Wh is the UVerse tech support system so broken

Scholar

Wh is the UVerse tech support system so broken

[ Edited ]

Why is AT&T so functionally incompetent?  AT&T can't seem to fix the root of the problem, only the symtons, taking well over a month to diagnose.  The techs that came out were great people.  They're just hampered by the functionally incompetent AT&T corporate structure.  The CEO & upper management are at fault for implementing a system that causes repairs to take over a month.

 

I know what the problem is, but they insist on jerking me around with tier 1 & tier 2 service techs that can't fix the root of the problem.  My ADSL2 line had been functioning for a good 10 months without issue until a router or switch was replaced at the C.O.  Ever since then, I lose internet for 10-30 minutes at a time.  This suggests the router is at fault, yet they insist on sending out line techs to "fix" the problem.  All they're doing is putting a bandage on the issue, not addressing the main issue of correcting the settings on the switch or router.  The line noise has reduced, and I don't get disconnected as frequently, but this only suggests that the new router or switch is freezing up because of overloaded logs in RAM and is resetting itself periodically, or some 1d10t low level tech is watching zabbix, ganglia, nagios, or some other monitoring software and resetting it, without fixing it.  I saw no service issues until the equipment was replaced.

 

 

Here's my notes of the downtime.  I left off some details to keep the lenth down, but it's a month's worth of details.

 

 

AT&T Outage Monday, July 29,approximately 2:30 pm.  DSL went down.
 Rebooted Modem twice,
   red lights on Service.
   Broadband remaind green
   Power Green
   Wireless Blinking Green
 Called AT&T 1 800 288-2020 - The automated message had me reboot the modem again and wait 10 minutes before calling back.
 Called AT&T again after 10 minutes and was on hold for about 30 minutes. The actual conversation lasted about 8 minutes.  The CSR scheduled service tech to come Tuesday, July 30, between 4-8 pm

Tuesday July 30, approximately 3:300 pm.  Automated call form AT&T with a message indicating the line was up again.  I immediately call AT&T because the line was still down.  This time I see
  No light on Service
  Red Light on Broadband
  Green Light on Power
  Wireless Blinking Green
The CSR doesn't know what was happening. - Maybe their database wasn't updated.  I continued to wait for the tech to arrive between 4-8 pm
At 6:17 pm, I went out briefly, while the rest of the family was home, and saw an AT&T truck down the street at the intersection.
On the way back around 6:25, I stopped and asked the tech if he was coming to my home.  He said he was going to different address and that he was on a break.


I waited until 7:30 and saw no tech yet, so I call AT&T again.
The tech said he reset the port and my line is up until Wednesday, July 31, at approximately 7:10 pm.  Internet comes back at approx.
The tech said he reset the port and my line is up.

Wednesday, July 31, at approximately 7:10 pm, the line goes down.  Internet comes back at approx. 7:20 pm.
Just before 10pm, the service light went red.  I call AT&T.
They appear to be working on the line, but the tech can't do anything since the 4-8 pm service was never cancelled.  I give him the history of the week's down time.  The line continues going up and down during the call.  After the call, the line remains stable until 10:28 pm.  It comes back at 10:33 pm.  For about a week, I continue to lose service around twice a day and the line resets.

 

I called AT&T nearly every day, this first week.  They eventually schedule a tech on the weekend, and discovered a "tip to ground" connection on my line to the C.O. This requires a different line tech to be sent out.  I'm apparently get numerous bad packets, which is what's supposedly causing the problem.  I already explain again that the problem isn't the line, but in the replacement equipment.  I still get the same service interruptions and keep calling to have my line or port reset, to reduce the outage from 10-30 minutes down to 5-10.  The outage frequency also drops from twice a day to once a day.

 

Another week goes by and a new tech comes out to put in a new splitter and the line is cleaner.  It seems to fix the problem, but a few days later I lose connection.  With a cleaner line, there are fewer bad packets, and the problem span drops from a day to 2-3 days.  I think this tech may have disconnected my alarm line when he added the splitter, but I don't notice it until the alarm company calls me during their monthly check.

 
Friday, August 23, 3rd Tech Replace the line to the home seems to be ok.


