Get AT&T Dry Loop For $23.99

Thanks to the efforts of the Illinois Citizen’s Utility Board, people all across the Midwest, Southwest California, Nevada and Connecticut, can get AT&T dry loop DSL for only $23.99 (express) or $28.99 (pro), instead of $43.99 or $48.99. But they won’t tell you this through the regular customer service line, because AT&T would really rather you have a landline along with your DSL, and pay more for the privilege. A current AT&T retention rep tells us this is the way to do the discount dry loop dance:

  • Call the AT&T Dry Loop department directly at 888-800-4095
  • Ask to switch to “DSL direct”
  • If they give you a hassle, say it’s a retention offer

Our source this will not work for the Bellsouth region. This tip is untested, but sounds worth the shot.

UPDATE: Reader writes that the speeds are Express 1.5/128-384, Pro 3.0/384-512.

UPDATE: Another AT&T rep writes, “DSL Direct IS available in the BellSouth region (sort of). It is currently only a Save tactic, but it will be offered as a product starting in November, due to the fact that it was part of the FCC’s requirements for approving AT&T-BellSouth deal…to my knowledge, AT&T does not throttle BT traffic in the BellSouth region.”

(Photo: Travis Hornung)

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  1. keylight says:

    Quick question…. Is this only for residential service, or does it apply to business service too?

  2. BritBoy says:

    Kinda hard to claim ‘retention’ when you don’t have an AT&T account, dont you think ?

  3. lesbiansayswhat says:

    I will try this tomorrow. We just signed up for Chicago AT&T DSL with a landline we will never ever use (we do get calls despite never giving it to anyone or telling AT&T to contact us there). If it does work, I wonder how much money they’ll still screw us over for. Thanks for the tip..will report back on results.

  4. morganlh85 says:

    I’ll have to give this a try once my 6-month special with Comcast runs out.

  5. loueloui says:

    Isn’t there supposed to be a ‘naked DSL’ special they’re running for $10 per month as part of the agreement for buying out Bellsouth? I hear Clark Howard talking about it all the time.

  6. Lee Jones says:

    Is the $23.99 / $28.99 before taxes and fees, or is that the “pay this amount” amount?

  7. Christopher says:

    What are the speeds on the two tiers? I’m looking to ditch my local cable modem provider in exchange for DSL, and I’m in an eligible area.

    My current cable modem is 7mbps down/512kbps up, but I’m lucky to see 80% of the advertised speeds lately. It also costs an arm and a leg at $55/mo.

    As an aside, I’ve never understood why DSL providers required landline service. With the massive increase in cellular usage, it seems as though they’re alienating an ever increasing portion of their potential customers. I’m 24 years old, and have never owned a landline, which isn’t uncommon for my generation. But my parents recently got rid of their home landline, and because they couldn’t keep their DSL instead switched to a cable modem. They both already had cell phones, and after realizing that >95% of their calls were through those, there was no monetary reason to keep the landline.

    I know the reason they require landline service is to stagnate the ever declining landline subscribers, but I’d think for every customer they keep with their monopolistic tactics, they loose 5 to cable or EV-DO/HSDPA solutions.

    I think that the only way a landline provider could see a future in the 21st century is to do the same thing cell phone providers did 15 years ago: eliminate the whole local call, long distance call, toll call, Inter-LATA, Intra-LATA call bullshit and just make a call a call… The wires have been in place for over a century, there’s no reason for it to cost that much more to call 100 miles away instead of 10 miles away in this age.

  8. Ben Popken says:

    BigTrue writes:

    “Just called. I live in MI, right outside of Detroit. I was told the 28.99/23.99 is the actual ‘you pay per month’ price, with no additional fees or taxes. Speeds are as follows (down/up)

    express 1.5/128-384
    pro 3.0/384-512

    not the speediest, but I rarely use the full speed of comcast right now, and not getting close to the advertised 6.0 speed anyway. I’d also be paying around 60 bucks for just internet alone. I was probably going to kill the digital cable anyway. I spoke with Scott, and he didn’t give me any problems, even after telling him I’m currently with Comcast. He made it sound like this is offered anywhere DSL is. He searched by my address to find out if I was eligible.

    Anybody know if AT&T does any sort of throttling, BitTorrent blocking, restrictive sort of service with DSL?”

  9. @Ben Popken:

    @ BigTrue

    I’ve read that AT&T does some sort of throttling when it comes to BT but I’ve also heard they don’t do any sort of packet inspection so if you encrypt your torrents you should have an easy way around it. You mentioned Comcrap, I heard they’re totally blocking the upload portion of the BT protocol. Did you have that problem?

