Press three to cancel

AT&T phone

How hard can that be?

Now that I have my new cell phone, I called AT&T Wireless to cancel my old cell phone account. Now that shouldn't be too hard, should it?

I went to the AT&T Wireless website to check my account, thinking they might have made it easy to just click somewhere to cancel. Immediately a pop-up reminded me that AT&T is just itching to give me a $30 credit on my account. There were, of course, check boxes where I could add features to my account, but none where I could cancel.

I dialed 6–1–1 on my phone. "Thank you for calling AT&T Wireless. Press one to..." None of the choices offered involved speaking to a real person or cancelling my phone service. I waited. "Are you still there? To repeat these menu choices, ..." I waited some more. Finally, the voice came back, "For all other services or to speak to a customer representative, press 0." I pressed 0.

More menus. Finally I heard the choice I was waiting for, "Press three to cancel your account." I pressed 3.

Then the demands began again. "For your security, enter the last four digits of your social security number." I entered the digits. "For your security, enter the first five digits of your billing address." I entered the digits.

At last a female voice announced that her name was [something unintelligible] and asked "What is the name on the account?"

Like it isn't already showing on your screen. I gave my name.

"And what is your name?" inquired the Voice.

Enough already! I gave my name. Then I added, "I've already entered the last four digits of my social security number 'for my security' and I've already entered the first five digits of my zip code 'for my security' so don't even think about asking me!"

"Yes, I know you did, and I thank you for that, but I do have to make sure who I am talking to," explained the Voice. Hmmm, she's pretty good.

"How can I help you today?" she asked.

Didn't I just press 3 to cancel? "I'm calling to cancel my account."

"Oh, I'm so sorry to hear that!" said the Voice. "May I ask why you want to cancel?"

"I don't want it anymore."

"If there's a problem, we would like to understand what it is," averred the Voice.

"I don't want the phone anymore."

"If there's a situation, I would be happy to work with you on it," insisted the Voice.

"I've already told you twice that I don't want the phone anymore."

"Fine, I can help you with that, but if there's—"

"How many times do I have to say it? I don't want the phone anymore."

"But if there someone else, a family member perhaps, who might want to take over the account—"

"Don't even!"

frustration Frustration (photo: Izzay)

The the Voice recited the boilerplate CYA material: "Your billing period closes on the 20th of the month, so your account will remain active until that time, when we will prepare your final bill. If you change your mind, you have 90 days to return to AT&T but there is no guarantee that your current phone number, rate plan, or phone will still be available, and it might require a further credit check."