AT&T: The Saga Continues

So I’ve been blogging about my problems with AT&T, and I started a Facebook group about it. One of my friends joined, and then someone she knows, who is also on Facebook, asked about the group. The reason? She works for AT&T. Her name is Stephanie (I’m not using last names) and she offered to help us out. I wrote her a long e-mail explaining the sequence of events, and she put us in touch with a group that would expedite our issue.

Two days passed. Nothing happened.

I e-mailed Stephanie again, and she said she would try another approach.

Yesterday afternoon I got three calls from Cynthia at AT&T–one while I was at work, and two during my commute home. The upshot? Free replacement modem, billing adjustment for the service we didn’t get, two months free service, and lots of apologies.

So I no longer hate AT&T. The past is not erased, but I’m moving on from it.

And that is the power of Web 2.0. Not just that it gave me another avenue to air my complaints (although it did), but that through social networking I was put in contact with someone who had the power to solve my problem.

So a set of big thank-yous goes out to my friend (who joined the group), to Stephanie (who volunteered to help) and to Cynthia (who persisted in reaching me). And another thank-you to Facebook, for providing us with a way to connect.

The correct modem should be here soon. I can’t wait.

Grillmasters, part 2

Steak, maple-glazed carrots, mashed potatoes, beans. Mmm…

Grillmasters, part 1

This weekend my dad and stepmom came to visit, and to see the new house. We had family and a few close friends over on Saturday, for the first of many (or at least several) housewarmings. In spite of the fires raging around the Southland, we cooked burgers, dogs, and chicken drumsticks over a borrowed charcoal grill.

Indeed, we are good citizens.

But we didn’t set fire to anything–not even the food–and a good time was had by all.

The next day, the four of us (Mr. Sandwich, Sandwich Père, Sandwich Belle-mere, and me) traveled to more than one hardware store so that we could host future events–and just cook dinner–on a grill of our own. We decided on propane; while both of us appreciate the romance of the charcoal grill, we also appreciate the ease and predictability of propane.

Last night I stopped by the supermarket to pick up a New York strip steak for the inauguration of our new grill. We sprinkled Barbecue of the Americas (a Penzeys spice mix), black pepper, and rosemary, and let it sit for 30 minutes. Then we grilled it about three and a half minutes per side, so that it was seared on the outside and pink in the middle.

The rest of the meal? Maple-glazed carrots, mashed potatoes, and the ubiquitous Ranch Style Beans for Mr. Sandwich. (He does love those beans.)

I don’t have the camera on me, so photos will come in a later post.

Meme

Yesterday our new modem arrived. Turns out it doesn’t support wireless. Which means that AT&T sent us the wrong modem.

So to distract myself from my (in my opinion) righteous but tiresome (also in my opinion, and I can only assume in yours) ire, I present this meme, courtesy of my friend Chelsea.

Here are the rules:

Use the first letter of your name to answer each of the following questions.
They have to be real places, names, things. Nothing made up! You can’t use your name for the boy/girl name question.

1. What is your name? Tragic. Clearly it’s not my real name, because my parents were not that mean. Actually, they were pretty fantastic. But it’s what we’ll work with here.

2. A four-letter word: Tote. The knowledge that I should get rid of some of my totes makes me feel like saying other four-letter words. But I do have a lot.

3. A boy’s name: Thomas. I’ve had more than one neighbor named Tom or Tommy, and I’m starting to wonder if a scamp-like nature goes with the name.

4. A girl’s name: Trixie. Not sure why I came up with this one, as I was never a Trixie Belden fan.

5. An occupation: Tollgate attendant

6. A color: Teal

7. Something you wear: Toe shoes. Actually, I didn’t wear them much. I could never break them in, and finally my ballet teacher let me do my solo in ballet shoes. I really don’t think anyone minded, especially not me.

