AT&T Reserves Its Best Neglect For Elite DSL

A Consumerist reader has pretty much reached the limit of poor AT&T customer and technical service over his shoddy Elite DSL account, which for two years now drops to speeds of around 10k every four months. Check out this letter and included chat log for some stunning examples of all the ways AT&T fails at providing a service it charges lots of money for.

  • Not delivering the service agreed upon by both parties.
  • Forcing the customer to take an entire day off of work for a house call (in other words, passing the cost of the tech support off to the customer and his employer).
  • Failing to show up on the appointed day, but making no attempt to contact the customer ahead of time to warn him.
  • Providing conflicting information with each call.
  • Losing “trouble tickets” and requiring the customer to start over again.
  • Physically damaging or altering the customer’s property in a failed attempt to solve the problem.
  • Forcing poorly trained CSRs to talk like robots to their customers, with only basic IF/THEN statements to guide them in the conversation.

Randall Stephenson, AT&T CEO
175 E. Houston
San Antonio, TX 78205

Dear Mr. Stephenson,

Allow me to introduce myself, My name is Ben [redacted], an IT worker and customer of att/sbc/pacbell for more than 25 years. I’d like to contact you regarding an ongoing, persistent issue with both your DSL services and your customer service personnel. I currently pay for elite DSL services and have done so for several years. Over the last two years there has been a persistent and recurring issue with my DSL speeds falling below basic levels. Each time this occurs I call your repair lines and request assistance. Over the years the assistance is getting worse and worse, the time frames for repair are getting longer and longer, and the fixes are more and more ridiculous.

Currently my DSL speed is less than 10k. On an elite service that speed should be at or near 600k. On basic service it should still be near 50k.

The last time I had your techs out to resolve this issue, their fix was to remove four of the five phone jacks in my house and leave it at that. I was obviously pissed off but your lineman assured me the problem would not reoccur and was related to the condition of the other phone lines in the house. Needless to say this did not fix my problem.

My issue today is that I originally called for service on 7/2. The line was tested and I was told a lineman would need to come to my house. When I asked for a day and time I was told “sometime before 10pm on 7/9”. I asked if I could get a better eta, they said no just wait for a call. Needless to say, your lineman never showed, never called after I had taken a full day off to wait for this repairman.

I have continued to try and get someone, anyone on the phone who is willing or able to help. Needless to say, once again, this hasn’t happened. I continually get transferred to an Indian call center where they say they can only see my name, phone number and address but are unable to pull up any other info regarding my existing services. Every time I ask for help I’m told I need to call internet tech support. With every internet tech support call I’m asked to call from home so they can test the line, when the line has already been tested.

As I write this I am chatting with an ATT tech who just told me there is no open ticket for my issue. I find this very distressing as 2 hours ago I spoke with ATT on the phone and was told there was an open ticket. How am I supposed to get help when you’re people can’t seem to keep a record updated, or if the record is updated they have no access to the information inside?

I have no idea what to do, I keep calling, keep getting the run around, keep getting tickets open only to be told days later that the ticket is closed. I humbly await some response from someone in your organization, I will be contacting the, the California Public Utilities Commission and starting a blog to track this issue publically for the embarrassment of your company. I hope this letter finds you well and I hope you see fit to respond or have a respresentative respond sooner than humanly possible.


P.S. I’ve included a chat log from today to help you understand my frustration:

System: Welcome ben [redacted].
System: Connecting to server. Please wait…
System: Connection with server established.

You: Technical Support Topic: DSL High Speed Internet

System: Justin has joined this session!

System: Connected with Justin

Justin: Thank you for contacting AT&T Internet Services. How can I help you?

You: I’m a rather upset customer, I pay for elite dsl service and for over 2 weeks I’ve been getting speeds that are 10% of basic service

You: I’m getting 10k downloads when it should be more like 600k downloads and

You: this is unacceptable. I have called REPEATEDLY over the last few weeks, you guys were supposed to send a tech over a week ago and I never got a call – I took the day off of work to wait

You: I’ve called and left messages since then but have gotten no response

You: have to add, this happen EVERY 4 MONTHS!!!

You: this is ridiculous

You: I’m going to call the public utilities commission if I do not get some sort of action and compensation from att

Justin: I apologize for the inconvience caused to you.

You: and every time I talk to someone via chat or phone or anything they say “it’s not my issue, call someone else”

Justin: We value you as our member and I will try my best to resolve your issue.

You: no you don’t value me as a member, nothing you company has done has shown me you value you me as a member

Justin: Do not worry.

Justin: Our issue will be resolved.

You: I’m pissed man, this is ridiculous. This happens every few months, the last time it happened your tech removed every phone line in my house sans 1 line

Justin: Ben [redacted], as I understand you are experiencing slow speed conection. Am I correct?

You: yes

You: 10k when it’s supposed to be 600k – that does not fall in your guarantee of 80% that I have been told by technicians and representatives in the past

Justin: Please be patient our issue will be resolved.

Justin: Are you at home currently?

You: no

You: the line has been tested, the last thing I was told on 7/2 was a tech would be there at my home on 7/9 before 10pm.. and that if I would wait at home someone would call before they came over

You: which never happened

Justin: Ben [redacted], I do understand your concern. Please contact us when you reached at the home. It is easier for us to reach the root cause of the problem. I am sure your issue will be resolved as soon as you contact us back when you reached at the home.

You: NO!

You: dammit are you not listening to me?!?!

You: you guys have tested the line

You: I’ve called from home

You: you were supposed to send a tech who never arrived

You: why do I have to be at home when you’ve already tested the line

You: you already have all the info about the problem

Justin: We can send the tech to your home.If the technician finds the fault inside your house then you might have to pay the charges and if the problem is outside the house then you do not.That is why I have said please contact us when you reached at the home we need to check some settings as well.

You: no! you’re not even looking up my records.. I have inside wire repair, and you guys are out every 4 months to resolve this

You: you’re obviously not looking up my records because ifg yo uhad you’d see they techs were SUPPOSED to be here a week ago, you’re obvoiusly not reading this chat because I already stated the linemen were supposed to come by now… why arne’t you doing naythin?!~!

Justin: Please wait for 2 minutes.I am working on your case.

Justin: Thank you for your patience.

Justin: Ben [redacted],I have verified your records there is no open ticket.Should I create a new trouble ticket for you if you agree for the charges?

You: how can there not be an open ticket. I just got off the phone with you guys less than an hour ago and they saw a ticket

Justin: I am sorry there is no open ticket in our records.Should I create a new one so that our issue is resolved as soon as possible?

You: yes

You: I’m writing the CEO of the company and contacting the public utilities commission as we speak, I will not let you guys steal from me any longer

Justin: I apologize for the inconvience caused to you.

Justin: Please do not worry.

Justin: Our issue will be fix as soon as possible.

Justin: Please provide the best call back number on which our line and maintenance department will contact you.

You: what makes you think I believe you, everyone I talk to says that and it’s been a solid two weeks

You: [contact phone number]

Justin: I completely understand your concern.This time our issue will be resolved.

You: they said that last time too

Justin: Please allow me 2 minutes. I am testing your connection line.

Ben, send us the url of the website you start about this, so we can help publicize and document it.

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