AT&T, formerly known as SBC Global, formerly known as Pacific Bell, formerly known as AT&T, is a national telecommunications conglomerate. SBC bought Pacific Bell in 1997, but allowed Pacific Bell to operate under its original name of Pacific Bell for several years. In 2001, Pacific Bell was renamed to SBC Pacific Bell. SBC decided to rename SBC Pacific Bell to simply SBC in 2002. SBC bought AT&T in 2005 for more than $16 billion and changed the SBC name to AT&T. SBC was renamed to AT&T on January 1, 2006. SBC was originally called Southwestern Bell Corporation. They changed their name to SBC in 1995 to SBC Communications, Inc.

AT&T Mobility used to be called Cingular and prior to that it used to be Pacific Bell Wireless. There was another AT&T Wireless company that competed with Pacific Bell Wireless but it eventually merged with Cingular long after Cingular acquired Pacific Bell Wireless. The Internet service uses Yahoo! as its content provider.

The FCC approved the merger of SBC and AT&T, and the SBC name was dropped in favor of AT&T. A new lower case AT&T logo was created to symbolize the new AT&T.

AT&T is the provider for local phone service and the physical provider for DSL service, both coming from their Central Office.

SBC Global was the name of their high-speed internet (DSL) service. It was replaced with AT&T U-verse.

How To Order AT&T Service

AT&T service whether it be home phone, DSL, or U-Verse can be ordered through the store AT&T Wireless in downtown Davis. Parrot AT&T, a Northern California based store, had one store in North Davis at The Marketplace and one in South Davis at Oakshade Town Center.

Universal Lifeline Telephone Service

Through customer fees collected under the Federal Universal Service Fund , AT&T offers the Lifeline plan for lower-income households which brings the cost of basic phone service down to five dollars and change. Check the website to see if you are qualified or call AT&T. You cannot be claimed as a dependent on someone else's income tax return. But it is worth checking out in case you do qualify, or if one of your roommates does.

Broadband - DSL

Customers must have phone service in order to order DSL. DSL speed is dependent on your distance to the central office located Downtown (at the corner of 3rd & C) or the remote terminal that serves your home. Several service tiers are available, depending on what you qualify for, including 384k-1.5m down/128k-384k up, 1.5m-3.0m down/384k-512k up, and 1.5m-6.0m down/384k-608k up.

A contract is not required for service but lowers the monthly cost considerably (i.e. ~50%). SBC now only requires a 6 month contract. Installation can be performed by an SBC technician for a fee or by yourself (or a friendly geek) for free.


Uverse is AT&T's new fiber-to-the-curb service providing TV, high speed internet and VOIP phone service (digital phone) on a single twisted pair phone line. The service is currently available in part or all of most areas of Davis. DVR is included in the 200-channel package or higher. Modem and router rental is included with internet service for $3 per month, without the need to buy your own. No contract is required unless you opt for one of their special bundled discounts instead of the regular rebate by mail.

A typical installation for a family might have a single phone line with unlimited calling, 200 channel non-HD TV, 3 standard-definition set-top boxes with DVR capability and 3mbps internet for $144 per month. A college household can expect a single TV with DVR and 6 mbps internet for $110 before promotional discounts but including modem costs. HDTV is available for extra cost.

Uverse internet blocks TCP port 25 by default. If you need to relay mail through a remote server, call tech support and ask them to unblock it, or use an alternate port like 465 (smtps) or 587 (submission) if the server supports it.

Because U-verse television does not use the CableCARD standard and odd converters, it is not compatible with modern TiVo systems (TiVoHD and System 3 and up). It is also incompatible with many of the enhanced media televisions that offer special features.

Business U-verse

Business U-verse claims to be a high speed internet service utilizing the fiber-to-the-curb infrastructure in place for residential U-verse. Reality can be somewhat different. I ordered Business U-verse Max 18 plan that promised 18Mbits down and 1.5 Mbits up. After considerable fussing and delays, the tech came out and did the install. I asked him what the speed test was returning and he said 6Mbits. I asked if I was getting true U-verse fiber-to-the-curb and he said no, my connections went to the central office and the best speed I could get would be 6Mbits down and something less than 1Mbit up. As I run servers and need the 1.5Mbits up speed, I told him to pack it up and take it back. He did. 2 weeks later I got a bill for service and installation (which was supposed to be free). I spent literally 3 hours being bounced from person to person to try to get this straightened out. Their records show that the install was successful and I still have the modem and an an active customer. This has been a clusterfsk of the highest order. Contrasted with the residential U-verse install that went perfectly, this was the perfect storm of incompetence, misrepresentation and borderline fraud. And it's still not resolved. I'll update this when it is. —jimstewart

SBC Customer Service

Most customers and former customers concur that it sucks. Plain and simple.

