Mar 12 2008
08:33 am

I imagine you've seen the ad campaign for the AT&T sponsored bills in the TN legislature that promise to challenge Comcast and provide you with cable service and fast internet.

Well, OK, Comcast customer service stinks, but the bills do nothing of the sort. It will simply continue allowing cable and internet providers(read AT&T) to cherry pick neighborhoods and ignore large areas of Roane County.

Could we possibly get something that would actually help bring TN into the information age? We are going to be left behind in a big way if this goes through.

Look, we all know that all large corporations have problems when it comes to service. The people on the front lines get killed for it, even though most of them are god people who care. I just spent close to three months trying to get cable service and the guys on the ground did everything they could to work it out, while the folks back in the multistory buildings killed their ability to fix simple little things.

Broadband internet must be provided to everybody in America as soon as possible, mush like telephone service and electricity. We can't have Corporations falling all over themselves to "contribute" to your and my electe officials so that they represent AT$T and not John and Martha Q. Citizen of Roane County.

But "campaign contributions" are flying in the direction of our state reps ans senators right this very minute. Give them a call won't you?

The numbers are over on the right---->

Well here's my take, and AT&T won't like it...

You say that Comcast service sucks. I've had satisfactory service out of them concerning my internet connection, but in any case, compared to AT&T, with whom I also have experience, Comcast and everything associated with them rank as absolute saints!

Back before the first of the year AT&T called. We have basic, single-number hardwire landline service with them. They wanted, of course, to sell us more. They wanted to pitch their "broadband" DSL to us. The guy - who, shall we say, didn't speak English very well - was very specific at my request. I told him I didn't think we would want to switch (he was specifically targeting folks who had internet access via cable), and he said he wanted to send me info via email. He explained the deal I would get on DSL service, with a rebate and a way to essentially get the modem free. He said after I decided I wanted the service, they would send a modem right to me. I made sure (as sure as one can verbally) that by receiving information I was under no obligation, and that I wanted at least the weekend to look at the information and make a decision. He was also claiming, of course, that his DSL would be faster than my cable, since cable speed varied with load (technically true, but not actually true at least at my location). I told him I would evaluate the information and how much my cable speed varied and make a decision. Well, the same day I got the information (read that sales pitch) in the email, a modem arrived on my doorstep. I hadn't asked for a modem. I had specifically told him I would make a decision before ordering anything, and he agreed that the modem would not be sent prematurely.

Well, I made my evaluation of system speed to my location using 4 independent internet speed monitoring systems. His claim was that he would guarantee me 1.5mb/sec no matter what. Well, 1.49mb/sec was the SLOWEST my cable ever ran, and that included checking speed on busy hours, like Friday evenings, Saturdays, Saturday evenings, etc, etc. Almost all the time my system ran significantly faster than 1.5mb/sec. That's the nominal speed of a T1 line, BTW.

The modem I received was only opened sufficiently to get the info about where to return it to (never opened inner package or even took it out of shipping box). We returned the modem. We never sent or received a single byte of information over AT&T's line - and they verified that! We have spent OVER 8 hours on the phone since then trying to eradicate the DSL internet issue from our AT&T bill. They will say it's taken care of, and the damned internet will appear again on our phone bill. We're STILL at it with AT&T! Nobodoy at AT&T knows (or cares) what the other department is doing. When you try to deal with the problem, they say, "Oh, you have to talk to thus-and-so." So we call thus-and-so, and they say we have to talk to the department that sent us to them! It goes on and on. And in the mean time, we have people with Indian/Pakistani accents calling us from East Jesus, Arkansas wanting to make changes in our phone service agreement that will upgrade our service but make no changes in our bill. When I tell them where to go after they tell me I'm receiving internet service from them, they don't seem to understand. And they can't tell me why they're calling me to ask me to approve something if it's not a change in my service that will make by bill go up.

BOTTOM LINE: If it has to do with AT&T, you're about to be screwed - royally. Be afraid, be very afraid. And run like hell if anybody from AT&T approaches you about anything!

They're out (AT&T) to screw each and every citizen of Tennessee out of each and every red cent they can, and don't you believe otherwise. This bill is suicide!


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