Trapped, frustrated, and ultimately defeated

Trapped, frustrated, and ultimately defeated

I want to start by saying everyone I've dealt with at AT&T has been excellent. The technicians and customer service people are polite and helpful. I tip my hat to them.

 

I'm writing to tell my sad and frustrating story with AT&T. It started years ago. I was an AT&T customer, getting 6MB DSL for $20/mo. A reasonable price for a reasonable service. When the deal expired I switched to Comcast. I was a happy Comcast customer. Then I moved.

 

I moved to an area not serviced by any cable provider. I had to get AT&T. So I look online at the bundles for TV and Internet. First gotcha:

 

You must rent an AT&T modem. That’s right. There is no option to just buy a u-verse modem off eBay and skip that 7 dollar a month charge. For that matter, with my TV set-top being Ethernet (read below), why can't I just use my old DSL modem from before? Are u-verse packets magic packets?

 

So the technicians come out, and it's the usual inevitable drama with DSL. The lines are old and crappy and the modem won't sync. They pull a new cable from the pedistal to my house. It took a few hours, but the service got going. A week later, someone comes to bury the cable. Both technicians that came were excellent. I give them a 10/10.

 

In the days that followed, my moving van arrived and so did my possessions. I decided to run my own Cat5 cable along the carpet from my modem (bedroom) to my TV (living room) to support my gaming consoles, etc. With Comcast, I had the cable modem next to the cable TV. I had also noticed that the TV was constantly freezing. Next gotcha:

U-Verse TV works poorly over coax. That's right. The cable that Comcast is pushing 100 MB a second on, and 5 TVs, U-verse can't utilize. Of course, when a house is built, what do they put by the TV, TV cable! Not data cable.

 

U-Verse comes out to investigate my TV. They tell me that coax isn't recommended, and since I have cat-5 at the TV, they switch the service. Fine. They also tell me that my Netgear router could be causing problems. That's right You must use the U-Verse router in the modem. Got your own router that does VPN and other cool stuff. Too bad, so sad, you have U-Verse!

 

Now the TV is working. I have U-family. It's 160 channels right? Wrong. It's actually 80 some-odd music channels, a mountain of home shopping, and a handful of local channels, with some bare-bones basic cable. Want to watch FX, TNT, AMC, Comedy Central? Too bad! U-Verse has basic cable channels as a premium package for an extra 11 dollars a month.

 

So this is a good time to catch up. In my old place, I had Comcast. For 70 bucks a month I had channels I actually wanted, 15 MB internet, and my own router, and no Cat-5 taped to the rug. Now with U-Verse I'm paying 80 dollars a month for 6 MB DSL and the Andy Griffith show!.

 

I'm dissatisfied, but I'm resigned to accept it. A month goes by, and I think, "hey AT&T never sent me a bill", so I login and look. Uh oh! It's past due! That's right, AT&T can't be bothered to actually send their customers a paper or electronic bill before the due date. So now I'm 3 days past due, and probably with a bad mark in my credit file, forever crushing my dreams of home ownership, all because I was forced into service from a vile company. The really frustrating thing is that the billing cycle was one day (my activation date). That means AT&T had a month to mail a bill, and never did.

 

I'm very upset. I call AT&T. Uh oh! No answer after 7pm. That's right: AT&T doesn't have customer service when people aren't at work!. Probably explains how they get away with these atrocities.

 

The next day I get home from work, and lo, in my mailbox, is a bill from AT&T. Fascinating. I open it up, and it's 200 dollars. 200 dollars for 6 MB DSL and the Andy Griffith show?!?. For 200 dollars, Comcast would come and tap dance in my living room.

