Before choosing AT&T for my internet provider, I was with Comcast. I was looking for a less expensive means of service and ATT's Fast Access DSL looked good no contract and a good price that would not change for 2 years. But the real "carrot" that was dangled before me was the $175 rebate that I was told I would get, but then denied. Here's how they manipulated me and likely thousands of other customers into believing that they would come through with the rebate.
First, the AT&T sales representative will hand out several rebates to try to Win you over, and the big one is the $175 for switching from another internet service provider. What they do is first use the term "qualify", but then in further discussion with the sales representative the language turns to "you will get..." The hidden piece of information here is that the $175 rebate is ONLY for those people who switch AND order a phone line and AT&T long-distance.
Does the sales representative mention this? NO. When you say "I only want internet, not a phone line" does the representative say "you will not get the rebate"? NO they don't. This is the first step of the manipulation. As with most sales interactions, you think that the deal is being made and finalized in this phone call, but its NOT. It's a car sales tactic. First set the customer up with a good picture and confidence in the sale and then it's the "hold, on I need to run this by my sales manager." In this case, you are not told about the second part of sale where you are denied the rebate.
Now the second part is what hits it home. After you get off the phone and you go to the rewards center to claim your rebate, you will see it listed. Yes, that's right, AT&T will even show you that it is being processed to further punch home the belief that they will follow through and you will be 125$ richer. Even if you come back 3 weeks later to claim your $125 rebate, IT'S STILL THERE. That's right, everything is done with the intent to making you believe that you will get the money.
Why do they do this? Because it protects them when you find out a few weeks later that your claim has been denied. That's right, AT&T's defense is that their sales representative throws out as many rebates as possible to dupe you into thinking you will get them, but then there is this 4-6 week "processing" period where the Rewards Center looks over the rebate request and decides who gets what rebates.
Yep, the sales representative that gave you the quote, told you when your first bill would arrive, and of course when you would get your rebates SAYS NOTHING about the fact that the service bundle you have ordered WILL NOT QUALIFY YOU FOR THE REBATE. Thus, it doesn't matter what the sales representative tells you, the final decision as to whether you get the rebate is not made until after you have the service installed and you are less likely to send it back as a result of not getting the rebate you were told you would get.
From a marketing perspective, the scam is superb! You are left feeling manipulated and cheated, which in fact you were. Most people don't do anything to follow up, I would imagine, as they have the internet service, and after calling AT&T customer service and getting all of their apologies, they go surf with their new service and forget about.
The fact of the matter is that this is another example of where BIG CORPORATE AT&T does not give a damn about its new customers, only the opportunity to manipulate them into buying their services. Underneath all the "great customer service" and advertised deals that show how much AT&T "cares about their customers", it's all a lie. And you are ** who just got duped into thinking that you found a company that was transparent in their deals.
Is that the kind of business you want from a company? PLEASE do not fall for this manipulation. Stay away from AT&T. They do not deserve our hard earned dollars as their only motivation is to turn a profit at your expense. They are laughing all the way to the bank every time they manipulate someone who is simply looking for a better customer service relationship.
AT&T DSL Installation is the example of the WORST CUSTOMER SERVICE I've experienced in years. A month ago I decided to sign-up for AT&T U-Verse (TV) and Internet packages. Called and scheduled an installation appointment, they gave me a 2-hour window for a technician to arrive. The technician arrived 30-mins past the end of the appointment window (though I have to mention that they called and notified me about the delay).
After arriving, the technician spent only 5 minutes taking a look at my apartment and immediately stated that she would not be able to complete an installation that day because she needed access to the phone/cable room outside of my apartment which was locked at the time (I live in a condominium building). I was very frustrated that I ended up taking 4 hours off from work (unpaid time!) for nothing. If they told me in advance that they would need access to the phone room I would have arranged that with my HOA. The technician offered to reschedule the installation for next day and gave me another 2-hour window.
Next day, I took a time-off from work again and was sitting and waiting in my apartment. When no one showed up or called at the end of the allotted appointment time, I called AT&T's customer service myself. They told me that they had NO RECORD of any appointment for me in their system for this day. I can't express how shocked and upset I was with such an unprofessional dealing.
Taking another half-day off from work for nothing!! I demanded to talk to a manager. The manager sympathized with me (per their usual protocol) and offered me a $50 credit off the first month bill for the inconvenience they caused. Then he suggested another installation appointment in a couple of days. I couldn't wait any longer for the Internet b/c I needed it that evening for work so I decided to activate the Internet with my previous cable provider (Cox) and take only the TV package from AT&T. So, I scheduled the third installation appointment for TV in 2 days (BTW, Cox technician arrived the same day in a few hours and activated my Internet).
