My Recent Experience with My ISP

After more than 2 weeks’ struggle, I finally got my internet connection working at my house. Who would have thought that switching service from one location to another location just a few miles away would take this much efforts.

I seriously think that AT&T’s customer support model is broken – non functional at least. If this was the only time that I had some issues with AT&T’s customer service, I would have attributed it to a one-time abnormally. But the fact is that I have been have the same issues with them ever since I started my service with them some four years ago while I was still in Wisconsin. It seems that no matter how minor the actual problem is it takes at least an hour to get the issue resolved. And this time, it took them more than two weeks.

I had my internet service (AT&T DSL) at my apartment in Bristol with AT&T when I first moved to Bristol four months ago. Since I was moving to a house nearby, I called AT&T in late July to inform that that I needed to have my phone and internet service transferred to the new location on 8/11.

As you see, this should be a relative common scenario for AT&T and I was not expecting any problems with it. But just to be sure, I checked with them a couple of times afterwards and they ensured me that the service would be switched over on the 11th.

So, 11th came, and my phone was indeed activated but there was no internet service. I called back and the support person says that on 11th means anytime between 6:00AM to 6:00PM so I had to wait till 6:00PM to call. Even thought from my past experience I knew that if the service was not on at the time I called, waiting till the end of the day would not help, I waited just because otherwise the tech support person would not have listened to me.

Sure enough, at 6:30PM the service was still not available. And this time when I called back the answer I got was that their technicians were off for the day so I should check back the second day.

I called again the first thing on the 12th. This time the person who answered my phone told me my service was supposed be turned on on 13th instead of 11th. “But I checked multiple times with you it should be on 11th?” I asked. “Well, someone must have messed up the order…” the tech support lady answered.

So, 13th finally came, and the DSL service was still not on. After work, I called AT&T again. This time, they said that they had to re-schedule it for the 15th… “What?! You’ve got to be kidding me” my patients were running low…

On the 15th after work, I found that there were a couple of messages on my answering machine at home. Aha, they were from AT&T informing me that my DSL service was up and running. But of course, I still did not have internet service. I called them again and after being on hold for almost an hour, a lady told me that the technician “came” but couldn’t seem to connect my house from outside and a technician needed to come into my house to set it up. At this point, I could care less what they need to do to get the service up and running. “OK, just make sure that you let me know when the service person is coming so that I can be sure to be at home at that time”. I was told that the earliest the service person would come is on the 22nd.

It was 22nd, I called up AT&T the first thing in the morning and they assured me that the technician will be at my house sometime in the morning and would call me half an hour prior to the service. Of course I never got the call… when I called back another tech support person told me that the technician was able to solve the problem without getting into my house and that was why I didn’t get the call.

So, after work, I went back home and checked again. This time the DSL finally worked. It only worked after more than 10 hours of phone conversations with AT&T’s tech support folks and some 2 weeks of waiting time.

Ironically, the family before us lived in that house had AT&T DSL as well. This makes me wonder how hard it really was to “flip” that switch to turn on the service. Every single time when you go through AT&T’s tech support, you were asked pretty much the same questions again and again. Do they actually put that information down so that they don’t have to ask “what is the status of the lights on your DSL modem?” or “did you plug in the cable into the LAN port on your computer?” every single time?

I really wish that there are more competitions out there. As long as they are the only people in town, they could care less about their customer service…

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