About a month ago, AT&T wrote me a form letter saying I needed something called Uverse or there would be problems with my wireless — we get our internet and phones through AT&T.

I made an appointment and a nice man came over and switched us over to Uverse. A week or so later, the internet went out. I called AT&T again — it’s not all that easy to get through — and a lady on the phone apologized profusely and sent over another technician. He said the first guy had wired it wrong. The second guy fixed the internet.

Unfortunately, a few days later I noticed a problem with our phones. In my office I have a phone with two lines — the house number and my work number. Now, the house number was eliminated — as in gone. I phoned AT&T and after much delay and being transferred to the wrong places, a lady came on. She said she would send out a technician and she said he would not damage our system. I said one guy already had damaged it.

We made an appointment for today — sort of. The appointment was some time between 8 am and 7 pm. That’s an appointment? It is now 7:20 pm and no one from AT&T has shown up. Which means I wasted a whole day waiting for technician number three and not leaving the house for nothing.

Is AT&T really this bad?

What do I do now?

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  1. lameduck

    Short answer is yes.
    I recommend opening a nice Pinot
    Have faith. It will get better then break again and you’ll be on a commercial hugging a cable guy.

    December 12th, 2012 7:36 pm

  2. mbabco

    I had horrible experiences with AT & T. I had phone and internet and every time I had to contact AT & T it was a bad experience. It was as if they designed a system to discourage people from getting help. Same with their website: it took forever to get to where I wanted and it often wasn’t possible meaning back to that horrible phone support.

    I just have phone and internet. I finally switched to sonic.net and am so happy. My bill with AT&T was $85 a month and I had to pay 10 cents a minute for calls in the U.S. With Sonic I pay $51 and get unlimited calling within the U.S. for no extra charge. I can also send faxes (using PDF files on my computer) and they give me another fax number so I can receive them. Free message center, call forwarding & 3-way calling. Sometimes when you phone for support a real human answers the phone. Amazing! And if everyone’s busy, they give you a chance to get a call-back and remain in the queue: with AT&T I’d have to sit with the phone to my ear for up to 20 or 25 minutes sometimes.

    What do you do? I’d recommend abandoning AT&T completely. I love sonic — you could get them for phone & internet and use DirectTV or something for cable. (I just use the antenna so can’t help you too much with that one.) But I suspect you’d be very happy to never have to deal with AT&T again.

    December 12th, 2012 7:47 pm

  3. RC


    December 12th, 2012 8:07 pm

  4. bolobar

    Comcast. I know, I know, they are perceived as the

    They do perform well, They are expensive. They give
    two hour windows for appointments.

    They are soooo much better than AT&t.

    December 12th, 2012 8:08 pm

  5. B-Rad

    Apparently I have exactly the same package you do and I’ve
    always been 100% satisfied.

    I don’t read any of their ‘ad letters’ or e-mails, so I know nothing
    about all this.

    On occasion in my life, I’ve been talked into ‘improving’ something
    that wasn’t broken and with which I was perfectly satisfied. I think
    you can guess how that usually works out.

    December 12th, 2012 8:20 pm

  6. ollie hoop

    I lost my land line with ATT two months ago and they have yet to restore it. They keep billing me though.

    December 12th, 2012 9:18 pm

  7. Nick Poulos

    AT&T is the worst for internet and phone switch over to Comcast and you won’t be disappointed

    December 12th, 2012 10:03 pm

  8. Glenn

    AT&T is the poster child of a mega corporation giving you the
    back of their hand when it comes to customer service. The real
    money in their future is not in the landline business so they treat
    all of those unlucky people with arrogance and disdain…

    December 12th, 2012 10:18 pm

  9. David

    Have had your same problem with Comcast while in the process of moving. I guess both outfits suck and can’t do what they’re supposed to do. We’re all doomed

    December 13th, 2012 12:00 am

  10. htwaits

    I fired AT&T when they told me it would take ten days to get someone to check our dead land line.

    December 13th, 2012 12:22 am

  11. b4huxley

    I had an experience with AT&T, I asked them to reserve my telephone number while I deployed to Iraq, and when I returned when I tried to reopen the number they wouldn’t allow it, so I opened a new number, they continued to bill me for the old number though. It took me around 8 phone calls to finally get them to remove my old number and stop charging me, also they wouldn’t refund the money..

    December 13th, 2012 7:19 am

  12. Dennis

    Yes they are and proud of it.

    December 13th, 2012 7:24 am

  13. chris

    uh oh…..thats make me shiver Lowell……..ATT just came to my door in the Berkeley Hills yesterday and said they’re going to switch our service to UVerse and eliminate our Comcast service because Comcast is using their phone lines. they pay off Comcast to do this which sounds strange, but I was sold since the overall bill for phone and cable TV was lowered in half. Just hope they dont foul up everything in the 6 hours they need to hook it all up…..yikes………….and yeah the technical service is always bad…..all of this new technology is in it’s infancy I guess and just a mess most of the time.

    December 13th, 2012 8:38 am

  14. TonyT


    I’ve dumped AT&T entirely, and switched to Clear. However, we’re not heavy internet users; something like Fusion (available from Sonic as mbabco mentions, and my old provider, LMI.net, who I highly recommend) is probably better for most people.

    I’ve heard plenty of Comcast horror stories, too, but we don’t have cable or satellite — too much to do to have time to watch TV.

    December 13th, 2012 9:15 am

  15. Mark M

    They have the worst customer support I’ve ever seen and their internet is notoriously bad. I’m stuck in a phone plan with them for now as we get a discount due to my work. Their coverage is actually pretty good and handy when you cross borders. But I’ve been treated so poorly by their customer service during phone upgrades and service changes, I’m probably looking elsewhere when my contract runs out.