At the time of my third appointment with AT&T a new technician came and worked for 3 hours going back and forth between my apartment and the phone room outside. He ended up using a coaxial cable (leftover from previous Cox TV service) instead of a phone cable b/c of the inconvenience of the phone jack location. After he left I realized that I lost my Internet (which was using a separate coaxial cable in another room). Luckily, the technician left his phone, so I called him and he returned back. After working for another hour, he reconnected the cables and I finally got TV service from AT&T in my living room and Internet service from COX reinstated in my other room.
I had thought my troubles with AT&T were over until I got my first bill. Not only that there was no promised $50 credit but I was also charged for the Internet package which I didn't get from them!!! When I called them a customer service representative said that there was nothing in their computer system about me canceling my request for the Internet service.
I was shocked once again! Maybe they didn't see the canceled request but couldn't they see that there was no actual usage of the Internet data and they never even provided me with an Internet modem? The representative said that no, she couldn't verify all that. However, she agreed to revert the charge for the Internet (she made it sound like she was doing me a favor by just taking my word on it).
As far as the promised credit, she said there was NO note (again!) on that in the system (how convenient!). There was no record of me having any conversation with any manager. She asked me what was the name of the person I spoke with, I couldn't remember and she said there was nothing she could help with since I failed to record the name of that person.
Since when it's the customer's responsibility to log phone conversations? Why AT&T doesn't take responsibility for not keeping records of customer calls and promises of their own reps/managers? I asked to talk to a manager again, the representative said no manager was available and offered a call back first thing next morning (which is today). As of noon, no one has called yet.
Though I like the selection of channels that AT&T U-Verse offers I am going to switch back to COX for my TV as well. I am so pissed with this lack of accountability and professionalism that I don't want to continue to remain their customer. I also have a cell phone service from AT&T and even though I've never really had any customer service related issues with the cell phone, I am thinking about canceling it as well, just to save myself from any future bad customer service troubles.
PEMBROKE PINES, FLORIDA -- On April 7, 2009 I was going out to pick up my son from his friend's house, and a person approached my car and it was an AT&T U-verse representative and started telling me how wonderful his product was in cable and internet. At that time, I had land phone and DSL internet with Bellsouth and cable with Comcast. I live in Pembroke Pines, FL and never had an issue with my providers however my husband who loves the new technology wanted to try the new U-verse product of AT&T.
I made a quick quote with the sales representative and I would end up paying like $ 30 more of what I was paying before but according to him for a much better service and qualify. He set up the appointment for us and the technician was scheduled for April 15, the worst day!!!
On April 15, the technician showed up and started with the installation process. To begin when he installed the modem in my kitchen because he said that the signal was coming through them and that would be better. He assured us that we will not have any kind of issues with the wireless internet, my husband explained to him that he was a home base employee and he needed to have the connection via wire directly to his desktop.
Technician didn't care and assured him that he wouldn't have any problem. He left that day and of course when my husband tried to work late at night he didn't have signal so he had to do an internal connection and run a cable from the kitchen to his office and that included that the cable will go across my living room and dining room.
I was very upset because I personally hate the wires and cables showing up everywhere however it was more important for him to work. My husband had to go out of the country the next day for two weeks so actually I didn't make any change or contacted AT&T because he needed to have access to his e-mails and I didn't want to make any change.
He came back on April 30th so we discussed about this and we decided to cancel. We were thinking about more money and not a great service, neither internet or cable which you used to freeze very often. I contacted AT&T and asked them to cancel my service and explained the situation with the wires and the fact that the quality of the cable wasn't great she accepted to cancel my cable and insisted in allowing them to fix the issue of the wires and assure me that I will have the best internet ever.
She sent another technician and they moved the modem same story, the technician left and after a couple of hours the connection failed and we didn't have internet, my husband was hysterical and I was worst. We contacted them and they sent another technician (now the third one) on May 2, he came in and measure the signal and he told us that the signal was coming very poor and nothing he could do improve it. He apologized and asked us to cancel the service.
I immediately contacted their office and spent 3 hours trying to cancel my service and to put me back with DSL. Well nobody was able to do that and their office close at 5 pm on Saturdays. At the end we called Comcast and upgraded our cable and got the internet service from them. We had a modem at home so the same day was working perfect, what a difference! Tomorrow I will call AT&T again and cancel the service.