Overseas: Technical support for DSL has been outsourced to India and the Philippines, where they stick to a script (more apparent in India). It is painful. You can tell them to stop apologizing immediately as it is nothing but a waste of airtime, especially if you are calling from a cell phone. Oh, if you do not want to sit through the automated menu, you can just keep hitting 0 (zero) for each prompt until you get a live person on the phone.

Notice: if you call during busy hours for the SBC Home line for the dialtone side, you can get dropped by the automated menu if their call volume is too high (i.e. "We're unable to take your call at this time, please call back later."). A work-around if you insist on it, is to call their DSL tech line and explain your problem, then they will tell you that you called the wrong number and they will (they must) offer to transfer you to the proper line, so then you'll be in queue.

About those overseas guys, if their accent is so bad that it frustrates you, ask to speak to a manager. You are not paying SBC enough to deal with crappy overseas support. When you ask to speak to a manager you are making them aware of your lack of satisfaction.

Another interesting point: those guys are not allowed to hang up on you. If your call is ended, they will give the standard "thanks for calling" but they must wait for you to hang up; they physically have no button or command to disconnect your call to them (although they can probably call a manager to do so if you don't hang up after an hour).

Now, that said, if your tech support call is lasting a long time and your tech rep asks for a call back number so that he can "run some tests which will take a while" and then he'll call you back? Do not hang up on him. Check the clock to see if it is near the top of the hour. If it is, chances are that it's the end of his shift and he is just saying that to get you off the phone so he can go home. I had this happen to me once. The guy never called back. When I called back to the tech line, I got a rep in the Philippines; it was so obvious that the shifts in India were over. And they will almost never call you back on your alternate number even though they ask for it. They will always call back on your account number and then leave a message there and never call your cell.

Stateside: The dialtone side of SBC support is located stateside and more specifically will be in the area, Sacramento, I believe. The tech support guys I have had come to my house to fix the lines and such have always been very cool and they tried to be as helpful as possible (one DSL tech, one dialtone tech). Billing and such will also be stateside.

Customer Testimony

In lieu of describing SBC Global, I will describe recent dealings my girlfriend has had with them. If you feel this is not the place for me to do this, feel free to delete this page (there was no SBC Global page when I started).

I have one further disclaimer: the more excited my gf gets, the harder it is for us to understand each other. :) The fine details might be blurry. Now, to the story:

The trouble began when my gf's roommate moved out at the end of the lease. The apartment's SBC bill was in her name, so it had to be changed over. Now, I understand there are legal things to arrange, but this shouldn't be very difficult. In particular, they shouldn't have to *return the DSL equipment* and wait for the *same* equipment to get shipped back to them. That might be a good default policy, but there should be simple alternatives.

That was a minor inconvenience, however. More annoying things were:

  • Charging some ridiculous fee for "switching the name on the account". However, extraneous fees are pretty much a business standard.
  • Offering a local calling plan for "$10 a month" over the phone, and sending a first bill of ~$60 and a second of $27.
  • Insisting that a particular bill had been repeatedly mailed for 5 months (no such bill ever arrived)
  • Reporting the roommate to a collections agency for said bill, which was for September (or maybe November, depending on which representative you spoke with).
  • Sending 2 bills totaling $19 and one check of $16 in the same envelope (for a canceled account).

Last, I'd like to do a bit of advertising for them by quoting a section of their webpage:

You will also be charged a monthly FUSF (Federal Universal Service Fund) cost recovery fee to help cover charges from our data transport supplier pursuant to state and federal telecom regulations. This fee is not a tax or government required charge.

"Help cover our charges"... hehe, isn't that what the REST of the bill is for, too? In my opinion, what that quote means is

We are going to set the price for DSL at $x. That isn't a pleasant price, so we will advertise it at $y, which is less than $x. Then, we'll add an official-sounding extra hidden cost. That way, we can really charge $x and pretend to charge $y! Brilliant.

Finally, I would like to add that I wouldn't have written this if I didn't feel it was indicative of a larger trend. Nobody I've talked to has pleasant things to say about SBC.

