AT&T U-Verse Installation Wrapup

As promised, here is the end of my tale which started here and here.

Last Tuesday, Michael, from AT&T DSL Tier Two who had worked with me on Monday, called me to tell me that the line was finally clear for service. Hopefully the service should simply start working. He requested that I call him if there were any problems. He would be working until 9PM.

I got home at 5:30 to see what the results were. No service. I tried resetting the 2-Wire DSL Modem — No Joy. I called Tier Two. He attempted to find the problem. Perhaps I needed a new 2-Wire Box. He attempted to schedule a service call, but the system that handles service calls was down. I would have to call back in the morning.

I called before 7:00 AM and spoke with another Tier Two agent. I told him that Time-Warner would be coming in on Monday, and if I didn’t have service by the time I left at 2:30, it would be Time-Warner. I needed it installed that day, because I only had Christmas Day to evaluate the system. I was out Christmas Eve for Church and dinner with family. The day after Christmas, I would be at work, and then flying to Reno on family business, and I would not be back until late Sunday night. it was important to have the system working before Christmas.

The earliest AT&T could schedule anyone was between 12 and 2. He couldn’t get an earlier appointment. The agent, attempting to end the call, asked if there was anything else he could do. I replied, “Yes, can you push this thing along?” He paused, and said he would call the dispatcher to see if there was anything he could get this working.

I received three e-mail messages indicating that AT&T would be out for the call, First between 12 and 2. A few minutes later, they would be out between 11 and 1. Shortly after that, between 10 and 12. Three visits or three rescheduling notices?

I got a call at 10 from a technician who was working on the system. I didn’t hear anything from him, so I called him back an hour or so later. He said he was having problems, but would get it figured out. I heard nothing after that. At 12:30 I left work early to see what was going on. I got to the apartment. I had a bottle of aspirin on top of the 2-Wire. It had been moved, so I know someone had visited. At around 1:00, I got a call from Vince, who did the initial installation. He found out that there was no signal to the apartment. He went out to the box to see what he could do. Apparently the first technician had left and not done much anything else. At 2:00, Vince returned, reset the 2-Wire box and we got a signal. A little after 2:15 we got TV service. We set up the AT&T broadband account and by 2:20, it was working. AT&T came in just under the wire. I did a few speed checks, played a bit with the cable remote and left for Christmas Eve service.

It took one week, but I had service. I’ll give my review of U-Verse in a subsequent posting.

On Friday, just as I was leaving for the airport, I received a call from Michelle from AT&T U-Verse who had called me in response to a friend who is an AT&T employee, and asked me about what had happened. I related to here what I had written previously. It was obvious my case was rather exceptional. The DSL Disconnect didn’t go correctly, and because of that, I was unable to order U-Verse on-line. When I called to place the order, the person handling the order didn’t understand the situation, and may have forced the order through, rather than telling me that service wasn’t available until they resolved the problem, and things spiraled out of control from there. I conveyed to here that I understand there can be problems, but my main complaint was that I ended up having to ask the property manager to contact the previous tenant to find out something that AT&T should have known, and I had to push and ask AT&T to expedite the problem. Given what I had been told on the preceding Monday, if I had not pushed, I think I wouldn’t have seen service from them for at least two months. Also, that I had to spend three ours of time I should have spent at work trying to get the installation resolved. Through all of this, I have never heard so many people so helpless in the situation, because they could not disconnect a DSL line that should have been disconnected weeks before.

Michelle was apologetic. and she would use what she learned to fix their system. I wish her the best.

Was it all worth it? The question is irrelevant. I am happy with the service. The problem is the loss in productivity at work, and the emotion I had to invest in pushing AT&T to resolve the problem in a timely manner. Why did I push it so hard? Because I wanted to use the service. I needed the 18Mbps for podcast production, and wanted the ability to record multiple shows simultaneously, the channel selection, and AT&T WiFi. I’m happy to have the service. I’m not happy I had to do all the footwork for AT&T for them.

After all this, would I suggest U-Verse. Yes. My problem was so far down the long-tail that I it is most unlikely that you will have to go through my experience.

Thanks to Michael at AT&T for helping me through all of this. He gave me the most help through all of this. He followed up and called me back to tell me that the line was clear and that we could proceed. That alone is worth a bunch of kudos. Also to Vince the AT&T technician who was able to get the system up in such a short time on Christmas Eve. Finally thanks to a fellow podcaster and friend on the inside who twice attempted to escalate my case. As a result, I was able to convey my story to Michelle.

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