LISTEN, if you have another provider and you are doing fine with them DO NOT CHANGE IT TO AT&T U-Verse, they are freaking liars and their service is the worst. You can spend hours on the phone and they don't care. Don't do it for the offers of month free or HD free because at the end if you don't have good service that is what it counts. I think they are not ready to provide a good service neither in technology and professionalism.
BRANFORD, CONNECTICUT -- The quality of service or lack of depends on your distance from a "Cross Box" located somewhere in your neighborhood to your house. AT&T claims that you can get service if 3,000 or more feet away from the "Cross Box". I am exactly 2,975 feet away from their box which is on the next street.
The installation date was October 17, 2008. The tech with four months of experience used the very old Comcast outdoor Co Axe cable and drilled through a bedroom wall to attach the cable to their "Router" from which cables run back outside and to the other rooms which require TV connections. The wires are then attached to a receiver which feeds the TV.
We experienced complete drop of all services several times daily and I had to reset the router. A second visit by a tech resulted with all new Cat5 wire installed to the three rooms with TVs. We experienced the same daily loss of phone, internet and TV service.
By now I knew enough that when I call Level 1 technical support 1-800-ATT-2020 I would ask for Level 2 support where they would review my case number and read the last entries explaining the repair steps taken. After several weeks and more visits I could dial Level 2 support, enter a four digit code for that day and get directly to upper-level support. I also learned to request a senior tech with more experience and they agreed that was needed.
A senior tech and the brother of a neighbor who lives 500 feet closer to the "Cross Box" was advised by his brother the tech not to get U-Verse because of the distance issues. This senior tech discovered that the wiring from the outside connection to the inside Router had not been replaced and was original old Comcast cable. This was overlooked by at least three previous techs.
He used his AT&T laptop computer and reviewed 218,000 errors recorded in an hour's time!! He replaced the cable. He also had a pole tech reduce the power or surge at our pole which in effect gives us an addition 400 feet of service from the cross box.
The HD TV reception is now very sharp and clear. The second analog TV is also receiving a much better picture. We did away with the third analog TV. Now in rainy or snowy weather we experience occasional "Ghosting" with black lines outlining people or figures on the screen, temporary several second freezing of the picture and audio freezing. When getting GOOD reception fast moving video such as viewing basketball or such often shows uneven movement in the action which has to do with their method of streaming. I just don't like it as it is unnatural.
There is no further cure except for AT&T to upgrade the Cross Box at great expense which they will not do. They rather invest in upgraded more powerful boxes in highly populated areas such as cities rather than rural areas with fewer customers.
If you have enough complaints they will reduce your bill. When we signed up we had the choice for their "Everything" service with either $280 something worth of prepaid debit cards which could be used at restaurants of for purchases etc and a monthly bill of something like $184 OR $170 monthly and a $50 debit card. We elected for the $170 & $50 card for one year of service.
After many complaints and six tech visits we are paying $140 a month for one HD receiver/DVD, one analog receiver, the full premium TV package, faster Internet speeds and unlimited long distance phone calling. The TV reception is very high quality when there are no errors as described above and the errors are only in poor weather it seems.
My message is that you FIRST have them determine your exact distance from the Cross Box. If it approaches 3,000 feet forget U-Verse as you may experience many problems if they have not upgraded the cross box. The do not use Optical Cable on your street or to your house but only to the Cross Box. Inside and outside your house IS hardwired and they do not use a WIRELESS Router as suggested by their salesman.
We will continue to use the U-Verse service as long as it gives quality reception. If it reverts back to it's former "Unacceptable" service we will have no options but to switch back to Comcast which in my opinion utilizes inferior often refurbished receivers/DVRs.
Comcast also has a standard policy of increasing your monthly bill substantially once a year if you do not read the fine print on your bill and call them once a year to extend your contract with them. After 32 years with Comcast they did this to me, a daughter living within the state and many people I have questioned. Just my findings, I hope this may save you aggravation and dismay and help you in your decision-making.
About 3 weeks ago, there was a network failure in my area. They had it up and running the day before the estimated repair time. After service was restored, I still had connectivity issues. I called AT&T tech support. They said it was a problem with my password and reset it. All was fine, for about an hour. My connection dropped, I had no internet. I called them back and they told me there were no other issues in my area. They sent me a new modem, which would cost me $100. The other modem (a replacement for my original modem)was out of its warranty period (Convenient, huh?). I got it within 2 days.
Meanwhile my connection was shoddy. It was fine and then I'd get disconnected and couldn't connect again, but if I did, it would drop and come back. I got the new modem, set it up and I has service again. For about 10 minutes.
