AT&T Accepts Me As Customer Only After 3-Week Battle

In jumping from Comcast to AT&T for his internet service, J figured he was stepping up in the world of customer service. But he was actually switching over to a company that operated against the rules of capitalism. Try as he might, he could not get this phantom business to hook him up with service and take his money. For he was ordering service from a company that operated in… the Twilight Zone.

He writes:

I just wanted to share my awful experience in the last 3 weeks of trying to switch my high speed internet service from Comcast to AT&T. My account of this whole experience is not 100% accurate because I’ve made so many calls to AT&T that I can’t remember how many times I called and exactly what was said in every call. I also won’t elaborate on the long hold times, countless transfers, numerous dead end transfers and all the misinformation that I also experienced. Sorry if this is too long to read.

Some time end of August: I saw a good deal on AT&T for DSL and decided to switch from Comcast. I set up the service for September 9th (might have been the 8th, I can’t remember) because that’s the last day of my Comcast service. Then, I called Comcast to see if I can get my current month pro-rated if I cancel early. They said it was fine, so I call AT&T to reschedule my activation date as soon as possible, which would be on September 3rd. In hindsight, that was a HUGE mistake.

September 3rd: I called AT&T to make sure activation was going to be on schedule. They said I should be able to go online by 8pm. When 8pm came along…..no internet!! I called technical support and they told me that it hasn’t been activated yet and I needed to talk to a different department about it. I called the number that he/she gave me only to discover that this department only works from Mondays to Fridays. I spent the whole Labor Day weekend without internet access. Yay!

September 7th: I called AT&T and they told me that after I rescheduled the activation date, somehow I had two accounts and therefore, they couldn’t activate my service due to the conflict of information. The rep told me that he/she would fix the problem and gave me a new account number (my third one) and said that my activation was still scheduled on Sept 9th. Between this date and Sept 9th, I called AT&T several more times to confirm my activation on Sept 9th. They kept telling me that everything was fine.

September 9th: No internet by 8pm!! I called AT&T tech support again. They told me that my account was already active and should be working. They diagnosed the problem to my third party DSL modem which I bought online, saying that they don’t support that model and I needed to reconfigure it to receive their signal. The rep then transferred me to another department where another rep tried REALLY HARD to sell me a technical support service for $15 a month so that I wouldn’t face so much trouble the next time I needed help. I had to decline MANY TIMES. She then offered to guide me on the phone to configure my modem to work with AT&T for a one-time fee of “ONE TWENTY NINE”. I asked why I should be paying $15 a month when I can get this done for a one time fee of $1.29? She then corrects me that it wasn’t $1.29…..but $129!!! I was furious and declined and asked for an alternative. She then told me that I could try to configure it myself. Before I hung up, she “spoke to her manager” and managed to get the one time tech support fee cut down all the way to $50! What a deal!! Too bad I declined it yet again. I stayed up until about 3am in the morning and leeched off my neighbor’s unsecure Wi-Fi (sorry!) to find instructions to configure my third party modem. Sadly, I couldn’t figure it out. Before I gave up, I tried to do an online chat with AT&T tech support. Long story short…..I found out that I still wasn’t getting a signal from AT&T. The nerve!!! How dare they try to “help me” configure my modem for $129 when they still haven’t activated my service? It wouldn’t have worked anyway!

September 10th: I called AT&T and found out that all three of my accounts still exist!!! That was causing the pending status for my activation. This time I made sure all the accounts were canceled except for one….which would be activated on Sept 14th. Between this date and Sept 14th, I again called AT&T many times to make sure my activation was going to happen.

September 14th: I received an automated phone call from AT&T telling me to go to their website to get instructions on how to register my account once it’s activated. I looked up the website and downloaded the manual. Within the manual were instructions on how to configure third party modems…..FOR FREE!!! I got home again that day and…. surprise surprise….no internet access!!

September 15th: I called AT&T again and this time was told that there may be wiring issues that’s causing the problem and they would send a technician out on Friday to take a look at the problem and activate my account. Why wasn’t I told of this problem the other hundred times I called AT&T?

September 17th: The technician didn’t show up and I still didn’t have internet access by 8pm. I decided to cancel AT&T even though it would mean that I have to go back to Comcast.

September 20th: I called AT&T several times and was told different things every time. Some would say my status is still pending while others say it’s active. When I questioned them about their inconsistency, the rep did more research and told me that my account was still pending and there was no order in the system to have a technician come over last Friday. Awesome! I told him I wanted to cancel my order. He told me to let them send a technician over on Tuesday to fix the problem before considering to cancel. Fine. This time he gave me a case number for the technician visit.

September 21st: A technician did show up today and I assume he fixed some wiring outside the house. When he was done, I spend about 5 minutes configuring the modem WITH FREE INSTRUCTIONS. When I was done, I could go online…just like that! By my calculations, their tech would have cost me up to about $1,550/hour if they charged by the hour!!

When I wanted to switch from Comcast to AT&T, I thought I could take my business away
from a horrible company to a better place. Little did I know that I was jumping out of a lion’s mouth into the jaws of a crocodile. Thank you, AT&T for a great start to our new business relationship!

There’s no reason to believe that J was actually speaking to undercover agents from
Comcast the entire time, but if he had been doing so, the results would have been the same.