Ef You Treyarch...

My Ongoing AT&T Setup Nightmare

Words cannot express my ordeal with setting up internet service though AT&T. Of course I’m going to give it a shot though.

When I was comparing service providers I wanted something that would be easy to setup and offer just the services that I needed. Comcast has given me the run around in the past and I was looking to try something new, also for a decent internet package you pretty much need to get television service so that kicks your monthly bill over 60. AT&T offers just a DSL install and that is all I was looking for so the decision pretty much made itself.  This was the easy part.

Contacting AT&T’s customer service is the hard part. Trust me this saga is going to be long winded but after my last interaction this morning I must put this down somewhere so I can have a recount of how truely frustrating this has been.  I also believe some form of this account is going to be sent to AT&T. Seconds ago I seriously packed up my DSL modem, repulsed by the sight of the mocking red blinking light.

OK here is where it begins.

Feb 23: My first call clearly did not go well. Looking around my new place I did notice that there are SBC and Ameritech equipment outside of the house and in the basement. Calling on a Monday I hoped to have everything setup by the end of the week.  The service rep that I spoke with after giving my address said they needed to send a tech out to survey the location. Even though I told them about the equipment outside and in the basement, I believe mostly as my apartment number did not come up in their computer system (my apartment didn’t come up on the online form but other units in the building did) she would not process my order. I agreed to that give her my phone number and left it at that. She said it would take a week to have somebody check out the place and determine of I would be elegible for service.

Feb 25: Frustrated I ended up calling again to place an order. This woman was actually quite helpful. She took all my information and I believe handeled taking my order correctly. Though the next week I was fine I received my DSL modem and my order confirmation to the correct address and was fine waiting a week for service from this call for service.

March 4: Today was the day that my service was supposed to be turned on. I had my DSL modem installed correctly but though the morning all I received was a blinking red light.  Today I ended up calling twice to AT&T to figure out why I was not receiving service. Each time I was informed to call back at a later time. To be honest my order confirmation letter did say to wait till after 8pm but it was impossible to find out if anybody did any work or really what the status of my order was. One woman said it was active and one said it was “pending”. I called at 5pm and was told to call at 8pm andat 8pm I was said to call at midnight.

March 5: I fell asleep the night before and did not call back at midnight. Today I only spoke with one woman that actually at least got something done.  She said I should recieve a call back within eight business hours with somebody that might be able to help me. Left my DSL modem installed though the day only received blinking red of death.

March 6: This morning I received a call at about 8:45am. APPARENTLY for reasons I will never understand according to the lady on the phone service was installed in apartment one rather then apartment five. This I do not understand. My DSL modem was sent to the correct address, and my order confirmation letter was sent to the right address. I made this very known on the phone and never recieved an answer how this got changed. The woman ran me though pretty much a new order assigning me a new account number. She also said it will take another six days to receive service. I said multiple times that I’ve been already waiting two days for service and she said she will put a “rush” on it but cannot make a guarantee. Pretty much I know what that means I’ll be waiting another week to recieve service.  Oddly enough when running my new order though she asked me where I work and I declined to tell her. After apparently placing a new order for me I get transferred to cancel my old account number.

See at this point I would have been fine if they said it was their mistake and would do something about it. I made no mistakes on this but because of a screw up I get thrown back in the back of some install queue. Never did I ever say I lived in apartment one. This was their mistake and they will not make any effort to rectify it.

I went with AT&T in an attempt to avoid this type of frustration. Seriously I don’t even know what to do. There is no way they put a “rush” on getting anything taken care of for me so this means another week of no internet service. I also have no idea how they got apartment one on my account even though my DSL modem and my order confirmation got sent to the right address. Right now I’m very much regretting my choice choosing AT&T.

March 13: My service was not turned on again. I had my DSL modem hooked up correctly though the last week and still no connection. Ended up calling AT&T CS and got passed around to three different departments and three different hold queues and asked three different times to relay my account number. At this point my call has been sent to the “escalation team” to find out why I don’t have service. At this point I’m expecting to hear that apartment one has my service again. Also my account is still “pending” not that I understand what that means.

I called March 13th at about 9am and as I update this it’s 6:12pm and have not heard anything. This means that nothing will be done about anything though the weekend and really I do not know what to do at this point. Really I’m making due minus internet service and mostly just want to ride this out to see if I can go a month since initial contact before getting service setup and to see if they make any effort to compensate me for my time and my understanding. This post will be updated with the outcome please keep tuned.

