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Friday, July 9, 2010

ATT Scam Artists

I noticed that the computer has been really plodding along and decided to call up ATT and see why it is so dog gone slow.

After all, last year when the nice lady called and told me that they could upgrade my DSL speed for a nominal fee, I was so happy!

I called ATT this morning and we went over my router settings to make sure that those new neighbors weren't poaching my bandwidth. No problems there.

The rep guided me to the Speedtest site and apparently my connection was moving along at a snails pace, 600 k and 400k peak signal.  "Oh no," she said, "you should be at 1.5 to 3.5m. We are just going to have to get you a ticket number and send out a repair man."

About three hours later, the troubleshooter showed up at my door with a grin. "You should be running about 385k" he told me.

"Wait a second," I protested. "The nice lady on the phone said I should be running ten times faster."

"And I bet a nice lady sold you an upgrade about six months ago that promised all this speed, didn't they?"

I silently nodded my head.

"You can't violate the laws of physics, my friend. Your whole block can only go a maximum of 385k. The switching station is way over on Reche. They could easily put new cards in the box outside but they won't  upgrade it. You only get 10% of the signal strength that you were promised."

"But why didn't they tell me that on the phone? Why didn't they inform me of that when they took additional money all these months? Why didn't anyone admit that they couldn't deliver? Why, that's fraud."

He just smiled at me. He said that he adjusted something that would reduce the signal even further but allow me to use whatever signal I had more efficiently and wished me a pleasant day...

Suffice it to say, I am totally pissed about the whole matter. It is a corporate bait and switch and I have been played for a sucker. Rather than make capital improvements that would allow them to deliver decent service to my small town, they operate on the QT, hoping nobody will notice.

It's not really much different than getting shorted on money at the ATM, only we are dealing with bandwidth. But they own the equipment, the only game in town. And if we are too dumb to notice, well shame on us.

So check your speeds, reader and see if you too, are getting rear ended by these pirates. I am going to dash off a few letters, to the PUC and to ATT, not that they have a snowball's chance in hell of getting anything fixed. But I hate feeling like a shlemiel. Class action, anybody?

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sign me up, my service has been impossibly slow...km

Blue Heron said...

The thing that is so funny is that when I called to complain there were no email addresses to lodge my complaint. The fellow at the executive office said to find an annual report and take it up with the investor relations committee, like the shareholders give a shit. He also explained that the people that sell you the stuff are just telemarketers as if it is an arms length relationship that they have no control over.

He made it plain that it was incumbent on the consumer to verify their service speed, like most of us are technologically capable of understanding any of this crap.

WildBill said...

Nice photograph. Is that an up-close to a succulent of some sort?

I've had better luck with ATT DSL than you. Upgraded a few months ago to the highest speed option. I get about 5m on average wired to the modem and 4.8 or so wireless. Now, granted, I live right near downtown, but I have no clue where the nearest "magic" station is located. Best speed so far is 5.8. ATT was very helpful initially getting the upgrade working when it didn't work the first day, as well as in one other instance that turned out to be at my end.

If you want to get really depressed, look at the average worldwide internet speeds:
World Speedtest.net Results
Republic of Moldova at 19.82Mb/s???

Anonymous said...

Had AT&T. Same problem. They kept lowering my speed. Was running .2 to .6 mbps. So,switched to DSLEXTREME. Same problem, .2 to point .6 mbps. Became suspicious when they did not have to change modems to get their signal. Found out they use the AT&T signal so no change. They reminded me of the "speeds UP TO" language. Then I tried Earthlink. It was at least their signal, but much worse. Countless hours with tech support later and even slower speeds---I canceled. They actually had the nerve to want a $50.00 cancellation fee. I thought a refund of the monthly fee for .02 to .5 mbps service was more in order. India checked with Pakistan and the cancellation fee was waived. Two alternatives, both expensive. a T1 line $279 per month or satellite, less money but limited service. Ah yes, cable. They wanted $55,000 to bring the cable to me.
Del Mar attorney on New York vacation. SF

Anonymous said...

Hmmm....that answers a few things..

Sanoguy said...

My SBC Global / ATT DSL has slowed considerably lately. How does one check the speed of the service??? I am only partially computer literate!!!

Anonymous said...

Quest/MSN did the same trick to me. It is a universal scam in the cyber world. Don't expect to get any money back.