  10. Illusio26 says:

    I’m going to give them a call tonight and see about this. I’ve been paying for a land line for over a year that I’ve never used. (I don’t even know what the number is). But I also get calls to that line even though I never gave the number out. I ended up just turning the ringer off on the phone.

  11. kimsama says:

    Hopefully Verizon will follow suit soon…I’ve been paying extra for a “dry dock”, which means I get DSL without a landline. The extra amount I pay (like DSL fee + $8/month) is still cheaper than paying for DSL + a landline, but I’d love to just pay for the DSL. I mean, that’s the service I’m getting, that’s what I should be paying for. (I’m pretty sure the extra charge is BS to encourage people to just figure that it’s a sunk cost and they should get a landline).

  12. babaki says:

    if it wasn’t so slow i would probably switch. with cablevision i get upwards of 13mbps down and 3mbps up. its super fast. theres nothing like downloading torrents at 2.0mbps.

  13. Exactly what speeds are offered?

  14. girly says:

    Actually, I think you should be able to sign up for naked online now, too.

    (somewhere along the line they have you select a radio button for if you need phone service too or not)

    Last week I checked but it was still in the 40′s per mo.

    Today I tried to check but it said they were having ‘technical difficulties’

  15. dyta93 says:

    I have AT&T DSL without the landline (in Chicago) and it has been working fine. It took AT&T four months to figure out how to send a bill because they couldn’t find a landline phone number in which to add the DSL onto the bill. They finally figured the billing out.

  16. middawn says:

    I can verify that this works! Just signed up. No need to be a previous customer [they asked, I said no]. This is a new offer they just started yesterday. Very easy! Thanks for the tip.
    And it was confirmed, I will be billed exactly 28.99 per month. No add on fees or taxes.

  17. e_cubed99 says:

    I was unaware this was a ‘hidden’ deal. I just moved, and signed up for their DSL service a few days ago. I was offered the 23.99/28.99 pricing scheme (without asking for it). I’m sure it will be slightly more once the ‘taxes and fees’ are added, but hopefully not too much more.

    They did make me pay for the modem. They charge $70 for a wireless access point/router with built in DSL modem. I got a rebate on it, 30 or 40 dollars.

  18. vladthepaler says:

    What does “Dry Loop” actually mean? i mean, is normal DSL water-powered or something?

  19. TehRev says:

    Trying this at lunch today.

  20. rekoil says:

    @vladthepaler: Most DSL lines are “split”, meaning that the DSL service comes in on the same wire pair that your phone line is on. This is why you have to put DSL filters on all of your phones, to ensure that out-of-range signals from your phones don’t interfere with the DSL service.

    A “dry loop”, also known as “naked” DSL, is DSL service delivered on a copper pair that does not have a phone service. It’s generally more expensive, if available at all, than normal DSL because the pair is not already paid for by the phone service.

  21. SirKeats says:

    damn… not available in my area. they don’t even offer phone service let alone dsl. lol. oh well, i’ll continue to be a slave to the evil master that is Charter Communications for the time being.

  22. jaewon223 says:

    @vladthepaler: dunno if u were being sarcastic.. but a “Dry Loop” is when you just have DSL by itself without any landline service. It’s just another term they made up to charge you extra :T

  23. I just called the regular service number to sign up for DSL and when I told the rep I did not have a landline he said that it was no problem that they now have a special division that can sell DSL without me having to purchase a landline. He provided me the number listed above. Pretty sweet.

  24. burgundyyears says:

    I’m in SE Michigan, have AT&T DSL (Express) right now with an unwanted landline, called, and was told that the “direct Internet” division showed that DSL was shown as unavailable at my address/phone number and that an engineer would have to test my circuit to make sure they could offer DSL on it. Keep in mind, yet again, that I ALREADY HAVE AT&T lineshare DSL at the address. The CSR could not explain how I had lineshare DSL when it showed as unavailable in their system. Maybe they’re on to this post and are feeding this line to fob people off?

    Gotta love AT&T, where the left hand doesn’t even know the right hand exists.

  25. hapless says:

    I just signed up. They didn’t give me any of the guff or suffering I’ve learned to expect from AT&T. My mind is blown.

    And yes, $24/$29 really is the take home price. The woman said only Wisconsin levies any kind of a tax or fee on top of their claimed price.

  26. ATTSlave says:

    @burgundyyears: Call in again and tell them to, “Scrub TCS.” That should fix the problem.

