SBC Communications Inc

13 reviews & complaints.
Company Profile
SBC Communications Inc
175 E. Houston
San Antonio, TX 78205
210-821-4105 (ph)
(210) 351-2071 (fax)
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The Horror of SBC Billing and Service
By -

TIFFIN, OHIO -- Starting in 2004 I had SBC DSL installed in my home for $26.00 a month with a 1 year contract. Early in 2005 I switched to Time Warner package. This package included my cable, phone (with nationwide toll free calling), and broadband internet. The cost of this package was $105 a month taxes included. The Time Warner package was OK but the phone service was of poor quality because of a constant echo when talking.

Then in July 2005 SBC sends an offer in the mail. The card says that they will offer me a phone service (limited nationwide toll free calling 1 hour a month), and DSL service for $34.00 a month for 1 year. Plus there was to be a $60 Visa card sent as an incentive. The modem was supposed to have a rebate also. I set up for payments to be made via credit card. Since we were unhappy with Time Warner phone service and since we hardly ever used the long distance nationwide calling, we decided to go back to SBC.

I called SBC July 28, 2005 to set up the new phone and internet service. I remember them telling me that since I was coming back to SBC service from Time Warner, there would be a "Win-Back" incentive of 3 free months of DSL. They said it may take a couple of weeks to get this installed. This person advised that there may be a little fluctuation in the first two billing periods before things are straightened out.

The end of August 2005 there still had been no reply or service from SBC. I called and asked about it. They told me that there were some problems with the release of my service from Time Warner but that it should be "€œsoon"€. The end of September 2005 there still had been no reply or service from SBC. I called and asked about it again. The same response as before was given. I also asked to change the order to include a home network modem for two computers. The person made the order change. The cost of the modem after the rebate was to be $49.00.

The middle of October 2005 there still had been no reply or service from SBC. I called and asked about it again. The same response as before was given. The end of October 2005 there still had been no reply or service from SBC. I called and asked about it again. This time I asked to speak to a supervisor and informed him of what had preceded. I also asked to make sure that I was to get for my $34.00 a month a phone service, DSL, rebate for the modem, $60 visa card and 3 free months of DSL (Win-Back Program). He informed me that all was good and that I should have the service in the next few days.

It was November 3, 2006 that the SBC truck pulled up to hook up the phone service. The installation lady connected the phone line back to SBC and said that the phone is operational. I asked about the DSL. She said she didn'€™t know anything about it. She said that it will probably be next week, then left. Two hours later she come back and says there is a problem with the phone service. She said they tried to test the line but got no response, and she will have to check out the house wiring. I had to tell her that we had Time Warner and the phone service in my house was still connected to Time Warner modem. Problem solved.

The next week the modem arrives. It was the wrong modem. I called SBC and told them that there was an order change and that I was supposed to get the home network modem instead of the single port modem. They said to send this modem and back and the right modem would be sent. It was on November 10, 2006 that I received the home network modem. I hooked it up and went though the registration process. There was a problem so I called Tech Support. They led me though the process and everything worked fine. This took approximately 30 minuets for this call.

On November 29, 2006 I received my first SBC bill for $34.00. I paid it using my credit card. The beginning of December 2006 I got a pre-recorded call from SBC that I haven'€™t registered my DSL service and I had to call Tech Support. I called Tech Support and they led me though the registration process again. About December 7, 2006 I received another bill via email from SBC for $200. The representative told me that there might be a little problem with billing the first couple of months so I just paid the bill.

About the middle of December I received another automated call from SBC saying my DSL is not registered and that if not done soon, my DSL service would be cut off. I called Tech Support again and went though the process of registration. I asked the person if he was sure I am registered. He assured me it was. It took approximately 45 minuets for this call.

On about December 27, 2006 I get another automated call from SBC that the DSL is still not registered. This time I asked to speak to a supervisor. He didn'€™t know why this was happening. He gave me over to a Level 2 Tech. He could not find out why this was happening. He gave me over to a software engineer. He could not figure it out. He said "€œIt must be a FLUKE in the database and just ignore the problem if they call again".€ Time spent of the phone was over 1 hour.

