We are in the process of setting up a new professional office in a typical business building in San Diego. We’ve got the office and I’ve started calling companies that provide internet service in the area. I’ve called Cox who told me the office was in an area services by Time Warnet. So I’ve called Time Warner for their cable service only to hear that they can only get me a T1 or Fiber and the lowest price is $400 a month.
I knew that people in the building were not paying $400/month because many of the offices around cost $600/month to rent. It just so happens that an accountant across the hallway from us (who I’ve visited to inquire about their connectivity) had AT&T DSL!
So I got on the phone with AT&T and asked about getting a DSL in our office. To my surprise they said they don’t provide internet services at this address (first time). Despite me repeating the address and them checking multiple times in their system – they kept on telling me that internet is not available. Despite the fact that the office across the hall had AT&T DSL up and running as we spoke. I ended that converation and called AT&T again (same number) but got a different person. After checking the address – they told me the same thing – no internet (second time). After about 5 minutes on the phone with me trying to tell them they are servicing people in the building already . The final word was – no they don’t have anything they can offer us, but we should call one of their “local representatives”. I’ve called and e-mailed the rep who checked some other system and told me the same thing – no services and that we should try contacting Time Warner (third time).
So I’ve called AT&T again and after 4-th conversation with them they told me that they can provide us with AT&T U-verse at the office address (which is technically a DSL, but rep kept on insisting it wasnt. I guess it is all pigeons and pixie dust then) . I had to ask them to repeat what they said as i couldn’t believe my own ears.
We were told $30/month for first three months and then it will be $40 (for 12Mbit down), but we did have to buy their U-verse modem.Installation was scheduled for Tuesday of next week between 11am and 1pm. Before Tuesday, we went into MPOE in the building and had a new CAT5e line pulled form MPOE through underground conduit into the office space to ensure that the tech won’t tell us that there is no connectivity to our space.
On Tuesday, wife is a the office at 11am waiting for AT&T. At 1pm she calls me and I call AT&T who tells me they were never scheduled for 11am-1pm, but are scheduled for 1pm-3pm. And no – we didn’t make a mistake, we wrote down what AT&T said while they were on the speakerphone – so one of us would have caught the error. So she is waiting until 3pm – still no one. We call AT&T and they tel us the guy is running late. Now wouldn’t we want to know that? At this point I’m getting very angry trying to deal with these completely unprofessional people. Considering how big the company is – they have no idea how to run a company.
At 3:40 the installer shows up and until 5pm he is trying different wire pairs because the signal is too weak. At 5pm he gives up and says that he will get a line technician to come out and fix the line from AT&T to the box outside of the building and then he will come back next day to finish it up between 3 and 5pm.
On Wednesday my wife gets to the office to find out that the line is up, but it is running at 0.25Mbit vs promised 12Mbit and the pages won’t load. A DSL modem provided by AT&T is a Motorola NVG510, which are know to have problems with DNS and inability to enter Bridged mode. At 4pm she calls them to find out that the last guy has never scheduled himself or anyone else to come back, but only made a note that someone will need to do it. Another hour on the phone with AT&T after getting transferred and put on hold many times and AT&T is telling us that someone will come out tomorrow between 1 and 3pm.
Now, even though we don’t have a properly working internet yet – they have already sent a bill to us, which says that the line costs $120 a month and not $40! And that there is a $90 promotional discount being applied for now, but it may go away. What?!?!?!
Tomorrow we need to call to clear up the issue with the bill and hopefully the tech will be able to resolve the problem with the line.
In my 14 year history in IT (information technology for the uninitiated) I have never dealt with less professional and competent company. AT&T simple takes the cake of the worst company we have ever had experience with.
UPDATE – 10.02.2012
We gave up on AT&T last week and called TimeWarner for their more expensive and slower cable service. Yesterday TimeWarener came out to “survey” the space and did full install in about 30 minutes after finding out that their break-out box was in the secondary MPOE adjacent to our office space. We are now up and running in the office with a solid, stable connection.
Here is the kicker – while i’m outside the building talking to the installer – I see these two big AT&T trucks with a huge wooden cable spool. Appears they have just fished out a fiber connection out of the manhole up the street and were terminating it at the box outside the building. Go figure…