Jul 7, 2009
This was a post I really didn’t want to write and almost talked myself out of but really more of these posts need to be made. Here I am at my home for the EIGHTH straight day not having service pathetically stealing internet from my neighbors to write about my frustrations 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 2009.
This post is going to be different then the last one. Fully expecting my setup to take ages I wanted to have a full account chronically of the experience. After going about three months with no issues at all my rage subsided and was “OK” with my service. From when I finally got my service setup I had no problems other then not hitting the advertised speeds I’m paying for. Running bandwidth tests I was never able to reach even 3MBPS even though I was paying a premium for 6MBPS.
..and it begins..
Everything started last Monday June 29th. After some “mild” weather I came home from work and noticed my internet was down. Not thinking much of it at the time I didn’t bother calling support thinking it could have been due to the weather. Tuesday June 30th my service was not returned in the morning and again I didn’t think much of it. Driving to work I saw three AT&T trucks within an eighth of a mile from my home. Drove to work assuming my problems would be all fixed by the time I got home.
Clearly everybody has to know where this story is going, got home no service. At this point I decided to contact support and get the ball rolling. Called the “general” support number at about 7:50pm. After about a 15min wait time I got on the line with a CST. When he got on the line I told him exactly what I’ve tried (everything anybody with any sort of tech knowledge would try before calling) and I also informed him of my previous issues (I would assume their first level would have access to my entire call history) ON TOP of telling him about the trucks in my area. I gave him EVERYTHING he should need to get my problem fixed and to the right support team. This turned into about a 30 min + conversation of typical tech support. Ran me though modem reboots and actually had the audacity to have me “blow into the phone jack” while I was on the phone with him. Flat out I said “I’m not going to do that” proceeded to use compressed air just to keep things moving. After doing everything he asked me to do (and yes I understand this is their job and I did not give this tech any exorbitant amounts of crap) he finally put in a trouble ticket to the “line support” team. Mostly I believe this is transferring me from foreign support to american support.
About 15 mins after getting off the line with “support one” I got transfered to “support two”. Actually an automated call was placed to my phone that I missed then had to call customer care and wait on hold for another 15 mins. The first guy couldn’t give a shit about my frustration but the second guy was very sympathetic (actually all the AT&T people non first level I’ve interacted with are very very good more on this later) and worked with me to setup a time to have a tech come to my place. Most of the time I’ve been thinking my problems were outside the house or in the lines and was positive it wasn’t a problem in my place. Support two said I would need to be home for the tech appointment and they had no times after 4:45p. Sadly I was working all week early morning late afternoon so I would need to make an appointment for Saturday 4th of July. AKA your not going to have service for four days. Overall my first support interaction took me an 1.5 hours of hold’s and tech talk time.
Four Days Later: Saturday Fourth of July. The tech called me after morning breakfast said he was on his way. He was VERY good at his job and again very sympathetic of my situation. Before calling me to check the house he did his job outside and needed to check the basement. Looking at my line he said that “I wasn’t getting a signal from central”. Now this is where I got pist not at the tech but just at AT&T in general. How in the FUCK don’t they know they have a hardware failure like this? I’m not a server room tech I don’t know how ISP’s work but seriously give me a break. The guy said he was going to go down to “central” and see if somebody can fix the issue. Understanding this is a holiday I assumed nothing would be done but he would call me with an update. An hour later he said he submitted a ticket with “roving support” to fix the issue at “central” and more or less I would be down till Monday. I was ok with that as I was leaving the house for the holiday and left it at that. The tech was great he gave me the number to his manager confirmed my ticket would stay open and again was very helpful.