8. A beverage: Tea. My favorite is English Breakfast, hot, with sugar.

9. A food: Tortellini

10. Something found in the bathroom: Toilet. Well, it had better be there.

11. A place: Tuolomne Meadows. I remember driving through there more than 20 years ago (oh, that makes me sad) on a trip to Yosemite. While I’ve been back to Yosemite many times since, I have never been back to Tuolomne Meadows. I remember it as beautiful and completely unrelated to the majesty of the more famous valley floor. And I suspect that when I do get back there, I should make sure that I have plenty of insect repellent.

12. A reason for being late: Twisted an ankle. Not today, fortunately. So far.

13. Something you shout: Time out!

Anybody else want to give it a try? Put your link in the comments so I can see what you come up with.

I Hate AT&T

For the past couple of years, we’ve had AT&T for high-speed Internet and phone. A week ago, Mr. Sandwich called to transfer our account to the new house. They said we’d have phone service on Tuesday and Internet on Thursday. Well, the phone works, but it’s after 9 p.m. on Friday and I’m typing this in a Starbucks. Because we don’t have DSL.

After trying to figure out what might be wrong, Mr. Sandwich called AT&T just before noon today. They gave him a case number and said they’d do some diagnostic things and would call back by 1:30.

At 3, I called them. In fact, I called them three times, talking to six different people in exchanges lasting over an hour in total. Most of that was spent on hold. What became clear was this: Sales has the order as completed yesterday. The DSL Maintenance group couldn’t find any record of DSL in our account. And DSL Provisioning…well, I don’t know what they think. When Mr. Sandwich got back from the apartment walkthrough, I had just reached the point of throwing the phone across the couch, because they told me that they couldn’t do anything about it before Monday.

Their error, we’re paying for it, and the best they can do is Monday.

Mr. Sandwich then called and spent 24 minutes on the phone before being disconnected. Then he spent another 1:10 on the phone. Then we realized the phone was losing its charge and had to put it on the cradle while we waited for a call back.

This time, someone actually did call back, for another 15-20 minute phone call.

And after all of this, maybe something will happen on Monday.

Up until today, we’d had good experiences with them. But this is the worst example of customer service I’ve ever encountered. I am ready to go to war. Because I hate AT&T.

Happy Halloween

Our new neighbor (new to us; technically, of course, we are the new neighbors) told us that we would need six bags of Halloween candy. We went through seven, and still had to turn away trick-or-treaters. I think next year we’ll get eight bags.

And on a completely self-indulgent note, at least a half dozen people told us that they really liked the house and the paint colors. But I think my favorite comment came from the little girl who said, “You don’t have anything in here!”

Adrian’s Trattoria

Remember that useful corner? It’s also home to Adrian’s Trattoria, a small Italian restaurant with friendly service and great food. Mr. Sandwich has become a big fan of their calzones, and I’m still thinking about their meatball sub (lots of veal and pork–possibly inhumane, but delicious). The baked ziti is a hit, too. Key to all of these is their sauce, which has just enough spice to be distinctive, but not so much that it detracts from the tomatoes–which taste really fresh.

One of these days we may even eat there, instead of getting food to go.

Golden City Restaurant

We’ve discovered a very useful corner not too far from our new home. Because I can’t live without Chinese food, I am delighted to have found some that–on first acquaintance–is quite tasty.

Golden City Restaurant isn’t fancy, but it does have several banquettes. That means it is more of a restaurant than I expected it to be; when you drive by, it looks like a place that has only a to-go counter.

Not that this would matter, since so far we’ve only gotten food to go, and have not eaten in the restaurant. However, I can say that the walnut shrimp is really good, and the black bean sauce is tasty (Mr. Sandwich ate all of the chicken and left the bell peppers and onions, which he doesn’t care for. I do like them, and ate them as leftovers tonight.) The cashew chicken is also very good, and that’s a dish that normally leaves me shrugging. I’d order it again here, though, and I don’t think I’ve ever said that about cashew chicken before.

So far, the only dish that I wouldn’t revisit is the sweet and sour chicken. And by extension, I suppose, the sweet and sour pork. The sauce is just too tangy and sharp.

Still, there are plenty of options remaining. I have no doubt we’ll be back.