I had a very similar experience last year when I had to move out of my apartment (psycho roommate) and transfer my DSL to my dad's house to avoid paying their huge cancellation fee. Even though I followed the customer service (service—yeah, right) rep's instructions, I was charged $200 because I was misinformed... I had to call a total of 25-30 times before everything was ironed out. Absolutely ricockulous. SBC sucks ass. I agree that the bullshit SBC pretends is policy and customer service is part of a larger trend in which the businesses are screwing the people. My roomies and I were discussing the evil of big business last night, and were wondering if there are any alternative options for high-speed internet in Davis...SummerSong


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2005-07-29 22:09:38   Omsoft. —NickSchmalenberger

2005-07-30 03:19:05   My experience isn't as bad, but when I moved out of my old apartment (at Heritage House, if you were wondering), I just called SBC and told them to cancel the service at the end of the one year contract we signed, and let my (ex-)roommate call SBC and take care of signing up for the new service at the old apartment (which he's still living in). When he called, I think he decided to switch over the names on the account because the e-mail address for the old service is still working. Oh well, as long as I'm not being billed. —StephenHo

2005-08-29 14:59:11   If you need to cancel your SBC DSL a couple of months before your contract is up, the can be convinced to let you pay the last couple months of data service, and close out the account, which allows you to not have to pay for the phone line for those months. —RyanCastellucci

2005-08-29 17:41:56   AAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHH!!! I would appreciate it if SBC's salespeople actually knew the technical details of what they were selling. I love that DSL is advertised as $14.95 right now when they require an additional $17 of "long distance and special features." Not to mention the startup fees for those "included" features... </rant> —CindySperry

2005-09-02 02:31:35   I'm leaning towards having SBC be the main page and not a redirect to here. I'm assuming that more people have SBC phone service than have SBC Global DSL service... —IrenePark

2005-09-02 23:30:53   SBC actually sent my girlfriend a check for 1 cent after she overpaid her final bill. Gotta love computers ;) —RyanCastellucci

2005-11-03 12:18:48   Student Discount expired on 10/31/2005 —KeithPieper

2005-11-03 14:36:35   Horrible service. My girlfriend had a helluva time canceling their plan. They were even lied to flat out when they original signed up and other employees later confirmed that it was a lie and "apologized" over the phone for two former employees intentionally deceit, but said there is nothing they can do. Unless you need a phone, a phone line (the most basic plan) + dsl is within a dollar of Comcast broadband - broadband without a promotion, which Comcast does PLENTY of. And worse than it all, the cheaper DSL plan is a one year lockdown, compared to monthly no-contract with Comcast. —ES

2005-11-04 09:01:00   SBC's DSL service works great — once you get it installed. It's getting to that point that's always been a constant hassle for me. I've installed their DSL 4 or so times now, and every single time, something has gone wrong. By far the worst was a few years back. Anticipating moving into our new place, we called SBC to have them set up DSL. They told us they couldn't set it up without an active phone line, and even though we knew what our phone number was going to be, they wouldn't do it until we moved in and that number was activated. Fine. We moved in, called back, and went through the process. A week later when nothing had happened, we called back, only to learn our order had been canceled. Why? Nobody seemed to know. We placed another order. We called back a few days later: cancelled again. Turns out they'd entered our address in the system wrong. We fixed that. And order, another cancellation. We started going up the management chain because we were getting pissed, and the manager all promised to help, but nothing changed. After the 5th cancellation of our order, my girlfriend called up and got a manager who was SO NASTY to her, that she made my girlfriend cry. Nice service. After the 7th cancellation, we finally got someone who got us straightened out. Then they sent us the wrong modem. Furthermore, their PPPOE software is absolutely horrible, and the installation CD spams your computer and browser with Yahoo tie-ins. Avoid both at all costs. However, once the service is up and running (using a DSL router to do PPPOE), it works VERY well, with almost no downtime. It's just getting to that point that always makes me cringe. —AlexPomeranz

2006-01-10 06:26:09   From the breakup back to AT&T. Revenge of the Deathstar. Who woulda thunk it would come to this. —SteveDavison

2007-02-12 20:28:17   AT&T owns joo? —GreggAlexander

2007-07-14 02:10:06   I have DSL Elite at Fountain Circle (North Davis). I get 3.0Mbps, if that helps anyone decide anything. —WaylandLee

2007-08-27 02:12:46   Er never mind. I have DSL pro, which is 1.5-3.0Mbps. I get 2.5Mbps approximately.. the previous comment was made up of bad estimates :) —WaylandLee

2007-08-27 02:15:15   hows their service compare to omsosft, comcast and sonic? anyone? —KaiWan

