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AT&T Sucks...and this is just one reason why.

Posted by Killercod , in Rants and Raves 03 September 2011 · 706 views

I'm writing this blog post to vent, but also in the hopes that somewhere in cyberspace it will be picked up and cataloged by search engines and spread like a virus...to warn others of the evil corporation that AT&T is: their service sucks, their customer service sucks, most of their technicians, linemen, IR techs, and supervisors suck...and in general they just suck as a whole.

My story begins around June...no names have been changed to protect the guilty. Admitedly my timeline may be a little off, but for the most part it's accurate I believe.

June 2011, I decided to give AT&T's Uverse service a try. I've been a lifelong landline phone customer with them, and I've been a DSL broadband customer since it was made available in my area around June 2006. Uverse had just been announced about a month ago, and I had high hopes that whatever bugs or issues it had in my area had been worked out by now. Phone, TV, and internet all in one nice neat little package with a speed boost to boot!

I was wrong...so terribly wrong...

Technician and a lineman show up on time on a Friday morning for my install. I'd taken off from work that day so I'd be at home. The lineman actually ran new wire from the road to my house, said it had some kind of problem and they wanted to make sure everything would work right (LMAO!). My installer, DAVE, goes about his business and gets everything up and working in about 3 hours. He even went under my house and replaced the old phone line with a new CAT5 cable so the iNet box and the Gateway could talk without issues (another LMAO). Dave finishes up and hands me the remote, gives me his phone number if I have an issue, and off we go!

Sometime later that night, something goes wrong...

Saturday morning my TV starts pixelating and freezing up, and I loose phone and internet connectivity. The service comes and goes whenever it wants to...sometimes the phone and internet work (barely), sometimes they don't. TV is done...it's either frozen and pixelated or just looses signal all the way.

I called Dave, just like he told me to! Dave told me that he couldn't do anything about my problem...and that I needed to call the 800 number and file a repair ticket. Needless to say, I wasn't very happy with Dave...he lied to me! Why give me your phone number and tell me to call you if you're not going to do a damn thing when I do?

Fine...I call the 800 number, spend about an hour on the phone between the robot, the hold time, the transfer, and the bullshit troubleshooting script they force you to go through. I get my repair ticket...THE GOLDEN TICKET! Technician is supposed to be at my house on Sunday between 12 noon and 4pm.

So, install, I get one nights service, and I'm out for basically two days. Not good...but it gets WORSE!

About 2pm Sunday I get a call from an AT&T robot, who tells me that my repair service has been DELAYED, but that the technician should be onsite no later than 6pm. Wow...great service there. Time rolls on...six PM comes and goes...NO PHONE CALL, NO AT&T TECHNICIAN.

I'm pissed off, but I figure what the hell, it's Sunday...maybe they got tied up and had to roll the problem over to Monday and I just didn't get notified. I'm trying to be reasonable, I'm trying to be a good little lemming for the folks at AT&T...I drank the kool aid, I should give them a chance...right?

Monday morning comes, and I'm confident that someone will be at my house first thing to handle my problem! I leave for work...my wife calls about two hours later...not a word, not a sign, not a THING from AT&T. What the fuck...?

I call the 800 number, speak to the robot, he puts me on hold while my blood is boiling over. The phone monkey picks up, transfers me once as is custom, and I'm talking to the tech support folks at Uverse now. I'm pissed off, I ask for a supervior, I want to know why the tech didn't show up yesterday, and why I wasn't the first house on the roster for a truck to be at today? I get bullshit for answers, nobody is responsible, nobody is accountable. Unfortunately for me, the soonest they can get a tech out to my house is TOMORROW (Tuesday). I'm so pissed off I can barely talk at this point. Not that it matters, the zombie on the other end of the line could give a shit less, and I know that. I take some more blood pressure medications and wait for Tuesday...

Tuesday morning bright and early the AT&T truck shows up (boy was I surprised)! I think this guys name was Robert Taylor. I've called out from work this morning to handle my issues, so this is now about 8 hours of my time I've invested in being onsite for the technicians since my install, and I've got about 2 more hours invested in holding on the phone time. Technician goes through and does his dance...replaced the iNET box (this is #2 so far) and says something wasn't grounded correctly. He checks all the other equipment, I'm back up and running again (for now). He puts in a trouble ticket for the all mysterious, all powerful LINEMEN to look at my problem just to be safe. Robert gives me his cell phone number, tells me to call if I have any more trouble!

I get almost four (4) days of relatively troublefree service. Every once and a while I notice the pixelation in my TV, but it is brief and infrequent...I can settle for that.

