Reader yesfarro doesn’t exactly live far from civilization, but she does live far from civilized telecommunications. Mobile phone reception isn’t great, but more importantly, there is no broadband. No cable, no DSL, no anything. She gets by using dial-up through aT&T, but even that has become significantly slower than usual due to a problem with the phone lines that no one–not AT&T, not BellSouth–knows how to resolve.
For the past 9years, I have lived about half a mile from a MS highway, a quarter of a mile away from cable access and completely devoid of any chance of broadband internet acces. Cellphone reception is spotty, decent at best. When we moved here, we were told DSL was about to be ran, the promise was made by Bellsouth at that time. Months went by, I’d call them every now and then to check on the DSL availability but I kept being told it was still on hold.
Fast forward to 2 years ago, we’re still on dial up, paying for 2 lines with dial up service on it, on top of that, we’re paying for call wave, so I won’t miss calls while I surf. Yes, this was 2010, and I was paying $112 for this spiffy service.
Then one of my phonelines started going bad, it would slowly fade out without completely disconnecting, any one of you who still suffers from dial up usage will see the issue here. Pages load slow already, you can sit there for 5mins before the modem finally realises the connection is gone and tells you you’ve been waiting for nothing.
I called Bellsouth, they’d come out and fix it but the problem would pop up again within a week. After a few months, I’ve finally had a technician tell me water got in the box, he put in a new board and fixed it. Within a month, the service went down hill again, this time it took them a week to admit something wasn’t grounded, the next few weeks the line was spliced too many times, then it was water in the box again, some one put us on another board for no reason, no ground again etc etc.
For the past 2 years, I have called them at least once a month to report a problem. By now I’m dealing with At&t and their contact/service is horrible. I have managed to get one cut on my bill once, at 32 cents a day, I wasn’t too thrilled about that.
Every time I call at&t I have to go through a hellish phone system, most of the times it takes over an hour, only to be told the problem is on my end. I have to explain every single time that line A, the bad line can be unplugged and line B, the good line, can be plugged in and the problem is no longer there. Any one can see it’s not my modem or computer.
I contacted Better Business Bureau last month, At&t has had people over here at least twice a week, supervisors, random guys, name it, they’ve been here. All of them are nice and polite but I don’t appreciate having strangers around the house after dark, I’m sure they’d rather be home also but still, if they want to call this ‘out in the country’ they should know we don’t take kindly to women having strangers around that late. Every time they get here, the line works for a bit and they want to close the complaint, I ask them to give me a few days, and sure enough, it acts up again!
By now, they have spent an insane amount of man hours and probably a good bit of materials also, with no result. I have asked every single person that came up here if there are plans to run DSL, every single one has told me that there are no plans.
The supervisor even told me they went up on dial up prices and stopped supporting it just to force people to use DSL. He’s right, my dial up can no longer be auto paid along with the rest of the service, it’s no longer supported. So why offer it?
The money they’ve spent chasing a problem they can’t fix could have been spent on putting fiberoptics in and give us DSL. Our neighbour took a petition, 50 households asked for broadband,yet AT&T says that’s not enough demand.
If they’re going to make dialup this unpleasant in order to make customers stop using it, then why not offer an alternative instead? The Better Business Bureau may not be able to help, but try putting in a complaint with the Federal Communications Commission and the Mississippi Public Service Commission.