AT&T Fibermania

Ok, so I finally decided to replace my T1. I already had Comcast Business as my secondary (but preferred) ISP at my office. I was a bit reluctant because I use a block of static IPs to host a lot of services – for many years (that’s over 20 years!). So, I didn’t want to have to change my IPs. But I would if I had to. A T1 these days is pathetically slow. More reliable than most (including Comcast) services, but still pretty bad. It was great in it’s day – but now it’s slow and still expensive.

Then AT&T Fiber called.

They promised the world.

They said they’d move my IPs over. After all, my T1 was also through AT&T. Wow! “Great, let’s do it!”, I said.

Several months later and quite a few unexpected visits (their install techs have a habit of just showing up) and some not so pretty orange fluorescent lines painted on the parking lot and sidewalk (to show where the cable will be run, but with no warning) – and voila! Fiber was installed. Finally. So, let the billing begin. It’s about 50% more than my T1 but about 20 times faster.

And what of keeping my static IPs I’ve had for two decades – almost a quarter of a century (God I’m old!)? Um. Well. “We can’t do that”, they said. The wrong fiber service was ordered by the AT&T sales rep. So, I never used it. I had them cancel the fiber and order the correct one. Which requires more visits – even though they will use the same fiber run and fiber switch they installed.

About three months later, it’s installed again! Meanwhile, we’re still being billed for the original fiber. “No problem, they said, we’ll credit you and take care of it.” The AT&T sales rep had long disappeared. We had to deal with customer support. Well, my office manager did. God help her. You can see where this is going can’t you?

So, they billed for the new fiber. They did get the service installed and my IPs moved to the router. I had to install the router myself. They mailed it to me, which is funny. With all the visits from the installation techs, you’d think one of them could just install the router on the wall. Thank goodness I’m an IT tech!

It’s been a few more months and every month we call because we’re still being billed for the old fiber we never used, the new fiber (those bills I’m paying) and the old T1! Are you surprised? Really. So, finally we received a credit for the old original fiber service. But, the balance was still $600 in AT&T’s favor. Do I pay it just to make it go away?

So, I’m standing in my office, staring at the bill, avoiding the tired, distraught look of my office manager. I’m thinking to myself, in what other business can you be given a service that you never use, be billed monthly for it way beyond the time it was cancelled – with each month accruing the same monthly fee – and finally get a credit, but not enough to zero out the bill? And after all that, I’m still tempted to pay them $600 to make it go away completely. For the sake of our sanity.

Meanwhile, the orange fluorescent graffiti is almost all washed away.


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