On January 14, 2006 I received an email bill from SBC for $300. This was the final straw. I called January 16, 2006 with the SBC bill in hand. I informed them that I have had major problems with SBC services/billing and wanted to speak to a supervisor. I informed this person (in Cleveland office) that there is a major problem with my bill and proceeded to tell her about my past problems. Then I told her that I have had the phone service since the beginning of November 2005 and the DSL with home networking two weeks later. Since then I have received billings amounting to just under $500.

The present bill has me listed as having (2) separate DSL services on one phone line. The bill also has me listed as having a "€œWireless Hub"€ which I never asked for nor have I ever received. How can I possibly have two separate DSL services on one phone line? She had no answer except "€œThere must be a problem". No kidding!!

After spending 1.5 hours with this person, who was a very good and helpful person, the bill was adjusted in increments of $100, $100, and $40. I also asked about my rebate on the modem and the $60 Visa card and the 3 free months of DSL service for the Win-Back Program. She said the Visa card is still being processed and that the 3 free months of service is supposed to be spread out over the length of the contract. Sounds good to me.

Now it is February, the bill has been adjusted and I am half happy. I still have not received the rebate or $60 Visa card. February 9, 2006 I called the phone number on the rebate check. The person told me that there was a 10-week period that they have to get me the rebate. "€œThe rebate check will be sent February 23, 2006."

February 24, 2006 no rebate check comes. I call the rebate center again March 1, 2006. The person told me "€œOh, your rebate has been denied"€. I found out why. Apparently they never received word that the first wrong modem that I sent back never got to them. Also the billing section had not been notified about the modem change. So billing never adjusted the records. The rebate center then forwarded my call to billing.

Well finally I got another person in Cleveland who knew what to do and who to talk to. I really liked her. She kept me on the phone and we had casual conversation while she contacted the proper people and got everything straight with billing, shipping and receiving and the rebate center. Two weeks later I got my rebate and the extra charge for the first modem removed. Now I only have to wait until my contract ends to find out if I will receive my 3 free months of DSL.

My recommendations to SBC: fire half of your employees (college students) answering the phone, hire more employees like those in Cleveland. They sound like veteran employees that know what's going on, and need a raise.

Horrible Customer Service And Then They Try To Bill Me For Their Incompetence?
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ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI -- Started on 2/6/2008, just wanted to add a fax line, that's all. Said would cost approx. $62.xx monthly fee, would be $13.75 + tax. The first technician came on 2/6/2008 - worthless, totally. Did not want to install the fax line on the 2nd flr. where the customer wanted it, said cannot. Insisted has to go in the basement where there is already an existing line, just move it over to middle of the room, out of the corner of the basement. After two months, still not working correctly.

The fax line # is (314)-664-1343. When faxed docs out, shows the home phone # which do not want on the docs. The wrong # keyed in the black boxes all technicians have??? This is a privacy issue??? Hello? No, AT&T has added additional charges on my bill. WHY?

Monthly bill was only $85.00 a month now showing $403.53 - how could this be? Install added fax line, $62.75 + tax I was advised, and the monthly fee would only be $13.62 + tax. Now the service is off??? I have been trying to get this issue resolved and every time I call, I get transferred back and forth from the tech support dept. to the billing dept. and get nowhere. The 2nd tech shows up, was nice, did not program correct # in his box so fax # shows up on docs (**) or it wasn't ever installed correctly to start with???

The 3rd tech shows up, did not ever address the issue as to why he was here, but instead more interested in impressing his manager. He installed a box on the outside of the house without any authorization, drilled holes in the foundation, then proceeds to tell me I have to pay for any wires installed on the interior of the house. Excuse me, why are you here? He also unplug the fax machines, to do this without permission, and I had to reset the fax machine again.

The 4th tech came, fixed the jack on the 2nd floor which the 1st technician tore from the wall, and loosened two of the wires which is why fax did not work to start with. The 1st tech did not want to be here. He kept insisting he needed to be at the next job. Said would not be able to install the fax line on the 2nd floor - no wires. Has to go in the basement. Ran extended wire over to middle of the basement from existing wire/jack to apply to the fax machine.

He still did not program in his black box the correct fax # ** so the home phone # showing up on the faxes sent out. Still not able to receive faxes, only able to send out after the 2nd/3rd guy was here. Still not able to get resolved. They are still trying to charge me for all of the visits they made even though it was because of their incompetence. Now my phone isn't working...fax not working. This is ridiculous.

