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We have been having some serious issues with our AT&T service, so here is a record of the latest “repair ticket” that has been created to solve our problems.

To make things easier to understand, I want to give a list of locations and descriptions (going from local to regional):

  1. Our House
  2. The junction box in the neighbor’s yard for our house
  3. The junction in another neighbor’s yard for many houses
  4. The Street Junction Box
  5. The Central Office, AT&Ts link to the Internet

Day One – Visit One: Monday, June 5th, 2006
A “DSL” technician comes out and runs a test. Determines that our maximum speed is set too low, we are not that far away from Location 5 (allowing us to get higher speeds than if we were farther away), we are getting errors in the DSL line, and the errors are due to a problem in the incoming telephone line. A second technician, a “line” technician, is scheduled to come out Tuesday.

Day Two – Visit Two: Tuesday, June 6th, 2006
A “Line” technician comes out and examines the telephone lines from Location 2 to our house. He determines that the line problem is due to the shier number of jacks in the house. He schedules a “DSL” technician to come out and install a splitter and a direct line from Location 2 to a single outlet in the house. The technician forgets ladder and retrieves it Thursday morning.

Day Three: Wednesday, June 7th, 2006
Although the technician is instructed to call my cell phone before he arrives, or after he arrives, no call is made. The dispatch center calls me to inform me a technician came out and could not access what he needed to access.

Day Four – Visit Three: Thursday, June 8th, 2006
A “DSL” technician comes out at 11:00 AM, although they were scheduled to come in the afternoon. The dispatch center calls me when he arrives at the house; I was at Bally’s. I tell the dispatch I would come home within 20 minutes. On my way back from Bally’s (8 min away) I pass an AT&T truck and found out it was the technician that was scheduled to come to fix our DSL. The technician comes to the house. He tests many things and spends 20 minutes at the neighbor’s house where at Location 2. He determines that the problem is originating from the incoming line from ATT (Location 3 or Higher). A fourth visit is scheduled; this time it is scheduled as a vendor meet where both a “DSL” and “Line” tech will come and complete the maintenance.

Learning Experience:
One thing I have learned is that the $13-14 a month for DSL is not going to service and support. And it is not going to the connection its self, it’s slower than hell. I think the monthly fee is going to all the re-branding that AT&T is carrying out using many forms of advertising while they change their name from SBC to AT&T. They are changing their name because AT&T has more “credibility and a better image”. Why do they need to spend money re-branding if the brand they are changing to supposedly is already better?

Day Five – Visit Four: Friday, June 9th, 2006
A “Vendor Meet” occurs where the one technician or two technicians can fix any line or DSL problems between themselves. This time, a cross trained technician comes out with his manager.

At first they want access to Location 2. Then they decide that they also want access to Location 3. To get access to either location, all they need to do is hop over a fence; I don’t think they even needed a ladder. But they thought it was “un safe” and I agreed it may not be 100% safe to jump over. So we go to the neighbor’s house where Location 3 is. The nanny is there, and tells us that the home owner will be back in 10 minutes. Before the home owner arrives, the technician decides to go to Location 4. He spends more than 20 minutes there; meanwhile the home owner comes for Location 3, and tells me that AT&T can come over whenever the need to, but she will only be there for half an hour.

The technician calls me and tells me the problem is defiantly at Location 5, and a different repair crew will repair that. (Do you think I believe that Location 5 is really the problem?) I talk to him for a while, and he tells me that they will most likely fix the problem at Location 5 Friday afternoon, night, or some time Saturday.

The internet stops working for many hours till late Friday night.

Day Six: Saturday, June 10th, 2006
I call AT&T and ask them the status. They say that it is not complete, and nobody will be able to repair anything till Monday, regardless of what was told to me on Friday.

Day Seven: Sunday, June 11th, 2006
AT&T sends us numerous e-mails saying that the repair has been completed; at least 5 e-mails by 10:00 AM. Paul (My uncle) calls to check the status. We are told that all the repairs are completed. We still have speed problems, and it seems like there has been no changes even though AT&T says all repairs have been completed. We try many things, and we still can’t get passed 650 Kbps downstream.

We are told there is nothing else we can do, and the ticket is left open for 24 hours to see if we have any more problems.

An hour later, the internet has problems connecting and goes really slow. I call back and am told that Location 5 has been fixed (keep in mind I was told on Saturday that it would not be fixed till Monday), but they need to come out to our house to install a splitter; the same splitter that should have been installed Thursday.

Day Eight: Monday, June 12th, 2006
A technician came out to fix our lines. After talking to the neighbor’s baby sitter, and getting the neighbor to come home and let us in the back, the technician started work on Location 3. Then he moved on to Location 2. We spend about an hour outside doing random things to the line, and I think he ended up changing the line to a different pair of wires. Who knows? I wouldn’t even believe what he would tell me, so I makes no difference. After all of that he said that our line is still having problems.

He left and said that another person will have to work on something and come out Tuesday.

Day Nine: Tuesday, June 13th, 2006
The internet and phone stopped working for a few hours in the morning. After calling the corporate customer service, we determined that they were doing maintenance on our line. Later in the day someone called and told us that everything was all taken care of and fixed.

I did a speed test, and we were still only able to receive ~650 KBps. He asked me to call him if we had any more problems. I told him the single next problem we have will make us switch every communications service we have with AT&T to RCN. That included internet and phone.

He also told me that they are changing our plan from the premium to the basic since we can’t reach the 3MB speeds where we are. I told him we never signed up for the premium at it should originally have been the basic. We still can’t get basic speeds. I don’t car what the fine print says; If the speed is advertised at 1.5 MBps max and 386 KBps, min, I expect to get 1.5 MBps at most times, and only slower if the internet is congested. I don’t know where I was going with that, but they signed us up for the wrong plan in the beginning. It is just more lying and deception in my opinion.

Today
The good, or bad news depending on how you look at it, is that our internet and phone have not had any problems since day nine. What I still don’t understand is why it took so many people so many trips and so many days to correct our problem. My rating of AT&T right now is still 1-2 stars out of 10. They have slow connections, crappy service, and waste tremendous amounts of money on branding and advertising. What they need to do is work on their customer service and product quality. I will probably never do business with AT&T unless I am required to by my employer.

The End
FYI:
AT&T Advanced DSL customer support phone number is 866-583-2494

That’s the end to that long saga of my life.

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