This is a classic example of where customer assistance has gone in the last decade and a half, not just at AT&T but all of corporate America. It would surprise me if half of the AT&T individuals this customer talked with via phone on this matter were located in the USA and not some Asian telephone answering sweatshop.
There is always a maze of automated messages one cannot bypass in pursuit of a conversation with a knowledgeable live person. Then one is confronted by the fact that knowledgeable isn't an option on the other end of the phone line for at least the first 2 levels of live human responders. They are all totally ignorant of anything but the SCRIPT they all MUST follow! At the point of their contact with the customer, the customer is by far the more knowledgeable of the 2 of them on the phone.