UPDATE TODAY: Received a call from ** AT&T Executive Offices. She was just as rude and incompetent as anyone else at that company. She would not remove the charges and had the nerve to tell me she was going to call the BBB and tell them we had come to a mutual agreement??!! Are you kidding me? Who do they think they are trying to bully here? We did not come to a mutual agreement.

The only thing they need to do is put the account balance to zero...and turn off the phone, DSL, and fax line. I have already gotten my internet through Charter now and want nothing to do with AT&T. They need to follow Charter's example and learn what good customer service is. AT&T is deplorable.

Billing on Closed Account
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I asked that my account for DSL service from AT&T/SBC be closed 2 years ago. I was told it was fine, the account was closed without issue and had no remaining balance. However, on 10/9/07, more than 2 years later I received a call from a collection agency called ERC regarding an outstanding overdue bill for $198.00.
After telling ERC I would be disputing the charge because I was told the account was closed in 2005, I called AT&T who routed me to their closed accounts service center.

AT&T though told me they could do nothing for me and could not release any information because they had sold the account to a collection agency called Capital Services and had never heard or worked with ERC the agency that had called me. When I called Capital Services, they could not give me any information or tell me how to dispute the charge because THEY had sold the account to a second collection agency.

When I called this agency, they had no record of my name or account. They asked for my social security number but I declined because I was not comfortable giving it out to an unknown/unverified "collection agency". After, hanging up with the agency that Capital Services had me call, I called back ERC and told them what had happened and they told me they could do nothing to resolve or dispute my account with AT&T without documentation from AT&T, so I had to call them back.

I then called back AT&T for the second time and spoke with their Closed Accounts department again who told me that they could not release any information or documentation on my account so that I could dispute their charges because it had been sold to the Capital Services collection agency. Very frustrated, I tried calling Capital Services a second time and no one answered their phone so I left a message with my name and telephone number for them to call me back. 10 days later I have not heard from them.

I do not know how to proceed because neither company will let me dispute or even discuss what happened with account, that it was not closed when I requested it be closed 2 years ago. If there was a remaining balance on the account, I was not notified of it when I called or sent any bills to my new address, which I gave them when I called to close the account.

Having this negatively affect my credit after I tried to close the account is grossly unjust when I have/did pursued every reasonable means to pay and close the account. Today 10/19/07 I received a second call from ERC, I explained the situation to them a second time and they were EXTREMELY rude and unhelpful, responding to almost everything I said to them with "whatever, ma'am".

Finally, I got to speak with a supervisor who spoke marginally better English and offered a settlement of $140, which I declined. I told him I had filed complaints with the BBB, Utilities Commission AND the FCC because no one would give me documentation of my account. He then offered to dispute my account and hung up on me. Honestly, everyone involved in this has been shady, rude and unprofessional. I would rather eat my own hand than deal SBC/AT&T EVER again.

SBC DSL Internet Billing
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EAU CLAIRE, WISCONSIN -- I have had DSL internet services with SBC now since December of 2002. I was offered the $29.95 768 package per month, provided I keep it for 12 months. If I was to cancel or move to where it was provided and not keep it, I would have to pay the $200.00 termination fee. But that is not my problem here.

My problem is that when your 1 year is close to up, they will send you a renewal notice in your e-mail telling you to renew your subscription and stay @ the low price of $26.95 per month for another year, or pay the full $52.70 per month to month basics for not renewing. I received my first notice October 2003 to sign up for another year and did so without any problems. Then October 2004 I get my next notice to renew, which I once again promptly sent back.

At the time I noticed the e-mail was acting weird so I also called SBC to confirm my renewal for another year of internet service @ $26.95 per month. In January I received my bill and to my surprise, my internet went from $26.95 ($28.43 tax included) to $52.70. I called SBC right away to bring this to their attention. Why where they charging me full for internet services when I had renewed? It was a mixup on their part, they never received my e-mail and the customer service rep forgot to make note of my call.

I was told to send in my total bill and credit would be applied. I simply told them NO! I will pay what I owe. So I was quoted to pay $45.31 which I did pay. That was my total SBC bill compared to the $84.86 they wanted. The next month before my bill came, I was called by SBC collections. I called back and told them my bill did not come yet. They said it was $110.66, of which $39.87 was past due. I argued with them and finally was connected to a customer service rep again.

