Drobo CEO Geoff Barrall details his company’s struggle to get AT&T to deliver on their promise of providing functioning internet and telephone service. While Drobo bends over backwards to support their customers, AT&T can’t be bothered to have its right hand work with its left to flip a switch. Is that really “just the way it is, man”?
Part 3 in an ongoing series: "Disconnecting Telecom"
- Symbolicons: by Jory Raphael, designer of all our new artwork. Get 40% off any icon set bundle with ESN1
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- Geoff Barrall founded and ran Drobo as founding CEO, left, and returned a year and a half ago. He has a university degree in cybernetics, and soft spot in his heart for 2000AD (Judge Dredd, et al). More on that bit below.
- Thank You For Calling! #13: Escalation Points ("Telecom and AT&T" Part 1)
- Thank You For Calling! #14: Gesture of Goodwill ("Telecom and AT&T" Part 2)
- Giant Size Origins #14: Cigar-Smoking Baby (Geoff discussing Judge Dredd and 2000AD)
Show Notes and Links
- When Moisés saw Geoff reaching out to AT&T on Twitter to no response, Moisés inserted himself into the conversation.
- AT&T responded to Moisés as if he were the one having an issue. I guess the guy with more followers on Twitter is more important than a well-respected tech industry CEO.
- Our host heard the Drobo CEO on Mac Power Users #153 and followed Geoff. Geoff followed Moisés back.
- "I love your show," Geoff said in a DM. "Glad you're enjoying Critical Path," said Moisés. "No, I meant Giant Size." "...Wait...what?"
- This resulted in Geoff joining Antony Johnston on Giant Size Origins #14.
- Depending on how this situation develops, there might be two episodes of TYFC! next week. No matter what, there will be a followup installment of this developing story sometime soon.
Adam's Email to Drobo (Unedited and Unabridged)
I do not understand what I've done for you to believe that I haven't given you sufficient service. When we first met we discussed how 90 days was the standard interval for installation. I believe we were given just over a month and addressed changed. We created contracts, ordered services, cancelled services, all to help accommodate your move. We also created contracts for interim circuits to help you move in such a short timeframe. We had to get 5th level management approval to get this circuit approved as an interim solution. I understand your frustration as you need to run your business, but these issues are not coming from people not caring or lack of attention. Another Account Manager isn't going to be able to help with meeting due dates that you needed. Multiple people on your account team worked throughout the weekend to try and get the service installed. I'm not too sure what else anyone at AT&T could have done.
All the information you requested is below. Please use the link below and send me the trouble ticket number when you are done.
Adam <lastname redacted>
Business Relationship Manager II
Drobo is a Founding Sponsor of this network, and continues to support our shows. That played no part in why this episode was recorded. No one at Drobo, including Geoff Barrall, suggested or influenced the planning of this episode. Geoff needed a couple of weeks of convincing.
TYFC! has addressed the topic of AT&T and regional telecom monopolies more than once on the show previously (as linked above). Situations like this are not right, and as you can hear on the show, it's gotten much worse since the beginning of the story.
TYFC! exists because I want to investigate why we keep making things unnecessarily hard for one another in a customer service context, and how we can cut through the noise, complacency, and spite. There's got to be a better way. Some episodes are fun, mini-memoirs of "the way things used to be", like an upcoming episode that features a 90-plus-year-old retired accountant, or the two-parter on video game retail. Some of them deal with the situations that make us want to scream. The next episode features two really nice people who love the work they do and the people they work to make happy.
If you, the listener, have any concerns, please send an email. I want to know that listeners trust the integrity of this and all the shows at ESN. You will get a response if you send something.