09 January 2010

4 More Reasons Why ATT Sucks

. . . More on how AT&T slammed my DSL and made my email cease to function.

My DSL (high-speed internet connection) was slammed by AT&T (taken over without my permission) on or about November 23, 2009. The minute it was slammed I had no internet connection. Two days later ATT's robot said my "new service" was "up" and it wasn't. That day I spent two hours on the phone with ATT pinheads getting my connection back up, but my email still did not work.

(See my post on November 28, 2009 for more on this 2-hour phone call.)

Well, time passed, the holidays came and went, and I tackled the problem again on January 7, 2010.

This time I was on the phone with them for over four hours (well, in a chat room for half an hour, then on the phone for three and a half hours).

And guess what? It still does not work. Not only that, but the workaround that the Level 3 tech set up for me does not work, either.

Date: January 7, 2010

Start Time: 6:54 pm

I went to the online tech support chatroom that was emailed to me by AT&T to talk to an AT&T tech person to try to solve my email problem again.

Talked to Ryan. I said: "Hello, Ryan. I am a DSL customer and I was told I would be able to use the email address I have had for seven years, but can't get it to send."

He said, "Ms. Foss, I am sorry you are experiencing this issue and will be happy to assist you. Do not worry, I will provide you all the information. Do you have AT&T provided e-mail address?"

I said, "yes, I do, and I have already tried to set it up, but missing something in the settings."

He said, "Ms. Foss, what is your e-mail address?" I gave him the ATT email address I had just set up, that I never had any intention of using, which I shall refer to as "P~".

He said, "I will provide you all the information" and asked me for the answer to my security questions. I answered.

He sent me to a website and told me to log in. I said, "Okay, but it wants my yahoo ID. Am I giving it my yahoo name or my ATT name?"

He said, "No, please use your AT&T provided e-mail address." I did so.

"Are you able to login there?" Yes.

"Now try to send a test e-mail to your own e-mail address and let me know the result."

I said, "okay, where is the email feature on this page?"

He said "click on the mail tab."

I said, "sorry, i don't see a mail tab. which corner is it in?"

He said, "What options do you see there?" I listed a bunch of them.

He told me to sign out, then sent me to a new website

I asked, "Do i log in as P~ again?" Yes.

I got an "Invalid password" message.

He said, "Please use P~ there and password of this account."

This time I got "Invalid email" message. Tried again and it worked, must have typed it wrong.

He said, "check your email folders."

I said, "it says i have no emails in my inbox" and added: "well this is a new email address i have not ever used. it was kind of forced upon me. what i want to use is the email i have had for the past 7 years, which is gwenfoss@netrek.net. currently it will receive but can't send. this need to be configured to send."

He said, what email client am I using? (Boy, if I were a computer newbie that would be too much freakin' jargon.)

I said Eudora. (Part of me knew that at this point I knew he would say that he can't help me with Eudora).

He said, "I need to inform you that we do not have any tools to configure your e-mail client in Eudora, However I will provide you all the settings to configure the e-mail account."

He then said, "You need to use the SMTP server of AT&T and POP server of your "gwenfoss@netrek.net""

I said, "not good enough. i was promised that my old email would still work after you took over my DSL account. I did not sign up for ATT. this has to be fixed."

He came back with, "Please note down the SMTP server address: smtp.att.yahoo.com"

I said, "yes, that is the setting i have."

He said, "And for further information we have a dedicated department for this Support+. Please call us at: 877-831-2880. They will provide you all the information and help you out."

I said, "no, i was already on the phone for 2 hours with them." (After this conversation I realized this is the heavenly "fee-based" Level 3 support that I had not yet tried.)

He said, "I apologize for the inconvenience caused to you. I am sorry, we do not have any tools to provide you all the information on this. Please contact them, they will help you out."

I said, "okay, i guess i'll try them again. Expletive deleted. bye for now."

Talked to this guy over half an hour. No effin' help.


