My 4 year struggle with AT&T Uverse

Uverse and my 4 year struggle with AT&T and why I gave them up:

Updated, June 9 2014:

Social media is very powerful today and in sometimes very good ways. After I raised a fuss on Twitter AT&T social media services got in touch with me via Twitter and asked me if they could be of assistance in resolving my problem with them. After speaking with a very nice woman on the phone, they determined that they should send my information up to another department that could assist me. The next day I was contacted by someone in customer support that could make a decision as to whether or not to refund my early termination fee that I was charged after canceling my Uverse service in mid April. After some discussion, they said that they would research my account and get back with me on Monday which is today as I write this. They did indeed get back with me and gave me the good news that after checking the records that I should be refunded the $150 early termination fee that I was charged. So in this case the story does have a happy ending.

I appreciate AT&T reaching out to me and helping me resolve my problems with them. Also, if you have a problem with a company, don’t be afraid to say something about it on Twitter or Facebook as you may find that that company will be there and may be willing to help you resolve your problem just like AT&T did with me.

Rick

Original post:

This is my tale of a fateful trip… Oops that’s Gilligan’s Island. Well ok let me tell you another tale about my 4 years as a AT&T Uverse customer and why I finally had to go elsewhere. Back in early 2010 I was a happy Dish network satellite subscriber of over 10 years and a somewhat happy AT&T DSL and landline phone customer of about 14 years for the phone and 6 years for DSL. So, one day my mom comes home with a nice new 46″ hi definition flat screen television and that’s where the fun started! You simply can’t have a nice fancy new television without HD content and at the time I only had standard definition content so I called up the nice folks at Dish and said that I wanted to get HD content for the nice new tele here. No problem Dish says, we’ll be right out and install a new dish for you and only charge you $100 for our troubles. Well after a couple of hours in discussion with the loyalty department, it was decided that they didn’t care if I left them after over 10 years to go find another provider that wouldn’t charge me big bucks to get HD content.

I then went to Time Warner Cable and said that I’d like to once again get service with them after being away for a decade and they said no problem. They gave me a decent price for the new service which included lots of HD content. All was well until the installer showed up and said he couldn’t do as we asked due to some kind of line problems to my house. So long story short I cancelled my service before it ever got started. I was told that AT&T had their fancy Uverse service here in the Akron area, so I called them up and finally got all that groovy HD content my mom wanted for her nice new television and I got phone and internet in addition for less than the cost of Dish and my previous phone and DSL combined. So, life was good…

Skip forward about 9 months to the end of 2010. I started having service outages with the Uverse service where phone, internet and TV would all just go out for seconds to minutes at a time. No problem, I’ll just call up AT&T and they’ll get it fixed and life will continue happily ever after. Not so fast, as many of you know dealing with AT&T support is like juggling cannon balls, something that isn’t very easy to do right? I get a service person out from AT&T and he says well the problem is not in the house and he’ll have to get a outside man out to find the problem. Outside man comes out, sits in truck for a couple of hours and declares the problem is inside and not outside! Well like your shampoo says on the instructions, rinse and repeat… I do this several more times over a couple week period with inside person coming out and clearly demonstrating to me the problem is outside and the outside people coming out doing very little and proclaiming that the problem is inside. After a dozen or so appointments the supervisors and regional managers get a wee bit ticked off and tell the outside people to get the problem fixed pronto or heads will roll! Problem solved, the problem was with a v-rad switch and wiring up the road ways. Problem solved. Umm well not so fast.

About every 3 to six months after this the same problem would start happening again. Same routine, call AT&T over and over and over. Inside and outside repairmen out the behind for weeks and weeks until management becomes involved. I find out that from the inside guys who are very honest and decent people that this is the routine that AT&T forces on them day in and day out! Any ways the problem each time is indeed outside and not inside. This routine continued until February of 2013 when the service finally seemed to be repaired and I was able to go a year without any issues. At this point you’d think ok story over and I’m a happy Uverse customer today. Well, that’s not how the story ends sadly and this is where I find out where AT&T has became a very dishonest company to deal with.

My mom passed away in February from cancer, she was the primary television consumer here so basically I didn’t need hundreds of channels and premium services any longer and wanted to reduce my bill from the nearly $250 to something less expensive. So, I call AT&T to reduce my television service to just basic channels and this is where things get really interesting. I’m told that AT&T doesn’t have basic Uverse TV any longer but they do have a service for $70 a month that will work for me. I reluctantly take them up on the offer. Later in the day I get a email from them saying to go online and check my plans and so on to be sure I’m getting what I want. I get online and to my shock, I find that AT&T does have basic TV service for $20 a month. Clearly I was lied to and the next day I call AT&T back to demand that they give me the service I asked for in the first place instead of something that was expensive and would get more expensive after the 6 month promotional offer was up. Long story short, I did get my $20 TV for $60 a month! Wait you say, how can they do that? Well my friend this is AT&T double talk for you at it’s AT&T best! $20 is correct, the service is $20 a month plus $10 for HD content, $15 for a DVR that was supposed to be free for life, $7 each for 2 additional boxes and finally a $6 per month equipment fee!

Again I reluctantly do this for a week or two and decide it’s just non sense to pay $60 for over the air channels I can get for free.

One thing I didn’t include is that I also bumped up my 18 meg internet service to 45 megs since I went from a house of 2 people living in it to 7 people all consuming internet. I get one of AT&T’s wonderful promotional offers that took $15 a month off the bill for 12 months with the warning that early termination may result in up to a $180 early cancellation fee. First thing I notice after the service is that I’m not getting anywhere near 45 megs down with the service, in fact I’m not even getting half of the 18 megs down I had been extremely happy with before the upgrade. SO again lets call AT&T support and again let’s get the inside repairman out here to fix the problem. Simple right? Wrong, not so simple! The guy comes out on a Sunday morning and says nothing is wrong and I say Mr. serviceman why am I getting only 7 meg download rates? He says well you won’t ever get 45 megs on this plan! Huh, I say? This is the same thing the person installing the service told me when they were out here and I didn’t think that they could possibly be right. AT&T sales tell a lie? Never, well remember the lie told about the TV plan not existing as well. Well I am finally fed up completely at this point and the next day I start looking for new service. I decided to go with time warner cable and this time was able to get the service installed and have been using it for a month or so now. So a few days later I call up and cancel my Uverse service completely. I explained to the person that I talked to that I was un happy with the service and wasn’t getting the same internet service as I received before the upgrade. She noted that I had had a tech out and she noted that I was not satisfied with my service. She told me that I was paid in full and had a one day credit coming, she also said after I told her about the $180 termination fee that I wouldn’t be charged anything because I wasn’t happy with the service and was experiencing issues. Ok I send the router back and all the other goodies and think ok end of story. Well again not so fast…

I look at my bank statement yesterday and find a $122 charge from the nice folks at AT&T. Not surprised are you? Well I wasn’t. So I called them up today and talked to a person in the billing department that explained that it was a $150 early termination fee for canceling my internet service during the promotional plan. I explained that I canceled due to service issues and that I wasn’t getting the service quality that I was getting before the upgrade. Sorry no can do Rick says the billing person, there are no notes in your account saying any of this! So, I request to speak with someone that can drop the charge to the account and he puts me on hold to talk to the supervisor. A minute or so later he comes back on the line and lets me know the supervisor is on the line and ready to talk to me. I say thank you and he transfers me over. The phone rings several times and instead of talking to the supervisor, I get their voice mail. Gee, another lie told! Long story short, I’ll probably never get my credit and will chalk it up to a lesson learned about big business in the 21st century.


Rick