Upgraded? New Data plan put in place and now I have a $700 phone bill.

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May 18, 2020
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I need your advice and it's not about money. Sorry this is so long - I thought I should fill you in on what's been going on for so long. My question to you is at the end.

I've been in my condo for 34 years and have had the same phone # since moving here and I'm still on DSL for internet. Back in 2014 I had to go through the CPUC to get AT&T to fix my problem which was the line dropping every few minutes - i.e. 5 times in 10 minutes. Impossible to get anything done. The technician who came out and worked on the problem finally said the only way to fix the problem was to switch out my wifi modem for a non wifi modem. He also told me if I upgraded I would have the SAME problems as I was having with DSL. With the new modem I never had that problem happen again to this day - once I'm online the line doesn't get dropped

Everything was fine until our first rain of the season on November 22, 2018. On that day I lost my landline and didn't report it because I still had internet - not many people still use landlines! In October, 2019, we had a little wind and I started having internet problems. I wrote to the Customer Service Exec, Jodie Garcia, and immediately got a phone call from her office and a tech came out. Had to write again In February - same problems. Again I wrote to Ms Garcia and again got immediate service. The people I talk to when I call to report the problem are so nice they make it hard for me to write to the Executive Office. Between February until present I've had to call about internet problems probably 3 times, unfortunately no written documentation about those calls.

Fast forward to last week. A technician was here on Thursday and before he left he made sure everything was working correctly. All was fine until yesterday morning. When it was raining my phone line was dead. As soon as it stopped raining I had a dial tone. At 3 am this morning it was raining and again no phone line although I was able to logon to the internet. Later at around 9:30 am it started raining again and again no phone and again started having internet problems. I immediately sent another email to Jodie Garcia. Probably within 1 hour I received a call from the Executive Office in response to my email. Before receiving that call I did some research on the current CEO and came across an interesting article about a long time AT&T customer who also had DSL who wrote a very polite letter to the CEO and in response received a letter from AT&T's lawyer. When I received the call from the Exec Office today I was so upset I screamed at them and said they need to fix my problems permanently and hung up.

The last two times I wrote to the Exec Office I received daily calls for approximately a week wanting to make sure everything was up and working. Do I have the right, do you think it would be a good idea for me to tell them all correspondence between us needs to be in writing?
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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I've read through your narrative and conclude that your ATT service is impacted by weather. The problem has been going on for a long time. You of course can tell them you want to communicate by email only, but whether they cooperate is another story. ATT likes to keep things verbal so they can drag out a situation like yours forever without actually fixing anything. I went through this for years with old equipment coming up my road. After I finally complained to the PUC, I got a few phone calls from the "Assistant to the ATT President" but he just wanted to do some PR and keep me as a customer with sub-par service. I soon found another provider for my landline. It appears to me that you have the same kind of issue, faulty lines, probably due to age. If ATT hasn't fixed it by now, they're not going to ever fix it. I'd ask around your building to see what others use for phone and internet. There are some choices out there.
 
Jun 24, 2019
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I went through this with AT&T some years ago. They insisted on phone calls. I called, and then followed with a letter summarizing the call. Eventually, they dug up the lines in our neighborhood and the phone lines, installed underground in 1964, still had a readable label, “not for underground use.”
 
Sep 22, 2019
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I am confused. Your question title states you have a problem with a $700 bill, but your narrative has nothing to do with a bill.
Your condo is at least 34 years old, have you asked building maintenance to check around the building where the lines are? Try to really narrow down if it's the provider issue or a building maintenance issue. It could very well be a building problem.
 
Sep 9, 2018
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I am confused. Your question title states you have a problem with a $700 bill, but your narrative has nothing to do with a bill.
Your condo is at least 34 years old, have you asked building maintenance to check around the building where the lines are? Try to really narrow down if it's the provider issue or a building maintenance issue. It could very well be a building problem.
I was thinking the same thing! It actually looks like a title of a different post from not too long ago....
 

GAT

Apr 23, 2018
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Ma Bell ain't what she used to be. Fire her; there are plenty of other services out there. Some will bundle any combination of landline (you can keep your phone #) Internet, cable TV, and even home security. Some also provide mobile. I would avoid satellite service providers if you can; they come with their own weather-related problems.

You referred to CPUC. Do you live in California? Or maybe there's a Colorado PUC? Anyway, just as an example, here's a list of Comcast coverages in CA. Other providers probably publish the same type of info.