AT&T Long Distance USA Complaint - AT&T (frm. SBC) Yahoo DSL - Horrible Service, nowhere near Time Warner Cable
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. Who to believe? They say whatever is their latest policy - takes precedence. So what is the point in signing the contract than - 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 cell phone 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 charded $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, hos 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 DLS 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: http://support.sbcglobal.net/dsl/speedtest/
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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