AT&T Giving Consumers The Runaround Over Secret $10 DSL

AT&T is required to offer a $10 DSL option to those consumers who are in AT&T’s 22 state coverage area and who have not previously subscribed to AT&T DSL. This requirement is part of concessions made to the FTC so that AT&T could merge with BellSouth and take over Cingular.

Getting AT&T to actually sign you up for the plan, however, may be more difficult. We’ve been hearing that consumers who try to sign up for the plan are getting a sales pitch for a more expensive plan, hung up on, transferred to the switchboard, etc.

It helps if you know your rights and understand the conditions of the $10 DSL plan. The plan provides download speeds of up to 768 kilobits per second and upload speeds of up to 128 kbps, matching AT&T’s basic plan. It will be available for 2 1/2 years and requires a 1 year contract. The modem is free. You can read about it here.

Consumerist requested more detailed information about the $10 DSL and the process by which consumers can purchase it. AT&T chose not to respond to our inquiry.

Consumers who are having difficulty with AT&T can file a complaint with the FTC, here. In addition, you may also want to file a complaint with the FCC, as they are the organization that authorized the merger.—MEGHANN MARCO

How To Get The AT&T Runaround [How To Split An Atom]

(Photo: Peter Kaminski)

UPDATE: For those of you having trouble explaining the $10 DSL program to your AT&T CSR, you might enjoy reading them the following passage from the AT&T/BellSouth merger document:

2. AT&T/BellSouth will provide an ADSL modem without charge (except for shipping and handling) to residential subscribers within the Wireline Buildout Area who, between July 1, 2007, and June 30, 2008, replace their AT&T/BellSouth dial-up Internet access service with AT&T/BellSouth’s ADSL service and elect a term plan for their ADSL service of twelve months or greater.

3. Within six months of the Merger Closing Date, and continuing for at least 30 months from the inception of the offer, AT&T/BellSouth will offer to retail consumers in the Wireline Buildout Area, who have not previously subscribed to AT&T’s or BellSouth’s ADSL service, a broadband Internet access service at a speed of up to 768 Kbps at a monthly rate (exclusive of any applicable taxes and regulatory fees) of $10 per month.

Despite the date of July 1, 2007 mentioned in the document, AT&T has confirmed to the Associated Press that they are offering the DSL plan now.

As far as we know the 22 “magic” DSL states are: Alabama, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Mississippi, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Tennessee, and Wisconsin.

AT&T Inc. and BellSouth Corporation Application for Transfer of Control (PDF) [FCC]

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