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AT&T Long Distance USA Consumer Reviews

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Tech Support Security Policy Is Absurd
By -

CALIFORNIA -- My internet connection went down and I couldn't connect to internet. I called AT&T tech support. Everything seemed to go fine until they wanted me to supply them with the 'original' passcode on the account. I started my internet service with SBCglobal and AT&T took them over a few years back. So, after almost 10 years of service I couldn't remember the 'original' passcode. In this time I have upgraded by 2 computers. The tech said to 'look on an AT&T bill. Problem: I have been 'paperless' for over a year now and have no AT&T bills. They said, 'Too bad, they can't help me without that info'. After going round and round about that I finally hung up.

I found an older 2wire I had and hooked that up and got an internet connection. Problem: during the tech session with AT&T they reset my internet connection so that my connection would default to the AT&T diagnostic page and I would have to completely negotiate the diagnostics before it would re-connect. Problem: got to a page that demanded that same info 'for security reasons' that I went round and round with the tech person. Called again > explained that I had no bills, that I have been paperless for a year or more.. and that I couldn't check my online account to see what that info was because I COULDN'T get online.

Again, they told me that I was basically screwed. They couldn't help until I gave them the info. They gave me an alternative: FAX a copy of my driver's license and a current bill to them the 'verify' that I am who I say I am. **??? Stop my life?? and FAX them?? I don't have a fax machine.. drive to some store somewhere?? and FAX them.. Again, I said, "never mind, it is easier to cancel my service with AT&T then to put up with this **". I asked to be transferred to termination of service. They hung up on me. I called AT&T and got to the disconnect service.

When I explained to the person what just happened and why I was disconnecting service, she was appalled. She had all my info there, all they need to do was to contact her office and she could give them my info. She convinced me to stay. She opened a threeway between a tech person, herself and me. I got the info to them and they cleared things up on their end and saw my 'modem' as being online even though I couldn't still get to my home page. We hung up.

There was still some problem on my side of things and it was up to me to figure it out. Fortunately, I remembered the URL of the diagnostic page AT&T told me to type in, so I got as far as the diagnostic page. Safari has diagnostic button for troubleshooting connectivity issues. It still said that there was a problem with my computer talking to the modem. I had already replaced the 2wire, and even though all lights were green, I tried a new Ethernet cable. That seemed to be the solution..I accessed the connection reset page, typed in all the security info I got from that wonderful woman in the service disconnect office and am back online. Took about 6 hours.

AT&T Tech support and policies.. I give a minus 10.. total ** and stupid! Non-tech support for AT&T, I give a 10+ Smarter and more logical than the stupid tech support. Also, I ended up with 1/2 off the next 6 months of DSL service AND a free 2wire modem. HEY, AT&T.. listen up!! With all of your Technology to communicate, how about communicating between your depts??? All the info I needed was right there!! Thanks for nothing AT&T tech support. Bless you AT&T Discontinue service personnel.

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Customer Service Rep Lied About Everything
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DALLAS, TEXAS -- In mid August I signed up with AT&T DSL by telephone. I spoke with a Customer Service Rep (ie; salesman) who said DSL cost $35 and when I protested that I had friends paying $25, he lied and said "That's what it costs now". This is incorrect. If I could have gone online I would have seen there are four tiers starting at $19 for Basic emailing speeds then, $20, $30 and up to $35 for Pro online streaming game & video playing speeds.

He said that I would have to have a phone line as well. I have found out since that this isn't true. He also neglected to inform me the line was a measured line which means I could only make 25 calls on it a month for free and then would have to pay by the minute. He asked if I wanted long distance and I said I didn't unless it didn't have a monthly charge. He said I wouldn't be charged unless I used it. This was also a lie.

He said I would be eligible for a $200 rebate. This was a lie. I would be entitled to a $50 rebate for the modem which I did receive without any problems. However, I discovered from the next representative that was trying to straighten out this mess, I could only receive an additional $100 for switching to AT&T internet. When I checked with the rebate department, they had no record of it. I had to call a fourth time and speak to another representative and told him the situation and he allowed the credit. I have received this $100 credit finally.

The last thing was the most maddening. This lying representative said I had to give a credit card to secure the account. Now I had never heard of this before and felt very uncomfortable with it. I thought of hanging up (trust your instincts folks) because it "felt" so wrong. I told him I have perfect credit and have never had to even pay a deposit for telephone service. I had had a AT&T phone account in the recent past which I had cancelled. They should have known I was dependable but he insisted that "was the way they did it now". This was his biggest lie.

