AT&T service is terrible

Never thought I would say it, but AT&T customer service is terrible.

(I just read Hadi’s blog. Is it a special time of the year when customer support goes South?)


I have been with AT&T since 2000 when they were SBC. I have had a phone line and DSL for just a little less. I have had several moves, they become AT&T, but I have managed stay out of trouble and haven’t had much to complain about. Good service for the dollar.

Little over two weeks ago  I have decided that I am not actually using a phone service that much (for kids mostly). How about just leave DSL and take advantage of the T-Mobile @home service which is 4 times less (10.99, no limits, free long distance).

OK then. After talking to AT&T customer support I was assured that:

I can have just DSL and it would be converted in no time, “just transfer your phone number and call us back. DSL will be switched on the “dry loop” and you will be OK”. Nice! Great!

Well, not nice and not great! Now fun is began.

I have got my T-mobile router in 2 days and phone number was switched in a week time. As result AT&T automatically turned off my phone, … and DSL “because they sit on the same line and goes together”. OK. so I am calling tech support and asking them to switch me now to a promissed “dry loop”.

  • Rep: “Cannot do.”
  • “What? Why? You’ve said…”
  • Rep: “We did? I do not see it in our computer. Your new phone provider should have told you that your AT&T DSL will be disconnected.
  • … silence… trying to get some breath… “you have said that everything is OK and can be switched without the problem”
  • Rep: “we could not have told you that since it is physically impossible to do it in one day… You should have told us to switch you to a dry loop before you have took a number away.” (Keep this last in mind for later reference.)
  • “but you did”

15 minutes of finding where all growing from

  • Manager: “We cannot do much for you at this time, you will have to wait. But I can give you 2 months of free service for your trouble and your service will be reestablished in the week after our visit and switching two wires and updating 40 databases…”
  • … OK

Last weekend

  • are we on schedule for the service being reestablished?
  • Rep: let me check… yes we are
  • Great, thank you


  • Just want to check that you are coming tomorrow and everything is on schedule
  • Rep: we are? I do not see any order… let me check…

10 minutes later

  • Rep: because of our topology we cannot have DSL service at your location without an actual phone line and the number.

you tell me how that is possible in our XXI century

  • why didn’t you tell me before?
  • Rep: we cannot know about it when phone service is in place
  • but I called you after phone service was disconnected and I have called you this weekend
  • Rep: yes, but it was 9pm in the evening and we did not check until next morning and I do not see anything else on the file. You must be mistaken.

Now I am delusional… where is my insurance? it is time to see a doctor…

  • why didn’t you call me that very morning after you find out?
  • Rep: you do not have a phone
  • yes, but I gave you my cell phone number for that exact reason
  • Rep: I do not see it

Few more minutes, phrase exchanges… not that a rep is responsible for all this mess, but…

  • What can I do? can I get a temporary phone number so I can get a DSL back until I find a replacement for your “undeliverable” DSL?
  • Rep: yes, but it will take a week to do. Sorry, I cannot help you.


  • So… Do I have an open account with AT&T?
  • Rep: since nothing can be done, we never processed an account.
  • Ok, thank you


In the mail that day: “welcome letter”, asking to validate that I have placed an order by not calling them about the letter.
In the email that day: “Now that you’ve joined our online community, you can expect to receive…”

Nice, so did I or did I not place the order? Please, make up your mind…

I have had a good perception about AT&T over Time Warner Cable, but this story brought their level below any possible ground level.

Now I am waiting for Time Warner guy to arrive…

I have that feeling about customer support in US in general that it is a very low priority for big companies like AT&T and only thing which matter is a profit.

“We are in this business for profit”, they say. I am not sure how it works. And what kind of profit are we talking about? I am not paying for any of AT&T services, would it be DSL, dish or phones. And I would not recommend it to anyone. If you have service with them, do not trust what they are saying you and even if you go by their word, check with them every day until service is delivered.

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4 thoughts on “AT&T service is terrible”

  1. CECollins says:

    Good to see someone else has had Ma Bell doing a tap dance on their head. It took me over 2 years to get them to stop billing me after switching to TMobile, leaving them with a credit they did not refund. Every month I was assured the problem was fixed, and the next month I always got another bill from them for their “service”. I spent the last month calling their “support” 2 times an hour every day to complain. I finally got a letter saying I was not being charged, I was not their customer and that they would no longer bill me. Of course, they did keep the overcharges.

  2. Not that it is a good situation…
    I was assured that all my accounts are closed and inactive… I hope not to hear from them any time soon with any charges or unpaid balances.
    Note. If your charges are substential (over two years) and you can show that service was not delivered, you can always go into small claims court and force them to back up.

  3. Kyle Miller says:

    I have been using cable since the @home days. Our market has been through the hands of @home, AT&T, Comcast, and now Time Warner. @home got things started. AT&T worked out the kinks. Comcast lowered speeds and raised prices. Time Warner has maintained price levels and taken service from 6Mbps to 16Mbps. They have also been giving me a complimentary upgrade to the highest level of service. I pay for the second to highest price.

    Recently, I had connectivity problems. I would experience random short connection drops. The Time Warner tech correctly identified the problem. The cable company that ran the cable from the cable splitter, around the house, and buried in the ground ran cable rated for inside use only. Time Warner upgraded the cable and reburied. All is well now.

    For telephone service, I use cell phones and ViaTalk VoIP. I’ve been happy with both.

  4. Vytas Katilius says:

    My Experiences with AT&T are awful … I bought 2 years of 3G direct connect service for my laptop, and at home it switches to edge for mot=re than 1/2 the time .. making it worthless .. when I complained they just reminded me I still had a year on my commitment … the costomer service was Zero .. just pure fraud and greed

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