Greetings From The 9th Circle of AT&T Uverse Telecom Hell

Day 13 of our captivity and we are completely out of service — all services. No internet, no TV, no telephone. It’s been this way for 48 hours.

We’ve had six people come over to our house to try to figure out what’s wrong, including our personal electrical contractors, who AT&T told us to call because they couldn’t figure out our phones. Lord knows how much that’s going to cost me. And now it appears it was all entirely unnecessary, anyway.

Yesterday we had a guy I call the Telecommunications Whisperer come over, ostensibly to give us a new box but after 15 minutes here he determined the problem was a fault in the line from the street. “They should have run you a new line from the start,” he told me. Gee, you don’t say.

Here’s where it gets good: as soon as the line guy arrived, all of the electronics in the house seemed to rejoice, because I was immediately back in service. TV popped on, emails started flooding the in-box, and I got a dial tone on the phone. I went out to ask the guy what he did and he said, “Nothing, I just got here. I’m just getting ready to run some tests.”

I’m starting to think we don’t need a repairman but an exorcist.

By the time the guy left at 6 pm, new line installed, everything was dead. No phones, no internet, no TV, no nuthin’. On the phone with AT&T I was told I need a new ONT box. But — here’s where it gets good — apparently Nashville has a shortage of ONT boxes. They have to order one and who knows when FedEx or UPS can deliver one!

I just give up. I really do. Each new person leaves me in worse shape than the last guy. No one knows what to do so they’re just replacing everything to see what sticks.

I’m done. Finished. Come and take your crap, put my old box back, give me back my old DSL line, and let me get on with my life.

I mean, seriously. We put a man on the moon 45 years ago. Today I can’t even get a telecom service installed.

I tell you this long saga as a way of explaining why I’ve been out of pocket the last few days and comment moderation has been slow to nonexistent. I don’t know when I’ll be back on line. I’m writing this from Starbucks.

Be well.


Filed under AT&T, corporate overlords, telecom

14 responses to “Greetings From The 9th Circle of AT&T Uverse Telecom Hell

  1. Joseph Stans

    Be of good cheer. I receive your epistles at the Daily Perk because Comcast has entered into some kind of galactic conflict with good sense.

  2. I have a friend who owns a nice pair of pole climbing spikes, complete with the leather strap needed to hoist oneself up a utility pole. He used to climb up the pole next to his house and help himself to unlimited cable channels. One day a lineman from Comcast went up the pole, and my friend thought, “Oh shit… this could be a problem.” But the guy saw my friend out on his porch and called down, “We’ve got a report of a service outage in this area. Is your cable working?” So my buddy went back in the house and checked. Yep. All’s well. Looks like you’ve fixed it!

    I’d send him over to your house, but I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t want to associate with a known data thief. Considering the highway robbery cable and phone companies engage in daily, I’m surprised we haven’t had a full-scale uprising all over America.

    Good luck with your electronics. I’d be PISSED if this were happening to us, and I know you’ve got to be bonkers by now.

    I’ve found that threatening to write a disparaging letter to The Tennessean gets their attention quicker than just about anything else you can say.

  3. I bet it’s witches. Call Sarah Palin.

  4. themadkansan

    …Care to make a bet that they =can’t= give you back your old DSL line, even if they wanted to?
    I’d bet money that whatever system was maintaining the old DSL network no longer accepts new connections, and as soon as they disconnected the service from it, they tore the circuit down irrevocably.

    UVerse is what is called FTTN or “Fiber To The Node”, which is a techie way of saying that they replaced the copper from the neighborhood junction box with fiber and put in an aggregator – a cheap-ass way of saying they are on a “fiber network” now, kinda like the cablecos do; from the box up is optical, but from the box to your house, and everyone else’s house that connects to that box, it’s still the old crappy copper physical network, because replacing all that old residential-run copper with zippy new fiber drops just isn’t in the budget don’tchakno – would cut into the quarterly profits, and that just =isn’t= done…

    • That’s basically what the Telecom Whisperer told me. Said that little bit of copper needs to be 100% perfect because the fiber network data is coming like a speeding train and any tiny fault will cause the train to jump the tracks. A couple years ago an NES tree trimming crew cut the phone line accidentally in the SAME place where there was a splice they thought was csusing the problem. So I blame the electric company, too.

      Typos due to iPhone, ain’t fixing it

      • themadkansan

        Me unkle has it, solely for Internet access, after many years of being a DSL customer; when it kept doing the same shit it was doing with the old DSL equipment (losing sync, then losing signal completely when there was =any= significant precipitation in the immediate area), they FINALLY started checking the copper that runs from the service box on the house to the trunk closet where the fiber and copper come together. I think they had to fix about three separate faults that had been there THE ENTIRE TIME, and were likely what was causing all the issues with the original DSL service (beyond multiple dead modems) for the past 14 years…

      • That sounds exactly like my situation. And yes, funny you should mention it, I have noticed issues when it rains. Oy FFS.

      • The new OHN box was installed but of course a tech can’t come out to the house until tomorrow. I reset the modem myself and have spotty internet service now. Super hiccuppy though — one second lightning fast, another second slower than my old DSL. Still no TV, some phones work, others don’t. Anyway, madkansan, you already know more than three of the techs they dispatched. I’ve been promised a senior tech is coming tomorrow. Any other tips? Let me know.

      • themadkansan

        Nothing I can think of beyond urging them to physically eyeball ands fault-check the entire copper run from your service box back to the fiber node, which if it were their decision to make they’d probably do on their own, but since replacing copper is expensive they probably get yelled at for.

  5. CB

    I am so sorry. This must be driving you bonkers. I’ve been seeing Uverse trucks with guys running around them all over Augusta. Must be having a sale. Was talking to some friends a bit ago,and one asked if any of us knew about Uverse. One said his brother in FL has it and loves it; one said run away from it as fast as you can. Until that point, I had never heard of it. Blessings and peace. Hope they can fix what ails your lines.

  6. Kathleen

    It’s amazing to me, but not surprising, how in this era of super turbo charged smart phones and internet and the googles blah blah blah that telecom 101 is getting crappier. Getting a good connection. Keeping a good connection. I talk to people on the phone all day (service people using cell phones) and I have a difficult time hearing or understanding them. I think part of the problem is that the telecom industry is awash in hi tech geeks who know nothing about basic telephony 101 and how signals get from A to B.. Consequently, they have no concept of the importance of trouble shooting and how techs need to be trained. It sounds like your tech may have quite a few years of service with ATT.

    • I think it’s a U.S. thing. People in Europe are always saying how far behind the U.S. is when it comes to telecom. I think because their land line service was always so crappy and expensive they jumped on the cell phone thing way ahead of us, and now they’re lightyears ahead of us on a lot of that stuff.

      • themadkansan

        …It’s a US thing. Not really the techie-end, either.

        It’s mainly the fuckin’ C-level suits who don’t want to cough up the coin to maintain and upgrade their networking infrastructure, because that would cut into shareholder (read: THEIR) profits…

        …And since these networks effectively hold monopoly/monopsony power over so much of their areas of service, they can by-and-large get away with it.

      • We bombed a lot of Europe and most of the then “techy” parts of Asia into the stoneage between 1940 and, well, now. The disadvantage is all the dead people; advantage, great cell service in many of those countries.

        I am on a friends Wi-Fi at the moment and I have work to do. I just wanted to add that when I disconnected from the cablesmack the other day, the guy I talked to kept interrupting me, until I told him, literally to shut up and do the disconnect. There were MANY f-bombs in the “chat”–not one in the “chat transcript”. Amazing.