He had signed me up as a high risk account without even running my credit information. I told him I wanted to be billed monthly and he said the credit card was just to establish the account. This was all a lie. The credit arm of AT&T called me because he had written down the wrong account. That was when I discovered he had signed me up for an automatic monthly withdrawal from my credit card account.

To unravel this I have had to make several calls to AT&T customer support. We had to effectively shutdown the previous account and they credited me the long distance charge except for $.80 for the service and $3.00 of taxes and surcharges. I left messages on the "supervisory" line twice in order to make an official complaint against this employee who lied to me over and over again. No one has returned my call. I will write the headquarters in San Antonio and the FCC to complain about these business practices and this particular representative who should be fired.

My advice to others: Keep calling and keep complaining until you get what was promised you. If you must sign up for AT&T for any of their products, signup online. Perhaps you will receive an accurate representation of the services and charges you can expect. Print out a copy of all their promotions and keep a well defined paper trail. Overall, I would recommend avoid doing business with AT&T. Why rely on a company that lies to its customers if there are other choices?

Verizon Vios is coming to my area. I had Verizon telephone where I lived before and found it to be both a straight forward and reliable company. Friends have Vios for DSL and rave about its speed for DSL and clarity for cable. Something to keep in mind for the future.

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Fraudulent business practices of AT&T and Advanced services Billing Inc.
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ALABAMA -- On my AT&T phone bill. About a year ago I received notice that my statement from AT&T would begin arriving in a "new format". This notice was presented as though AT&T had adopted an easier to understand billing format. However: AT&T was NOT the one changing the format. AT&T had conspired with "Enhanced Services Billing Inc." to add a FRAUDULENT charge of $15.95 A MONTH for my "New Enhanced Bill" to already overrated services from AT&T.

My wife had clicked on a coupon and innocently gave out our phone number to these criminals. When I called "Enhanced Services Billing" at 1-888-293-3724 they said they will credit me for the $130.00+ they and AT&T had conspired to FRAUDULENTLY obtain from me for IMAGINARY "services".

I called AT&T at 1-888-757-6500 and informed them that I am aware of their fraudulent conspiracy with "Enhanced Services Billing Inc." to demand they stop billing me for something I never received, wanted, OR AUTHORIZED. The AT&T representative I talked to asked if I or my wife had "read the fine print" on the coupon? That: shows me that AT&T is well aware of the perpetrated fraud and is ALSO A PARTICIPATING PARTY TO FRAUDULENT BUSINESS PRACTICES.

This illegal charge was never verified with any confirmation whatsoever. They just started the billing process in the hope that they would get away with it. If I don't get my money back in a reasonable time: I will set up a computer with a modem to speed dial their toll free number at "Enhanced Services Billing Inc." with thousands of "hang-up" calls to cause damage and disruption for those thieves. "Enhanced Services Billing Inc." is committing wire fraud and AT&T IS A WILLING PARTICIPANT who also receives monetary compensation related to this fraud.

I am canceling all of my AT&T "services". Getting a cable internet connection and "Vonage" as my telephone service. And: that choice is much cheaper, and of higher quality than what AT&T provides. This raw deal has actually helped me find a much better deal elsewhere. Ditch AT&T! You never know when they will screw you too! Sooner or later: THEY WILL!

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Unauthorized Billing
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CUMMING, GEORGIA -- I noticed on July's bill a charge of $14.95 from an entity called Enhanced Billing Services. I called AT&T and the customer service rep. told me that AT&T will place any and all charges from any company because they are not "in the billing dispute department." When I asked since when AT&T is in the billing services for unknown companies, she got belligerent and coped the repeating words' attitude. She kept repeating like a machine: "AT&T will not help you. Call the company who charged you."

I insisted that I never authorized this charge and AT&T should not have placed any charges on its monthly phone bill to begin with, let alone an unauthorized charge from an unknown entity. I added that I did not hire AT&T's services for billing but for phone services alone. Needless to say she did not listen or try to help in any way. Her arrogance and uncooperative attitude were really frustrating.

Since then I learned that EBS or ESB as they are also known, is located in San Antonio, Texas and there are numerous complaints against them about "cramming." I wrote to the FCC but they replied that it is not their domain and gave me the (Federal Trade Commission) FTC's number. I called the FTC and filed a complaint against both the EBS AND AT&T for unauthorized billing. I wrote a letter to AT&T as well demanding a resolution and review of their conduct both in customer [non] service and in billing anything at all on my phone bill beside phone services provided.