Tuesday Sep 3, 10:13 pm Internet is down for 16 Minutes.  A 3rd tech had already come out.  AT&T keeps trying to fix the line to the home, but my line was in worse condition and it had worked just fine on the older router/switch.  It's now out to 10 days between outages.  This points to a problem at the router or switch.  It has nothing to do with the line.

 

Cleaning the line only extends the uptime, but if a line experiences any issue, the router accumulates the errors and disconnects.  I can't get any of the functionally incompetent techs to go beyond their script to fix the issue.  I don't care if I get a 10% improvement in line speed, if I get frequent 10-30 minute downtimes.  I use my internet to connect to work.  I can't afford to get disconnected when I'm configuring a server, firewall, or switch.

This last tech wants to run more tests on my line and take the DSL offline for hours to a day to test my connection again.  These tests do not solve a problem.  AT&T needs to have real techs, not script readers.  I've fixed my own tech problems, so I only call AT&T when it's a problem directly with AT&T.  I've diagnosed and recommend fixes to the techs that have come out to fix my DSL lines whenever I've moved.  The techs that install lines frequently messed up and miswire the connections.  This case is similar.  I don't need my line speed to improve by another 1%.  I want it to be up 24/7 as advertised and not cut me off if I happen to be doing something important.

 

AT&T needs to be broken up again.  It does not care about real service.  It only cares about lip service.  No matter how nice and great the CSRs and Technicians are, it can't make up for the fact the company is structurally deficient and I can't get them to fix the known root of the problem.

Message 1 of 39 (14,752 Views)
ACE - Master

Re: Why is the UVerse tech support system so broken?

[ Edited ]

willchen wrote:
You should also talk to the field techs and ask them why you must call their personal work phone number instead of the 800 number if you want to escalate the ticket.

I was told by a Prem (field) Tech that the reason they give you their cell phone number is because ATT tracts if the job they did was successful or not. 

 

In other words, if the tech came to your house, assessed the problem and fixed (or attempted to fix) the problem and the same problem re-appeared, it does not bode well for the tech. 

 

The prem tech would rather you call them directly to correct an ongoing problem than calling CS to complain about the same thing.

*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 16 of 39 (14,171 Views)
Scholar

Re: Why is the UVerse tech support system so broken?

Thank you.  I did not know that.  I'm getting different stories, then, from different people.  What you're suggesting to me is that all my techs here are lying to me.  Also, if it's true that calling the 800 number again puts a bad mark on the tech, their system is done wrong.  Some technical problems just aren't that easy to solve and you shouldn't get a bad mark just because you happen to be put on one.

 

It's taken them over a month to resolve my issue.  It's an issue that started with an outage that apparently affected more than just me.  Supposedly they replaced a card in a DSLAM at a C.O. (From new information.)   I had no change in wiring, so I could only assume that was the root of my subsequent problems.  They keep checking my line and "fixing" it, but nothing was really resolved as it kept recurring.

 

Prior to the outage, I had no service interruptions.  Those are just the facts.  I spoke to a tier2 tech last night and he said that other customers were having issue with their service so they've replaced the card in a DSLAM a few days ago.  So it appears that they've put in a faulty card.  If that was true, AT&T should have detected the problem sooner and fixed it, since it was affecting more than just one customer.  Procedurally, that was broken.  It should have been strictly monitored that first week, and replaced in no more than 2 weeks.  It was the one main thing that changed for everyone affected.  It should have been checked the moment they received more than 1 call after it was put in place.   I didn't expect a single day turn-around, but something that lasted well over a month should not have happened.

 

Just because it's fixed for me now doesn't mean that something isn't still procedurally broken.  I'm still working through their system to find out exactly why it would take this long to get a fix.  Hopefully, the customer care individuals here are also working that angle.

 

It's completely understandable to me why people would want to switch and not ever want to come back to AT&T.  I don't think there's much of an option if I do switch.  My current boss is dealing with comcast speed issues, and, at least for him, it looks like comcast only shows high speed if you go to their internal speedtest site, but slows down dramatiically at all the others and he's been having issue with youtube videos constantly buffering.  So, service is just bad everywhere.  The only improvement to be made is to work from within and get other customers to do the same.  There is no real choice in this country, just false choice.  It would be great if I had a real choice for better service, but it just doesn't exist.