Monday July 6th. Came home after work at 4:45p and found my service was STILL not restored. Did the typical (modem reboots reconnects blinking red DSL light). First called the managers number and left a very detailed and respectful message including names ticket numbers and my overall issue. Next I called “customer” care. 10min wait and got a hold of a lady that couldn’t care less about seven days of service outage. She told me my ticket was closed on Sunday and I received no follow up. I told her explicitly my issue and that I was disappointed with lack of follow up and asked if I would receive follow up on my second ticket. She told me that everything was “automated’ could give me no reassurances. She told me a bunch of BS about having my issue looked at right away and I totally called her out on it (again I wasn’t a dick) asking if I would receive a callback tonight and pretty much she said to call back after 2pm tomorrow if the problem wasn’t fixed. So pretty much another incident was opened thrown in the back of the queue to rot while I get over charged on service that hasn’t worked for a week that from the start I’ve been told is an issue at “central” they cannot fix for me. UGH
Tuesday July 7th 2009: Ok well here I am posting my frustration with my service still not fixed. I believe I’m at my final straw with AT&T. After posting this I’m going to call my FINAL time to get status on my issue. My DSL light is still blinking red and I’ve recently tried a power cycle to no differences. I’m going to call customer care to check the status. I’m not going to give them till 2pm because I understand how support works that just affords them another day to fix your issue it’s not like things are magically fixed that customers need to wait till 2pm. Also 16 hours later this “Manager” has not called me back but I just assume he’s on PTO or something not shocking. OK here we go…calling customer care for status then asking to be transfered to the billing department to make sure I’m not getting charged for this outage and if I don’t like how this call goes I’m going to ask to be transfered to the “cancel your service” department.
UPDATE 1: July 7th 2009: About 20 mins after posting this I received a call back from “Chris” the “manager” I called previously to find an update on my service. Had him on the phone for about two minutes. He was pretty much a cut the chase guy. Asked me for my ticket number and that he would check into it and get back with me. That was about 11a and he called me back after 3p. I got back in return pretty much what I expected knowing how segmented AT&T support is. He said the problem is on the “DSL Provisioning side” and that “the central office is not providing a DSL signal” to my house. Knowing he works with the techs that come to people’s houses it makes sense his guys couldn’t fix it and I understood.
As I said earlier the weirdest thing was just how SEGMENTED their support is. He kept saying there was nothing he could do and nobody else he could get me in contact with other then the Customer Care number for a status update. Telling a paying customer who hasn’t had service for eight days “it maybe an internal thing they are working on” is pretty much bullshit. For the most part this was a dead end and to be honest I received more then I expected in a callback.
Immediately after getting off the phone with “Chris” I decided to call back the Customer Care number again to check the status of my WO. Waited on hold 10 mins (keep in mind I’m doing this during work time on the SILM hopes of having this taken care of today as nothing will come close to getting done after 5p) and got what sounded like a helpful and competent gentleman. Again explained my situation and my downtime and gave him my current WO number. I was put on hold twice and he apparently made some calls. After it was all said and done he said “it should be a couple of hours and you should be all set”. I also specifically requested a call back multiple times provided my callback number requesting knowledge of the resolution. It’s been almost three hours and have not heard back (not that I was expecting to but I figured it would make something interesting to write here).
For some reason I believe I relish in the pain of all this. Tonight I should be home late and right now I’m at my last straw. For the most part I’m not going to deal with this issue tomorrow and Thursday so for the most part they have a free pass till Friday morning mostly because it’s taking to much time to deal with them and I won’t have that time the next few days. Tonight I will post another update with my findings and I will make sure to post the thrilling Finale on Friday. Seriously this is pathetic AT&T should be ashamed of themselves.
Update 2 August 6th: Yeah I regret not posting the finale to my AT&T Nightmare. Mostly I got fed up of the time sink thinking, writing, and dealing with AT&T was becoming. Ultimately I was able to get my service restored. Rather then account everything it took about 10 days and two tech visits to decide it was an issue at the “central office”. A few weeks after that I had another single day of downtime that only required three phone calls and one tech visit to get repaired. If I had more time to deal with this and if I could find a good deal on another provider I would switch without reservation. AT&T had done nothing to earn my business and in the month of July I had over 10 days of downtime that I was fully charged for. Honestly it’s not worth the effort to do anything about this anymore.
The only thing I’m curious oabout anymore is if anybody has any “inside knowledge” about how AT&T’s internal support structure works or if anybody can provide me firm knowledge of what the “central office” is. Mostly I’m just worried about ongoing issues at this location and would like to know as much as possible. If anybody reading can give me any information I would find it very interesting. Also if any random readers have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact me I would be more then happy to share my full experience and help if requested. brb