Cameron moved recently, but not all that far away. Just to another apartment within the same building. Not so bad. He’s been an AT&T DSL customer for six years, but the Death Star wants to wean customers off DSL and get them onto U-Verse. Cameron was told that he couldn’t be reconnected to DSL down the hall, so he upgraded to U-Verse. Only the upgrade is more of a downgrade. To lower Internet speeds and static on the phone line.
For the past 6 years, I have been getting my DSL and home phone service through AT&T. Both services have been extremely reliable, and the DSL’s 6 Mbps max speed has suited my needs. Recently, I decided to move into a larger apartment in my building. I ended up renting the unit right next door, meaning my entire move was approximately 15 feet down the hall. Sounds like it should be an easy move, right? Well, leave it to AT&T to screw things up.
Upon calling AT&T to schedule the move of my services, the rep told me that AT&T no longer offered DSL in my area and that I need to upgrade to their “fancy” U-Verse service. I was a little hesitant to pull the trigger, but they assured me I could retain my current 6 Mbps speed and explained how future upgrades to the U-Verse network would give me the option to increase my speed up to 24 Mbps. They also offered to waive the $100 charge for the new modem/router, so I decided to go for it.
Now this is the point in my story where I could go on for pages and pages about the technical issues with the service, the hours wasted on the phone with technical support, and the time spent waiting at home for 4 separate visits from AT&T technicians, but I will spare you that grief. In short, my phone line has an abnormal amount of static in it, which makes talking on the phone a pain in the butt and causes the modem to regularly drop the internet connection. This has been going on for 3 months now and I have contacted AT&T at least 12 times. Finally, in my last communication with Tier 2 tech support, I was informed that the static in my line (and subsequent internet problems) were being caused by my 6 Mbps connection. You see, in order to qualify for a 6 Mbps speed, my building would have to be within 6400ft of the service box in the area…my building is 8084ft from that box. The only fix for this? Lowering my internet speed to 3 Mbps.
The Tier 2 rep suggested I call the retention department and have them switch my service back to DSL if I want to keep my 6 Mbps speed (DSL is not subject to distance/speed issues that U-Verse is). I called, and wouldn’t you know it, AT&T has “removed all of the DSL nodes from my area” (whatever that means). My only remedy…lower the speed to 3 Mbps. Being the generous company they are, AT&T did offer to lower my monthly rate a whole $2 a month for the inconvenience. Thanks AT&T! It’s great to see that in a market as tiny as Los Angeles, you can offer your customers a service that was top-of-the-line back in 2002.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to get back to enjoying my slower downloads, medium quality Netflix streaming, and sporadic X-Box Live connectivity.
P.S. – Since downgrading my service, my internet connection has stabilized…but I still have static in the home phone line (**le sigh**).