2007-09-05 17:29:19   How much IS this FUSF cost here in Davis? —JasonGu

2007-09-10 15:56:04   On my last AT&T bill, the Federal Universal Service Fee was $0.49. What you might be asking about is the Federal Subscriber Line Charge, which was $4.28. Total "surcharges and other fees" for local service was $5.04. In addition, "government fees and taxes" totaled $0.63. These numbers fluctuate a few pennies from month to month. You would also pay additional "surcharges" and "taxes" if you subscribed to long distance services, but there are no additional surcharges or taxes on DSL service. —RyanCoates

2007-11-06 13:57:49   This is idiotic. I just got off the phone with AT&T to try to change the name on the account (roommate moved out). My roommate put in a shutdown order on the account last week, which was supposed to go through today. Apparently that's necessary in order to change the name. The shutdown hasn't gone through yet, and once it does, it will take 2-3 business days "for the system to update" before they can put in a new name and reactivate the phone and internet.

It's awfully tempting to switch over to Comcast here and now. —TomGarberson

2007-11-06 22:18:13   DSL is still not available in our neighborhood. We live in Evergreen, across the street from Arroyo Pool. Our neighborhood is 10 years old and still no DSL. The only high-speed internet option is Comcast at $60 per month. I don't understand why AT&T DSL is not available in our neighborhood. I have friends in various areas of Davis who are further away from the Central site and they have DSL. —musicamyl

2007-11-08 18:34:42   Update: The shutoff went through late Tuesday night. Wednesday I put in an order to have internet reconnected as a new account under my name. Did the credit check and everything. It was slated to go on on Friday. The DSL light on my modem came on today (Thurs.), though, so I went ahead and called in to activate. It turned out they had put the new account under the same damn name as the old account, instead of my name, the same name they got the SSN and DOB for. So they had to cancel it yet AGAIN and reorder a new one. The rep I spoke with said she took care of it, so I thanked her and asked to talk to a manager. I asked him to verify that everything was all set. It wasn't. The previous rep had NOT cancelled the misnamed account order and had NOT placed a new one.

So incredibly incompetent. —TomGarberson

2008-06-13 20:55:17   Great service. —jrendler

2008-08-20 10:27:17   So Phillipinos and Indians have to take the blame for for the "crappy overseas support" that ATT extends to its customers and for "sticking to a script" etc. . I wonder, why ATT does not switch over to inland technical support, if its customers are so frustrated? And about the accent part, some people better start getting used to different ("bad") accents. After all some of the biggest companies in the world with global presence, in all sectors, are owned by people with "bad" accents. However, since many of them have a significant number of employees with "good" accents, let's hope that good accent will accentuate.

2008-09-05 22:24:10   Here is my issue: I have the 384k-1.5m down/128k-384k up "plan" at $29/mo. for AT&T DSL and recently did a Bandwidth Place Speed test and found it to actually be at a speed of 46.23 kilobytes per second. Correct me if I'm wrong but my DSL is actually SLOWER than the 56K dial-up modems that we all ditched almost a decade ago. I took a screenshot just because I was in such disbelief. I'm very tempted to just ditch this whole DSL thing and use my phone for the internet... has anyone had any luck using their iPhone as a tether? If so send your comments my way please!! —LeaShell

Thanks Nick! I needed a lesson in bits vs. bytes - a lesson i learned shortly after i posted but neglected to edit my comment. I live in Wildhorse (very north/very east davis) so who knows... it's probably perceived "slow internets" since I'm used the T1 at work...

Yes, you are wrong. 56k and 384k-1.5m are in bits per second and your stated speed is in bytes (8 bits). That is relatively slow for dsl, it is right about at the low end of the range specified for your service (384/8=48) but it is normal and significantly faster than dialup. Are you very far away from the Central Phone Office and/or in West Davis? DSL does tend to be slower there and in some areas is not available because it is just too bad. I have heard that AT&T is not accepting new customers in West Davis until they build a remote terminal and this might be quite a long time. AT&T will probably not be interested until there is more growth in the area so if there isn't Davis might get a public/municipal phone company first, probably decades from now. Dialup is too slow for a lot of things but is also useful in many situations, especially traveling, so it is definitely still used and will be for a long time. —NickSchmalenberger

2008-11-28 16:27:21   ATT also offers DISH satellite TV. Can someone who uses this service comment on the quality? —andy402

2009-03-20 14:28:59   Infuriatingly obtuse and incompetent service. All I have is a plain old telephone set and dial tone service. It's most important task is to allow my wife's tivo to call home. The line goes dead, coincidently with the ATT tech working on the junction box outside my home. I end up wasting at least 2 hours testing the line, digging up silly codes on my bill and being stuck on hold. Even though it's their fault, they won't come out for 3 days to fix their screwup. —JimStewart