UPDATE March 13 6:40pm: Just got a call from AT&T and got my call pulled up on escalation. They said it was a technical error and apparently several other GR residents with new setups have run into a similar issue as I have. The guy said I should be setup by Monday. I asked if there was a better number to call just in case I have any problems and I was told to call the toll free number if I have any problems or questions. So my new install date is March 16 and I will make sure to keep everybody posted with what happens. This is the last straw if service is not installed Monday I go with another service provider.

UPDATE 2 March 16: Well another install date has come and past. Though the entire day I had my modem hooked to the line and tried both connections in my place after 8pm. Still no service. Not shocking at all. Blinking red till I die.

UPDATE 3 March 17: Got up early and placed another call to CS. After the customary pass around I did end up speaking with a very pleasant woman. She told me that stand alone DSL is not guaranteed in every area. I knew this from reading their website but nobody I’ve spoke with on the line ever said this so I appreciated her candor. She said she would make a call and get back with me within the half an hour. She did what she promised and confirmed to me over the phone that my place should be eligible for “Elite” service. She told me that my service should be active by 8pm today if not earlier. Tonight I work till 7:30 and will rush home to check the line. Again I will keep everybody posted and also post a reminder that my first call to AT&T was Feb 23rd.

UPDATE 4 March 17: Came home today AGAIN to no service. Checked both lines in my place and tried all lines with the filter and doing power cycles multiple times. Just to make my life worse I decided to call tonight rather then tomorrow morning. I was unable to get though to “Check the Status of my DSL Order” as they are closed. Called the general number and just said “agent” 15 times until I got somebody on the line. Told the lady my situation and got tech supported (power cycles, line checks ect). Went though that with no avail. I did ask the lady to check the status of my order and apparently I should be active according to her.
Ended up putting a trouble ticket in to the “line check” department and should get a call back by 2pm tomorrow.  One day closer to a month till my first initial call.

UPDATE 5 March 18: While at the dentist today I got an automated call saying my line was tested and they need to speak with me. Called back and waited in queue for 15 mins. Again I spoke with a very kind CS representative. He looked up my ticket and said the line checked fine. Recieved a new ticket number and apparently a tech is coming to my place before 11am tomorrow to check the place out. Apparently my service is “active” and my line checked out fine so it must be an issue with the house and honestly that is not shocking at all it just sucks that it took this long to get to this point. Again I will make sure to post everything ASAP with how this all turns out. I could have internet tomorrow but clearly my hopes are not very high at this point.

SIDE UPDATE March 18: Just to put this saga into perspective. My friend recently moved to a new location and called Comcast Monday morning for a new service installation and had service confirmed and installed Wednesday morning. Somebody came to his place day one to make sure everything is taken care of were it’s taken me 23 days to get to a point where I was able to have AT&T decide to have somebody come to my place (and at this point I’m really not expecting to get a call tomorrow morning to be honest).  Comcast installed new service for him with a one day turnaround. With AT&T I’m on a 23 day turnaround.

UPDATE 6 March 19: This is just insanity. Ok here we go. Got a call this morning at about 9:30am from the tech. He came up to my apartment and ran the tests on the line, and checked the basement a few times and the line outside. He said he got everything to go. When I asked him what was wrong he said “the line wasn’t hooked up”. Not a shocker there. After he setup the line he came back up stairs and the DSL light was solid green. Stupid me figured we were good to go. He left and I started running the setup wizard.


I end up getting to a point where the DSL line is solid green but is unable to connect to the internet. Goes blinking green, to solid red, to nothing. Tried the normal stuff (power cycle, diagnostics on the modem) and apparently I’m failing the ATM and the PPPoE tests. Of course I don’t have any internet to look up what these things mean so I call the tech back on the number he called me on. Said he did what he could and got me connected to DSL and I would need to call tech support. Called tech support, started talking to the woman explaining everything after a 10 min hold and of course get disconnected. My cell has full service downtown.

Call again. I get a kinda snippy rep that doesn’t really listen to what i say. Right when she asked what my problem is I run down half her job as I know the drill.

