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Broadband forum: ATT U-worst

by: cluebbe November 28, 2012 9:48 AM PST

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ATT U-worst

by cluebbe - 11/28/12 9:48 AM

It's hard to put into words the nightmarish experience I have been having in transferring my internet service from DSL to U-verse. The experience is all the worse for not having been of my own choosing but rather something imposed upon me by AT&T. I received a letter dated November 9 informing me that my current (DSL) internet service would be moved to the U-verse (fiberoptic) network and that I should call for the new equipment that I would need for the new service. I called on November 17 and was told that I could receive a speed of twice what I currently had for a promotional rate of $24.95 for 12 months, and that at the end of that period I could renew for another 12 months at the same promotional rate. I was also told that my then current DSL service would continue until the transition and was given an installation date for the new service of November 26. Later that day, my DSL service was disconnected, and except for a brief period on November 26 (when the DSL service inexplicably briefly came back on), I have not had internet service of any kind.

I have since talked to several sales and technical personnel in Miami, Nashville, and Los Angeles (and probably other cities as well), essentially wasting hours of my time with absolutely no results. I was first told that my DSL service could not be reactivated. Then I was told that it could be but that a dial tone would have to be reestablished. I was told that an order had been placed for the dial tone, and was later told that I needed to give my authorization for the dial tone order to be placed. I received voicemails and text messages informing me that the new service would not begin until November 27, and also received a set of data and Ethernet cables with a notice that high speed internet service had been activated on November 20. I also received a text on November 27 informing me that high speed internet service on my account (presumably a new order to reestablish the original DSL service) was active.

This, sadly, was not the case, and although I knew it would be useless, I tried to connect the new modem, which also did not work. When I called yet again (this time for a 56 minute-long call) to try to resolve the issue, I was told that the original order for the new U-verse account had been cancelled and that no reason for the cancellation could be found in the notes. Against my better judgment, I went ahead and placed a new order for U-verse service, and was informed that the person with whom I had placed the original order had lied and that I could not extend the promotional rate after the first 12 months, and that it would go up from $24.95 to $48/mo. I was also informed that although moving to a different/new service was not through my own choice and was being forced on me by AT&T, if I cancelled the new service before the 12 month contract expired, I would be charged a $180 cancellation fee. Lastly, even though I have received the new modem, I now have to wait an additional two days for the new service to be activated.

I realize that it might be asking too much for a company actually to provide the service that it purports to be in the business of providing, but I genuinely feel that the ordeal I have gone through over the past 10 days is outrageous. I have been an AT&T customer for several years, for my wired and wireless phone service, as well as for internet service, but this recent experience has pushed me to the absolute limit of human endurance. Each time I talk with someone new, I have to explain the whole situation again. They claim to have some notes of my previous interactions, but whatever these notes contain does not seem to be of any help in resolving the issue. Some of the people to whom I have spoken have seemed to make a valiant effort to help me, but it appears beyond their mere mortal powers to do so.

Although I have, as mentioned previously, ordered the new U-verse service, I am seriously considering cancelling this order and switching to a different provider. It makes absolutely no sense to me that in order to make what should be a relatively simple change in service, I have had to deal with several different call/service centers and multiple sub-units within AT&T, none of which seems to know what the other is doing or has done, and all ultimately with the end result of disabling my internet service for close to two weeks, costing me hours of time (fortunately the minutes are all included in my wireless plan or that would be an additional expense) and frustration, and making me wonder why I shouldn't change ISP immediately.

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