So I called them again. I explained AGAIN my situation and how this only started after their network outage. The representative I spoke to this time was more thorough, but she talked WAY too fast. She had tested my connection, found no problems. She said the network techs had tested my network connection as well as neighbors that had AT&T DSL in my neighborhood. She said the problem was in my house in the lines and she could have a tech out within the next week. I told her I would have to check my work schedule and get back to her.
I had connection this morning, with no issues. I took a shower and came back to the computer, I had no internet, the service light on my modem was red. Since I had to go to work, I couldn't call AT&T. I came home for lunch, still no internet, but I didn't have time to call. I talked to my friend (who lives about 1/2 mile away) on my lunch break about this, she said she was also having connectivity issues since their network outage.
I told her to call AT&T to complain. She also told them about my complaint. She was told there have been no issues reported in the last week (lie). She was told it was a password issue and they reset it. It worked fine for a little while, but then connection issues came back. When I came home, I called AT&T tech support and the recording told me wait for it. There was a network failure in my area and it would be resolved by 5am tomorrow.
I was livid. I got back to a human being and told them how unhappy and frustrated I have been about this for the last 2.5 weeks. I informed them that I would be sending their $100 modem back (that I didn't need). They have a record of how many times I called.
I asked them why couldn't they just listen to me (and who knows how many other complaints) to resolve this issue. Why couldn't they admit from my first phone call that it might be an issue on their end? I was given the "well at the time we looked at your connection there were no issues." Really? All three times I called and was having problems, you're never found an issue? When my friend called when her connection was down, there was no issues? But the network went down the next day anyway? Weird.
I will be calling the billing department to get a credit for all of the downtime. After this last call, as soon as I hung up the phone, I had connection and have had no problems since. Pure coincidence, or did the squeaky wheel finally get the oil? Get it together AT&T. You aren't the only internet provider in my neighborhood. I switched TO you, I can switch AWAY from you in a heartbeat.
TEXAS -- THE AT&T EXPERIENCE: I was called by AT&T and asked if I would be interested in changing from Charter to AT&T U-verse or AT&T satellite, they said I could have either, since U-verse was in my area. The solicitor said the package included up to six boxes for TV's, 12 HBO Channels, a modem for the computer, and unlimited long distance for $99 dollars per month.
In addition they would send me a check for $200, they also said that this price would be good for as long as I had the service or until I added or deleted something. I told them I would like U-verse and asked if they would have to do any digging in the yard, they said no. I made an appointment to have it installed on March 25. They said to have all the furniture containing TV's pulled out and ready for access, which I did.
AT&T screw-up #1 - They sent me a letter with my code and said they would do the installation on March 24, we changed our plans to accommodate them. AT&T screw-up #2 - They showed up and without even notifying us and started digging a cable across our front yard and down the side to our box, leaving a dirty mess in the street.
AT&T screw-up #3 - The first technician that showed up said he was unable to get a signal. He called another technician who was a specialist. He worked for a while and told me that it would only take him a few minutes to determine if we could have U-verse. He said that it had to be within 1300 feet. We waited for him to tell us, I saw him leave and we waited another 1½ hours before we called AT&T to find out what was going on.
After being on hold on the phone for another ½ hour, they told me that he would not be back today. We waited for him for nothing, he just left without giving us any indication as to the status of the job or when they would be back to complete it.
AT&T screw-up #4 - My wife called AT&T and tried to get hold of anyone who could tell her the status of the job and when they would complete it. After being on the phone for hours, at 7:30 PM they finally told her that we could not have AT&T U-verse. We asked about the satellite and they switched her to that department. My wife said that I would like to discuss the satellite plan with him, he said "OK", she gave me the phone and he had hung up.
This whole process started at 10:00 AM and ended at 7:30 PM. The only things that was accomplished was digging up my yard, installing a useless cable, leaving a dirty mess in the street, pulling my furniture out as directed by you, and determining that we are not able to have U-verse. The AT&T experience is a complete joke.
The next day, I called to see what was available as far as satellite. The person I got asked for a lot of information then put me on hold for 15 minutes, she then came back on and told me she did not want to keep me on hold but that she would call me back in five minutes. 2 hrs. and 15 min. later she had still not called me back.
I called another number at the local AT&T store, he gave me another number to call. I called them to ask about satellite packages. He was up to $165 before I laughed it off and told him I would keep my present service. AT&T is the worst company I have ever dealt with.
CAROL STREAM, ILLINOIS -- I ordered high speed internet from AT&T U-Verse at the end of November 2010 after having some difficulties with Time Warner cable internet. After my problems were resolved I canceled the installation of AT&T internet 1 business day after setting it up. Within 2 days of cancellation, I received the hardware for installation which cost over $100.00 and which I was told I would receive a $75.00 credit for. I mailed the hardware back to AT&T via their enclosed return labels. These labels were EXTREMELY uninformative as to the carrier and I saw no tracking data. I dropped the package off at my local post office to an agent and they could also not tell it was not for them.