 

I'm almost blind with rage. I call AT&T. I get the useless robot asking me if my cell phone is the phone on my account. I tell it no. Then I tell it my phone number. It tells me it sees I just made a payment, and asks if I want more information. I tell it "No. Talk to a person". This is important, the phone robot got my account information from just a phone number. I get on with a person, and they ask for my phone number, the same phone number the robot just successfully used, and the agent tells me they can't find my account with that number. The AT&T robot and the AT&T agents don't have access to the same information?!?!!!. I want to cry. I've nearly lost faith in humanity. The agent tells me my bill is actually 79 dollars (1 month), and that it's due in 12 days. Nice right? When AT&T does bother to send a bill, they give you less than two weeks to pay it. I thank the man for his time and hang-up.

 

Remember when I said I logged in to AT&T's website? Well I decided to do it again periodically. Every time I login, it tells me my password is invalid. Every time. I get a temporary password sent to my email, use it, set my actual password, and when I try to login a few days later, it tells me the password is invalid! AT&T's password reset doesn't actually work!.

 

I'm at a loss to cope with my utter dissatisfaction with AT&T. Comcast is legendary for their poor customer service, and as a loyal customer, I can say it's true. They couldn't schedule their way out of a wet paper bag, and the office is lined up for hours. But AT&T is evil. Pure, unadulterated evil. It's a sad state of affairs in America when monopoly companies have left consumers with a choice between incompetent (Comcast) and evil (AT&T).

 

I don't understand how AT&T is a business. Who, when given a choice, would pay more for less? Who would pay more for slower internet and less channels? Anyone out there reading this, if you live in an area serviced by Comcast, please trust me, you want Comcast. You need Comcast. It's faster, cheaper, better and smarter. I pray every day to the Lord Jesus himself to deliver me from the evil which is AT&T and bring salvation in the form of Comcast. When that day finally comes, I will pay whatever price to break free of my AT&T contract, and watch TV again a free man.

 

Thank you.

#IMissComcast

 

Message 1 of 25 (2,010 Views)
Scholar

Re: Trapped, frustrated, and ultimately defeated

So JefferMC , AT&T is cheaper in your Market when compared to Charter, but robertlabrie has Comcast as an option.  In most markets with Comcast, they offer faster speeds and frequently better deals.  It's as if AT&T just gave up.  Did AT&T sign a non-compete?  They're both equally bad in customer service, which is what makes people switch, but many don't.

 

Prior to these locked in Broadband offerings, we only had modem based ISPs, and there was much more competition back then with much cheaper prices and much better customer service, because you had real choices.  We need to open up the market again to get the lower pricing.  Duopolies do not help consumers.

 

Limited markets create the types of situations where AT&T will attempt to hold your service hostage for minor incidents.  Yes, he got it resolved, but only after some unnecessary effort.  http://jeffreifman.com/2014/06/04/yes-you-can-spend-750-in-international-data-roaming-in-one-minute/

Message 16 of 25 (1,536 Views)
Highlighted
ACE - Expert

Re: Trapped, frustrated, and ultimately defeated


willchen wrote:

 

Limited markets create the types of situations where AT&T will attempt to hold your service hostage for minor incidents.  Yes, he got it resolved, but only after some unnecessary effort.  http://jeffreifman.com/2014/06/04/yes-you-can-spend-750-in-international-data-roaming-in-one-minute/


My Verizon Wireless phone threw up a prompt to turn on International Roaming Data while I was on vacation a couple weeks ago... in North Carolina.  Is there something about geography that I don't understand?

 

*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
Message 17 of 25 (1,530 Views)

Re: Trapped, frustrated, and ultimately defeated


willchen wrote:

So JefferMC , AT&T is cheaper in your Market when compared to Charter, but robertlabrie has Comcast as an option.  In most markets with Comcast, they offer faster speeds and frequently better deals.  It's as if AT&T just gave up.  Did AT&T sign a non-compete?  They're both equally bad in customer service, which is what makes people switch, but many don't.

 

Prior to these locked in Broadband offerings, we only had modem based ISPs, and there was much more competition back then with much cheaper prices and much better customer service, because you had real choices.  We need to open up the market again to get the lower pricing.  Duopolies do not help consumers.

