AT&T, wtf?



  • ah, AT&T. not just WTF - a new WTF, reliably at the end of every month!

    it all started a while back, when I ordered their "Elite"  high speed internet. after numerous calls, an order that they managed to entirely lose somewhere in their system, and a "technician" that they require to come to your place to measure the signal levels (regardless of the fact that the previous tenant was already running ADSL over the same line) who never did his job because he couldn't access the terminal box on the property -- after all this, they finally managed to send a modem and promised to activate it by the end of the week. 

    after about two more weeks, and lots more of angry phonecalls, they actually managed to activate it, too. whee - one of my most basic needs was finally fulfilled!

    for about 2 months, things went well. I never got a bill. 

    then, the first bill arrived. from then on, things quickly went downhill. the first bill wasn't actually that bad - the total was $.00.

    things got worse fast. their service costs $39 per month. I've seen all possible biling amounts other that this. sometimes, the billed amount is $78. sometimes, it's $62.79. or $106.31. or $0.00. sometimes, a rude reminder threatening to disconnect service arrives shortly after the bill - with, you guessed right, yet another billing amount. the billing period changes every month, too. sometimes it starts on the 7th, sometimes the 19th, sometimes the 26th. sometimes I get charged $54.99 for a single day of service.


    oh, and they have an online account overview, too. it's easy to use - you can log in from 5 different places on 2 domains and 3 subdomains! or, at least, you can try - out of the 5 login forms, 3 are broken and just return something along the lines of "an error occured". or "you are not authorized to access this system". one of the forms that is not broken finally takes you to the other one that's not broken, where you can finally log in to the actual account. although sometimes you get an error and have to re-submit the form. after enough tries it usually works. the 'online bill statement' page shows about half a dozen bills. yes - they all have different billing amounts than any paper bills I ever got, and different billing periods too.

    brillant.



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  • what's with the 'artistic' photography? :)

    Does your internet bill have a myspace page?



  • The real WTF is that you're still using them.  Get cable.



  •  I have cable, and was dissatisfied with the complete lack of customer service I was receiving, as well as the high price (I had TV/Internet/Phone), so I decided to shop around. I found that bell (in my area we have two options, one phone - Bell, and one Cable - Rogers) could do pretty much the same thing but for 60 bucks less. I would lose some bandwidth (10 down goes to 7 down), but overall it looked comparable. So I had to give it a try.

     

    Made the order, and with the ever-present snafu's (not a wtf in itself, they're expected at this point), I have to call to get a modem appointment. They tell me that ... a month and a half is their first evening/weekend appointment. Maybe you need to hire more staff? I try 'any time' appointment. Ok, a month and a week now. Yay. Good thing they can just ship me the modem.

    So I get all this set up - to initialize the modem you have to ... load up a fucking internet browser. wtf is that?

    Next, I get it going, and the first thing I do is go to speedtest.net. 2300 down, 478 up. Not quit 7/1. Retest, then call.

    The first brilliant comment I get from the guy is that the package advertises speeds "up to" 7 down. I tell them that that is a fairly liberal use of the terms 'up to', and what, exactly, should I expect if I ordered some of the cheaper packages that advertised speeds "up to" higher than I got?  So I keep jumping through hoops, and find out, low and behold, that I cannot ever exceed 2300 down - I'm too far from the centre. This, after they garunteed me that I could get 7 down / 1up.

    So that was my 20 minute experience with DSL. Never again.

     



  •  Funny, I had it once that AOL Germany blocked my DSL every fortnight because they couln not charge my bank account once. Every four weeks they said that they could not get the money and disabled the account. So far so good. But then they were waiting for the extremely large amount of 0.00€ and of course disabled the account. I changed to another provider and now am auite happy with DSL@16M



  • @Howi said:

    what's with the 'artistic' photography? :)

    Does your internet bill have a myspace page?



  • mrfox, I had the same issues with AT&T when I moved into my apartment.  When I ordered local phone service, somehow or another, I got signed up for the "Elite" phone service.  Imagine my surprise when I recieve the top-tier wireless router/modem at my door with a guy ready to activate my never-ordered DSL connection!  Luckily, I hadn't yet ordered any internet service and was considering DSL anyway, so after a few phone calls, I got it downgraded to the "Regular" service and exchanged the hardware for just a modem (already had a router).

    The next three months were billing nightmares... They double-charged me for the modem/router, but yet, later credited me once, and double-applied some rebates.  They also billed for BOTH the "Elite" service and "Regular" service.  The fortunate thing is the customer service was quite helpful (so long as you call off-peak hours), and they could easily see and make corrections to my account.  But of course, the account system doesn't propagate changes very quickly, as a few weeks later, I was sent a notice for cutting off the service for missed payments.  A few phone calls later, one of the service reps told me that the more they try messing around with accounts, the more mistakes the system makes.  Apparently, the system has various autocorrection measures in place, so external changes aren't very helpful.

    Finally, I just left everything alone (after being guarrenteed by the service rep that my service won't be cut off), and my bill ended up resolving itself after a couple more cycles. 



  • My favorite billing system was Puget Sound Energy's online billing a couple of years ago. After a few months of paying $20, $170, $6, ... etc for power each month, I realized that every time I logged into the payment system, my monthly bill was a different (random?) amount. So I got smart and only payed it when it was a low amount. Hey, if they're going to give me a choice, I choose about 6 bucks.



  • @chadsexington said:

    I have cable, and was dissatisfied with the complete lack of customer
    service I was receiving, as well as the high price (I had
    TV/Internet/Phone), so I decided to shop around. I found that bell (in
    my area we have two options, one phone - Bell, and one Cable - Rogers)
    could do pretty much the same thing but for 60 bucks less.
     

    And now you know why... 



  • @hallo.amt said:

    Funny, I had it once that AOL Germany blocked my DSL every fortnight because they couln not charge my bank account once. Every four weeks they said that they could not get the money and disabled the account.

    I may be misunderstanding you here, but a fortnight is 2 weeks, not 4 weeks. 



  • @mrfox said:

    their service costs $39 per month. I've seen all possible biling amounts other that this. sometimes, the billed amount is $78. sometimes, it's $62.79. or $106.31. or $0.00. sometimes, a rude reminder threatening to disconnect service arrives shortly after the bill - with, you guessed right, yet another billing amount. the billing period changes every month, too. sometimes it starts on the 7th, sometimes the 19th, sometimes the 26th. sometimes I get charged $54.99 for a single day of service.

     Sounds to me like they are trying the new usage based billing on you. ;)

     


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