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Wednesday, October 7th, 2020 4:06 PM

Dallas-AT&T Technicians Lack of Transparency and Candor for Fiber Install

Reference AT&T ticket LXXXX8870 and case number LXXXX1908.

 

On Saturday, September 26, 2020, I scheduled an appointment with AT&T to have high-speed internet set up to a new build house located in Dallas, Texas.  The appointment was set for between 9 A.M. and 11 A.M.  At approximately 9:18 A.M. I received a phone call from phone number XXX-XXX-4255 from someone identifying themselves as Josh who is an AT&T technician, stating that he would be at the house for the appointment.

 

When Josh arrived, I took him to the back of the house where we surveyed the telephone pole that the fiber-optic cable would be run to the house.  During the survey, I asked Josh about running the fiber-optic cable down the telephone pole along the ground to the house due to the fact the exposed cable would be suspended under a large tree which is disposed to falling branches during times of inclement weather.  Josh informed me that AT&T does not provide this type of service and that the cable would have to run directly from the telephone to the house suspended, leaving it exposed.  As my wife and I looked around at other new-build houses near our house, we realized that no other new houses in our alley had any suspended fiber-optic cables from the telephone poles to the houses.

 

I asked Josh a second time about the possibility of running the cable below the ground surface to the house.  Again, Josh stated that this would not be possible because the builder was to provide the conduit underground containing the fiber optic cable.  I contacted my builder and the A/V technician who had run the wiring for the house, asking about whether fiber had been run from the house to the telephone pole.  Both of them, independently, stated to me that this has never been a requirement in the past for AT&T to run the fiber-optic cable below ground.  I trusted Josh because he is a subject-matter expert and I did not push the matter any further.  The internet was established at the house as agreed.

 

On Tuesday, October 6, I had a discussion with my builder regarding the fact that AT&T will, in fact, run the fiber-optic cable from the telephone pole to the house below the ground and has done so many times previously for other building projects for which my builder was involved.  On this same day, frustrated at the lack of transparency from AT&T regarding the truth, I called AT&T, informed the support person on the phone that I wanted a technician to come back out to my house and re-run the cable so that it could be buried under ground.  The appointment was set (LXXXX8870) for the following day, October 7, 2020 between 8:30 A.M. and 9:30 A.M.  

 

On October 7, 2020, I was waiting at the house at 8:30 a.m. and received a telephone call from XXX-XXX-2821, someone identifying themselves as AT&T technician, Ashlie.  She informed me that AT&T does not run cable from the telephone pole to the house below ground unless a “conduit” had been installed.  She asked me if one had been installed since the last appointment on September 26.  I stated to her that no conduit had been installed, but if AT&T extends the line, I could get the conduit that same day.  Ashlie was extremely combative, condescending and did not seem like she was willing to work with me in order to complete the job I was asking.  She stated that AT&T would not come out unless a conduit had been installed first.  I informed her, that I couldn’t get the conduit installed without AT&T first running the cable along the ground.  Ashlie continued to push back, making it seem like I was asking her to do something that “AT&T does not do.”  She continued to assure me that management at AT&T has directed their employees NOT to install fiber-optic below ground.  Due to her condescending tone, inflexibility and complete lack of transparency on this matter, I realized that I was not getting anywhere with Ashlie during the discussion and disconnected the call.

 

At approximately 9:00 A.M., I received a text that stated that an AT&T technician was enroute to my location.  I waited in the front of the house, waiting for the AT&T van to pull up to my house.   

 

At approximately 9:05 A.M. I received the following text: 

“Hi it’s AT&T.  It looks like we missed your appointment.  If you’d like to reschedule, replay CHANGE.”

 

At no time did an AT&T vehicle pull up or even pass by my residence.  It appeared that the technician, Ashlie, arbitrarily rescheduled my appointment without my consent.  No transparency.  No accountability.  Complete FAIL in customer service.  

 

I immediately called AT&T and spoke to Henry (GLXXXX) in the technical support department.  I explained the issues and complete lack of respect, candor and transparency from both AT&T technicians regarding getting the fiber-optic cable buried at my house.  Henry apologized and explained that it is possible for the fiber-optic line to be buried as I was requesting and asked that I trust him.  I asked Henry what the cost would be and he stated it would be a charge of $99.  Henry assured me that he would forward my complaint regarding the interactions I had with Josh and Ashlie to his management.  Furthermore, he stated he would send ANOTHER technician to my house the following day between 8:30 A.M. and 9:30 A.M.  to re-run the fiber-optic cable between the telephone pole and my house (LXXXX1908).   This will be my THIRD attempt.

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Former Employee

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22.2K Messages

4 years ago

While policy can vary from region, market, area.... I know in California conduit at home owners expense is required.

 

In our market, Milwaukee.... conduit is not required but if the fiber is on the pole, the expectation if aerial fiber drop. A customer can request buried drop but is responsible for paying the local contractor charge to bury the fiber which depending on loop length can be several hundreds to thousands of dollars. Will not know till after the fiber is buried, but if use $10 a foot as a guide, 100 feet of burial is $1000.

 

The $99 is for the tech do rerun a line, not for the burial expense. This charge is standard. Many times buried lines can be cut by someone digging, landscape, etc resulting in a billable charge to install a new line. In essence, this is what you are asking... existing aerial drop to be converted to burial drop. $99 tech service call PLUS the local contractor charge for burying the fiber drop.

 

If your local policy has changed, I believe it likely has if (2) separate techs have stated need conduit placed. A fiber run inside a conduit should reduce the need for future dispatches for cut fiber line by digging, hopefully.

 

Concerning having a line placed on the ground and then install conduit... how do you propose to run the fiber line on the ground into and thru a conduit placed afterwards? Would need another tech appointment, another $99 billable charge, to disconnect the new fiber placed line on the ground to the residence. Not cost or time efficient to do it this way. 

 

You know where the pole is and where the connection to the residence is located.... have a conduit buried with no tight corners and a pull string installed.... once completed then call and request a fiber line to be placed in the conduit... this would be that $99 service call. No additional charges for burial as you have already performed that task and paid for the conduit and burial of such.

 

Just my thoughts...

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2 Messages

4 years ago

Finally. An AT&T employee who explained it in a way that makes sense.  You all need to understand that your average customer doesn't deal with these types of issues on an every day basis.  Instead of your employees talking down to the customer, patience and understanding would go a long way for your company's customer satisfaction.  Thank you for explaining it in a way that makes complete sense.

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1 Message

3 years ago

Outlaw - I’m having the same issue with ATT in Dallas. Did you have the conduit installed and if so who did you use? Thank you.

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