 

Limited markets create the types of situations where AT&T will attempt to hold your service hostage for minor incidents.  Yes, he got it resolved, but only after some unnecessary effort.  http://jeffreifman.com/2014/06/04/yes-you-can-spend-750-in-international-data-roaming-in-one-minute/


In DFW we have Charter, TWC, Direct, Dish, Grande, Suddenlink.  AT&T has by far the most tv channels.  I've had TWC internet and it's not all it's advertised.  My 12Mb service is more than enough for our family of 3 and we have no problems downloading anything or watching Netflix, Amazon Prime etc via Roku.  While my internet is slower, reading the reviews of the other service providers, I'm not missing anything.  Grande has 100Mb service available, but they pair it with a wireless G router, which is only 54Mb so you are wasting 1/2 the available download speed.  I have wireless N now with my NVG589.

” Auto racing, bull fighting, and mountain climbing are the only real sports … all others are games.”- Ernest Hemingway
Message 18 of 25 (1,491 Views)
ACE - Expert

Re: Trapped, frustrated, and ultimately defeated


oufanindallas wrote:

Grande has 100Mb service available, but they pair it with a wireless G router, which is only 54Mb so you are wasting 1/2 the available download speed.  I have wireless N now with my NVG589.


54 Mbps is theoretical.  You really only get about 21 Mbps from 802.11g.  But you can nearly always connect the wireless access point of your choice with any provider.

 

*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
Message 19 of 25 (1,483 Views)

Re: Trapped, frustrated, and ultimately defeated


JefferMC wrote:

oufanindallas wrote:

Grande has 100Mb service available, but they pair it with a wireless G router, which is only 54Mb so you are wasting 1/2 the available download speed.  I have wireless N now with my NVG589.


54 Mbps is theoretical.  You really only get about 21 Mbps from 802.11g.  But you can nearly always connect the wireless access point of your choice with any provider.

 


But that would be money I would have to spend to do so, so it would end up costing me more.

” Auto racing, bull fighting, and mountain climbing are the only real sports … all others are games.”- Ernest Hemingway
Message 20 of 25 (1,463 Views)
ACE - Expert

Re: Trapped, frustrated, and ultimately defeated

True, but the WiFi functionality in these gateways is marginal. I'd really rather have a device that has to compete with others for my money rather than something thrown in "for free" and worth every penny.  Also noting the speed at which WiFi technology gets in these gateways in the field, I can get the technology I'm willing to pay for.

 

Of course, you're also getting the technology you're willing to pay for. How's your 5.0 GHz band working out for you, OU?  Smiley Wink

 

 

*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
Message 21 of 25 (1,462 Views)

Re: Trapped, frustrated, and ultimately defeated

@JefferMC 

 

Since it was installed, it's been nothing but rock solid and I'm getting 11.5 - 13 download, consistantly. I'm lucky in that there are no houses close enough to bleed over and disrupt my signal.

” Auto racing, bull fighting, and mountain climbing are the only real sports … all others are games.”- Ernest Hemingway
Message 22 of 25 (1,454 Views)
Scholar

Re: Trapped, frustrated, and ultimately defeated

Lucky you for having so many options...  Your DFW politicians didn't cave in and sign exclusive non-competes.  That's why you have better service.  That's not the case for many US cities.  So basically, your anecdotes about great AT&T service does not apply to the majority of the nation.

 

Download speeds of 12 Mbps is not an issue.  I was on 3 Mbps and I could watch videos too, it's just that the streams are more compressed and lose some quality and most people don't notice the loss.  It's why MPEGs are so highly compressed and lossy.  Since I use it for work as well, I need the upload stream to be faster.  It would be nice if I had at least 4-6 Mbps upload with my 12 Mbps down.  I could better work at home with a much faster internet.  We're too far behind in home internet speeds for a top tier country.  And AT&T is rather inefficient and slow at rolling out a competitive network unless there is real competition.