  • This has happened to me twice, once with Comcast and once with AT&T. I'll see the truck standing right outside my window working on some other issue and blam my DSL/Cable goes out and the truck roles away spinning its wheels. I call for service and they run through all the tests that I tell them ahead of time are unnecessary because I know what the problem is - the tech was lazy, didn't feel like doing the hard work of actually adding a line, and instead took mine. The worst part is, when they send the first truck to your house, he can't fix the problem because it's not his department. He takes care of problems in the house. He will come and check everything and sure enough everything in your house is fine. Then he will have to call the guys that go up in the cherry-pickers and that will take another few days. Last time this happened over Christmas so I had to wait almost an entire month because of the holiday.

2009-05-06 13:55:09   Anyone in the area of 5th St. and Pole Line Rd. who has any information about observed latency and bandwidth? Connection reliability? I'm considering getting AT&T's DSL (since it's less expensive than Comcast) and I'm wondering how it is. You know, beyond the normal nickle-and-diming stuff. —RobertM525

2009-07-29 12:03:16   AT&T seems to be offering Naked DSL in Davis (DSL with no phone service): see

Has anyone had experience with that? I could only find out about it by saying I was a new customer and giving my address in one of their boxes. If I told them the existing phone number it didn't seem to want to get me to the availability pages. Here is a comparison of the available plans:

Its horrible, don't get it. The problem is that voice is easier to get support for because so many things that can go wrong with dsl (like an infected computer) AT&T is not responsible for and they want to spend as little as possible. Having a working phone line makes dsl problems easier to troubleshoot, and many of the things AT&T is responsible for will affect both (like a fallen tree). In that situation, if you are talking to some dsl support people in a foreign country who are trained to troubleshoot computer problems, it will take longer to determine the problem isn't with your computer.

  • What the hell? Infected computer? If you get a virus, trojan, spyware, or malware, that is your fault for browsing unsafely. Also, Comcast has its own share of problems, they're actually worse since they won't bother fixing it because they know they have a monopoly over Davis. As soon the city council approves U-Verse in Davis, Comcast will be forced to give better customer service because they'll have competition. Fallen trees are not as big of a problem that you are making it out to be for several reasons, first of all, Davis doesn't have that many trees outside of the main city (many of the large lines are laid underground when coming into the city, and some are still underground throughout the city). Secondly, a fallen tree inside of Davis will be quickly repaired because it is unsafe for the people of Davis and the city is responsible for cleaning it up (of course if AT&T did knock down a tree, they would just pay for the tree and any damages, the city would still clean it up).
  • Uverse is not the same as naked dsl, uverse does include phone service. I think Uverse is too expensive, and so is the comcast bundle with voice, but both companies will use the phone number on the account to look up your info. I was just dealing with comcast today, yesterday, and monday and its definitely easier to give them the phone number than the other account number which is longer and the computer asks for the phone number but you have to give the account number to a person who might not hear it correctly. Of course its completely your fault if you have an infected computer, which is why having regular phone service can help show thats not the problem when its in fact a down phone line somewhere. —NickSchmalenberger
    • True. Even though Uverse uses a sort of DSL transport layer between the curb and your house, it is not conventional ADSL or SDSL. Furthermore, Uverse does not use the traditional internet backbones, it uses ATT's fiber backbone optimized for video streaming. I have heard that it is not cost-effective for ATT to sell an unbundled internet-only Uverse because of the high cost of the installation. —JimStewart

The phone company has whats called the demarc (demarcation) which is your telephone box and it is the division of responsibility for problems, and anything on your side AT&T will not want to fix. I have done this work and once a coworker asked me (at night after work) to figure out why their "naked dsl" didn't work and it was a huge pain to figure out where it was supposed to be connected in the phone box at their apartment, because there was no phone number to help trace the line. In this situation you need to know the "binding post" number instead but most of the people you can talk to at first can only tell you a binding post for a phone number and eventually some dsl guy yelled at me for bothering him and still wouldn't tell me. If you have a phone number though, its much much easier to get working. Even if you do find the binding post where the dsl is connected their database can say a different binding post and if you don't have a phone number this will be confusing to figure out also. —NickSchmalenberger

2009-09-15 15:34:10   For anyone curious, at least for me, ATT DSL has been pretty solid. I have the Elite package with 6 mbps and I get around 5500 kbps done by speedtest and the system is pretty stable. It didn't start off that way because my phone line was damaged and I had a crappy initial modem. ATT guy came over and upgraded my 2wire modem to a business class motorola modem and even replaced my phone jack for free. With the rebates and no installation fees, this is a worthwhile investment compared to Comcast. The initial period with ATT sucked, but ever since I got the technician out here, it's been smooth sailing. —Wilfred