  27. colinjay says:

    I’m 34:26 into a phone call to the above number (888-800-4095). First rep states that because I’m in Texas, I need to speak to someone there. She confirmed the above prices and speeds and said that I should qualify. She transferred me to someone in Texas who told me that she could transfer me to that department but that the quoted rates did not apply to Texas. I’ll have to see how long I can hold before my phone gives up. Maybe I should have called from my useless landline… oh, wait… I don’t even have a phone to plug in!!! Service was just set up last night!

  28. consumerd says:

    @solareclipse2:

    Well I can tell you I have been running BT on my AT&T connection in Illinois for some time and I haven’t hit a BT throttle yet. So if you find one please let us know, because so far to date I haven’t found one. The only throttling I have to do is at my router’s end so I don’t completely deny myself service.

    My parent’s line in Missouri (just across the bridge) operates the same way.

  29. Imakeholesinu says:

    I’ve been with AT&T since they have sold DSL in the Saint Louis area. I’ve used them in several different areas in MO and have yet to experience any sort of throttling of Bitorrent or other P2P services in the 7 years I have had the service.

    The first number wasn’t the correct number for MO residents, the correct number is 1-888-387-6270. You will have to ask for the dry loop there. I did not have to ask for retentions or put up any hassle except they wanted to sell me cellphone service (then again, this is a new line as I was without my own service for a year since I was living at home) and the CSR for the correct number transfered me to the Saint Louis disconnect office.

    I talked to the CSR from disconnect and she said that they only offer this dry loop for customers with existing DSL lines. So if you want this, sign up for the regular AT&T package with Phone service etc. etc, wait for your first bill to be mailed and THEN call and ask for dry loop. The CSR was nice enough to credit me the amount I paid for my phone line for the month which was around $33.00 since I called within the time of the first billing cycle.

    Here is what they have to do exactly for this to work. Since I was transfered to disconnect (retentions) they have to disconnect my phone line (no fee) disconnect my DSL line (no fee) and then reconnect my DSL line (no fee). Four days from today (9/25/07) they will disconnect everything, then the dry loop is hooked up and DSL service restored on Thursday (10/4/07). Three days without internet is a small price to pay with the money I am saving by just using my cellphone. All of this still goes through the existing phone wiring in my apartment.

    Total time on the phone was around 50 minutes, spent 26 minutes on hold for them to tell me I was calling the wrong number, but when I was connected to the correct number everything went pretty smoothly. I have to say all three of the CSRs I spoke with were friendly and helpful and willing to assist me in my quest.

    Hope this is a comment you wanted to read about as this is my audition. Long time reader, first time commentor.

  30. Bluntzilla says:

    I can confirm this, I called this morning after reading the post. My DSL switches over in a few days and the phone goes off. I live in downtown San Francisco and it did take about 4 transfers and one supe flag. The final tech said that she could give me the 28.99 pro price but another department that hooks it up cannot give me that price so a request would need to be filled out on her end for that department.

  31. Jorel says:

    i posted this on Digg and i think it’s worth mentioning here as well: yes, unbundled (or “naked”) DSL means without a phone line. keep in mind the speeds though. sometimes they will try to sell you on speeds that you can’t even achieve. speeds are primarily based on distance from Central Office (CO) or Remote Terminal (RT). for 3MB you can be a maximum of 9,500 ft from the CO or 12,500 ft from the RT. for 6MB you can be a maximum of 6,500 ft from the CO or 8,500 ft from the RT.

  32. Anonymous says:

    This is part of the new U-verse program that at&t is doing. And there is a 3 teir speed that is not mentioned, it is the Elite speed @6 MB down for 5 more dollars. Though it’s not availble in all areas just yet…and Jorel those numbers mean nothing in U-verse since it’s fibre to the node… the number are actually 2700 ft from the node is the limit…and the speeds comming in are actually closer to 55 MB but they are throttled so that the video signal gets the major bandwith over the PC internet traffic.

  33. colinjay says:

    UPDATE to the above post. It is available in Texas (Houston) at the same prices. I’m getting upgraged (DSL) / downgraded (bye bye phone) on Oct 4! Saves me $10 a month AND I doubled my speed. Thanks Consumerist!

  34. Fili says:

    I’m in Chicago and just called ATT. The service was great and the call took about 15 minutes. The service rep. was super friendly and informative and upgraded me to the $29 a month service when I asked about it.

    As mentioned above, since I’m already an ATT DSL customer, they have to turn off my cellphone service and turn it back on, which means I won’t have internet for 3 days.

  35. Fili says:

    @Fili:

    Sorry, I meant I already have telephone service, not cellphone service. That doesn’t make any sense!

