AT&T DSL Out; Sonic.net In

A couple of months back I tried to add Wi-Fi hotspot access to my AT&T-Yahoo DSL account while I was away from home. Unfortunately, nobody could help me do this unless I had my last phone bill with me (one support person even asked why I didn’t have it with me, as if I should carry it everywhere I go!). Having spoken with as many people as they would let me (they eventually transferred me to a dead end), I decided to dump them as my ISP. Luckily for me, and unluckily for them, my contract expired around the same time so it was only a few weeks before I could cancel without any penalties.

My research for an alternative lead me to sonic.net. My email question about the process for transferring was answered in under an hour. My phone call a few days later was answered by a human being in a couple of rings – no annoying menu to bypass (just keep saying ‘agent’ until the AT&T menu gives up and transfers you in case you need it).

Once the transfer was complete, I called to ask about port 25 blocking (like most ISPs, they block port 25 to any server other than their own). Rather than fighting with an automated menu to eventually speak to somebody with no clue about anything technical, the phone was answered by somebody who not only understood what I was asking, but was able to suggest solutions for my MacOS and Linux systems. Refreshing.

All good, and I thought I was rid of AT&T internet services. Until tonight when my phone bill arrived with internet service still being billed, and now at a higher rate than when they were actually providing it. I had called them when my Sonic connection went live to confirm that they had terminated the account. I also received a postcard from them confirming the termination. Still they bill me.

A call to their support line got me nowhere until I asked for a supervisor, then suddenly the support person could confirm that my account had been cancelled. But she had to transfer me to billing to do anything about it. After 40 minutes on hold I gave up and called back. This time I asked to speak to a supervisor immediately. He informed me that there was nothing he could do though since the billing department was closed. So, the dummy I spoke to first transferred me to a department that was closed, and, even better, that department doesn’t have an answering service that tells people that. Instead they leave you listening to their lies about how they can help you set up your computer. Don’t these people work for a telephone company?

Anyway, he promises me that they will call me back tomorrow to resolve this issue. So, we’ll see how long it takes to get AT&T to cancel my service, stop billing me for a service they’re not providing, and refund the money they’ve illegally billed me for in the mean time. With interest.

Meanwhile, if you’re looking for a DSL provider in the bay area, check out Sonic.net. So far, they’ve already proven that they are better than AT&T by so far it makes me wonder why people even bother talking to AT&T for internet service.

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