Sunday morning, I wake up to no service. TV has no signal, phone and internet are either slow or intermittent.

Like an idiot, I call Robert! He actually answers the phone, and he sounds concerned! He says he can't get out there today, but that he AND his supervisor will come out late Monday and get the problem fixed one way or another.

I believed him...

I even called on Monday and got his voicemail. I reminded him of our conversation and told him I'd see him that afternoon. I made arrangements to come home early (another 2 hours of lost work time) so I could be there.

GUESS WHAT?!?! Yep...noone shows up. I'm so fucking pissed off at that point I figured that calling Robert was a useless gesture. I call the 800 number, talk to the robot, wait on hold, get transfered, and about an hour later I have yet another GOLDEN TROUBLE TICKET for someone to come out and look at my awesome UVERSE service. Been a customer for 10 days, have a grand total of about 4 1/2 days of uninteruppted service by this point.

Why do these AT&T employees give you thier cell phone and tell you to call them, then they don't do a fucking thing when you do?

Why does AT&T make appointments with you that noone shows up for, then they expect YOU to follow up with THEM to make sure THEY do thier job and send someone else?

At this point my memory hazes over as we fall into a routine which I sadly participate in for about two months. I have a few days of service, it stops working, I call the 800 number, talk to the robot, talk to the tech support, get a ticket, they send someone who comes out and pokes around my house, replaces equipemnt, and then tells me it's someone elses problem. They then supposedly file another golden ticket with the illusive LINEMAN and the IR TECHS who allegedy do some magical thing behind the curtain like the Wizard of Oz. I say allegedly because whatever they are doing doens't fix a damn thing...at least not for me, over the last two months. I've got all these names scribbled down on my original Uverse channel guide: Shannon, Robert, Dave, Brett, Jason, and John Carr...supervior over the inside techs for my area. John is a special story I'll get to shortly...

While I'm thinking about it, let me tell you that I've discovered that AT&T has taken most of it's support business model from Al Qadea!!! Aparently, AT&T is arranged much like Al Qadea in that their workers are divided into these cells that don't or can't talk to each other, the inside techs can't talk to the linemen, and I don't think the IR techs talk to any of these other folks. This is much like terrorist cells that don't know who the other terrorists are so they can't rat on them if they get caught. The linemen and IR techs aparently also don't have supervisors or answer to anyone within the AT&T business structure...they are kinda like the CIA in that they exist above and outside the organization aparently. They don't talk to mere mortal customers nor can a mere mortal customer speak with anyone in any position of authority over these mysterious shadow people. The inside techs file mysterious tickets with these folks who then may or may not do anything, whenever they get ready to. They never tell you what they did (not that it matters) and they don't have to tell you when they may or may not be doing it. I wish my job were like that...

But I digress: back to the recent past. After several visits (I think around six or seven) over a two month period, I finally ask for and get the attention of John Carr, the supposed supervisor over the inside technicians in my area. I think to myself HOT DAMN, my preserverence and persistance has paid off...now I got THE BOSS coming to my house. Boss man has to leave the office, some shit is going to get fixed! Boss Man John shows up with Jason, and they are working hard for about four or five hours at my house. They replace just about everything except the TV cabling, the battery backup box, and the TV recievers. They're on the phone talking to people, they're on the iPad chatting with people. HELL YEAH! This is what I'm talking about...SERVICE! They are talking to linemen, talking about port swaps and replacing wiring along my road and checking something in "the box" down the street and I'm so filled with hope that this is the day that my Uverse service will work forever after. They finish thier work, Bossman John Carr gives me his cell phone number and tells me to call him if I have a problem and that we're going to work together to get this service issue SOLVED once and for all! I hear angels singing in the distance, I hear the hallelujah chorus, the sun shines brightly on my face and warms my heart. I'm thinking rainbows and unicorns...

I think that was on a Friday. By Sunday, no service again. TV loses signal or pixelates and locks up, phone and internet are intermittent or not working at all. I call John Carr, he's on it! Gets me a technician that day, the tech comes out, pokes around, files a ticket with the allmighty linemen and IR techs behind the curtain. Service comes back, I notice a little pixelation, I call John Carr...he assures me that it's probably just a problem somewhere futher down the line and assures me that the magical linemen and IR techs have done their job and fixed my problem...but he says he will consult with those Gods again just to make double sure.

I get about 10 more days of service this time.

Today, I wake up, and once again, just like only hours after my original installation...I have no TV service, and my internet and home phone aren't working right. Wow...just.......wow.

