AT&T U-Verse Freaks Customers Out With Bogus Emergency Alert Message

This is not an alert message. It just looks like one. (KXAN-TV)

This is not an alert message. It just looks like one. (KXAN-TV)

This morning, some AT&T U-Verse subscribers woke to an alarming message displayed on their TV screens declaring a vague emergency, without any mention of it being a test.

“This is an Emergency Action Notification,” read the text over a large red banner. “Your channel has been force tuned to receive the Emergency Alert Message.”

Thankfully, there is not some nationwide emergency facing only U-Verse users. Instead, it appears to be some sort of large-scale glitch with the pay-TV system.

KXAN-TV in Austin, TX, reports that U-Verse had confirmed hearing about this problem from people Atlanta, Austin and Detroit.

The message disappeared for some users around 9 a.m. CT this morning, but KXAN said others continued to complain about still seeing the banner on their screens.

KXAN says that it has opted to run a crawl of its own to let viewers know that there is no emergency and that it’s just a U-Verse glitch.

No official statement from AT&T on this one yet, but the U-Verse Twitter feed is currently apologizing to many subscribers, promising that “We’re investigating this issue and working toward a resolution.”

UPDATE: A rep for AT&T send Consumerist the following statement about this morning’s incident —

“Earlier today U-verse TV customers may have received an Emergency Alert notification. We confirmed that there is no emergency at this time and we are investigating why this occurred. We apologize for any inconvenience.”


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