ATT's customer service survey popped up on my screen, which I filled out. It was only two questions and a comment. I gave both questions a NO, then put in comments: "Ongoing problem. Changing settings in email software so it can send and receive. I did not sign up for DSL from ATT. You took over my DSL without my consent. Now email will receive but not send."

I tried to type more into the comments field but it would only erase my text after that, so I assume the box had a character limit in force.

7:35 pm

I called the tech support number that Ryan had given me, 877-831-2880, got the same stinking a phone maze, and it said, for DSL support, hang up and dial 1-800-288-2020, but I just ignored that and pressed 1 for "advanced technical support." Got put on hold.

7:45 pm

I heard sound of a phone ringing and got a live human after about 10 rings. I could not understand her name, India accent. I gave her my name, phone, zip code, and so forth, and we discussed the problem, and she said it would be a $99 fee. (I'll admit, I was expecting $30 or $40, not $100!) but get this: she promised their techs could fix it. She actually used the word "promise."

I argued about the fee and lost. She took my cc info. Back on hold.

7:53 pm

She said we had to wait for a ticket number. While waiting for a ticket number, she read me the list of rules that she said she was required to read to me. I did not jot them all down, but these two stood out:

1) I am liable for any lost data, etc, if I proceed to this service.

2) Even if they can't fix it they will still bill me $99 for this service.

(First she promised they could fix it, then said it would be $99, then said if they can't fix it, it's still $99?? If this is not illegal it should be.)

Well, this is when I hit the roof and started yelling. Problem ongoing for weeks, I did not sign up for this, I was promised my email would work, ATT slammed my DSL, been on the phone already for hours trying to get it fixed, and so on. I also said that I know it's not her fault, she's not a supervisor, and so on. She said she is required to say all the rules. I pointed out again that she just promised me they could fix it, then said, maybe we can't, but it's $99 either way (!).

Well, since I can't fix this mess myself, I said let's go ahead, and she gave me a ticket number and said to give that to the technician when they come on the line. She added that if I need to call her back, the number is 888-930-3330. She then said, please stay on the line and put me on hold.

7:58 pm

On hold. Wow, but they have some really crappy primitive on-hold music!

8:42 pm

After being on hold for 44 minutes (!) I finally got to the $99-tech, whom I shall call A~. She asked for my ticket number, asked me the problem, and by now I had it down to three words: "Eudora won't send."

Tech A~ had me launch Internet Explorer, go to a specific website, put in a code number, and download a utility called "Premium Support" that allowed her to see my desktop on her desktop and take control of my mouse, etc.

I watched as she looked at Eudora, tried to send email, no go, looked at the browser, checked some settings under Windows Device Manager and Intel Network Connector, which were all normal, I assume, since she changed nothing.

8:48 pm

Tech A~ again looked at Eudora, spent a few minutes looking at all the settings, said she was not familiar with Eudora but would try to figure the problem out, put me on hold, said she was going to find a tech who understands Eudora, came back and said she thinks it's a port problem, and I watched as she checked the port settings in Eudora, making all the changes I had already tried, then trying new settings.

9:02 pm

Tech still "looking around" my computer, made changes to the SSL settings (Secure Socket Layer, a security wall), still no go, changed it back, still no go. She then said she has just learned that a lot of other people have had the same problem.


A~ said another customer who also uses Eudora tried all sorts of instructions but never found a solution, said Eudora "does not like" the SSL that ATT uses. She continued to try possible solutions, kept trying to send an email with Eudora but just got error messages. She then said she was going to write down and investigate the error message more closely. She checked the SSL Certificate Information Manager, clicked on a certificate, tried several times to solve the problem that the certificate was not being authenticated, and so on.

9:16 pm

Tech A~ imported a certificate, tried many other settings, tried changes to certificates and SSL and a slew of other settings. Still no go.

9:23 pm

More attempts to fix, then she tried logging in to yahoo mail using my Netrek name and password, no go, she changed the port settings again, no go.