 

 

Message 17 of 39 (14,155 Views)
ACE - Master

Re: Why is the UVerse tech support system so broken?


willchen wrote:

Thank you.  I did not know that.  I'm getting different stories, then, from different people.  What you're suggesting to me is that all my techs here are lying to me.  Also, if it's true that calling the 800 number again puts a bad mark on the tech, their system is done wrong.  Some technical problems just aren't that easy to solve and you shouldn't get a bad mark just because you happen to be put on one.

 

 


Alls I knows is whats I knows...

 

Here's a bit of info that's really going to tick you off.  I've had Uverse since 2007....6 years....I've had more than one Prem Tech tell me "Oh, your account number starts with a 100 (true).  That tell us that you're one of the FIRST Uverse customers.  You get priority on any service calls."  

 

What can I say?  I'm special...  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 18 of 39 (14,146 Views)
Scholar

Re: Why is the UVerse tech support system so broken?

Man, all I get is ADSL2. Smiley Tongue  I'm in the boonies now.  So that's why you get good service response and I don't. Smiley Tongue Why do you have all the luck. Smiley Wink

 

It sounds like the only way to get fiber to my home is to have continously bad connections so I can keep calling and complaining long enough that they're forced to pull new cable all the way from the CO.  At that point they can save some cost and pull fiber at the same time in preparation.  I think they've actually fixed my line, so I'm stuck with ADSL2.

 

Message 19 of 39 (14,135 Views)
ACE - Master

Re: Why is the UVerse tech support system so broken?

[ Edited ]

...and just a few months ago, they laid all new line to my house, new RG, new wireless boxes, new WAP, etc. 

 

The last Prem Tech sat in the recliner and watched TV w/me to make sure very thing was OK.  We checked out Netflix & You Tube on the Smart TV and when those were a bit choppy, he put some sort of little box there (wireless extender?) and made sure everything was hunky-dory.

 

Loyalty (like age) has it's benefits.  Smiley Wink 

 

That or that just wanted to make sure the crazy old lady didn't call anymore.  Smiley Frustrated

*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 20 of 39 (14,128 Views)
Employee

Re: Why is the UVerse tech support system so broken?

ATT has a service promise form that should be with every install or repair that is completed (not returned to another department)
The form has a list of things that the tech should have done, including providing the techs name and number, and their managers name and office number.
Techs are held responsible for 30 days from completion, if a customer calls or chats that results in a ticket created and truck dispatched during that 30 day period, the original tech gets a repeat. Exceed more than a certain percentage in a given month and you are talking with a manager, also talking with a manager if receive bad customer scores.

Example 1) tech installs your order 3 weeks later DVR gets red x two dots (hardware issue), request tech visit for dvr replacement, installer repeated, if dvr is shipped to customer they replace themselves no repeat. (Equipment issue)
Example 2) tree limb falls storm snapping your drop, tech installs new drop, 1 week later, cat chews green data cable, out of service, tech dispatched, repeat.
The reason for giving the phone number is tech knows your layout, maybe can be resolved over phone saving cx from calling tier support.
If revisit is needed, tech has to get approval from manager, as this revisit is taking tech off the load to dispatch for customers who have tickets open.

Having a managers number allows to the customer to praise or complain instead of waiting or missing the customer satisfaction survey.
Additional, if unable to reach your tech due to his day off or on vacation, the manager may be able to answer question or have another member of his team contact you.
A managers numbers are a reflection of his crew, for his numbers to be good...his crew numbers need to be good.

I try to inform the customer to call me first, along with my number give my general work schedule (days on/off) and hours available.
If non critical call and leave message, i will return the call when i come back. If needed contact my manager (M-F), and last call 800 number if emergency.

We cannot always come back for a return visit especially if work was done for another garage. Our area has several garages covering 6 counties, when assigned to support another garage the chances of being allowed to return are slim, i can still answers questions and run test, notify my manager with info who will contact the correct garage for local support that may or may not be available.