2009-12-30 12:26:04   We had Uverse installed last week. So far it seems to be better and a bit cheaper than Comcast cable + Comcast internet + AT&T phone. Way more channels, consistent quality from channel to channel, consistent internet speed, and a free, almost useless DVR. The installation of the service is non-trivial, with most installs taking 6 hours according to the tech. My house is wired with 100/10 ethernet and 2 phone lines in every room. By helping the guy out, we got our Uverse installed in 2 hours. My biggest gripe is the relatively mindless DVR and set-top boxes they provide. We're hardcore Tivo users and and have been for 10 years. After struggling with the AT&T boxes for a couple of days, I reinstalled the Tivos downstream of the ATT boxes and got them to talk to each other. It's clunky but it works. Anyone needing help getting Tivo to work with Uverse can post me a message and I'll see what I can do. —JimStewart

2010-03-22 12:30:29   As NickSchmalenberger said, Omsoft. Omsoft is a local ISP with good internet service, and most importantly has NO hidden fees, they tell you what to expect and is easy to find and understand your contract agreement . Because they are a small local business they don't outsource tech support but they are only open during the weekdays, so when you get a hold of them you will be talking to a real person that knows exactly what to do!!!! —DevinCastellucci

2010-09-27 06:38:36   Ordered DSL Elite at the $20 for 12 months deal. Placed my initial order which was for unexplained reasons, cancelled with no notice. A technician called me and said that because the rep did not put down my apartment number, he could not set-up a line for my apartment even if I told him the number over the phone. I Had to call in and reorder a second time, so they cancelled the order and placed a new one ensuring that the apartment number was correct. That order got cancelled as well mysteriously. I called in and gave them a whole bunch of supposed account numbers they sent me in the mail with each recurring order I placed. The rep told me that there was absolutely no trace of my order, or my name, or any information about my apartment... Called in a third time to place another order, finally a technician came out and hooked up a dsl line. Had my wireless gateway hooked up and tried to start the DSL but I needed my account number... the reps never provided me with an account number. I had to call in and I could not get a hold of anyone. Tried chatting with an online representative, that went nowhere. Called again and got transfered between 6 different departments. The entire phone call took an hour of my time, and I finally got a hold of my 10 digit account number.

Initially I was supposed to have internet access on the 9th. Didn't get it till like the 22nd. This was one of the worst experiences I have ever had with an internet provider. —ThUn

2010-09-28 15:25:56 There are some unscrupulous door to door salespeople going around Davis, trying to sell AT&T's U-Verse package. The guy told me that "we're going through the neighborhood upgrading everybody and we just got here". He made it sound like they just had to schedule me for the standard upgrade. Of course, when the scheduling sheet came out, it was an order worksheet - he was trying to up sell me U-Verse.

I spoke to AT&T just now and they, of course, told me that no such regular upgrade of service was underway.

As sales go, I'd say this did not rise to the level of "unscrupulous" but was at least deceptive.


2010-10-29 I've noticed a significant drop in connection quality with U-Verse internet since mid-September.


2010-11-12 19:35:56  After 1 1/2 hours at the F Street location trying to sign up for U-Verse (while the rep tried to complete the order over the phone), I learned that dcn/omsoft clients need to telephone to cancel their service before the AT&T order will be processed, but without any AT&T commitment as to their own install time. The estimate the supervisor came up with was three weeks without any internet service at all (so the "system" could "clear"). Everyone was polite and regretful, but a good deal of time was lost all round, and it seemed (especially after the barrage of U-Verse mailings these last months) like something that should have been mentioned up front. I had the impression that dcn and omsoft were unknown terms.


2010-11-21 17:01:08   This review is about a sad story of how my wife and I tried and failed to connect AT&T U-verse Internet service for a few weeks.

Short version: stay away! Unexpected and mind-boggling level of incompetence in the customer support system that lead to many hours of time wasted and a few weeks without internet.