  36. Anonymous says:

    Dry loop success in St. Louis MO. I have ditched the extra $20 a month I’m paying for a unused landline and will effectively be using “dry loop DSL”, on 10/5. Spent 29 minutes on the phone, and went through two CSR loops before be connected to the St. Louis call center. The CSR was extremely helpful and was very patient while the call center servers created issues for her.

    In St. Louis if you’re an existing custom your current DSL and land line (if applicable) will be disconnected and within three business days “dry loop” begins. I’m sticking with the “Pro” package which boast Pro 3.0/384-512 and at a $28.99 with no taxes and fees I suggest all AT&T DSL customers switch. Finally taking back something from AT&T feels good.

  37. Jorel says:

    JAGER36C, if you’re provisioned from the CO it’s usually straight copper over phone lines from the CO to your house. Fiber comes into play when you’re provisioned off of the RT. Copper inherently has speed limitations.

  38. vesuvian7 says:

    I’m in Nashville, the area formerly served by Bellsouth. I just got the service, but the lowest price I could get was $37.95 (they added a bunch of taxes and fees).

    I was transferred 8 times before I finally got to the right department (local cancellations). Once I got there, they read me a sob story about no 911 service, no dial tone, etc. and tried to bait me with a lower phone line price for 6 months.

    It’s still an improvement, but I wonder if they’ll consolidate prices soon.

  39. Blueskylaw says:

    BellSouth = BS, and we all know what that stands for.

  40. Blueskylaw says:

    @vladthepaler:
    Should it not be VladtheImpaler?

  41. Fili says:

    Does anyone know if the “Pro” package also includes access to AT&T Wifi Hotspots?

  42. nicho1ab says:

    Sweet. Just got switched in Champaign, IL. The number and price quoted above is correct for this region. I’ll be without internet access for about 3-4 business days and then be home free. This took me from a $52 bill and a basic phone line that I never used to $28.99 for just the DSL. My friends who live too far from the CO and are paying through the nose for cable don’t seem to think this is as cool as I do.

  43. f0s_man says:

    This is more of a rant than a comment. I’m in Lawrence, KS (Go Jayhawks!), and i called the AT&T folks here to inquire about the Dryloop DSL. The CSR tells me this….
    “The Dryloop DSL will cost $39.99 by itself, without the telephone line. I suggest you get the lowest possible phone service – $15.70, and then get a DSL for $24.99 (6MBits), or if you want a slightly slower option we have the $19.99, or the $14.99 options”
    – Firstly, is this even possible?!? Are they allowed to play this way? Making dryloop basically unattainable?!
    – Secondly, i’m paying $41 for my internet here through the ONLY cable company here – Sunflower Broadband, and they charge crazy prices because i do not subscribe to their cable.
    – Thirdly, anybody in Kansas attained success with their Dry Loop endeavors? Please share your secrets! Help a poor student! THANKS!!

  44. bourdon says:

    Called in Dallas TX and this is available at the rates posted above however I was told that there would be a 4 business day period where I would have neither phone nor DSL (when current service was disconnected but new service was not started). So, plan the switch over when you are going to be out of town or borrowing a neighbor’s DSL.

  45. Fili says:

    Once you make the connection, make sure and test the speed. I payed for the PRO DSL plan which advertises 3Mbps, but I’m only getting 1.6Mbps. For that speed, I’m better off paying for the Express Service and saving $5 a month.

    One other thing, the regular PRO DSL includes free Wi-Fi at ATT hotspots. I’m trying to find out if this is the same for Dry Loop DSL.

  46. agb says:

    Just signed up in Chicago with no problem.

    By the way, the PRO DSL does include unlimited access to at&t wifi hotspots.

    Now, if only I’d ever seen an at&t wifi hotspot…

  47. jayhawk03 says:

    I live in KC,KS I tried switching but it was only 7 bucks cheaper a month and two bills instead one cause I have it bundled with Dish Network I might call back and switch but I want to see if time warner finally got to my area because they hadn’t when I signed up for the Internet/tv and I didn’t want to go with my other cable option (sunflower) because I didn’t like them when I had them in college. Good News..I’m not a contract for any of it so I can switch at any time.

  48. Fili says:

    @agb: I talked to a Wi-Fi CS and can corroborate this. The Pro DSL includes unlimited access to ATT Wi-Fi hotspots. I’ve never found one, but it seems all McDonald fast food joints have one and many airports.

    Do check your connection speed at a website like [www.speedtest.net.] My speed has increased to 2.3Mpbs but it still won’t reach the 3Mbps that AT&T advertises.