Again, a truck dispatched within 30 days is a repeat, i have had customers call 6,9 12 months later i still try to assist but the changes of getting approval for return visit are very low if at all. (Beyond 30 days, no repeat)

I view customer reps, tier 1 support and premise techs as low level enlisted men and women( private, corporal) with our managers being sergeants, we are trained to do our job, expected to do the job your trained for, and follow orders, ATT not just a job but an adventure.
Employee Contributor*
*I am an AT&T employee and the postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent AT&T's position, strategies or opinions.
Message 21 of 39 (14,107 Views)
Scholar

Re: Why is the UVerse tech support system so broken?

I got a new tech with each call, 4 different techs within the same 30 days.  That means each of those techs got a repeat?  A bad mark on their record?  That's ludicrous.  The 800 number call should have brought them back, not assign a new ticket and new tech and a bad mark just from one call.

 

It would have helped if I got the same tech to return so I didn't have to repeatedly explain my issue with each new tech, only to have them start over with each new line replacement.  I sympathize with your field techs for this broken system that penalizes a tech for a call to the 800 number.  I would have loved it if the same tech came out and just continued from where he left off.  It would have sped things up.  I didn't know that calling the 800 number would mess with their scores.  AT&T is procedurally broken.  If the tech was actually doing something wrong, then they deserve an actual bad mark, but they don't deserve one because a customer called back.

 

I understand that some things aren't easily diagnosed, so I thought I was working with the system to get a faster resolution, but because of the call center brokeness, I gave 5 techs a bad mark or a "repeat" and delayed my actual repair.  AT&T needs to fix its call center.

Message 22 of 39 (14,097 Views)

Re: Wh is the UVerse tech support system so broken

I wish I could get someone to come out any day of the week, so far the tech has missed 4 of the scheduled appointments. No call, no show that is not the way a business is run. 

Message 23 of 39 (14,068 Views)
Scholar

Re: Wh is the UVerse tech support system so broken

That's horrible. Did you call the 800 number and and just say complaints or customer customer service at the prompt. That's something that should be complained about. There's also that customer care link that you can PM on this web site.
Message 24 of 39 (13,998 Views)
Highlighted
Scholar

Re: Wh is the UVerse tech support system so broken

The nvg510 modem that they swapped is no longer ipv6 capable.  I wish I had the old one back with the ipv6 options available.  I was testing ipv6, but now, I can't do it from home anymore.  Smiley Sad  This is a full step backwards.

 

Everything was working before their equipment died at the CO.  The market needs to be opened up again.

Message 25 of 39 (13,662 Views)
Scholar

Re: Wh is the UVerse tech support system so broken

On a recent call to the call center, the menu was changed to include an option to skip the modem reboot instructions if you've already done it. Finally. It was a waste of 10 minutes to follow those instructions, then call back when I've usually done it twice before I called them. It's a little step closer to getting a live person quicker. There's still more to be done.
Message 26 of 39 (13,367 Views)
Scholar

Re: Wh is the UVerse tech support system so broken

Added my own 70 foot Cat5e Line to extend access to my home, and moved the Broadband modem to a better location.

 

Time it took me and my 12 year old: about 2 hours on Saturday, mostly for pulling cable attaching cable cleanly, with less damage to my drywall than AT&T or Comcast ever did.

Total broadband downtime 5 minutes, because it took that long for the connection to come back up when the cable was quickly swapped.  Ethernet cables come up within seconds when I swapped both ends simultaneously.

 

Where's my promised Fiber Optic connection?  That money went into the pockets of the AT&T executives during the 1990s.

 

Time it would take AT&T:

1 Week minimum for appointment setup.

4 hours to wait at home, either to take off from work or partially work from home.  Most of my appointments showed up at towards the the end of the 4 hours and took about 2-3 hours.

 

Last year's repair likely took 30 hours out of my work week.  The initial problem was their service failing.  The new circuit must have been much more sensitive to the older lines on my home, and they should have known and tested that ahead of time.  They should have that information in the database to just come out and fully fix the line in one visit.  Instead they've wasted just over a month of multiple visits.