I hope AT&T will get the message. I will be surprised since my wife and I dropped AT&T years ago because of their arrogance and lack of consideration or service to customers. That's the result of the near monopoly AT&T enjoys on local phone services at present. Unfortunately, BellSouth was "swallowed" by AT&T and we are stuck with them again.

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Still Screwing Soldiers For A Profit
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I am writing about a problem that has not only affected myself, but literally dozens of soldiers in my small area. I would imagine that the problem is happening on a larger scale throughout Iraq and Afghanistan. The issue is AT&T phone cards that are sold to soldiers under exclusive contracts to the US military. Unfortunately, some of these cards do not work. It would perhaps be reasonable to assume that there would be problems with cards would happen. However, there appears to be a broad sense of neglect and a deliberate attempt to ignore problems arising from this monopoly.

I recently purchased a phone card here in Iraq and, upon attempting to use it, discovered that the PIN number on the back was faulty. (755-413-19XX / last two numbers missing in records). When I attempted to call customer service, I was repeatedly prompted for the PIN. As the PIN was not valid, AT&T's customer service system simply hung up on me. Repeated attempts to access the system were similarly unsuccessful. More troubling was the small print on the back, in which AT&T charges minutes from your card in order to access customer service. In other words, it was clear that AT&T would only help soldiers for a fee.

Assuming it was a one off, I traded the card for another card from a different location (**) and experienced the exact same problem. Attempting write or email AT&T were ignored. I wrote the Better Business Bureau and the repeated response was to simply state that what was happening could not be happening as it was against their policy. At no point did they indicate that they would take actions to address or correct this issue.

With just a little effort, I have found literally dozens of soldiers who have experienced the exact same problem with AT&T. Although many soldiers have access to FOB and the problem is annoying, it can be particularly devastating for soldiers that are deployed further forward and do not have routine access to AAFES. I am sure that there are soldiers who have to make repeated trips across combat zones to garner access to a phone card that actually works. In the mean time, the soldier is cut off from his family.

As AT&T has an exclusive contract, there are no alternatives available to soldiers. As is typical of unmonitored monopolies, AT&T has continues to collect fees for a service that is rapidly degenerating. I would appreciate any assistance in bringing AT&T around to honor its commitment to provide phone service to US soldiers.

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Unscrupulous Billing Practices
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GEORGETOWN, KENTUCKY -- My husband and I recently moved to a small town in Kentucky, and upon doing research, discovered that AT&T (Bellsouth) was the only company that could offer us DSL and digital home phone. We telecommute two-three days/week, so it is essential that we have this service. But it has been a nightmare to deal with this company. NOT ONE of our problems has been responded to satisfactorily. Here is the list:

1) Failure to notify us that our long distance was not switched over to Sprint as we ordered, so that when we made long-distance calls from our home phone, we were being charged the highest rate per minute for these calls. When we disputed the charges, AT&T refused to remove them.

2) When we set up online billing, one of our payments didn't go through. AT&T sent us an email confirming that the bill had been paid, and when we went to the online site, our account said we owed $0. Thirty days later, our phone service was turned off due to non-payment, WITHOUT WARNING. When we called to find out what happened, the billing department told us the problem was ours (though it was a glitch in their server that prevented the upload while simultaneously reporting the payment was made). We told them we would not pay a $35 fee for reinstatement, but,

3) This month we've received our bill, and not only have we been charged the $35 reinstatement, but also they have charged us for each individual service we have ordered rather than bundling the services, as we ordered. Therefore, what should be a $62 + taxes bill for DSL, phone, and long distance is now $180 +. We tried to call as soon as we got the bill, but the line was so jammed that we were not even sent through. When we call on Monday, this will be at the FOURTH time we have called AT&T in five months.

In all this time, AT&T has not accepted responsibility for any of its errors. We have paid for EACH ONE, despite our dispute of the charges (including all those long distance charges from the failure to switch us to Sprint long distance).

Since we bought AT&T's router for the DSL/wireless service for our home, changing to another option (like broadband for the laptops) is a considerable loss of money. We STRONGLY DISCOURAGE anyone who has a choice of DSL/home phone service NOT to use AT&T. They are TERRIBLE - a business that would fail if not for their monopoly in some markets.

