Editorials

Sit back there sonny, lemme tell you a tale of AT&T

We’re entering into the seventh month of this one, and it’s a beaut of an issue I don’t know if I’ll be alive by the time it’s resolved.

So here’s the situation. Back in Feb we got a notification our expensive POTS lines which were used exclusively for three applications and not for calls and the whatnot, now were going to be $600 a month per line or thereabouts. We had a conversation with the vendors who said that VoIP was fine these days so go with that and an industrial UPS for the approx. 3 minutes of phone calls made on these three lines per month.

Whatever, ancient tech we can spend 150K upgrading or keep three phone lines. Choice was clear.

Order with AT&T created to port our three POTS lines over to a new fiber connection with a new fiber modem that had a backup 5G card in it in the event of fiber cut. All of that was going to be slightly more than $200 a month… sounded fine, I think it ended up being $20 less than the POTS solution and gave us an extra gigabit if we wanted it. I figured I could probably tack it onto our existing fiber connection but I’m tired of various companies coming and screwing everything up and taking years to resolve… so I went with a new account and everything and the plan was if it worked I’d shut down the other fiber.

See, I know if there’s anything that can possibly screw up with a telco, they will somehow find a way.

March 18th, 2023 the tech comes out, installs the unit, we switch over the next day I believe as something was wrong, and things work fine.

A month and a half later in May I’ve got a bill for nearly $2K showing up claiming we still have the POTS lines active… they are not, the lines are physically plugged into this little fiber modem and yeah… open a ticket and the person I’m talking to is like “you’ll always have me to call, I’m here from this point to the end, everything’s documented and these are the contact people in case I’m gone… here’s a universal tracking number and you’re set.”

the TL;DR version of the problem was when the AT&T install tech left he never closed the ticket, it stayed on the AT&T POTS account instead of being transferred to the AT&T fiber/directv/whatever they’re calling that option. They were sure the POTS lines were still active. I had no account number with the new lines and internet connection. I know what it ends in, but not enough of it to register.

I’ll skip the months of attempting to reach anyone and just here’s a cut and paste of the next contact I had on August 11:

I am so sorry – as much I want to just adjust it, I can’t because the case is still open. I show xxxxxxxxx is working on it, and her manager is xxxxxxxx.  I would reach out to both of them and ask them about it. Until they close the case I can’t do anything with it. ☹  Let me know if they send you anything today.

And the bad part is – they have shut down our office, our last day is 9/13 I have chosen to retire. I am taking my vacation until that date. I will be here today only.

Slightly edited. I had of course reached out to both of them and black hole of email.

Generally attempting to contact anyone over the previous months resulted in leaving a voicemail that was never returned, emailing an address that was never returned, etc.

Today, we have a halted account with a $1800 balance from the POTS lines… I got a call the day before yesterday and the person basically has no clue what’s going on because evidently nobody ever documented anything… they have no idea how my VoIP lines are still working, what the account number is, why we haven’t been billed for them.

So at this point we’re planning on probably getting some phone lines attached to the other account we have and just moving everything there… we’re not married to the phone numbers that are on the lines so three brand new lines would be fine. Nobody seems to know why the fiber modem and equipment we haven’t paid for yet are, why they’re still going, why there’s no bill.

When I started the complaint in May I got an email indicating it would be resolved by the end of August… I guess that probably meant 2024… womp womp

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Paul E King

Paul King started with GoodAndEVO in 2011, which merged with Pocketables, and as of 2018 he's evidently the owner. He lives in Nashville, works at a film production company, is married with two kids. Facebook | Twitter | Donate | More posts by Paul | Subscribe to Paul's posts

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