Once again I was told to pay the full amount and my account would be credited. Again I said NO, I will pay what I owe. I was told to pay $45.80 and that would bring my account up to date, give or take a buck or two. Now I get my next bill and they want $65.42 past due $9.27 for current charges. A total of $74.69. My bill should be $45.67. The last 2 times I called SBC to get this taken care of, my call is answered by the collections department.

I am living on a tight budget and do not like to be told I am behind in my bills. For that reason I only bite off what I can chew. I keep my bills low and they always get the first attention on payday. What bothers me about this whole mess is the fact SBC now has me on their bad credit list for having a past due account with them when it was totally their mistake.

Incompetent Customer Service / Complaints Not Welcome
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OVERLAND PARK, KANSAS -- If you use SBCGlobal or BellSouth for internet connection or email, buyer beware. Customer service is non-existent. And by the time you figure that out, you will have spent hours either searching the help screens, downloading self-help tools that don't work, or doing online chat with personnel that are apparently incompetent. What's worse is that when you're finished -- problem resolved or not -- there is no way to voice your dissatisfaction, unless you agree to voice your unhappiness without receiving a reply!

AT&T is a mess. Since installing DSL at two homes and setting up 2 email accounts, I've received incorrect equipment, equally poor support for resolving connection and email problems, I've had 2 routers fail, etc. I'd say it's at least 2 hours for each incident. Today I actually had a customer service CHAT rep tell me that my not being able to gain access to my web mail had nothing to do with having an internet connection. She asked me if I could connect to the web. Errrrr -- I had been on CHAT with her for nearly an hour. Yep -- I'd say I had an internet connection.

Enough said. I'd love to know WHERE to send a transcript of the 64-minute chat with customer service. If anybody in the organization knew that this was 'standard operating procedure' they might be really embarrassed. SBCGlobal/AT&T does not want to be contacted -- give it a shot -- try to figure out where/how to contact them and actually receive a reply.

Pitiful at best. I'd like a refund equal to the time spent dealing with connectivity issues where I am more intelligent than the customer service rep. Amazingly, each and every time I've fought to get the issue escalated to a supervisor and I wait on 'hold', the problem is mysteriously resolved and everything begins to work. That's the truth as I know it.

The WORST Customer Service in the WORLD

KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI -- I am getting rid of SBC-AT&T due to horrible customer service. I spent 5 weeks trying to get email issues resolved with their non-English speaking techs from INDIA. None of them speak English very well and none of them seemed to know what to tell me except "DELETE COOKIES, or Clear History." Seemed to be the answer for all the problems. They also crashed my service one time, making it impossible to get my desktop. Then they suggested I hire someone to have a look at my computer because of the email issues.

I did hire someone to look at it, and of course, there was nothing wrong with my computer. Weeks later, I received an email from Yahoo (who handles the email), the email said there were issues with the email and they hoped to have them resolved soon. A couple days later, the issues were miraculously resolved . The problem was the server the whole time. I wasted a lot of time and some money trying to get the issues taken care of, and SBC-AT&T didn't even know there was a problem with their email service. They sent me their spam, offering me a discounted price. When I called to get it, they refused me that price.

Now that my contract is up, they want to raise the price. It's not worth it. They do not seem to care about the customer or the service they provide. The bottom line for this company is saving themselves money on Good TECH help...and socking to their customers. I refuse to pay high prices for service that is mediocre at best, with horrible tech support. This company forces bad customer service and non-English speaking tech support on customers at a premium price.

Yard Destruction
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OKLAHOMA -- I am not a customer of SBC and have not been for several years due to terrible customer service and bad billings practices. I thought by not using them as a provider, my troubles with them would be over. My husband and I bought a house in a nice little subdivision less than a year ago. We have been working on our flower gardens for a few months now. We have also been manicuring our lawn. It is, I mean, was starting to look very nice.

There is a rent-house next door to us. It was just recently rented. The residents apparently are using SBC as there phone provider. While feeding my son this morning, I heard what I thought was the mailman. When I opened my front door, I saw an SBC truck speeding out of my front yard. There is a utility pole in my backyard. I realize SBC has a right to access that pole, however they should not be driving there trucks all over my lawn. To get through my back yard, the SBC employee had to open up our large side gate.