  49. cgalik says:

    I performed this today with no problem with the AT&T rep, saving me $10-$20/month. I also had to go with the 3 days change over time, but put it over Thanksgiving weekend, when I’m out of town.
    Thanks for the great instructions, consumerist!
    Good heads up on the free Wi-Fi.

  50. justinjw says:

    I signed up a while ago. I’m glad they’re offering this finally, I just got cell phones for the fam, and no longer need the home phone. No going through menus or anything like that, just straight to a rep in less than 10 seconds of placing the call. They offered me 6mbps for 38.99, but just stuck to the 3M I’ve always had. Today is the switch over date, and I still need to figure out the new UN/PW since i’m not authenticating yet (as of this morning leaving for work). I talked to a regular CSR, he had no clue about this set up, so I’ll ave to call this number again when I get home. Hope it ends up working!(also, my live date is tomorrow, but I was syncing so I figured it took a day early, so I should be authenticating now). either way, as long as it works tomorrow, you can’t beat this deal!

  51. oakye says:

    I live in San Francisco and had AT&T High Speed, placed the order on 12/24/07 for $23.99 dry loop service. What a joke. They screwed up my order and so didn’t place it (after telling me it’d take two business days to get done). The originally scheduled downtime happened (on 12/31) but the uptime sure hasn’t yet. It was planned for 1/2 but on 1/3 I checked and found out that the “order hadn’t been placed”. WTF?

    Currently no department wants to take responsibility to get this done, even though someone there screwed up the order.

    They first told me it’d take 2 business days, now they’re saying 5 biz days from the date of the “fixed” order and that “Dry Loop cases don’t have escalations because they are not a priority.

    Customer service reps are sweet but ineffective – if AT&T wants to keep its techier clients they need to get with the times. This is 2008 and Silicon Valley – play nice before the Google gets in on your turf.

  52. pkr8ch says:

    Just to update everyone on AT&T dry loop pricing for central California:

    Express – $29
    Pro – $34
    Elite – $39

    Sorry I neglected to ask about speeds. Hope this info helps everyone!

    When you call they will throw every sales pitch in the book to deter you from signing up for the dry loop. They got me, but it’s not bad I got them to give me land line with express DSL for about $30. They did say that if you want to sign up for dry loop you can do so without signing a contract.

  53. AnneJ says:

    I live in Indiana, and here’s the scam-like experience I had with AT&T when I tried to get their stand-alone DSL direct (dry loop) on May 2, 2008.

    After being on hold for a about 10 minutes to speak to a disconnection agent, I explain to the agent that I want to cancel my phone service and retain my DSL only.

    First, the agent tries to persuade me that I should not cancel my phone service. Then she tries to confuse me with their phone jargon, and says “So, just to verify, what you want is a dry loop, right?” And I’m like “What?”. She repeats her jargon. And I say “What’s a dry loop? What I want it to cancel my phone service and have only DSL”. So she tell me in most casual tone (as if I’m the stupidest person and everybody in the world knows what a dry loop is) that they call that a dry loop, and I’m like “Well, I don’t speak phone jargon, but yes, based on what I told you, that’s what I want.”

    So after messing up my address twice, she puts me on hold and returns to tell me that I can’t get the dry loop at my address, which I suspect is not true since I had seen it available when I searched for DSL direct on the AT&T website earlier that day.

    So then she tells me that she can remove all features on my phone to bring my bill down, and that she can offer me two options for my DSL:
    1. boost me up one level on my DSL speed for the same price as I was paying (give me Pro for the price of Express), or
    2. give me a $10 rebate for 6 months on the Express.

    I tell her I want option 2, and then, just as she’s about to enter that on her computer, she tell me that if I
    choose option 2, I have to commit to a one-year contract. Argh!!! So I tell her that it would have been nice for her to give me that info when explaining the two options. I end up choosing option 1, and finalize this phone call ASAP, before I start screaming at her!

    So after this terrible experience, I call AT&T today to speak to her supervisor. Unable to speak to anyone in charge, I ask the customer rep to review my account and I ask him to check the availability of the DSL dry loop one last time, only to learn that… stand-alone DSL is indeed available where I live!

    This process sounds very much like a scam to me, i.e. a way to confuse, frustrate and misinform customer so much that no one switches to DSL direct. Customers beware!

    P.S. Needless to say, I’m calling 888-800-4095 right away!

  54. adub1979 says:

    Reconfirmed today for a new apt in Chicago South Loop! Tried the normal route via ATT site and was told to call, only to get disconnected. Numbers listed worked like a charm!