Long version: After Comcast's rate hike (to $60/mo... is it just me, or is that way to high for standard broadband in the 21st century?) for cable internet and refusal to match prices for new customers or those of competitors, I decide to explore other alternatives. AT&T was having a promotion on their U-verse DSL ($20/mo for 6 mbs with a 1-year contract), so I go with them. Choose the self-installation option and receive a decently close activation date. The next day, I get an email telling me that there was a problem with my online order and I should call to resolve it. I call and find out that there was some glitch in their system and some of the info did not get processed correctly. After manually resolving the issue, the representative informs me that my activation date got pushed out by 2 weeks. [Wtf?! #1]. Meanwhile, I receive the equipment and wait for the already delayed activation date (when the technician is supposed to come out and flip some magic switch outside of the house). On the activation date, I get an automated phone call telling me to try installing after 4pm. The day after the scheduled activation (just to be sure), I attempt to install the equipment by following the simple instructions (while no expert in DSL installation, I'm a software engineer, so I can usually follow instructions to hook up a few cables). The install fails and I call tech support for help. First of all, they are unable to look up my account by phone (later, I find out that they entered my phone number incorrectly), but finally get to talk to a person, who informs me that my house has not been activated yet; the technician missed the date. "Well, when will they connect it?" - I inquire. Answer from the tech - "I don't know... I don't have visibility into their system. Just wait a couple more days and try again." [Wtf?! #2]. After a couple of days, try installing again and no luck. Here, I will fast forward to spare a few more pages of writing. For 3 weeks (!) my wife and I try to correct the issue with AT&T (meanwhile, our Comcast account is cancelled, I am on the road my wife is without internet) During this time - numerous phone calls, where we are bounced around from one department to another, many instances where AT&T representatives promise to call back and do not, another missed appointment by a technician (my wife spent 4 hours sitting at home waiting for someone to show up!), hours and hours of our time wasted. [Wtf?! #3-14] At this point, I don't even know why we keep trying, but I call AT&T again. Asking to speak to a supervisor, I deliver an ultimatum - either you send out a technician within a week to take care of the installation for free (it normally costs a lot to do this) or we cancel the entire venture. The supervisor looks into our issue and sees that our account has already been canceled. [Wtf?! #15]. She opens a new account and politely informs me that, while she can waive the technician installation fee, the activation date will be in another month and she can't do anything about that. [Wtf?! #16] Another month without internet? No thank you. And, having told the supervisor to cancel everything, I resign and call Comcast, where I am offered a $25/mo promotion (hey, I didn't know you could do that). Within a few days, we're back to enjoying the convenience of internet in the house. At this point, the nightmare with AT&T should be over, right? Turns out, it's a recurring dream. About a month after we tell AT&T to cancel (that, which we never had), we receive a bill charging us ~$90 for the installation of the first account (the one that was automatically cancelled by them). [Wtf?! #17] Another phone call to cancel that charge; another half hour wasted. OK, now it MUST be over, right? Well no, just a few days ago, I receive an automated phone call informing me that a technician is coming over soon to install Internet. [Wtf?! #18] Based on past experience, the tech probably won't show up, but I am positive that we'll receive another bill in the mail asking us to pay for the "service". I wonder how many [Wtf's] we will get to before they let us go. —ValeraZakharov

2011-01-24 23:05:24   I live with three other people in the heart of Davis, we have the "best" AT&T internet (i.e. the most expensive package) and it goes out at least once every hour. Obviously not happy with my service so far. —Darkfallin

2011-01-29 14:22:25   We have AT&T because it is apparently cheaper than other a la carte internet services and we don't need cable TV.

A few months ago our AT&T internet not only slowed down but started going out more frequently which was particularly annoying when streaming netflix, etc. We ignored it because we were busy and aren't too picky, but then it finally went out completely. I am not an idiot and I know how to reset the modem, test other wireless routers, etc. After spending about two hours on the phone going through all the reset steps, etc, after I had already done them, it took another two hours to convince them that they need to send someone out to check the line (all the while with them warning me that if it was something wrong on my end I would have to pay for the service). They wouldn't send someone for about a week - and then the person didn't show up. I called them, there was no explanation for why the guy didn't show up and they said they would send him the next day. Didn't show up again.

Long story short, we finally had someone come four days after they were supposed to (about ten days after the call), and they were able to do a quick fix on the line outside. He told us personally that the line was so worn that he was surprised we got any internet at all. He was back a few days later to do more maintenance on the line, but he said frankly they should have replaced some of the wires that were almost completely rusted away and they weren't willing to pay for that. Uh, hello, is it not your cable line?

Bottom line: we went about a month with shitty internet, two weeks without any internet whatsoever, and they kept us home several nights waiting for repairmen that never showed for their appointments. It is still very slow, and they refused to give us a discount on the bill even though we didn't have service for half the month.

The repairman was very nice but the rest of the customer service was awful, and even if they were helpful that would not make up for the low quality and low speed. —MeggoWaffle

2011-07-13 14:30:40   My firm recently moved to a new office in downtown Sacramento. The move was only about 2.5 blocks—easy stuff. AT&T screwed us over.

