Richard is annoyed at AT&T. Due to what we will optimistically call a mixup, he didn’t exactly get the DSL service he ordered and was paying for. While he has straightened things out with the company, he wants to keep other customers in his area from having the same experience.
When I moved into my new home three months ago, I had to decide between Comcast or AT&T as my internet service provider. To keep my bill as low as possible while still being able to surf the web and enjoy streaming Netflix and Hulu, I have decided to go with AT&T’s DSL service. As you may or may not be aware, AT&T offers a range of speeds from which to choose with varying prices. Their DSL Pro service (3 mbps) sounded fairly reasonable at $30.00 per month, so that is what I’ve ordered.
Three months into the service, I was dealing with choppy Hulu streams and long Netflix buffer times. I was not sure if this was something to expect since I had previously been using cable internet, and I feel pretty foolish for letting it happen for that long. My brother mentions that he uses the same service and that he does not run into any of these problems. He recommended that I look at what my bandwidth speed is using online tests. Lo and behold, every test I’ve taken reveals that I can only download at almost 1 mbps.
I called AT&T to see why this was happening. After their technicians performed a field test, they revealed that their DSL Pro service was not available in my area. Instead, they have been providing me their DSL Basic service (1 mbps), all the while charging me for DSL Pro! The customer support specialist was apologetic and credited me the difference of having the 1 mbps service the whole time plus a few extra bucks for my trouble. It was nice of her, but AT&T would have totally gotten away with this had I been brainless and not called! I expressed my dissatisfaction but did not raise much of a stink as I was dead set on switching to Comcast at the point, much to my chagrin. I also regret having to figure out what to do with the DSL modem that I bought.
Still, this kind of stuff infuriates me, and it is the second time AT&T charged me for something outrageous. The first time, was when they they’ve mistakenly gave me the wrong phone service, but still charged me all these disconnection and prorated fees for switching me to the correct service. Had to call them back then to reverse the charges as well. In the end I did not pay anything I didn’t owe, but as a consumer I feel obliged to throw any possible deterrents at AT&T from pulling the same sort of stuff on any other customer.
We would suggest that Richard start by filing a complaint against AT&T with the FCC–he never should have been offered or sold 3 Mpbs DSL when it didn’t exist in his area. His state’s attorney general would also be worth calling, since they could either accept a complaint or direct him to the correct state agency to do so.
(Photo: Martin Cathrae)