After a week of frustration, I believe I have my phone and Internet problem solved — for now. My earlier visit to my bank and a nearby AT&T store just added to my frustration. The AT&T store was absolutely no help. What’s the point of these stores if they can’t solve the customers’ problems?
Yesterday I went to a different AT&T store. It was busy and I had to wait for a little while until someone could help me. But help was what I got. As suspected, the electronic payment was never processed. I was able to make my payment the old-fashioned way (with a check) at the store. Within an hour my phone and Internet service was restored.
I did not get an answer to my question about why I could not reach anyone on AT&T’s 1-800 number. The agent yesterday told me if I had a problem, I should just come to that store and they would fix it for me. I learned that not all AT&T stores re equal. The one I visited yesterday was a “corporate” store and that’s why they were able to help me.