The time has come, it seems, to sit the children down by the glow of the 55-inch flat screen TV set to the fireplace channel, and tell them all about what that weird looking metal and glass box used to mean to people. Yes, kids, we had to use landline telephones for many years, some inside one of these magical “booths.” The New York Times can explain. [via Jim Romanesko]
It’s no secret that companies like AT&T and Verizon look at their aging copper landline networks as expensive dinosaurs of a pre-Internet age. But one advocacy group alleges that Verizon has allowed its copper lines to fall into disrepair in the hopes of pushing landline customers to Internet-based phone service. [More]
In January, the FCC gave landline telecom providers the go-ahead to begin tests of Internet-based phone service intended to replace existing copper-line phone networks. Today, AT&T finally revealed the two locations in which it would like to kick off its testing. [More]
Supporters of removing price caps on utility services claim that deregulation will ultimately result in lower prices and more competition. But a new report claims that when California ditched pricing regulations on landline phone service, it only led to huge bill increases for AT&T customers. [More]
There are kids and teens out there that have never used anything other than a wireless phone (though these youngsters only seem to text). And many of us who can still remember their first cellphone call — “I’m calling… from the street!” — can’t remember the last time we used a landline at home. [More]
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.
Imagine an alternate dimension. One where you have phone service, but it isn’t working. You call AT&T your service provider, and their automated response system tells you that you aren’t an AT&T customer, and to call your actual provider. When you call up AT&T to wait for an actual human to sort this out, they call you back… to immediately put you on hold.
It’s been almost a year since the FCC finally got around to considering rule changes to keep landline phone service providers from padding customers’ bills with charges for third-party services that range from long-distance service to yoga classes. Today, the commission announced some new regulations — but they only goes so far in protecting consumers.
Your phone is not only a lifeline, entertainment device and communication portal to everyone you know, but it’s also a siphon that sucks money out of you monthly. Phone companies are counting on you falling into complacency with paying for unneeded services.
Verizon really wants Sean to sign up for FiOS. Really, really wants him to sign up. He’s happy kicking it old-school with a regular old copper landline, and dumping the barrage of FiOS ads in the trash. So it was interesting when he got a letter apologizing for nonexistent “service issues” in his area and urging him to upgrade to the newer, shinier fiber optic network. The letter assures him that he can totally keep his current phone plan at its current price – even though the equivalent plan under FiOS is cheaper.
Ron has his AT&T U-Verse cable TV, Internet access, and phone lines working now, but only after spending most of the past week fighting with AT&T. He could have had access back on Saturday, the very first day of the outage, but an AT&T rep told him that sending a tech out to him on a Saturday was impossible. It’s not. They shipped a replacement for his malfunctioning gateway out via UPS. It got lost. Ron is frustrated, because he likes U-Verse. When it works.
Yesterday, we wrote about a new “minimum use” fee AT&T was charging to landline customers without long-distance service plans. Per the official company line, the only way to get around the fee is to make the equivalent amount in long-distance calls or pay another fee to remove access to long-distance from your account. But a CSR from AT&T tells Consumerist that you can probably get the fees credited back to your account if you just ask.
The 45,000 striking Verizon workers agreed to return to their jobs earlier this week while a contract is ironed out, but the time away from their posts could have far-reaching effects on the economy. Because the workers were off the job the week the Labor Department surveyed employers, they won’t count among the ranks of the employed for the August jobs report.
Tonly lives in a deluxe condo building in the sky. Unfortunately for him, high-density urban living and AT&T DSL don’t mix. He waited three months for sweet, sweet Internet access because, as AT&T explained, all of the ports for the building were full. Just a few months later, his access cut out for no clear reason. The most logical explanation is that the line to his condo was switched off by mistake during another customer’s install. Easy enough to fix, isn’t it? But Tony owns his modem, and AT&T is using that as an excuse not to fix the problem.