I work for a well known Non-Profit organization here in Lafayette, Louisiana. We were experianceing some problems with our internet DSL service that we concluded were due to low bandwidth.
We decided to upgrade to Fiber Optic/High Speed. We went on AT&Ts website to look at what they had to offer. After getting the customer service number from the site, I called so I could speak to a real person.
The lady was friendly, actually sounding excited to help me. She looked up our existing service on her computer after asking me some questions and explained that we now had 6 Mbs bandwidth with our DSL, but that she could offer me 12 Mbs with the U Verse package and it would amount to aprox. $10.00/mo more than we were paying now.
Imagine my excitement! Twice the bandwidth for a mere $10.00 per month. This was Friday May 17Th. She set up the instalation date for Monday May 2oTh between the hours of 8:00am and 11:00am.
Our internet service went down at 7:30am on May 20Th. We neglected to remember that payroll had to be sent in via computer that day. Our book keeper had to ruch home to his apartment to have internet access and do payroll.
11:00am came and went. No AT&T, no phone callthat they were running late, nothing. Finally, I called them. The lady that helped me said it had to be disconnected in the central office to allow the switch over to Fiber Optic but she was unable to get the U Verse supervisor to answer the phone to tell me the status of the instalation.
At 3:00pm the installer showed up. He was there to install the new modem. He did so, and explained I would have 6 Mbs speed. 6 Mbps????
Thats what I had on DSL! I explained that I was promised 12 MB from the customer rep. He made a few phone calls to the higher-ups, and basicly gave me this story:
"Fiber Optic availability is determined by how many feet you are away from the central office downtown. There are no step-up amplifiers as such, it runs directly from the office. After so many feet the signal starts to degrade. They might be able to let you "try" what we have available to see if you like it, but if you want the 12 Mbps, they want you to sign a contract first since they can't un-do the promotional package your now in."
I was stunned.When I mentioned how furious I was at being swindled and that I was just going to call tomorrow and cancel the whole thing and get my original DSL back, he said: " Federal Law will not allow you to switch back to DSL once you've gone to Fiber Optic".
Wow...not it all started to fit. Customer Service at AT&T paints the pretty picture of how great live will be with blazing fast Fiber Optic, but fails to tell you your too far away from the central office to obtain the bandwidth your asking for.... data they clearly have on hand at the time your asking about Fiber Optic.
They switch you anyway, dropping the gorey details on you after the switch is made knowing you'll have to accept it because your not allowed to switch back. You wind up with no more bandwidth than you had before, your paying more for it, and your no longer "grandfathered in" to DSL. Mission accomplished!
AT&T's unwillingness to make this right prompted me to make this post. I only hope this helps someone else.
Product or Service Mentioned: Att Internet Service.
Monetary Loss: $100.