After he left, he did not even come back over to shut my gate. It is very heavy and hard to shut, but I guess that's not his problem. There are now tire tracks running across my front lawn and through my back yard. After all that, he did not even hook the neighbors up to the pole in my yard. He used the one in their yard. He did not drive through their yard either. He carried his ladder back there and hooked them up. Then after he put the ladder back on his truck, he went back and shut their gate!!!

I tried to email a complaint, but SBC has topics for you to choose from, none of which were relevant to my complaint. When I called, I was put on hold for about ten minutes then the line went dead. I can't win for losing, apparently. Whether I do business with them or not, they still cause me problems. I do not see why anyone supports them.

Non-Existent Technical Support

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS -- SBC is my current email provider. Last year, I was frustrated by not being able to send out email messages to all our clients reminding them of meetings or telling them to check the website. I would send out a few and then SBC would stop the process with an error message telling me that I had exceeded my email limits for the day.

This was very frustrating and bad for business communication. I called the SBC help number and was given additional numbers to call for direction. I did finally get a "technician" to listen to my problem. He told me that he had it on good authority from his wife that my problem was due to "911 and homeland security." He was actually collecting a salary for helping SBC customers with this technical expertise.

I bought an email-sending program and figured a way to send updates one message at a time to our clients. That worked for about a year. Now SBC stops me from sending my monthly updates with the same "you have exceeded your limit" message. Yesterday I got this message after only 20 emails. My own technical advisor told me that SBC had been making email controls tighter and tighter in order to prevent spam messages so I probably would have to live with this situation. This, to me, is like putting Martha Stewart in prison while child molesters enjoy a right to privacy.

I got a big cup of coffee and dialed SBC. Someone with an Indian accent gave me another number to call. I called and explained the whole thing to someone else who told me "We're not SBC." I apologized and called SBC again. Another Indian voice gave me the same second number and told me to say I wanted technical support.

I called again. "We're not SBC" again. "I know", I said, "but SBC email goes through you." "Oh right," said the voice. "You want technical support. You have to ask for technical support." "OK. Can I please have technical support? Please?" "You have to call again and ask the person who answers for technical support." Sigh.

I got more coffee and dialed again. "Can I have technical support, please." "There aren't any techs here." said a very sleepy voice. "Oh. Are there ever any techs there?" "Yes." "Well when would be a good time to talk to a tech?" Again the sleepy voice: "In about 2 hours." My next call was to Comcast to change business email services. We start May 1.

International Calling Plan
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My fiance is stationed in Germany for the next 3 years. I let SBC talk me into getting the international calling plan, which was something like $20/mo. and then the phone calls were supposed to be 10 cents a minute. They neglected however to tell me that there would be connection fees because I was calling to his cell in Germany. When I got my bill, it was $352. I was being charged a 12 cent a minute connection fee to a mobile phone plus 12 cents a minute for every minute a talked.

Since I pointed out that according to the Texas Attorney General, this practice falls under fraud because SBC neglected to inform me of it, they credited that amount to my account. I just want to remind people to please contact their state's Attorney General when they feel they are being ripped off. When your case is in ligatation, you don't pay until the AG has settled it. If more people start complaining and taking action, then a lot of companies will start revising their policies.

Communication Problems @ TOS
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LOS ANGELES, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA -- Yesterday, our household's SBC Yahoo internet was renewed for a year. About mid-morning this morning all three accounts (two people) were deactivated for TOS violations. We don't have a clue why we were deactivated. My business mail comes through one of my accounts. That's all bad enough, but try to find out something about it!!!

I talked to four people who told me everything I already knew but could not help me resolve this dilemma (as my business mail kept disappearing into the ethers). They would either pass me on or tell me that they didn't know who could help with this problem. I spent hours of good work time trying to resolve this mystery. Nobody at the available numbers is accountable!!

I think either someone accidentally pushed the wrong button when they extended my commitment or SBC has a hell of thing going by offering an extra year cheap and then making it impossible to use the email. I have not knowingly violated any TOS I could find. Even someone accused of murder gets to hear the full charges and face his accusers. I guess SBC is above that! I will be writing the California State Attorney General, the California Public Utilities Commission, and the BBB about this. In the meantime, I have some unhappy clients trying to reach me. I am thinking about going cable or satellite!

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