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I need someone high-up inside AT&T/SBC to deal with this, immediately, please.


I need someone high-up inside AT&T/SBC to deal with this, immediately, please.

Begin forwarded message:

From: PDSeniura {Personal content removed for your safety}
Date: August 26, 2011 03:22:49 -0500
To: Your AT&T Internet Service Customer Care Team 
Bcc: PDSeniura 
Subject: Re: Important! You have exceeded your Data Plan

I am medically disabled / retired, with 38+years work on record.

The Internet is primarily my "livelihood".  I try to join all sorts of open-source projects -- basically it helps keep my mind sharp, and keeps me involved with what's going on in the world (my main job had been deep-down technical matters with computers & related machinery etc).  By the very nature, this is extremely dependent on lots of "net traffic".

Nothing has changed with my usage here.  I'm doing the very same things I did every month ever-since becoming an AT&T customer for over 3-years already.

I am suppose to be on an "unlimited" plan when I got your service over 3-years ago.

Right now, I cannot see what your "unlimited plan" is, I cannot see where to "join" such a plan.

You are not allowed to "change" something we used to have -- we are expected to be "grandfathered-in".

In case you-all no-longer provide such an "unlimited" plan, this is an extreme oversight -- please fix ASAP by providing such a plan and letting me know ASAP how to (re)join.  (A negative answer of "NO"/"NONE"/etc is not acceptable by this customer/me/myself/I.)

There is no other ISP available in our area with suitable service.  (Satellite ISPs do not furnish what we have already, not by a long-shot.  The only cable monopoly here does not furnish what we need, either.  And you-all are refusing to provide U-verse in our area, ignoring my pleas to get it.)

I watch the LLWS games from, just for the next few days -- since you/AT&T/SBC will not provide U-verse in our area, this is the _only_ way we can watch these games.

I am also worried how you-all are measuring this usage -- the modem sent to me (2wire model 2701HG-B) does not honor the open SNMP standards to let us monitor the numbers being kept track-of itself (yes we have such tools here, and they all fail), so how is The Customer suppose to "trust" the ISP (you-all) in this regard?  (Your "internet-usage" website is NOT a trustworthy agent, we need DIRECT measurements on OUR side, by a THIRD-PARTY AGENT, but your equipment won't support the SNMP standard that is usually used with such tools.)

I have a simple iMac, with a single wired ethernet jack.  But I also have a number of HDHomeRun boxes on my LAN, not designed to go out to the world (WAN).  By necessity, these boxes must be wired to the same network that the modem is wired to.  I suspect you-all are also measuring the i/o being sent/received between my iMac and these boxes -- again i/o which is never to go out to the world.  But, again again, we cannot measure what the modem "thinks" goes out to the world from each of these devices, because the 2wire modem does not support SNMP.

(Once again let me be clear:  We need to DISCERN the LOCAL i/o, away from the WORLD i/o.)

Do you see the huge technical problems we are having with your setups?  Do you see why we do not "trust" your "new" way of trying to "earn new funds" from us customers?

[Per Guidelines:  Keep it Relevant and Appropriate].

Please advise.

I will attempt to send such text to you-all until something is resolved IN MY FAVOR.

Thank you.

On Aug 25, 2011, at 16:56, Your AT&T Internet Service Customer Care Team wrote:

Dear AT&T High Speed Internet Service Customer,

We want to remind you that your AT&T High Speed Internet service includes 150 gigabytes
(GB) of data for each billing period.

You have exceeded 150 GB this billing period.

We'll waive the charges for additional data this month and notify you as your usage
approaches 150 GB in future months.

The next time you exceed 150 GB you'll be notified, but not billed. However if you
go over your data plan in any subsequent billing period, we'll provide you with an
additional 50 GB of data for $10. You'll be charged $10 for every incremental 50
GB of usage beyond your plan.

Here are some tips to help you manage your usage:

  *   Track your usage* by visiting Just log in using
      your Primary Member ID (found in the Internet section of your AT&T bill)
     and account password.   