1) Tech came to my place, ticket was placed that she should be able to look up if they have any modern incident tracking system in seconds.
2) Explained lights situation as stated above
3) Stated I’ve power cycled multiple times
4) Read off the failure points on the “Technician Readout” screen off the modem.

This should be enough information for them to know I know what I’m doing and get me where I need to go. I end up getting tech supported for 10 mins. Power cycles, line checks, and put on hold for about five minutes while a “ticket” is created for the “line check” team. I seriously cannot wait to post this.

End up getting transferred to the “line check” team. Call time 19 mins at this point. I have heard “please wait” one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve, thirteen, fourteen….

…while I’m waiting for this I walk over to my DSL modem and I’m getting a red blinking light on the modem  and trying to connect on the modem using the test account provided gives me the following message in bold red text.

DSL connection is down. Please check the following:
Phone line is securely connected to your Device.
DSL Sync light on front of your Modem is green and not blinking
Filters have been installed on all phone jacks that have telephone devices connected to them.
Please try again to connect.
If problem persists, please contact the help desk.

….fifteen, sixteen times by a very “firm” sounding computer voice. After waiting for about 10 mins on this perma-hold the lady I was talking to earlier said “they are checking your line in the street” and to call back in an hour I shit you not. I was just on the phone for 30 mins for absolutely nothing.

As a very trustworthy person and not one to embellish I cannot make this up. What a fucking disaster. Tonight after work I’m 100% positive I’m going to have to call again. I cannot believe I’m putting up with this. The ONLY reason I’m riding this out is because it’s fascinating how poorly this has gone and I would honestly like to see if I can go a month with dealing with this. As I leave to go to work I try the test login account on the router again…

Cannot connect to target service. Please contact the help desk.

UPDATE 7 March 19: On my way to work I get an automated call from AT&T customer care due to my tech visit from this morning. Waited on hold for about five minuets after pressing “0” and talked to another gentleman. Explained to him my situation and my connection issues as I’ve stated above. He looked at my technician ticket resolution and ran a test of my line. Asked the normal questions about power cycle of the modem ect. What he was able to come up with was that the “line wasn’t tied down” and I’m not sure exactly what that means. He said the fault here was with the tech that came to my place and he should have done another step for full connectivity. He also said the next morning appointment he could give me was Monday. At this point was the first time I’ve been firm with the CS and explained how long I’ve been waiting and that this is their fault this wasn’t taken care of today. He told me he could get a Friday morning tech visit approved. As we stand I’m now at least I now have a  solid green DSL light but no connectivity to the internet. This has taken over three weeks to get to this point.

SIDE UPDATE March 19: Chatting with Tom about this ordeal he had the following to contribute.

w. vanlandw [5:02 PM]: are you broc’ing?
farquja [5:02 PM]: i just ead ur deal thats such BS u sending that shit to them ight?
farquja [5:02 PM]: R

UPDATE 8 March 20: Got a call bright and early at around 8:45am from a very pleasant sounding lady saying she is here shortly and based off the trouble ticket believes she knows what the issue is. She is outside my place now and will call me when she needs to get inside. Power cycled my modem still “Searching for ATM PVC”. Modem lights still doing the same behavior. Power, Ethernet, DSL all solid green. Internet goes from blinking green, to solid red, to nothing.

At about 9:33am apparently I’m no longer failing the ATM test. Still failing PPPoE and getting a solid red light on the modem for “Internet”

One min later I’ve passed the PPPoE test and now just failing authentication.

Three mins later I’m failing the PPPoE test.

The tech gives me a call and says she got everything taken care of. I go to the door and let her in she comes up uses my PC for a few mins and I’m FINALLY solid green connected to the internet. She says and waits for me to complete the registration process and confirms I’m able to connect. Before she left asks I asked her what the problem was. Apparently there are two switches or something in the house and I was connected to the other one then what I was suppose to be. Find out the tech’s name is Lori. She offers me three contact numbers and says to let her know if I have any problems in the next few weeks she will help me where she can. After such a long voyage this was it was nice to see somebody go at least a quarter mile out of their way to help me out.

After she left I messed around on the internet and ran into some problems hooking up my router to the modem (ended up having to have my router do PPPoE authentication) but I left my house for work today with my iMac on wireless and everything looking to be working. Will test out the consoles tonight.

