The PhoneBoy Blog


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What’s The Point of Online Customer Service If It’s Broken?

One thing I’ve both lined and not liked about my migration from AT&T Wireless to Cingular is, well, their Online Customer Service.

Cingular’s Online Account Management (or OLAM for short) offered many more options than the AT&T Wireless Online Customer Service (or OCS). OCS gave you past bills, current month minute usage, and allows you to make a payment. That was about it. OLAM gives you all that and the ability to change your rate plan and features.

The big problem with OLAM at the moment is, well, it doesn’t work half the time. Right now, it’s not letting me log in because of a “temporary system error.” When it does let me log in, it actually asks me for my password on multiple occasions, even just clicking on another link in the interface within seconds of the page rendering. Some features aren’t working right. The online bill render didn’t render my bill right–it missed an $18.00 charge that showed up on my paper bill. Every time I try to check my “features,” I get some other temporary error.

My guess is that OLAM is going through growing pains with all the Blue to Orange migrations going on. I’ll keep bugging them about OLAM until it actually works right.

Of course, Cingular isn’t the only company that has problems in this area. I frequently have problems with Qwest’s online account services. I have problems getting bills and the like when I log in at 1am. There are various notices on the site that suggest that falls within their maintenance window and it may not work. 1am is when you actually want your online customer service stuff to work since there are no humans answering the phone.

It seems the best time to do maintenance on your online customer service stuff is when you have humans around to answer the phone. At least then when the online customer service stuff doesn’t work, you have someone to call and get the information from. At 1am during “system maintenance,” you’re screwed.


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