    December 13th, 2012 9:21 am

  16. Stan

    How about Doctors? What ever happened to the good old Dr.Larkeys on Pill Hill in Oakland in 1964 who would keep my child self healthy,checked me up..the whole care?. Mom was happy.
    Now? You get a Dr. who will ask short curt questions,never touch you unless you almost force them..and then say your done!
    And of course later when you need to ask a question or prescription need a day or two later…there is five layers between you and them. You will never hear from them until you come back for another “appointment”.
    I hate these young and new Doctors.

    December 13th, 2012 9:26 am

  17. Steve the cat rescuer

    A few friends of mine have Astound and love it – TV, unlimited USA long distance and super hi-speed Internet for ca. $90/month without contracts or cancellation fees. I have AT&T for landline and iPad 4gLTE (no cell, antenna TV) and have no complaints, except I did dump them for long distance in favor of a prepaid phone card from Costco (they were assessing a $10 “fee” whether I made any calls or not). Twice I’ve called for extensive service (outside and inside lines) at my other place in Mendo County and found the service guys to be top notch, on time and very friendly. Maybe it’s the laid back Mendo atmosphere as opposed to the stress of the Bay Area.

    December 13th, 2012 10:13 am

  18. htwaits

    Chris, did you ask how much your service will cost a year from now? You should check on that. Most “great deals” are for six months. After which you pay more, then they do it again after the first year. What you got is a temporary introduction price, and I wouldn’t count on what either AT&T or Comcast sales people say about what they are selling you.

    December 13th, 2012 12:22 pm

  19. Jim

    I had trouble with ATT a couple times a year and dread it when I called them for help This is 10 years of being with them. Always frustrating. I switched to Comcast two years ago and haven’t had technical problems since.

    December 13th, 2012 3:31 pm

  20. KauaiRobert

    Cut the cord Lowell.

    December 13th, 2012 4:00 pm

  21. chris

    htwaits……..thanks for the advice……yeah I know the drill…they lure you in with a great sounding deal and then raise the rates later……the sales guy was bombarding me with one discount or extra after another……I think overall its going to be an ok deal……either one you go with Comcast or ATT there’s gonna be problems weahter its high prices with Comcast or sleezy sales pitches with ATT

    December 13th, 2012 6:12 pm

  22. chris

    one tip for ATT users…..when you need tech support, ask for the tier 2 level…….the person who answers is tier 1 and of course will be insulted when you ask for tier 2, but I got better results from teir 2 and the guy at the ATT store in Berkeley gave me that tip.

    December 13th, 2012 6:16 pm

  23. Stan

    A few months ago this house almost went ATT because of those “deals” and Comcast skyrocketing prices..unannounced raises for nothing more added. Well, I looked at the internet talk about ATT..it sounded like committing to Hell. TV shows that would freezup downloading.,all the rest.
    Turned out Comcast can reduce the monthly rate if you say the right things. I’m sure if the Cable industry were still regulated those Comcast bills would be slashed.
    But,G.Bush who gave us two wars unneeded couldn’t do anything right including something as simple as cable.

    December 13th, 2012 6:18 pm

  24. Phil Brown

    Yes, ATT is that bad.
    My horror is PG&E. 3 years ago I waited in a dark apartment for them to turn on the power from 8am to 10pm.
    Didn’t show.

    December 13th, 2012 6:55 pm

  25. Tech

    Uverse internet and TV is installeded by “Prem Techs” on average they have less than 2 years experiance in telecomunications. They are harrassed constantly to get thir “numbers”. Most of them lack any telephone/internet knowledge, since the majority of their training is in coax. ATT has done this because these techs make 10-20$ less than a phone tech. Att will lie cheat and steal to get you to sign a contract then make it impossible to get help when your system goes down.

    December 13th, 2012 8:40 pm

  26. Tommy CostaRica

    Try a cable appointment in Costa Rica. I call first thing in the morning for an install and they tell me later today! So I wait all day and around 6 some gal shows up with a big purse. I figure cool a Tica tech. Then I am disappointed to find out that she only takes the order and the big purse has no tech goodies in it for me.
    She assures me that a tech will call early tomorrow morning and schedule an appointment for later in the day. So no call and I call her she promises to call the tech and get back to me. Never happens, I keep checking in with her but nothing happens. Four days later a tech shows up at 6 while I’m sitting by the pool drinking some Argentinian red. In this country they call it “Pura Vida!”

    December 14th, 2012 7:13 am

  27. chris

    Lowell, if you dont have this number for UVerse customer service, write it down……..1-877-377-0415. I’m in the process of setting up my UVerse system and after being told to call three different numbers that got me no help at all, I looked at my original order sheet from the ATT sales guy that came to my door and he had written down this number. I called, got a guy in Texas which alarmed me at first, but he turned out to be extremely sharp, cleared up all questions I had and even corrected mistakes made by the sales guy. Of course it could all backfire if the Uverse I’ll be getting in January crashes like yours did.

    December 15th, 2012 3:33 pm

  28. Kandakis

    I notice you have the AT&T U-Verse banner ad proudly displayed at the top of the page. So Funny Guys!!!

    December 31st, 2012 10:38 am

  29. Will Martin

    AT&T = Aggrevation, Torture, and Torment. I worked there for three years. The sales people’s quotas drive them to sell their inferior product. The evil corporation does not care about the employees or it’s customers. Everyone has a quota, from the people in the stores, to the customer service over the phone, and even the technicians that come to install. They are all worried about their numbers, not the quality of service!

    January 1st, 2013 2:21 pm

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