Oddly enough I’m still having one problem. Looks like I’m not getting the ‘elite’ speeds I’m paying a premium on. Doing a bandwidth test shows I’m really not getting the speeds I should be. My download speed is about half of what I’m paying for at this point. I will monitor the situation and post here of course.

SIDE UPDATE March 20: This came though gchat before leaving work today and sums up this ENTIRE situation….

gunbunnie: Dude, you are the most patient person I know.
me: LOL yeah it’s a fault trust me
gunbunnie: Although I can understand you carrying this out of morbid curiosity.

Chouse stated this yesterday and again really is the dead truth…

chouse: your at&t saga is completely fascinating

Last Result:
Download Speed: 2559 kbps (319.9 KB/sec transfer rate)
Upload Speed: 642 kbps (80.3 KB/sec transfer rate)

UPDATE 9 April 21: Ran a bandwidth test today still not getting anywhere close to the “6 MBPS” I’m suppose to be getting for $45 dollars a month.

Download Speed: 2583 kbps (322.9 KB/sec transfer rate)
Upload Speed: 655 kbps (81.9 KB/sec transfer rate)

Just recieved my first bill this past weekend. AT&T did not charge me for my DSL modem but I will need to make a call soon regarding my transfer speeds. Either I want them to take me down to the “Direct Pro” pricing or check to see why my  transfer rate is so slow. Also on my bill they started charging me on March 13th when I did not get service till March 20th. UGH

Category: General, Irate


17 Responses

  1. che says:

    You should make friends with your neighbors and demand they get a stronger wireless router to fulfill your needs. Ef AT&T.

  2. Jeff says:

    We all know you are just doing this so you don’t have to update bauercount.com, just break down and get comcast already! :-p

  3. Kramer says:

    You need to submit this to The Consumerist.

  4. vanlandw says:

    If I hit a month that is my plan Kramer. I’m also going to type up a cleaned up version of this and send to any management I am able to find. Just wait till I post my update from today.

  5. chouse says:

    this is completely mind boggling. i bet if uverse was available or you signed up for it you’d have a different experience. seems if you aren’t a uverse customer, they don’t care that much. I had to wait a month for the install but it was done in 2 hours and the couple times i called with a question or problem they bent over backwards in politeness, it was sickening. They were almost begging for more opportunities to please me. sorry vanlandw :(

  6. vanlandw says:

    chouse – to be honest the reps I’ve spoke with have been about 50/50 in regards to helpfulness. The woman that came to my place today was fantastic at her job. Got everything working, came up to my place waited for me to go though the setup process and confirmed I was able to connect. She also gave me three numbers to contact her with directly if I have any problems within the next couple weeks. Mostly the lower tier people were who I was having problems with. AT&T really doesn’t have a clue how many times I’ve had to call to get this taken care of and how long of a wait it’s been.

    I’ll type up more in my hopefully last update to this stupid post. It’s been a tech saga if there’s ever been one.

  7. Ferro says:

    I cannot believe how similar our stories are… This is absolutely a shameful experience we are both having to go through. Granted, you seem to be much further along in your quest to having the Internet you have paid for. I will spare you my back story, but I am on week two of this debacle. I have never had a steady blinking or or solid green dsl light yet. I fear this is going to take another two weeks to resolve.

    I have noticed that ATT will not “complete” orders until Friday. The only department that can offer help only works when I work and am not at home to help troubleshoot. You thank the lord when you get a rep who is actually helpful.

    I cannot believe how many times I have called to try and resolve this. I am at the point of there is nothing short of giving me a few free months of Internet to satisfy what I have been put through.

    Thanks to my neighbors for having a somewhat strong, unsecured wifi signal ;)

  8. JH_Ansley says:

    I am having this same problem and I’ve been a long time customer. It took them days to determine that maybe it was my modem. Got the new modem today and still have a red Internet light. My service has been down since last Tuesday and about a month ago my line went down. I believe that my problem has to do with my line but of course the c/s people read their que cards and won’t listen to you. I’ve talked to several reps and they’re nice but it’s almost like talking to a recorder.

    . . .don’t know what I’m gonna do . . .pretty upset right about now.

  9. cechg says:


    I noticed the other day that you now have an xbox360. delightful. perhaps we can play a game or two one of these days?


