That Time AT&T Called the Police on Me

I’m sorry if the formatting is a mess…I copied it over from a message I sent someone…

Wednesday night, our power went out because we were having high winds. This was about 6:07. 11:30, some truck pulls up in the dark, and the next thing I know, someone is attaching a diesel generator to the AT&T control box in our front yard. (They bought a small plot of land* from us a few years ago, so technically, they can put a generator down without getting into trouble.) Doesn’t matter that I sleep at the other end of the house, I’m a light sleeper and that thing is diesel, so it is loud!

(*Read: so tiny, you can cross it in three or four steps)

Call tech support (as they’re the only thing open that time of night), the guy says, “Let me check into it for you.” Comes back, said, “We didn’t authorize any such thing, we don’t know who this guy is, call the authorities.”

Call the non-emergency line, they had a deputy call me, deputy says, “My partner and I just drove by” (I actually saw that, but didn’t realize they’d stopped) “and my partner got out, talked to him, checked his creds, we’re satisfied. Nothing to worry about.” Yeah, except for the part where the power came back on at midnight and these yahoos are clearly not going to pick this thing up until eight o’clock tomorrow morning, which means I’m going to get absolutely no sleep!

Talk to AT&T chat and the person on the other end says to call the authorities.

“I did. The deputy said it was fine.”

Chat rep says that the soonest he can dispatch someone is 1p (yesterday). Okay, fine…I’ll put up with it ’til then.

*presses the imaginary fast forward button to skip you through her sleepless night and the attempts to open the control panel to shut off the generator*

Okay, so now we’re at 2p yesterday.

The guy picking up the generator and the tech arrived within three minutes of each other. The “retriever” goes about his work and the tech comes up to the door, finds out what’s going on and goes to talk to the retriever. He comes back, says it was necessary to run the box (which we were originally told was for internet…or maybe we guessed that, because they never really told us what it did) and I read him the riot act, telling him how upset I am because I didn’t get any sleep, etc. He apologized and I said that I didn’t want one from him, he didn’t do anything wrong; I wanted one from the asshole who put the generator out there in the first place. Both of them eventually left, the house was peaceful and I went about “doin’ mah thang” on the internet…at least until a sheriff’s SUV pulled into my driveway about a half hour later.

I’m all, “Oh, thank you for following up on last night’s call, Deputy; but as you can see, we have everything resolved!” and he replies that he’s there because AT&T called and said I’d threatened their tech.

Cue stomach dropping and shocked/angry tears.

Apparently, the tech told the dispatcher that I’d said that if they ever brought out another generator, they’d “be sorry”. I said that if I said that, I meant “because I’d called the sheriff’s department”, not that I’d actually hurt the person! (Believe me, I spent part of the night before wondering why I didn’t just yell out the window and say, “HEY! WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING?!” at the guy who put the generator on in the first place. I had no intention of confronting him when I could stay locked in my house!) He explained what AT&T had said to him about what the box did and why the generator was necessary (nice they bothered to do that for us ever! </sarcasm>) and agreed with me that if we’re calling the cops on each other, we really need to get rid of that box. (He also said that they’d said that the call center people are “know-nothing foreigners”. Great thing to tell a tattletale, guys! You basically ensured your smart-mouthed antics would get back to the very people you’re insulting!)

I called tech support to claim about the tech that lied to the police and the supervisor that called me back said they can’t do anything because it’s a “legal matter” and kept insisting that I needed to contact the tech. However, he also noted that the tech put in his notes that he didn’t “feel safe” and that neither the tech nor his manager had made any mention about calling the police. (Meanwhile, I can’t help but think, “You’re a middle-aged man. I’m an overweight thirty year old woman with very little martial arts training. I’m pretty sure you can take me! But hey, if you don’t feel safe, maybe it’s time to put on your big boy pants and either retire or find another job.)

“Not only do I have no way of contacting the tech, but do you really think he’s going to want to talk to me if he said he ‘didn’t feel safe’?”

So the supervisor transferred me to risk management, who–after getting part of my story–said her department was there for property damage issues and that I needed to talk to the customer advocacy department. Which is the one I told you about that had no hold music, so I gave up after I let it ring for a half hour.

I think I’ll try regular support again after supper…and maybe try calling the advocates again after I get up on Monday?

Note from 2021: I’m surprised I haven’t come back and updated before this, but I never got anywhere with anyone.

So nice that they can lie to the police and get away with it!

I’d say, “Fuck AT&T!”, but I kind of need them for their cheap broadband, so I have to continue sucking it up, as I have the last four years.

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