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Forced 'Operator Assisted' Call Charges
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Run for your life! AT&T's Customer Service has been taken-over by Zombies! I was an AT&T customer for 30+ years but not anymore. I am convinced that AT&T is SCAMMING their clients for millions of dollars, just by forcing them to use 'Operator Assisted' calls caused by their own faulty phone service lines.

When I recently called AT&T customer service about a like incident, all of the representative that I spoke to, eerily in an almost spooky-way, responded in the same scripted, accented, mono-tone, word-for-word dialogue about some quirky rule that they “can not reimburse for an Operator Assisted call” and that it was basically my own fault for being forced to use an operator.

I tried, in vain to explain to their customer service folks what happened, as it was so obvious from looking at the phone bill, the terms of events leading up to the forced ‘Operator Assistance'. Looking back, it would have been easier not to have called and just spoken to a brick wall. Never mind that a number I was able to dial prior, using the same exact phone just minutes before was no longer considered valid according to AT&T's system. I can even, remember at the time thinking how nice it was for AT&T to send an operator to assist with connecting my call. Wow! I was thinking such great customer service, until I got slapped with a huge AT&T bill!

AT&T charged me $50+ for a call that lasted less than 10 minutes because it was an ‘Operator Assisted' call. This call would have normally been less than $1 according to my calling plan. I was basically being forced into a situation to pay an exorbitant amount for using an operator, because of AT&T's own faulty service lines. How odd that a valid number all of a sudden became invalid and that I could not make a connection without their own operator to assist! This smacks of extortion.

At one point, when I called AT&T's customer service, and asked to speak to a manager, I got a ‘fake-supervisor du jour', who read off the same scripted response as the initial, non-supervisory representative, when I then asked him for his manager, I was told that he has "an OFF-line Manager" and that “I could not escalate this issue any further” and was than giving a PO Box to write my complaint to.

I believe that AT&T is scamming people for millions using forced ‘Operator Assisted' calls and in general, a shut-out client service tactic, with little recourse for the consumer. This customer bids her final, Good-BYE and good riddance to AT&T! I am walking with my on-line bill pay check-book to a more customer oriented, less deceptive company.

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Lousy Service
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WINSTON SALEM, NORTH CAROLINA -- I ordered phone service through AT&T a few weeks ago with an install date for 9/2. I was not initially given a window of time and was basically told it was anytime in the day. I took off work and spent the day home waiting for them. I called in to AT&T a number of times and the automated machine kept hanging up on me. I waited at the low end 1 hour at a time on hold to speak with someone and most of those representative lost my call during transfer which meant another hour on hold trying to get to speak with someone again. Well this went on for around 4 hours today.

I finally spoke with someone who told me my window of install was between 12 and 6pm so I didn't really need to stay here all day but was never initially told that. This person checked the account, checked the numbers and verified that the install was scheduled. Well at 6 pm tonight after no one had shown up, I started the entire process of calling them all over again.

The first representative after an hour on hold told me he could not give me any info on the account and had to transfer me to another number to obtain the information and of course that office was closed. I once again called back and went through the entire hold process again to be told the account was put on hold and no other information was available except from the office which of course was closed.

Now mind you, I don't even have their service and already am being treated with disrespect and like garbage. No one called me, no one told me there was an issue, they just let me sit home like an idiot all day begging them for information. Well I want to know what happened between 3 pm when the install was verified and 6 pm when no one showed up and no one called. This is lousy service.

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AT&T (frm. SBC) Yahoo DSL - Horrible Service, nowhere near Time Warner Cable
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HOUSTON, TEXAS -- I moved into a new apartment and had to change from Time Warner Cable High Speed Cable Internet (RoadRunner) to the AT&T (former SBC) "High Speed" Yahoo! DSL Internet. This review is by no means an advertisement for TWC - just an attempt to compare and let you know about frustration with ATT/SBC. Had I known what kind of aggravation signing up for AT&T (SBC) DSL would bring I would have never moved into this apartment in the first place. High Speed Internet is a crucial requirement for me - I am an IT professional and work from home most of the time.

AT&T DSL (former SBC) provides highly unsatisfactory service! Everybody I spoke to at AT&T were making statements obviously not knowing what they were talking about. Like early contract termination/disconnection fee for example... it is still a mystery to me. Contract says $200. When I was signing up I was told by the representative it was "only" $99. Another representative said there was no termination fee. Whom to believe?They say whatever is their latest policy - takes precedence. So what is the point in signing the contract then - if they can change it anytime they want?