 

 

Message 27 of 39 (3,709 Views)
Scholar

Re: Wh is the UVerse tech support system so broken

[ Edited ]

AT&T Work line Fiber Optic Service upgrade from 50 Mbps to 100 Mbps. Being the only service in the only commercial building in a 5 block radius, and since AT&T really doesn't want the residential sector to get it, we should be offered at least gigabit speeds.

 

Time taken from Approval to implementation: About 3 Months.

It took 3 Calls to check our existing configuration during the first month.

It took 2 service visits to verify the line and add the newer equipment during the 2nd Month.

They then sent me equipment and told me to wait until the call from he final tech before I could mount it. If I didn't mount it myself, it would likely take another week to schedule another AT&T tech.

After racking it, I then had to schedule another week for downtime for the configuration and circuit swap.

 

Also, why did we need new equipment to handle 100 Mbps? It's the same fiber optic circuit converted to a copper line going to Cisco equipment. 100 Mbps copper lines have been around since the late 90s. Copper Gigabit first came out back then. AT&T could have just toggled the configuration, since 50Mbps should have been a configuration setting. Why are the service calls and visits stretched out so far apart? Why can't they just finish in a week? Why must there be so many calls and visits so many days or even weeks apart? Isn't AT&T's equipment and layout already in the database? Doesn't AT&T keep records? It should not take this long. That entire process could have been streamlined.

 

Another company in the same building wants to start a new line. They were told it's going to take 90 days. We now officially have 2 lines in the building. The old line is supposed to go away, but I haven't been contacted about returning the old equipment. The new company should be able to just reuse that line and split another circuit out from that. It should not take 90 days to get service, when AT&T has already done all the preliminary work.

 

Does AT&T even want new business? Why does it take 90 days? Does AT&T not know how to communicate internally and coordinate properly? That's a very ridiculous time frame to get someone up and running when the line and equipment already exist at the location. AT&T is horrendously inefficient. The fiber optic lines should be opened up to competitors that will actually provide service in a timely manner. AT&T was given tax breaks (basically heavy subsidies) in the 1990s to put them in place. They've recently asked for more tax rebates to actually do the job that they didn't do in the late 90s. That means taxpayers have paid for them twice. The lines should be public. AT&T should not be lobbying to prevent competition.

____________________

EDITED to fix formatting.

Message 28 of 39 (3,618 Views)
Scholar

Re: Wh is the UVerse tech support system so broken

http://snltranscripts.jt.org/76/76aphonecompany.phtml 


76a: Lily Tomlin / James Taylor

The Phone Company

 Ernestine.....Lily Tomlin
 Technician in background.....Al Franken


Ernestine: A gracious hello. Here at the Phone Company, we handle eighty-four billion calls a year. Serving everyone from presidents and kings to the scum of the earth. So, we realize that, every so often, you can't get an operator, or for no apparent reason your phone goes out of order, or perhaps you get charged for a call you didn't make. We don't care!

 Watch this... [ she hits buttons maniacally ] We just lost Peoria.

 You see, this phone system consists of a multibillion-dollar matrix of space age technology that is so sophisticated -- [ she hits buttons with her elbows ] even we can't handle it. But that's your problem, isn't it? So, the next time you complain about your phone service, why don't you try using two Dixie cups with a string? We don't care. We don't have to. We're the Phone Company.

____________________

EDITED to fix formatting.


Here's a look back into history.  I wonder if anything's improved.

Message 29 of 39 (3,297 Views)
Contributor

Re: Wh is the UVerse tech support system so broken

I read with great understanding all of your post.  Substitute Central office or any form of dial tone  for DSL in your post and it fits exactly.  The repair sytem, their IVR, whatever thay call it is way broke.  I have to call them five or six times a day to report lines or circuits and it is the most horrible experience ever.  I waste, spend two or three hours a day reporting and rereporting issues becasue they will close them no problem found.  I have even had our sales rep tell me to quit calling them with issues because it is not required they manage it under the tariffs.  I would rather eat glass than talk to them.  I calculated over a year i spend almost a month, 1/12th of my life, listening to there crap with nothing to show for it.  NOTHING.  I wish they would go under.

Message 30 of 39 (3,147 Views)
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