When reader Nick tried to sign up for ATT “naked DSL” or “dry loop” service (getting DSL without having paying for a landline), a curious thing happened.
AT&T said his address doesn’t exist. But when he went through the process to sign up for bundled service, more expensive, with landline phone service, magically, it could find his address.
This is odd when you consider a customer service rep later said both options draw from the same database. It’s not odd when you consider that AT&T only made naked DSL available because the FCC made them in exchange for letting them do some fancy business transactions, and then initially made it very confusing for people to try to sign up.
So here’s the secret process Mike figured out:
1. Head to http://www.att.com/gen/general?pid=11523
2. Check Availability. If it gives you trouble (as if you don’t know where you live),
3. Check DSL availability via their main website as if you’re looking to purchase a bundle package. It checks a separate database. If it says you’re eligible:
a. Call 1-800-288-2020. Ask about “High Speed Internet Direct”, “dry loop” or “stand alone” DSL at your address. If you have equipment, ask them to waive the option to get a modem/router.
b. If they resist, call back until you get a CSR that’ll work with you.
Part of the problem is that some of the call center reps don’t know what they’re talking about and try to insist you need a landline or cellphone service with AT&T to get DSL. This is not true. Keep calling back until you find one that does, making sure you use the magic words “High Speed Internet Direct”, “dry loop” or “stand alone DSL.”