AT&T: Where Seven Months Equals Two Years

AT&T is a powerful company, but we didn’t know that they were powerful enough to interfere with the passage of time. Yet they are! They used their magic to take Mark’s seven-month-old DSL modem, and transform it into a 2-year-old DSL modem.

I had a phone conversation with AT&T on January 26th that sounded like the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party.

My DSL modem died; it was receiving no power. Yes, it was plugged in, and, yes, the plug was providing electricity.

Here’s where it got fun. This particular modem was sent to me in May of 2010 to replace a modem series being recalled by AT&T as defective. When I phoned AT&T C/S, both [redacted] and his supervisor, [redacted], informed me that, since this modem was a replacement for a recalled modem, the date of service was based on the date of the original modem, December 2008. Therefore, the modem in my possession was over two years old and the warranty had expired. Attmpts to get them to understand the fallacy of that went in one ear and out the other. When I asked how much it would cost to replace, [redacted] said, “I don’t have that information, but I’m guessing around $100.00.”

Thoughts of switching to a competitor’s service flashed through my head.

On a whim, I called a local AT&T retail store. Kudos to the store manager, [redacted]. She asked for the serial number, advised me they had a replacement in stock and would replace the modem at no charge, as it was covered on warranty. I’ll be back up and running tonight.

Also, AT&T C/S asked me what email service I was using. They wanted to imply that my email was the cause of my modem breakdown. When I told them my home email was an att.net address, they sounded somewhat disappointed.