her calling as an Oscar winner. But she didn’t miss my calling…

So my old man was slated to fly to Europe someplace today according to my calendar so I called AT&T to score a couple international packages for my pops. The lady who handled that first call was plenty helpful, particularly how she settled for the last four of my mom’s social rather than insisting on the account number, got the job done quick, no problem.

Called my father to impress him that I was able to remember to take care of him (thanks Google) and wish him a good trip to wherever he was going, turns out he cancelled the trip. The purpose of the trip had been to bid on a container vessel but thanks to the tea in light of recent economic developments the deal suddenly made less sense to him. I suggested that he may have made the right move and might not have “missed the boat so to speak” on this deal and pledged to remove those international things from his account.

Called back AT&T, danced through the menu system like I’m in Black Swan, and a probably young and attractive Amy Bennett picks up, immediately my mood elevates. Just something about her voice. The second thing that clued me in that Amy is a special gal is how she somehow was able to read my mind that I didn’t have the account number and just went straight for the last four of the social. Jedi.

Amy was genuinely sympathetic both to my having to call AT&T twice over this and exhibited some concern that she hoped that my father’s suddenly cancelled trip wasn’t a harbinger of misfortune, which touched me. But she agreed with me that in not going to Europe he’d probably save a few bucks which, given the recent economic developments, is probably prudent.

But that’s not all the bucks my father would end up saving today, no sir! Amy yanked those voice and data roaming things off the plan while we were in the middle of talking about the economic climate and cancelled the charges – like it never happened. Well Amy, something did happen, you with your aura of delight damn near put a strain on my marriage just by being you (but I have an honesty policy with my wife so I told her about you to feel less guilty about having had such a positive experience with you). The other thing that happened, Amy, is that you just gave me hope (I’m T-Mobile by the way, wife too) that this merger might not force me over to Sprint. I’m serious.

Thank you Amy. If you happen to know of a way to let Amy Bennett know, just in case she doesn’t read this site religiously, that someone was this moved by her, make that happen for me like Amy made so much happen for me. If there are more than one Amy Bennetts or you find one who has a different number of Ns and/or Ts in her last time, hell, tell them all that I wrote this just for them because, and I’m aware this isn’t rational, because their name is Amy Bennett too (or is spelled differently but sounds like it), I just know that they’re special too and deserve a little pat on the tush for a job well done. A little pat, nothing too weird, you know?

What’s that? Yeah, I was wondering the same thing, what she looks like. So I ran out to Central Park, found one of those impressionist caricature portrait street artists, told him the story, asked him to cook up his impression of Amy Bennett for me, he asked me for fifteen bucks up front, I told him make it twenty but I want it to be a very accurate impression for the extra five bucks, here’s what he came up with. Looks about right:

17 COMMENTS

  1. Wow Simmons, you and these CSRs. Hey, make a note of this for the next time you have to call anyone for any reason, to give you a head start on coming up with the right title, refer back to this post and copy and paste one or all of these:

    ♥ ❤ ❥ ♡

    So what do you think, you think Amy uses an iPhone or a Nexus? Ahh, forget I asked, I don’t want to kill your buzz.

  2. Didn’t know Van Gogh’s ship still hasn’t come in in spite of his fame over the years, doing sidewalk art like this, recycling his old work. So old too, forgetting his own name.

  3. I have always had great service from AT&T. Not only do I rarely have trouble holding calls (I live in the heavily trafficked NorthEast Corridor and DON’t have an iPhone) but, when I call for help, I get it. I have to say that I have recently had a great experience with someone in a corporate AT&T store here in Providence. That’s why I have been with AT&T – Cingular – AT&T since the mid-1990’s.

  4. Well maybe what we should do is get all CNET on this and call the four major carriers, all the writers calling each one, like five times each pretending we’re customers with these five different universal problems or whatever we come up with, each of us, all carriers, and compile … well, no, tl;dr and JDPower’s already got that covered (and maybe CNET too).

    I didn’t make this up or fabricate it that much. At the end of the call I told her I think verbatim (I remember because she asked me sweetly to repeat it) “Amy, by the way, I want you to know that this without question the most delightful and pleasant customer service experience I’ve had of the five or so years’ worth of such calls I’ve made and you are a real sweetheart.” She was flattered, politely asked me if I’d put that on the record with her soop for her, yes of course Amy, done, special surprise for you on its way if this schpeel somehow makes it to her.

    The odds aren’t that low, right? It would make me feel even better than I already feel to think that she might read me elaborate further and publicly on what she did both to and for me. So just tell me there’s a moderate chance.

  5. D’awwww. I swear married life has mellowed Simmons somewhat. :)

    Hhmmmm … think I’ll link this on AT&T’s FB page. :D

    Seriously, though, it’s nice to hear a GOOD CS story nowadays, from any company. It seems to be rarer and rarer.

