AT&T Uverse / three weeks of pure hell
My mother-in-law, who has been an AT&T customer since 1963, was so exited when uVerse became available in her home town of Bedford, TX. She signed up for the entire uVerse package; phone, TV, and internet. That’s when the nightmare began. Three days after the installation, the entire service went down. My mother-in-law was w/o phone, TV, or Internet. We contacted technical support and a tech was going to be dispatched the following day. The next day the tech did show up, late, but told us they couldn’t find a problem and scheduled an “underground” crew to come out the following day. So in the first 5 days of service, the entire service was out for two of those days. My mother-in-law wasn’t comfortable being w/o phone service, so she asked if she could switch the uVerse phone back to a normal phone line. AT&T scheduled that for the following Tuesday, but told us that she would have to pay $5 more a month than what she was paying previously because the plan she had had for 40 years was no longer available. On Monday, the internet went out, she called tech support, and they walked my mother-in-law through resetting the uVerse box, which seemed to work. AT&T didn’t get around to switching the phone until Thursday (remember, it was scheduled for Tuesday), and in those three days, her Internet goes out two more times and her TV goes out once. Resetting the box and waiting 15 minutes fixes the issue each time, but on Thursday, when the phone is finally switched back, the TV and Internet go out again. Resetting the box doesn’t fix it this time, and we call technical support. They say there was nothing wrong with the line and they dispatch a tech. No tech ever shows up, but everything starts working again at 10:00 PM the following day. So, if your following me so far, in the first 10 days of service, uVerse was unavailable for 5 of those days, my mother-in-law and I have spent close to 8 hours on the phone with various customer service and tech support departments, and taken two days off work. At this point my mother-in-law decides to switch back to DSL and just keep uVerse TV. We contact AT&T on Monday and they tell us there would be a tech out in two days to take care of that, but they cannot give her DSL for what she was paying before (the promotion was over) so instead of $14.99, it would be $20/month. We reluctantly agree. We receive a call on Tuesday confirming our appointment for Wednesday, so I take another day off to be there when the technician arrived, but no-one ever shows up. I contact “customer service” to let them know the technician never arrived, but instead of apologizing, they went into a “sales spiel” and ask if we wished to upgrade to a higher speed DSL service for only $14 more a month. They couldn’t tell me why the service department cancelled our original service order, and to make matters worse, they can’t get another technician out there for another two days. I “politely” explain to them that we want the same service as she had before (the same service that was suppose to have been installed today), I reschedule the DSL install for Friday, and I hang up the phone. Not more than 15 minutes later, the uVerse stops working again! We contact technical support, yet again, and are told that they cancelled our uVerse service all together since you cannot have uVerse TV w/o uVerse internet. They didn’t bother to let us know that when we scheduled the DSL install, they just turned it off! So now my mother-in-law has no TV Service, and DSL isn’t suppose to be installed for two more days! We told them that was fine, we cancelled the DSL installation, and called Time Warner.
So to summarize our AT&T uVerse experience; we had the service for 17 days. We were without a phone for 2 days of those days, had to go without TV or internet for a total of 9 days, spent over 10 hours on the phone with technical support and various “customer service” departments, and took three days off work. My mother-in-law is now being charged $5 more a month for phone service, she is no longer getting DSL for $15/month, (she opted to go with Time Warner Roadrunner for $30/month, she figured if AT&T was going to charge her $20/month anyways it was worth $10/month to have more reliable service and to never have to deal with AT&T Technical Support again), and to top it off, has to unhook and drop off all the uVerse equipment to an AT&T RMA Center herself! They couldn’t even send her a box to ship it!
I don’t know if AT&T’s new uVerse service simply doesn’t work, if my mother-in-law’s house is just in a bad area, if AT&T simply hasn’t trained their personnel properly, or what. But if you’re considering switching to AT&T uVerse, I would suggest you don’t, or at least you wait until all the bugs have been worked out. Or better yet, move to an area where Verizon FIOS is available! :-)
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