BTW, you will get charged early termination fee even if you move during your contract to an area where there is no SBC/AT&T service provided. Keep that in mind. With TWC - no early termination fees and no contracts. I usually spend hours on the phone trying to resolve simple problems, being footballed around from one representative to another. Today I spoke with 8 people from AT&T, having spend 2.5 hours on the phone trying to resolve a simple billing problem. I haven't placed a service call with TWC in years. Also about 50% of the time you would get a non-native English speaker, sometimes very difficult to understand.

I signed up on 05.03.2006 for the AT&T DSL Elite Package - $29.99 and was promised speeds from 3 to 6 Mbps. That required a phone line. (Phone activation is separate from DSL activation and takes about a week each). I haven't had a phone land line in years. I used to keep my cellphone as the only line for voice communications and TWC Roadrunner for the Internet. That was all I needed.

I was quoted $35 phone installation fee, instead I was charged $48. But that was just that, - peanuts for starters... I also had to purchase DSL modem for $50 (TWC provided cable modems for free and replaced them couple of times with newer models), that actually had to be shipped to me (another $13). DSL modem it can be rebated if you send the shipping label back to them and be with them for at least 4 (?) months out of your contract, and then it takes another couple of months to get the rebate. Taxes are very high both on the phone and DSL, on $36 of service I pay $20 additionally in taxes! With TWC it was about $1.5 on $44 service.

Instead of promised 3-6 Mbps I am getting constantly 2-2.4 Mbps. That is with the direct Ethernet cable connection from your NIC to the DSL modem. If you use home wireless network, like most of us, it will be even slower. Also they insist on disabling any ati-virus and firewall protection during the test. Well, how realistic this test is then? If you run Windows OS - running firewall and some sort of AV protection is a must! I opened a technical support ticket and conducted several DSL speed tests provided by SBC/AT&T tech support that confirmed that the speed is not approaching the promised minimum of 3 Mbps.

Technical support advised me that these speeds cannot be provided in my area (by what methods they determined this is unknown, actually that tech support person did not do anything at all, he was just talking), and that I need to downgrade the service to the "Pro" (1.5 - 3 Mbps).

So I called back to let ATT know that they charge me for the falsely advertised speeds that they cannot deliver, and was told that they will "downgrade the speed" but I still will be charged till 05.30.2006 as if I were getting the Elite speeds for the whole month of May. Moreover I was told that I need to continue to pay the full amount on my bills till I see the change, which, as I was told can take 2 to 3 billing cycles.

The last representative I spoke to today (the 8th person) told me that he is doing me a "great favor" by letting me switch to Pro (even though it is totally SBC/AT&T fault - not being able to deliver the promised speeds that I was charged for and were the only reason I signed up for the service), and also giving me the special rate of $19.99 (that is actually quoted on the web site - there is nothing special about it), because I "do not qualify" for the "special" $19.99 rate for whatever reason. With TWC Roadrunner I usually saw 300-350 KBytes/s download speeds, that is about 2.7 Mbps. But then again, they were never making any outrageous claims in the first place.

To the current AT&T(SBC) DSL customers - run the speed test. It can be found here: **. Run it and see what your real connection speed is! It is possible you have been paying for years for the falsely advertised speeds that AT&T just cannot deliver but does charge for them.

To those considering AT&T - think again. All of the representatives that I spoke too never resolved my problems but never failed to try to sell me some additional services. They say they do not work for commission, but based on my experiences with them I no longer believe a single word coming out of them. I am writing to the Better Business Bureau about this as well as Public Utility Commission of Texas. BTW, I am not advertising TWC here. Their services are also far from perfect and also expensive. But everything is known in comparison. ATT/SBC DSL service and support is a nightmare!

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No Customer Service Whatsoever
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SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA -- Irate CSR retaliates to a statement I made and disconnected my phone service which I've had for over 13 years. For three days I am told a variety of differing stories - phone service to be reconnected with no worries by 8 with DSL on the same day. At one point my call is routed to an outsourcing call center where my very feminine voice keeps being met with Mr. and sir this and that. Blind transferred to multiple departments on several occasions.

On the third day without DSL, I am told this is unrealistic to think I will have DSL anytime soon. It is a new account now and I will have to wait at least a week or more to have internet service. Switching internet service providers. You can have AT&T.

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AT&T Long Distance USA Rating:
43 reviews & complaints.
Contact Information:
AT&T Long Distance USA
32 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10012-2412
800-288-2747 (ph)
www.att.com
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