  *   Secure your wireless gateway/router. If you use Wi-Fi at home and you have not
      secured it with a password, someone nearby with a computer or Wi-Fi enabled device
      could access your home network and use your high-speed Internet service, which
      could increase your monthly usage.

  *   Manage household usage. If you have family members, children or friends who share
      your Internet connection, remember that their online activity will count toward
      your 150 GB data plan. AT&T Parental Controls is a free tool included with your
      service that enables you to customize access to websites, e-mail, instant
      messaging, chat, message boards, and more for each family member. You can even
      set time limits for access to the Internet.

For questions or additional tips on managing your Internet usage, please feel free to
review our helpful FAQs and take advantage of our data calculator at

Thank you for choosing AT&T.


Your AT&T High Speed Internet Customer Care Team

*On average, usage information will be reflected on the website within 1-4 days.

Please do not reply to this email. This address is automated, unattended and cannot help
with questions or requests. 

(C)2011 AT&T Intellectual Property -
All rights reserved. AT&T, the AT&T logo and all other AT&T marks contained
herein are trademarks of AT&T Intellectual Property and/or AT&T affiliated
Privacy Policy -


Message 1 of 2

Re: I need someone high-up inside AT&T/SBC to deal with this, immediately, please.

Dear. PDSeniura

       I am surprised AT&T allowed your posting. I am pretty sure that my posting will either be removed or redacted. Either way, yours did not get any replies from AT&T staff and I doubt I should hold my breath for a response to mine. For starters the company that calls itself AT&T is not AT&T, it is SBC Communications. At some point SBC bought AT&T and took over its name. Unfortunately this did not improve the customer service or the quality of the product provided by both company and the notice you received – the one about exceeding 150 GB data limit – is clear evidence to that fact.

      My family is in similar position to yours: my wife is ill and I recently became disabled due to a bad injury. My wife is working from home (we have three kids to support). This and multiple other factors mean increase in requirement for a reliable internet access. Since we received the notice you cited in your posting, we are now looking for another internet service provider, which is something I suggest you do as well. Regardless where you live, there are options. There are multiple DSL providers if you live in a large urban area. Cable is, of course, another option for city dwellers. Satellite providers (e.g.. ‘hughesnet’) are an option for people living in rural areas. Although it may cost a few dollars more, many such providers offer services that do not choke their consumers by artificial and completely arbitrary annoyances, such as caps on data handling.

            I WOULD REALLY APPRECIATE IF SOMEONE FROM AT&T COULD POST AN ANSWER TO THE FOLLOWING QUESTION, THOUGH: what idi0t came up with the idea of choking caps on data by individual consumers? Does he/she have a name or is it one of those nameless “group decisions?” I mean did someone actually come up with an idea of: “Hey, instead of fostering customer loyalty, let’s alienate as many customers as we can! Let’s nickel-and-dime them till they leave us for other ISPs!” Hey, it worked for American Airlines (they just filed for bankruptcy, by the way, after ticking a bunch of their customers off and driving them to competitors such as SouthWest; this latter company avoided predatory charges and is probably one of the most successful business models in their industry.)  Other successful business models you may be interested in would be … oh say…. Microsoft (free Media Player, free Security Essentials, free updates, etc) and … let’s seeee… Apple (tons of free and even more low cost apps with purchase). I mean the last two are so successful they are practically ubiquitous.

            But not AT&T. What’s your credo, guys? “We are AT&T and we work hard at pi$$ing our customers off?” I mean we stayed with AT&T as telephone provider for more than 10 years  mostly (1) out of habit and (2) because of a fairly reasonable DSL access. Now we have four cell phones for a family of five (all Verizon, by the way; better plan; better customer service; better call quality). Do we really need AT&T home phone? And after getting your “you’ve- exceeded-150 GB-limit,-so-now-we-will-charge-you” letter, do you really think we truly need you as our InterNet provider?

Message 2 of 2
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