Previously in this blog, I have rated bothersome companies on a Schizophrenic Cat Index (SCI). When I was studying psychology so many years ago, multiple psychology books had a chart that showed the descent into schizophrenia of the artist Lous Wain known for his beautiful cat art. Many people who have taken at least one psychology class may have come across these striking pictures that serve to illustrate his worsening disorder. I had been using a 4 cat chart to rate companies but a recent development made me decide to expand to an 8 cat chart. Honestly, I’m cognizant of the fact that you are lost by now so please don’t think, no matter how enticing it may be, that the chart describes my own schizophrenia (though level 2 has some relevance to the way I feel perhaps... :) ). The new expanded chart, level numbers added by me, is illustrated below:
AT&T was rated pretty high on the old 4 cat chart but now they have prompted me to add more levels to include their most recent behavior. Every month that I had service with AT&T (phone and Internet) they sent me a letter which was “signed” by the head of some department, perhaps the odd letters department or something, I can't remember. It would always ignore the fact that I had the Internet through AT&T and the letter would go on to say they had recently analyzed my bill and had this great plan which would save me money. All the plans were variations on telephone-only service (without Internet bundling) and all cost substantially more money than I was paying for that part of my bill. In addition to these letters, that had an employee analyzing my bill each and every month to save me money, were other mailings or propositions for me to become a customer. I was already a customer, of course, one that was thoroughly analyzed after years of monthly personal attention. Yes, this was pretty odd behavior… and then there were the even more annoying times in which I called with a problem and was switched back and forth between representatives. It always took at least 3 representatives and sometimes as many as 6. In the dire cases, I would be told by one department that another department was responsible, only to be told by this other department that the previous one was responsible. Again, these type of things happened on a consistent basis. My bills were often incorrect for 3 or more iterations, so… being a cheapskate I called for each error.
Please note: while this post is written in jest, schizophrenia and other brain disorders are really no laughing matter. Please visit http://www.narsad.org/ if you want to learn more about the stigma of mental disorders and the way you can help.