Sonic needs to take some responsibility

General discussions and other topics.
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by tjandre3 » Wed Mar 17, 2021 6:40 pm
I have had Sonic for about five days now. The first three were great. I am in Los Angeles and apparently there is an AT&T outage in my area. I get it, these things happen, bad luck. However, Sonic is unable to tell me if I'm actually affected by the outage, or if it's particular to my line. They are also unable to tell me anything from AT&T regarding how long it will be out, which means that they unable to get that info, or unwilling to. So they schedule a tech for a time that I cannot meet them without telling me. Then they reschedule him to come sooner (great, to their credit), but the window is between 2 and 6 p.m., and nobody shows up. I called at 5:40 and the rep basically said, "yep, nobody is coming today." It is absolutely infuriating.

I worked in sales, including acting as a reseller for some products, for a long time. What does taking responsibility look like? Here are some ideas:
- Have someone follow up with the tech to make sure they are actually coming, and inform the customer if they are not. Unless this is the first time this has ever happened (of course it's not) then they know it's a problem, and they have refused to address it. This is labor intensive, yes, but... sorry, this is the business you have chosen. If you don't put the resources towards it, that's not the customer's problem.
- Offer to discount, pro-rate, or comp services as compensation. I could have done many things with my day other than wait for someone who wasn't coming. The rep should have offered some kind of compensation or at least promised to pro-rate monthly fees based on outage time.
- Have someone at AT&T who can get answers for them. I realize this costs resources, too, but again that's the business they have chosen. I get that AT&T may have lousy customer service. Fine. It's not enough for reps to be in solidarity with customers about this. They are adding zero value if they cannot do something about it. Why on earth would I not just switch to AT&T directly?

Sonic seems to be hoping that customers will feel their pain re AT&T. That's not the way it works.
by syntaxsid1 » Thu Mar 18, 2021 9:58 am
Hello,

We apologize for that experience. We are working with AT&T to improve their responsiveness and communication with us and our customers. Unfortunately we are not able to see the telemetry on AT&T lines, so we have no way to determine how large an outage on their network is until they tell us. We can only share what information is provided to us. If it's a vague statement from them, we are unable to dive deeper into this since they don't allow us to see into their network to determine the severity of the problem. We have to wait for updates from them and during this Pandemic it has just been worse than usual due to fewer available techs in the field.

This is why we're installing our own Fiber Optic network so we can see EVERYTHING and communication with our customers with what's really going on with their service. We are rolling this out as fast as we can so we can save other customers from the headache of not knowing what's really going on. You are right, you are not the only one this has happened to. We are working with AT&T to improve their communication but it is a process.

AT&T does not provide us with the phone number of the technician they send, so we are not able to provide detailed information about the dispatches or call their tech to see what their ETA may be. When our customer's service is restored/repaired, we do take those things into consideration and are open to applying a credit if the situation calls for it. Simply ask us after your service is repaired and we can certainly discuss this. This is one aspect we DO have complete control over and we're happy to do it. If your service has been restored, I highly recommend you call our support team so we can set that in motion.

AT&T does not have a liaison to provide us with any helpful information or details about any of their accounts. Most times if some time goes by without any information, it's likely because their engineers are still determining the scope of the work that needs to be done to repair/restore service and are unwilling/unable to provide any details. This is infuriating since we are not able to provide SOME kind of information to our customers regarding this. Ultimately in the end, it's their network so they determine how much information is provided to us and we just have to take their word for it since we don't have a way of checking this for ourselves.

We are rolling out our Fiber Service as fast as we can and we will email you once this is available in your area so you can switch to "Sonic direct" service in the future. Doing this allows us to take more responsibility since we can see and control all aspects of the service and our dispatch team and don't have to wait for information to come in from a second company. We thank you for your patience as we work toward this goal going forward. We apologize for the lack of communication in the interim. Have a great day and stay safe out there.


Kind Regards,

JM
Jeff M. with Community Escalations @ Sonic
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