Consumers Speak: SBC Global DSL Supports Macs ‘Probably Never’

Wade writes:

I recently upgraded my 1st gen. eMac to OS 10.4. My ISP was SBC Global at the time. They informed me that they had no DSL driver for their modem under that OS and that they could not provide me with internet service under the current Mac OS. I asked when a driver would be forthcoming and the reply from customer service agent
was, wait for it,
I don
t know, probably never.

So, of course I changed ISP
s, to one that could actually PIS. SBC then slammed me with breach of contract for early termination even though they were the ones that could no longer fulfill their end of the; provide internet service to me. They wanted to charge me $200 for such an offense. I told them this was ludicrous, seeing as how they were not keeping up with current technology. It
s kind of sad for a company that should put being technologically current above all else, if you ask me.

Anyway, I talked to their customer service department 3 times by phone and made no headway with anyone. I might note that I
ve had been an on-time paying customer of theirs for a year-and-a-half at this point. Then I e-mailed their customer service center 3 times (this was 1 month ago. It was over a one week period, I waited 48 hours between e-mails), again, no reply to anything. So I finally wrote a snail-mail letter to their PR Dept. explaining the situation and that I had basically been ignored by customer service. I never got to send it, because 2 weeks after all of this, I received another copy of my final bill without the $200 charge on it.

I give kudos to them for waving the charge, but refusing to reply to my email and stonewalling me on the phone? Are you kidding? My total phone time spent on this was 1.7 hours on hold .2 hours talk-time. I also think it
s insane that you have to go through that much trouble to get rid of such a bogus charge. It
s like a battle of attrition and they
ve got more time to just wait you out, silently, apparently. I thought you guys might be interested in this customer service fumble. I for one will not use their services in the future if possible.

Update: We probably should have made this clear in the first place, but to the best of our knowledge, there are no drivers that should be necessary to use SBC’s DSL service with Mac OS X. Hence, absurdity.


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  1. I agree with the battle of attrition analogy. Lately I’ve found this to be true with things like mail-in rebates a company has refused to honor. (Are you really going to make yourself crazy over $20? not unless you have a looot of time on your hands.)

    But I’ve actually been dealing a lot w/ SBC customer service lately due to a Vonage switch and line consolidation (i.e., reduced services, which generally tick them off) and every rep I talked to was really knowledgeable and helpful. Granted, this was over the phone, not via their forms (which I’ve found frustrating), but still–odd, the difference in quality.

    As to the lack of support for the Mac OS, they’ve always said that, yet the service has always worked anyway. I haven’t upgraded to Tiger yet, but my boyfriend has been running all the computers on his network on 10.4 with SBC DSL without issue since the Tiger release. Odd…

  2. Rishi says:

    I’m a little confused: why does the mac need a driver for the DSL modem? doesn’t it output to ethernet like everything else?
    Also, I’m really sick andn tired of these companies that won’t support mac. I mean a driver is really a pretty basic piece of software. I don’t understand why its so hard. My new HP laser printer doesn’t have a mac driver for reasons I’ll never undrstand. fortunately, I don’t need one to print to it wirelessly (via a hack I found online).

  3. Anonymous says:

    I would like to know why a friend in Hayti, MO, a customer of yours, cannot forward pictures, etc. to me. A few months ago I was with a local ISP and your network would not allow me to send any mind of e-mail to her because I was with an independent company. Now I’m with a large network, and you will not allow her to communicate with me. Please explain.