They were supposed to show up Wednesday before noon to disconnect our phones and Internet to get things moved to the new location. First, the person setting up the work order screwed it up. That Monday, we got a call confirming our appointment for Friday morning—two days late. It was a hassle, but it got straightened out and the appointment got set for Wednesday. Come Wednesday, however, AT&T didn't show up. They didn't call. Customer service reps gave the "sorry, we can't do anything" line, and their supervisors were absent and didn't return calls. Nothing. Not one communication all day. The office manager finally got a hold of someone the next morning, around 7AM, and it turned out none of the techs bothered to pick up our service ticket. It just sat in the "pool" all day, and then at 6:59 PM someone (they couldn't figure out who) just deleted it. So we put a new one in, and someone was supposed to be there by 10AM. Guess what happened! Absolutely nothing. This time, the office manager kept getting put on hold to talk to supervisors, then disconnected after half an hour or so. All day long. Finally, around 5 in the evening, a tech dropped by. He said he couldn't do anything that night, but he'd be back in the morning. Apparently he actually followed up on it, because we had phones (and only phones) by around 8am the next morning.

That's when we started getting the run-around from U-Verse (who kept telling us over the previous 2 days that they couldn't do anything until the phone people got their side set up). They couldn't come out Friday, but said they'd be there Monday. Saturday, they called the office manager to reschedule, because they couldn't make Monday. Instead, they had to come the following Monday, a total of 12 days after they were supposed to have everything transferred and set up.

We had already been looking into alternatives. The DSL companies (Integra, were generally fairly friendly, but both said it'd probably be 3-5 days before they could have our phones up and running, and they couldn't get Internet going until they did so. Both offered prices about HALF of what AT&T was charging us for 5 phone lines and ~40mbps up/down. Unfortunately, the delay wasn't feasible.

Ultimately, we ended up going with Comcast. They said they'd be out on Tuesday to set things up (after the 4th of July holiday). They had their own screwup when the person on the phone didn't complete the service order, so it didn't get entered. No one showed on Tuesday, but they were out first thing Wednesday, and had us up and running, phones and Internet both, before noon.

Moral of the story: if you're looking for business phone and internet service, don't use AT&T. They are spectacularly unreliable and may well cause you to lose many thousands of dollars. That's certainly what they did to us, when they left us without phone lines for two days and without internet for a week. —TomGarberson

2011-07-25 13:36:36   I have been using Preferred Long Distance for about 6 years for my business telephone line. I had so many billing problems with AT&T that I couldn't stand it anymore. They have been great. I have moved my business location, and the transition was seamless. If I do have a problem, I call their toll free number and get a person. There is no menu to navigate, and wait times have never exceeded about 5 minutes. AT&T still does the repairs on the outside wiring, but I don't have to call them, PLD does it. Preferred Long Distance has many bad reviews online for switch and bait tactics when trying to lure new customers. I called them directly and had no trouble. All the bills have been accurate too. I missed a payment (mangled envelope and check were returned by the post office several weeks later with a note of apology), and there were no late fees. —BernadetteBalics

2012-04-16 13:03:19   Has anyone who has DSL with AT&T in Davis, specifically in the Mace Rance area, had an email from them about a forced upgrade to u-verse internet? The email has a different phone number than the numbers on your AT&T bill. If you call the phone number on your bill they don't know anything about a forced upgrade, but tried to sell me various u-verse packages instead, which I'm not interested in. After spending numerous minutes on the phone with the rep declining all the u-verse upgrade bundles, they said if the upgrade is required then it will happen automatically with no additional changes. The email is specific that I need to confirm the upgrade details before 45 days in order to retain service. There's no notification on our bill that anything needs to or will be changing with our service. This sounds like agressive marketing to me. Last summer we had a u-verse rep come to our door and tell us our phone and internet will be upgraded to u-verse that week, and that we needed to pick a bundle plan, including tv, because the phone and internet service can't be provisioned without the tv part. I called AT&T and they said there was no planned or required upgrade in our area. —KHooke

2015-09-07 13:40:00   AT&T is sneaky. When we started getting Internet from them last year, we were paying $45/month. I checked our bill and we are now paying $86 per month! They raise the price slightly every few months and don't really notify you unless you are prudent and checking your bill monthly. Of course, Comcast does the same, which is why we changed to AT&T! The moment that a local provider offers acceptable service and is honest--doesn't raise the rates gradually--I will drop these companies and not look back. —EricJensen