I call JOHN CARR, and he absolutely ignores me. I called one of the other six techs that has been out to my house, he's stunned to hear from me and tells me he's going to call John to get me some help. John never calls me back. NOW I KNOW WHERE HIS EMPLOYEES GET THAT TRICK FROM! Sure, give the customer your number, make them feel better, give them that false sense of security that someone human actually cares about your problems...and then FUCK THEM if they call you! HAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHHA! The jokes on them...SUCKERS!

Fortunately, by this point, I had talked with the the galactic senate and we decided to have a vote of no confidence in Supervisor John. When he didn't call me within the hour, I decided to call the 800 number. Talk to the robot, get transfered a couple of times, and get myself one of those fancy little trouble tickets filed again for the seventh or eighth time. I also went ahead and since I was going to spend yet another day on this problem anyway...talked to the customer service department and basically told them that I wasn't going to pay another Uverse bill for this kind of service. I made an appointment to have my old DSL service reinstated. They asked me if I wanted to have a home phone line with that and I told them no, my verizon and sprint cell phones work just fine. They asked me if I'd like to bundle some DirecTV service with them again and I said no, I'd rather have Dish Network at this point.

I told them that basically, unfortuantely, AT&T has a monopoly in my area and they are the ONLY broadband internet provider other than HughesNet satelite service. So, given the choice between the devil or the deep blue sea, I chose the devil for that. But I'm not ever going to have any other kind of service with AT&T ever again. And the first comapny that offers real working broadband internet on my road besides them, I'll be gone from that too.

They transfer me to the Uverse department so we can coordinate the DSL service start date with a Uverse disconnection. The guy on the phone sounds so concerned about my problem, asks me if he can please call someone with thier TIER 3 tech support and see if we can just get this problem assigned to someone up there and give them a chance to resolve this issue once and for all.

I told him that I ran out of AT&T kool aid about a month ago, I no longer believe. There is no spoon, I'm a red pill now. I've freed my mind and jacked out of the matrix, Lord Vader finds my lack of faith disturbing...but sure...go ahead and we'll give that a try too. While you're at it, see if you can ship me out some ruby red slippers in size 12 wide...I'll try anything.

We sit on hold for about 10 minutes and noone answers his call. I guess they belong to that other terrorist cell, one of the cells that live above and outside the organization that don't or can't talk to anyone. Oh well, he says that he will call me just as soon as someone answers the phone over there. If we can get this fixed, just call back and cancel your appointments. I thank him as we part ways with my DSL service awaiting (re)install on September 14 and the end of my Uverse service pending the same day.

He does call back, basically tells me that the super secret high speed low drag TIER 3 tech support can't look at my issue while a service ticket is pending!!! I'm trying to control my urge to scream obcenities or burst out into laughter like a stoner who is watching the muppet show. He tells me that if the tech that is coming today doesn't solve the problem to call him back and we'll get the SUPER MEGA ULTRA TIER 3 squad on the case. I tell him thanks, but I'm not calling back anymore. It's not my job to make sure that AT&T provides me with service that works. If they can't work and communicate together behind the scenes to save a customer...then they just really don't need me paying them every month anyway.

A couple of hours later Jason comes back out, he's one of two technicians that has been to my house twice in the last two months, and he's a decent guy. I can't be mad at him, he's just a cog in the wheel...and he genuinely wants to fix my problem. The only problem with that is, that his super powers only exist on my property. Once we get out to the side of the road on the pole, he's just a mere mortal like me...at the mercy of the Legion of Doom...or the linemen and IR techs...whatever you wanna call them. Jason works hard on my problem for almost four hours. He replaced EVERYTHING IN MY HOUSE ONE MORE TIME...I mean everything too: the iNet box, the gateway, the battery backup, the DVR and TV recievers, the coax cable under the house, the splitter...EVERYTHING! He files yet another magical mystical golden ticket with the unknowing, unseen, uncaring powers that be beyond my property line. I'm filled with confidence that they will finally after two months actually fix something (not really, I'm just playing with you now...I don't even think AT&T has linemen or IR techs...it's just a clever ruse to make you feel better, like the phone number trick that John and his people do).

I got to watch about an hour of TV before I had to go out shopping with the wife. Got back home, it's frozen and locked up again. It comes, it goes...and I just really don't care any more. I hope and pray that sometime over the last two months that AT&T has not managed to fuck up the DSL service I used to have: the service I had since 2006 and have had to call them about maybe once a year for some kind of silly issue on. The service that ACTUALLY WORKS on my road. Please, if there is a God...I beg of you, return my DSL service to me like Moses returned your children to the promised land...Amen.