  6. I have always had good experiences with my CSR’s at AT+T, over the phone, for the last 15 years! Just never thought to write about it. Good job, Doug. And Thank You CSR’s at AT+T. Peace

  7. I guess I am in the minority posting this but I am not a fan of AT&T customer service. Dropped their DSL Internet service because of the bad customer support ( long story short, Internet connection kept dropping out at two different resident places and their field peeps never showed up when scheduled, after three rounds of having to go through all the steps to get another service man I gave up on them and went with comcast). Also phone support has been troublesome. I have three friends/family members that have problems at home with their cell phone reception and ATTs stance is to buy a $200 micro cell and use your own Internet connection to solve the issue.

  8. Perfect reception at home is a pipe dream of mine, but I live in a black hole apparently. So I have (and love) a microcell at home.

  9. For all you know, Amy Bennett may be a sweet girl from a BPO service provider in a bylane of Jaipur.
    Btw nice watercolour, Doug. Won’t you tell which feature of android/google you used to draw it?

  10. If that’s what women from Jaipur can be made to sound (and, though more expensive and invasive, possibly look) and act like, I’ve got less of a problem with outsourcing.

    Glad you asked, Hotmail Alias! I used the GNU Image Manipulation Program AKA the GIMP. You can find out more about its development right on Google. Though I didn’t try it, I suspect I could run it on my phone, just as I could run it on Ubuntu Linux, just as I could run and have run Ubuntu on my phone. On the other hand, that makes no sense and is not worth the schlep just to prove you further wrong.

  11. @Doug Simmons:
    Sounding like “that” is probably what these kids working in ‘call centres’ take just about a week to pick up. (How they look, though, is totally a matter of opinion) And kids they are – fresh out of school, carefree and with boundless energy that’s so necessary to keep awake all night and still go about their things during the day. I suspect 95% of the customer support outsourcing work force here would be in the 18-23 yr bracket, out to make some decent money and get some work experience in 1-2 years before taking a serious carrer decision. But, in my opinion, more than the transitory nature of the personnel, it is the insufficient executive powers delegated to these excutives, that makes customer support ‘suck’, as it were. I have found support for Indian services/companies failing at roughly the same levels as outsourced international support is often accused of.

    Glad you replied to my question, Douglas Simmons. So GIMP is a open source project that began before google was born and is available for Linux, Windows and Mac OS. Where is the google in it except giving scholarship to some students who worked on some features of GIMP. I think those features would have been developed even if someone else had funded it or maybe even without funding. But the attitude of google users/fans makes one feel as if google owns it. In fact, anything that is open source is taken as google’s as it is the champion of open source. Similarly, anything that runs on android is taken as a feature of android even if it is also available on other platforms. The attitude seems to have pervaded the company’s management too and even gone beyond open source to legally protected IP. The results are for everyone to see.

  12. I fail to see, and I’ve using GIMP for a long long time, how fossy things like GIMP and Google’s happy summers of coding and Google Code and all that shit isn’t symbiotic. But I totally see your hypothetical explanation, that without the man pretending to be earnestly helpful all these things would be just as if not even more prolific.

    And Sourceforge and freshmeat, fuck those guys too, helping to distribute things and organize projects. Without them man would thrive just as well with a variety of software project sourceforge-like CMS alternatives I could run on my server with P2P stuff to keep the python scripts free as in speech and beer with no datamining or eventual idea stealing of any kind.

    I can GIMP circles around you on all those platforms as well as UNIX and UNIX-like which you left out like a poofter.

  13. Yes, you’re right!! Mankind would have survived even without google. Maybe it would have prospered even more. Its hypothetical and it cannot be proved wrong unless you can somehow simulate a reset of the time-space continuum in the early nineteen nineties. Maybe you have a google algorithm for that which can run on a ‘WiFi only’ Nexus S?

    Or are we to assume that google’s funding of these independent projects is not for some higher calling like altruism towards lesser mortals but for claiming credit and even ownership when they feel the need for it? Wait, you used the word symbiotic, which means you’re admitting that some benefit is also being accrued to google from this relationship! Now, wouldn’t that be evil in your good (read google) books?

  14. You also used the word pretend, though as a negative hypothesis, in the context of google. Thanks! That would have never crossed my mind, considering how I have been spun around in circles with stuff that 99% of this poofter world is leaving out of their lives.

  15. @Doug Simmons: I use GIMP all the time — a VERY powerful program (even if you’re still kinda new to it.)

    Oh… nice post. I just sent it to an old Kung Fu buddy of mine who works for AT&T tech support. At the very least, I’d like to be able to give you a confirmation that Amy read this.

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