 


oufanindallas wrote:

willchen wrote:

So JefferMC , AT&T is cheaper in your Market when compared to Charter, but robertlabrie has Comcast as an option.  In most markets with Comcast, they offer faster speeds and frequently better deals.  It's as if AT&T just gave up.  Did AT&T sign a non-compete?  They're both equally bad in customer service, which is what makes people switch, but many don't.

 

Prior to these locked in Broadband offerings, we only had modem based ISPs, and there was much more competition back then with much cheaper prices and much better customer service, because you had real choices.  We need to open up the market again to get the lower pricing.  Duopolies do not help consumers.

 

Limited markets create the types of situations where AT&T will attempt to hold your service hostage for minor incidents.  Yes, he got it resolved, but only after some unnecessary effort.  http://jeffreifman.com/2014/06/04/yes-you-can-spend-750-in-international-data-roaming-in-one-minute/


In DFW we have Charter, TWC, Direct, Dish, Grande, Suddenlink.  AT&T has by far the most tv channels.  I've had TWC internet and it's not all it's advertised.  My 12Mb service is more than enough for our family of 3 and we have no problems downloading anything or watching Netflix, Amazon Prime etc via Roku.  While my internet is slower, reading the reviews of the other service providers, I'm not missing anything.  Grande has 100Mb service available, but they pair it with a wireless G router, which is only 54Mb so you are wasting 1/2 the available download speed.  I have wireless N now with my NVG589.


 

Message 23 of 25 (1,390 Views)
Teacher

Re: Trapped, frustrated, and ultimately defeated

It pays to do your research before you start a new service to see your options. For instance if U-Verse works better over CAT 5 then you may figure its worth upgrading to CAT 5. At our home we have our entire home wired under CAT 5 for our UVerse and it works great.

 

We have had UVerse since 2008 and went to Satellite for sometime for our TV but then they increased the price and wanted to charge us more for a DVR so we went back to U-Verse for TV and now we have Internet Phone and TV and enjoy the service.

 

We have only had one tech call to setup the service in 2008 and another in 2010 when we wanted VOIP and to get our DVR and STB to restart UVerse.  Other than that all has been well except for a DVR failure but that was easily fixed by them sending us a new upgraded one via next day air.

 

I guess your mileage may vary depending on how close you are to the VRAD. We happen to be a 2 minute walk away from the VRAD and I walk by it often(and do see ATT Techs working there) and I spoke with a tech who said people with Comcast were switching to UVerse after many issues with down time etc. He went on to say their technology is being upgraded and will see more internet packages available. 

 

If your happy with your current setup then  I suggest you stick with it but if you do decide to switch then weigh out the cost benefit and what you will gain.

 

Good luckl

Message 24 of 25 (1,354 Views)
Voyager

Re: Trapped, frustrated, and ultimately defeated

I have literally encountered EVERY SINGLE issue that u listed plus MANY more! They are stealing from their customers! Plain and simple! They lie and deceive! I'm beyond frustrated! In fact due to my high anxiety, and after two plus days on and off the phone with their illiterate CSR's have gotten no where! I was finally so stressed out due to the rudeness the transferring of calls having to explain my situation 10 times over the language barrier so they could not understand me that I literally got sick to my stomach and threw up.
We just paid $322.17 to have our Service restored, which by the way, I should not of been turned off in the first place. And that does not include any reconnect fees. Also, we just went back to them at August 28 and we have paid them $150 plus I've had some credits and adjustments because they of course as usual, put us into a wrong plan for our bundled U-verse package. Nonetheless, Anisur and justice before our bill slowly but surely has creeped up when we were promised 127 a month plus tax and is now over 230 some dollars a month and after all of that time and stress we were not in any better of a standing than before we called.
HIGHLY DISAPPOINTED AND DISCOURAGED IN MICHIGAN!!!
Message 25 of 25 (542 Views)
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