  10. vanlandw says:


    Hit me up sometime dude. What do you want to play? I have halo 3 but no GoW. I’m always up for some gaming I don’t have shit else to do.


  11. Jeff says:

    This post is way too long to only have a comment link at the top. :-p

    Also, the best you can hope for with 6mbp dsl is about 4.5mbp under ideal conditions. If you drop to 3mbp expect to see your bandwith drop below 2mbp

  12. lleslie says:

    I can believe it……your story is now my life in kc. Although my story started May 18th with of course a phone call to set up both phone and dsl service. Appt made for may 21st with the insistance I be there. I am where I am suppose to be but no tech. Called around 5pm and like you say nice people answer the phone told me to wait till 8pm. Of course 8 came and went called cs and got recording since 8pmis 1 hour after most cs people go home.Recording said my service was complete ….. called another number and got India (seems at&t outsources cs – go figure) was told to call next day but I should have my service ugggg. Called friday cs told me oh should be by 8 today…sound familiar? hum….called again friday after no service … got India again and was told since I did not get my service conntected Friday they would see me Tuesday….omg!!! So holiday weekend right? yeah getting ready to leave for BBQ on a SUNDAY and get a phone call that my tech was on his way…..seems att likes to screw both customers and it’s employees. Tech was real nice and gave me another number to call for cs. Well after 2 1/2 of his interrupting my holiday bbq my phone is now on….didn’t really care about the phone I have my cell right… Tech told me I should have my dsl service by tuesday….Well as you may have guessed Tuesday comes and no service…..call cs AGAIN and got yet another nice lady who was really trying to help me…oh must mention by this time I have had no less tha what 50 I sorries….ug don’t say it show it …not no can do….well this last csr Robin stayed with me on the phone did not transfer and would come back on the like to check on me…finally came back on the line and you could hear in her voice she hit a brick wall…she assured me I would get a 24 hr call back and I would hear from sombody Wednesday…Well agaiin 24 hrs came and went and had me calling and spending more of my time on hold with att. So I get yet another dept and dept supervisor and was told my “ticket” was starting over and actually had the nerve to give me an appointment 5 days away. OMG I say you actually have the nerve to tell me another 5 days???? I would be embarrassed if I had to tell someone that after screwiing them for so long…but this rep had no problem telling me that…..ugggg I have screamed till I am horse nowuuggggg. Oh I did get a $75.00 credit….but so that’s nothing compared to what I have had to endure. After 18 different customer service reps (only one rude one and his name is BRIAN)I did end up with a retention dept and told kevin that while on my hours of hold I called my local cable company and was told I could add dls (roadrunner) for only $13.00 and some change as I could bundle my cable and my dsl..he didn’t care. But like you say it becomes a mission and I want to see how long it takes by now. A month? it’s a sickness huh…oh my, I made need some xanex….so now I get to bend over and take if for another week…I don’t figure I will have dsl by 6/1 anyway….This saga continues…….I will keep you posted as well

  13. [...] with my AT&T DSL Service. If you are new to vanlandw.com or need a refresher here is my three week plus saga of getting my service setup though AT&T from February/March [...]

  14. miniillusionscar says:

    I feel your pain. I am going on 1 month 3 days of just trying to get their validation system updated so I can even receive my modem. 2 engineers have been out to verify that yes I can get uverse service. Website took order only to get email saying to call just to be told nope not happening. The screwed up thing is I have no other choice where I live, it this or sat internet and that only works half the time. So yea att needs to train their people better and I am sending my sittuation and any others I find on the net to their corporatw office hoping they will fix all this so nobody else has to go through waiting a moth for service or longer.

  15. Crazy In Ca says:

    I was nearly been driven mad by these folks. Certainly in no ways as bad as you. When a human actually made it to my house after 2 days of waiting 12 hours at home … the first day was a no-show and no-call to announce the no-show…the guy actually fixed my problem. But before this I went through an absolute idiot in India and a friendly but daft guy in Missouri who had me incorrectly scheduled for an appointment no one came to . When I finally got a person in the area I live in , in CA things happened !

  16. stacycatherine says:

    What did this woman do to fix your internet? I’m tech savy and having the exact same problems with the ATT router but they can’t come out to fix for over a MONTH!!! Yikes! My kids do school online, we can’t take a month off.. please share, I can fix it myself if someone tells me what to do. Thanks! Stacy

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