As evidenced by my previous post, today's tech time with AT&T could have gone to either extreme (really good or really bad).
Thanks to a very customer-service-oriented technician named Chris, things went extremely well. He was at our house for about 30 minutes testing this and testing that.
Being the inquisitive sort that I am, he didn't mind explaining what he was doing as he was doing it. I could really tell he was passionate about his work, and maybe the fact I was so interested made our time fly by.
In direct contrast to his brethren at the call center(s), Chris seemed focused on making my experience with AT&T start off on a good foot. As he put it, "it makes sense to me that if you can start the relationship off in a good way, the relationship will last a lot longer." Maybe the pleasant interaction is thanks to the fact Chris has to look the customer in the eye, or that the customers don't have to navigate voicemail hell before interacting with him. I enjoyed uor time together so much that I wasn't feeling as bent about paying the $60 service call.
To top it all off, Chris stipulated there was to be no charge for his visit. AT&T has (blessedly) been smart in their management approach and put the power of determining when to charge in his hands. Maybe that is intended to let the customer dictate the terms of the relationship, too. If I was an ass, I'd get charged. If I was nice, the charge could be waved, and Chris was the arbiter of my disposition. (maybe I'm reading too much into that)
When I get home tonight, I'm going to use my brand new DSL connection to send a direct thank you to Chris's boss. Let this post suffice as a very public show of my gratitude.
Looking forward to being an AT&T customer for a good long time, especially as they roll out fiber that'll carry voice, data and video all in one to my doorstep.