AT&T announced today that it is going to be closing some of its company-owned retail stores, in light of the Coronavirus.
In a letter from AT&T Communications CEO, Jeff McElfresh today, he announced that AT&T is currently closing around 40% of its company-owned retail stores. Those retailers that are not company-owned will either remain open or close, depending on the owner's decision.
This makes AT&T the last carrier to decide to close its stores. After T-Mobile and Sprint decided to close yesterday and Verizon earlier this week. AT&T is actually keeping more of its stores open than its competitors.
AT&T stores will be open Monday through Saturday
AT&T is making changes to the hours of the stores that are remaining open though.
They will be open Monday through Saturday – being closed on Sundays. And will remain open from 11AM to 7PM local time.
AT&T says that the stores that are remaining open will adhere to the social distancing guidelines. While still being able to serve customers. Of course, it'll be better to call customer care, or get in touch through live chat, or on social media. That way customers and employees are protected.
AT&T Call Centers also seeing changes
Call centers have already seen some major changes since this whole thing started. With most kids being out of school, some employees had to take leave – which AT&T granted. As well as those that are in the high risk group for this disease.
Because of this shortage, AT&T is making a few changes. It will be using new Interactive Voice Response (IVR) messaging that encourages customers to use the self-help online tools on AT&T's website.
It will also be adjusting the call center staffing levels and shifts. This is to ensure proper social distancing. And obviously this is going to result in longer hold times for customer service.
Finally, AT&T is also taking actions to prioritize service issues. Optimizing the handling of calls, and balancing capacity across all functions.
It's going to be a tough time for AT&T and all of the carriers, while this Coronavirus crisis continues, but closing stores and adjusting call center hours is definitely needed. Not only to protect its employees but also its customers. As AT&T is doing its part to flatten the curve and keep the Coronavirus from spreading even more rapidly than it already has.
Just keep in mind that if you do need help from AT&T, you may be waiting more than usual.