I received a bill for 105.10 in January and called U-Verse billing support and was told they had not received the return and I would be held responsible for it if they did not receive it. I was also told that they deal exclusively with UPS for shipping - this was NOT CLEAR on the label. I have seen other reviews saying that even with the tracking info, people are still being held responsible for the amount of the hardware returned to AT&T. These practices seem like a very good way for AT&T to make a bit of extra revenue off their customers who cancel, AT&T should be aware that they are alienating their customers as well.
BEWARE of subscribing to this service which requires you to purchase hardware. It seems to me that AT&T is getting tricky with returns. Based on the shipping labels I received, I don't really think they wanted the equipment returned to them. It seems they would rather have their customer on the hook for the amount of the "returned" hardware than actually getting it back.
AT&T U-VERSE IS AWFUL! After a long and satisfying relationship with Dish Network I bought into all the slick paper advertising with AT&T U-VERSE. After a year and a half I'd have to say this has been the WORST experience I have ever had as a consumer. Their equipment is cheap crap that is constantly breaking down. Their so-called "customer service" is also a joke.
When you call in you spend a ridiculous amount of time in their automated system (IRS is actually much better!) entering data that they immediately ask you for AGAIN when you FINALLY get a real person, that is assuming you actually get the RIGHT person (Once when I complained about the way they were burning up my peak-minutes on my cell phone they actually tried to sell me AT&T wireless! What a joke!). And then you don't get straight answers when you do get a live person (Which often their tech support sounds very foreign outsourcing American jobs maybe?).
There was on instance where I called to cancel the service in the guest room (gave them the receiver number and all) and they nuked ALL my boxes but the main one then even though it was their mistake, they made me wait two weeks for a repair technician to come out and get them back up and running. For some reason they could deactivate these boxes from their headquarters but had to be onsite to turn them back on TWICE (during the MANY times). I have taken off work to let their repair technicians in (after a delayed wait of days for an appointment). Nobody showed, called or anything!
Even though they screwed up (again) they put you back in the hopper to wait for repair AGAIN in hopes that maybe when you take off work to meet them again they might actual show up. GOOD LUCK! I'm going back to Dish Network and have actually found their prices are lower and their service is MUCH more reliable. If I had to use one word to describe doing business with AT&T U-Verse, HIDEOUS! DON'T BUY INTO THEIR SLICK PAPER ADVERTISING!!!
ROCKWALL, TEXAS -- My U-Verse saga includes a 14 month history of trying to return equipment when I cancelled my U-Verse TV services. Since Oct. 07 I've called and written twice a month to get my return boxes from U-Verse! It is now Jan '09, and I'm not able to return two pieces of equipment that AT&T says is worth $167. I finally received one box with "permission" to return the Internet gateway equipment, but U-Verse is not providing me boxes for the two TV boxes.
By the letter of their own contract they are to provide boxes and return labels and they will not accept the equipment any other way. First they said they sent boxes to the wrong address (yet they never miss a statement to that same address!). Then they said the 2007 holiday season interrupted shipping. Then they said they couldn't explain the delays.
Then they charged me over $360 for unreturned equip. In Nov. 08 I rec'd one box, but haven't rec'd the other two. Is there a statute of limitation for AT&T compliance of their own contract? My balance due is $167 which was sent to a collection agency. Several times they claim they sent boxes, but they refuse to provide me evidence such as tracking numbers verifying shipments.
GAHANNA, OHIO -- We had a young man knock on our door and say AT&T could save us money on our combined phone, cable, internet. After TWO hours of him talking back and forth to a supervisor via phone, we came to an agreement. The appointment was set up with strict instructions to call my husband's cell phone and he would meet them at the house. The day ended with no call and AT home on the machine was a message from AT&T.
My husband then spent two additional hours on the phone trying to get the appointment rescheduled and find out why they did not follow directions. The customer service person said they had an outage and was calling to cancel the setup anyway. So they rescheduled for today from 8 to 10. My husband took off work, sat at home and at 11:00 had not heard a word. Starting calling customer service and was told a foreman would call him back.
An hour later he received a call that they would come out today and hook up the TV and internet, but couldn't get to the phone. He canceled the service and feels grateful that they never came to our house, because they would have really messed us over. So we will run and hide if another AT&T person shows up at our door. Good luck to those of you who got stuck already.