I often rant about bad customer service on my blog, so it seems like I should credit good customer service when I get it. Yesterday I received a collection notice for an AT&T Wireless account. This struck me as strange, because I've been a Verizon customer for almost six years. Also, I have never seen a bill for this alleged account; only the collection notice that says I owe them $160. I called AT&T to inquire, and it turned out this was for a 30 day free trial I got from Cingular Wireless--a Cingular Wireless card came with my old laptop, but the service was slow, and anyway, the Atlantic uses Macs, so I cancelled the service when the trial period was up. Some computer in the depths of AT&T's billing system, however, hadn't realized it was a free trial; hence the outstanding balance.

The operator was courteous, asked me only one question (Had I returned the equipment? There wasn't any, I explained; the card was hard wired into my laptop.) Then she went off to her manager, leaving me on hold, and reversed all the charges. The whole thing took twenty minutes, which is annoying, but it's the first time in a long time that I've interacted with a customer service line that did not make me feel as if I was a presumptive criminal trying to put one over on the company. I'm suddenly a lot more likely to buy an iPhone when my contract with Verizon expires next August.

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