9:32 pm

Tech A~ started explaining to me why the incoming mail still worked but the outgoing mail did not work, but stopped herself in the middle as if she had a new idea, and made more changes to the settings. Next she theorized that the problem was with the web-based part (Yahoo), in that she did not know how to "connect" Yahoo to 2020comm (my old internet service provider) or Netrek (my old email domain name). I said I also have an ATT email handle and why don't we try that. She entered that into the Eudora settings, and also the password for that, then put me back on hold.

9:40 pm

I saw my mouse moving around by itself again, and watched as she checked all the settings, tried to send an email, no go, she pinged the ATT server, looks like that worked, continued to try different settings.

9:46 pm

As I watched her move my mouse around I asked about the old router / new router, and she said the router is not the issue; the problem she's currently trying to solve is getting the SSL settings in Eudora to update or recognize or something like that. Eudora doesn't seem to have standard SSL but something called TSL, perhaps it's an old version of SSL that is too old to function, or something like that.

9:52 pm

I watched as tech A~ followed links from Eudora to OpenSSL online, I assume in an attempt to find upgrade info or a fix, no go, she then said that I have a 10 year old version of Eudora and she could set up Outlook for me. (Oh, yes, I knew she was going to tell me to use Outlook!!) I explained that I have used Outlook in the past and really hated it, it was very hard to use, but told her to go ahead and set it up for me, let's see if it works.

9:58 pm

I watched as she set up my ATT email with my "real name" and it worked fine, then she set up the Netrek email to see if it would work, put in my old ISP server name, no go, I looked through my old notes from when I set up Eudora, found a different email server, she put that in and by golly it worked! She then set up Outlook to handle my ATT email and my Netrek email and put them all into the same inbox, or at least that's what I expected would happen.

10:16 pm

I told tech A~ that I had been promised a solution, not only prior to today, but earlier today, by ATT personnel, and that after I was told of the $99 fee, I was then told, by the same ATT person, that even if they can't fix it, it's still $99. A~ said she would be happy to transfer me to sales so I could let them know that their own personnel are making impossible promises because Eudora is simply incompatible with ATT email, and they can't support Eudora or fix the problem, the problem (apparently) lies with the SSL in Eudora.

10:36 pm

Tech A~ said, "Sorry it took so long, nothing else I can do for you." I thanked her for trying her best. She transferred me to sales. I went on hold at 10:37 pm.

10:44 pm

I got to a live human (India accent) who asked for my ticket number, which I gave, he said he was a sales rep for "Connect-Tech," then I explained the problem, in that ATT continued to promise me they would fix my email and they simply are unable to, and that they should not be making this promise, especially to Eudora users.

He said he can't give me a refund of my $99 but he would ask the supervisor for permission to give me a refund. I also asked what to do with the duplicate modem, he said he can't help me with that, put me on hold, 10:51 pm.

10:53 pm

When he came back to the phone I told him that, legally speaking, if a company is liable, the fact that they say they're not liable doesn't make them not liable, they're still liable. He said the best he can do is give me full credit for the $99 fee, then charge me a $29 fee instead, thus giving me a $70 reduction on the fee, which he termed a "partial refund." That still stinks, but I agreed to take the partial refund.

He then gave me a transaction number (order reference number) for the current charge, and also gave me the transaction number (order reference number) for the original $99 charge.

10:59 pm

Call ended. Counting from my first contact today with ATT via the chat line, that makes four hours and five minutes total time spent on this today.


Date: January 8, 2010

The next morning, after the day I spent four hours on the phone with ATT, during which they supposedly set up Outlook for me, guess what? Outlook is not sending or receiving my Netrek mail.



Date: January 9, 2010

A moment of silence for my dead email, thank you.

It is no wonder that consumers like myself who are treated like dirt by these giant, faceless, multi-national, evil corporations (with the exception of Tech A~ who was super) are taking their business elsewhere.


Please help a starving bookdealer.

Sincerely yours,
Gwen Foss


1 comment:

onforce said...

AT&T has now joined the largest IT sweatshop in the world - it's called OnForce. They charge customers up to $199.99 to provide computer or DSL service. Then turn around and pay a tech on OnForce $65 to $8$.
We are taking a stand against those giant sweatshop, please join us at onforcesucks.com