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AT&TAT&T Customer Service: The Horror

AT&T Customer Service: The Horror, Part 2 

 AT&T Customer Service, The Horror, Part 3: A New Hope?

AT&T Customer Service: The Horror, Part 4: It’s Fixed…Part Of It Anyway…Maybe…Sort Of…

12-29-14: My new modem (“gateway” in AT&T corporate speak) arrived as promised–it’s a Netgear Model B90-755025-15 for all you techies out there–and with much anticipation, I plugged it in, but was met with instant frustration as I didn’t remember this would require logging onto AT&T’s website dedicated to such things so this new modem could be made to work. Of course, the website would not accept my password which I had been careful to record the last time I went through the process less than a year ago, so after about 30 minutes of keyboard punching and hurling vile epithets in the general direction of my monitor screen, I was forced to call the AT&T helpline. It took about 30 minutes–nothing works the first time or easily–but an earnest, friendly and helpful young lady was finally able to get it up and running for me, and when the survey about her performance arrived in my inbox the next day–AT&T is highly competent at sending out surveys about their competence–I gave her honestly high marks.

Over the next week I dutifully ran speed tests at all hours of the day and night with my Apple wireless transmitter–Mrs. Manor loves her iPad–plugged into the modem, and with it unplugged. There was no significant difference, in fact at least half the time it was actually a bit faster with the wireless transmitter connected. On a DLS line where I’ve been assured I’m supposed to be continuously in the 5 Mbps range, I was in the 1 MBPS range almost continuously. It did run all the way up to 5 Mbps for a few hours one day–I hardly knew what do with it!–but that didn’t last. In fact, for about half of the speed tests over the entire week, the DSL was so slow I couldn’t get the speedtest site to load so I could run a speed test!

In the meantime I called Kyle, David’s–my friendly and very helpful local outside AT&T technician–supervisor. He told me he was convinced this was not just my problem, but a problem of my community, which he already referred to the guys that handle the indoor equipment involved, and he hadn’t heard back from them. Actually, he would not normally expect to hear back from them. He told me that David did indeed correspond with Kevin Smith at the President’s office about this mess, and he and David were very frustrated by it all. They want it fixed fast and right and take the failure to fix it as a reflection on themselves. He promised to research things and get back to me.

In the meantime, meantime, I e-mailed Kevin again with the results of my many speedtests, noting that they would seem to suggest that the problem was not a modem, which David and I have been trying to have him accept for some time now.

A few days later, just to be helpful and to ensure he had recent information, I again e-mailed Kevin with the results of speed tests I’d conducted over the last few days. As usual, they were running in the 1 Mbps range, and usually less.

Now, one week later, after waiting a decent interval for Kevin to return my e-mails, I left a message on his answering service. After no return call several days later, I left another message on his answering machine on Friday, January 09, 2015.

Still no returned call, still no “high speed DSL.” In fact, over the last 24 hours, once again the line has been so slow I often haven’t been able to log onto speedtest, and many of the sites I visit daily won’t load either.

Perhaps Kevin is on vacation. Perhaps he has been taken hostage by Girl Scouts that have decided kidnapping corporate executives is more lucrative than cookie sales. Perhaps he has been eaten by turtles or abducted by aliens, perhaps aliens resembling turtles.

In any case, I remain one of many AT&T customers who are unable to get the service for which they are paying, and who can’t get a straight answer from the office of the President of AT&T about whether they recognize there is a problem and what might be necessary to fix it or when it might be fixed. David and Kyle know there is a problem, they just aren’t in a position to fix it.

Stay tuned, gentle readers. I just hope you don’t have to rely on an AT&T DSL connection to do it.