So... :)

During the two months +/- on this Homers Odyssey, this trip through Dante's Inferno as it was:

  • Six or Seven different technicians have come to my house
  • An unknown number of linemen or IR techs have performed secret magic behind the scenes
  • Three AT&T bucket trucks have been involved here: the original one that ran the line from the pole to my house on install day, and two more that ran line on my road from the state highway down past my house
  • My iNet box has been replaced six (6) times
  • My residential gateway has been replaced three (3) times
  • My battery backup unit has been rewired once and replaced once
  • The DVR and receivers in my house have been replaced once
  • ALL the wiring in my house from the iNet box into the brand new jack they installed and all the TV coax cable has been replaced once
  • The splitter on the the coax TV lines has been replaced twice
  • Estimated amount of time spend on hold or on the phone with AT&T the past two months: maybe 8 hours or more?
  • Estimated amount of work time or personal time I've lost dealing with technicians and such: at least 24 hours of my life total
  • Grand total of semi-working service days in the two months of since my install: maybe three weeks and some change all together

And still, I have no reliable and consistant service...?

I post this as both a rant and a warning: AT&T sucks. Feel free to repost this, spread it like the gospel! Better yet, if you know someone who works for AT&T in a supervisory or management role, tell them to read this! Maybe they can get a laugh out of it at thier next staff meeting or stockholder/shareholders meeting or something...who knows?

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Manny Llanno
Sep 18 2011 09:53 AM
I was an IR tech tech till 3 weeks ago, now I am the almighty lineman!! muhaha!

You are/were on what we call bonded uverse. They take two uverses make them work together as one because you live too far from the 'the box' (VRAD). These babies have twice the chances to fail.

There are many reasons why your stuff did not work. But if I had to take a guess at it it was a defective section of cable that had a decent amount of loss on it and when the signal at your inid was borderline to pass but not good enough to be trouble free. The lineman, IR techs and their bosses know exactly where the trouble is, but the engineers dont want to spend money to replace a defective section.

I just moved and at my new house they offered me bonded uverse. suffice it to say i have Time Warner for my internet and direct tv.
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Wondered when we would hear from you on this Manny :P

Here's a hint to take to your bosses

Basic Economics 101

Provide fast, efficient service at a decent price

If they don't want to spend the money to correct their own mistakes, they will never get a good rep and will never get more customers.

I cut off at&t 20 years ago for poor customer service and lack of caring and haven't looked back since. I talked all my family members into doing the same thing :)

Sorry, but thats business.
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Manny Llanno
Sep 21 2011 08:22 PM
It took me sometime to notice this post hence the delay ;)

When I used to work for Bellsouth they operated under the assumption that you can never have too good of customer service. If comcast CS was a 4 on a scale , then Bellsouth would be a 10. 90% of my customers said so. when ATT bought us out, first step was to reduce the amount of technicians in the field and reduce capital expenditure not related to Uverse down almost to zero. I heard from my managers that Att says they dont need to be the best by a long shot, as long as they are a just a tad above Comcast that is good enough. Now 90% of my customers tell me ATT sucks.
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Oh boy, I figured it was bad, but not THAT bad. Sorry to hear that Manny :( I truly hope they change their company Motto from "we are ok with being ok" to " Lets strive to be the best".
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1.) Is your TV okay? I didn't see that you tried a different TV, maybe it's a older model or just a POS? I bought a Panasonic 55 incher last year, got it home it had pixelation every time I changed the channel. I tried another TV, same Shinazzy. I took it back for a prompt refund and said No Masse!

2. Thank the republicans for allowing monopolies to control rural broad-band service. They crafted the legislation that way, while also preventing small towns and cities to provide wifi or broadband to its citizens as a utility like electric or water. While out in Blacksburg, VA, there were new town homes and homes that had 1 choice of broad-band, they sucked, I knew it, and didn't move because of it.

3. Revenge is a dish that goes good with greens. AT&T pays a 5% dividend, and the stock is a slow grow like VZ and other utilities. Buy some of their stock, collect the dividend til you are paid in full for your lost time, then sell it for a small profit.

4. These new fiber services I would avoid unless the development was built with them pre-installed. It can be such a mess retrofitting complexes with the new technology, I just stick with tried and true cable, paying out the ass for channels I don't need to get a fat internet connection. LOLs

Lastly, housing seems to have bottom with small upticks in prices here and there. Rates are low also - time to move to some new digs that have cable!!

Good Luck to you either way, we feel your pain!
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