Like suddenly cool again hypercolor shirts, AT&T has brought back another retro trend back from the dead – metered bandwidth with charges for overages. The ISP yesterday imposed a 150 GB a month cap on all DSL customers. If you go over it more than three times in your account lifetime, you will get a $10 charge for every 50 GB in excess. U-verse customers will have a 250 GB cap. Ah, nostalgia, it feels just like Compuserve all over again! So how do you go on a bandwidth diet?
If you ever wonder why Internet service provider monopolies are a bad thing, just ask reader Icanhas. For some mysterious and intriguing reason involving pineapples, he can’t have cable. So his only option for broadband Internet is Verizon DSL, which isn’t accepting new customers in his area. Why? Well, they’re putting all of their resources toward FiOS. When will FiOS be available in Icanhas’s area? Not anytime soon.
It can be very useful to be grandfathered into an old plan that isn’t available anymore. What one Reddit poster and his mother have discovered, though, is that it creates some problems. Like when someone dies, and AT&T insists that they can’t make any changes to your DSL and landline account unless you upgrade to UVerse.
As Verizon builds their FiOS network, they’ve sold off their landline and DSL business in many markets to Frontier. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it has been for Nick and other former Verizon customers in his town in West Virginia. Their connection speed fell to one-sixth of what it was with Verizon. The speed has improved recently, but they’ve traded consistent slowness for intermittent outages. Nick can now stay online for about two minutes at a time.
AT&T is a powerful company, but we didn’t know that they were powerful enough to interfere with the passage of time. Yet they are! They used their magic to take Mark’s seven-month-old DSL modem, and transform it into a 2-year-old DSL modem.
Ever have one of those days where you’re browsing along, everything is cool, but then it seems like whenever you try to watch YouTube or download, your speed suddenly plummets? Your ISP could be “shaping” your traffic, intentionally throttling your rates for certain kind of media. To test it out, you can try running this Glasnost test.
AT&T wants to charge Derek a $100 early termination fee even though the DSL they’re giving barely even works. His downtime is almost 12 hours a day, and on the rare occasions it does work, it’s only 100kbps. It’s like watching taffy grill on a Georgia sidewalk. AT&T says they’ve lived up to their part of the bargain, with one customer service rep telling him, “If AT&T were to provide a constant speed of 0 Kbps this still qualifies as service within our contract,” and so now he must pay his contractually stipulated ETF. Also, he must have imagined that a technician came and visited his house.
Koji would like to sign up for AT&T DSL. However, some evil force at AT&T doesn’t want him as a customer, and keeps sneaking into the computer system to cancel his account activation and otherwise destroy any hope that he might have of DSL. Why is this happening? No one at AT&T knows.
Joshua signed up for what seemed like a solid introductory deal for Verizon DSL, but the service was poor and the more he called for suggestions on how to fix it, the worse and deal he got. Verizon kept extending his contract while downgrading his service, insisting there was nothing else it could do to help him out.
Consumerist reader David recently made the switch from Comcast internet to Verizon DSL because he figured if he was going to get slow web access, he might as well pay less for it. David also works for a company that will reimburse him for a portion of his internet cost, so long as he provides them with a copy of his bill. One catch — Verizon doesn’t seem to want to show him his bill.
A class action has been filed against AT&T DSL for being too slow. Specifically, the suit alleges that AT&T set the maximum rate customers could get at a level that was lower than the advertised rate. The company denies these claims but has opted to settle instead of going to court. You’re eligible to join if…
Usually, when customers try to change an Internet service provider, the ISP will do things like discount the rate or offer some benefit in an attempt to retain your business. But that’s not what’s happening to Consumerist reader Addie; AT&T loves her so much, they’ve continued to bill her for six months for a service she doesn’t even have.
Remember Michael? When he tried to upgrade his Verizon DSL, a customer service rep helpfully told him that 7 mbps was not only unavailable at his address, but it would burn his house down. After this slightly surreal exchange was featured on Consumerist, Michael reports that Verizon’s executive customer service got in touch with him and figured out the situation. Guess what? He could get the blazing fast DSL that Verizon had repeatedly refused him.
Since you’re reading this on Christmas Day, there’s a reasonable chance you’d agree that losing internet access for a week is tantamount to going without food or showering.
Michael would like some faster Internet tubes to run into his house. He would be happy to give his ISP, Verizon DSL, money to provide this service, but he can’t. He writes that repeated calls to Verizon’s sales line resulted in a series of answers that disagreed with each other, culminating in a call where the rep quite sincerely informed him that Verizon cannot give him faster DSL because it will burn his house down.
Bonnie’s elderly parents switched from Verizon dial-up to Verizon DSL, but Verizon didn’t turn off their dial-up account when switching them to DSL. They somehow failed to notice when they continued to be charged for dialup. For two years.
Richard is annoyed at AT&T. Due to what we will optimistically call a mixup, he didn’t exactly get the DSL service he ordered and was paying for. While he has straightened things out with the company, he wants to keep other customers in his area from having the same experience.