Posts Tagged NVG510
At&T Lying Jackasses?
What at&t needs to learn
Most of the following could have been avoided if at&t made sure that:
- Customer has access to the equipment before at&t switches services.
- If the equipment will not arrive as promised,
notify the customer and reschedule service switch.
What I learned
from dealing with 15 or so agents and 1 technician in just over 2 weeks.
Pick your service provider. Pick your poison.
Speaks for itself.
Don’t be skeptical. Be cynical!
If new equipment is needed for a new at&t service and if you don’t want to suffer prolonged service interruption, try to schedule new service after new equipment arrives, or at least give yourself as many buffer days as you can. The equipment’s arrival may be delayed. They won’t tell you. They won’t tell themselves.
When it comes to new plans, try to verify the agent’s claims whenever possible. Call back to check if someone else tells you the same thing.
3rd party contractors
Why does it seem like every time you call at&t, an agent tells you something different? Why do some agents sound totally clueless even though you called or were transferred to the correct department?
Your call may be routed anywhere- to an actual at&t employee or a 3rd party contractor in the US, Philippines or India.
A 3rd party contractor can help with some customer service issues, but I suspect such agent’s main function is to sell you something. Perhaps different contracted businesses has different packages for the same service.
From a contractor’s point of view, she is telling the truth. Plausible deniability. A customer, on the other hand, may experience different truths. Such incidences are usually blamed on “training issues” or “miscommunication.”
Ask for at&t customer service number for your state
If there is one, it may save you some time. I didn’t have to deal with that annoying computerized call screener. Once or twice, I got an agent almost immediately. No guarantee that the agent is competent.
Ask the agent to enter notes into your record
No guarantee, again, that the notes may be accurate or make sense. A couple years ago, an at&t agent sold me phone service that sounded too good to be true. It turned out to be so. He left accurate enough notes to show other agents I was not lying about what he said. Everything was corrected without arguments from them.
U-verse High Speed Internet Max- maximum download speed 12Mbps
In my case, actual download speed ranges between 9.5Mbps to 10.5Mbps, less than the maximum 12Mbps but acceptable. Upload speed is just under 1Mbps which I remembered being told to be 1.5Mbps or 3Mbps.
The modem-router, or gateway, is Motorola NVG510. It takes about a minute and half to power up, uses about twice as much electricity than my Speedstream 4100-Linksys combo, and feels warmer, making me wonder how long it will last.
This blog “Motorola NVG510 help page for AT&T U-Verse users” gives 2 ways to download Motorola NVG510 user manual.
If you change your Motorola NVG510 wireless passcode, there is one commonly used character, a punctuation mark, I discovered, that the machine does not recognize as valid. My Linksys router has no problem with that character. Upon saving the passcode with such character, Motorola NVG510 will “miss” the character as well as anything that comes after.
The whole story
The First Tuesday
It all started when I called at&t for a new DSL modem.
I was told that switching from my current 3Mbps DSL plan to U-verse 12Mbps high-speed internet plan would be only $5 more a month. U-verse TV is not available in my area but U-verse high-speed internet is.
- The new modem would be free, after rebate.
- $38 per month was the regular monthly rate, NOT an introductory price.
- The switch from DSL to U-verse will be “seamless.”
- No other fees were mentioned.
I was skeptical about “seamless.” But not having had much bad experience with at&t, I agreed to switch.
The customer service (CS) agent scheduled the service switch in 3 days on Friday. She assured me the new modem-router would arrive in 2 days (Thursday) via UPS. Plenty of time to self-install.
When I went to at&t.com to verify the agent’s claims, I was shown that U-verse is not available in my area! I also found an activation fee of $36, which is waived if the order is placed online. How one could have placed an U-verse order online when it’s shown to be unavailable online is beyond me.
Automated message from at&t saying that an order is complete. What?! Service not switched and no modem yet!
New modem did not arrive. Nothing from at&t. One more day to go. I became nervous and did online banking/bill pay for a few things due within two weeks.
Got home around 6pm. Still no new modem. Two conflicting automated at&t messages: one says that the order won’t be complete until tomorrow while the following one says that the order is complete and to call if I don’t have all the equipment.
Waiting 25 minutes got me an U-verse agent who looked up the order to find that the modem was back-ordered until next Thursday. If I didn’t want to lose internet service, I had to talk to tech support to stop the switch.
Tech support agent didn’t know whether the switch was actually done. She filled out a “DSL restore order” which should be done tomorrow (Saturday).
Early afternoon I called tech support about DSL status and was told that the service “will come back any time today.”
It still didn’t. Tech support is closed on Sundays.
Initial call about my DSL restore order status got me a lady who wanted to know my operating system to authenticate my DSL modem. I hung up on her.
For second try, I got someone who had no idea how to deal with DSL restore order. After 3 transfers, I got an agent who seemed to know what she was doing.
According to the system, a technician completed the restore. However, another department might have to “push through” something. After that was done, she tried and tried but kept getting “line error.” A wire might have gone bad during the switch, she postulated. Switching from DSL to U-verse internet requires physical rewiring. We scheduled a technician to come out on Tuesday. This phone call took about more than an hour.
I had to explain to the technician the bad line was most likely due to switching services, NOT due to bad wires inside my house!
He went to the box down the street corner then left me a message that the rewiring had to be done back in the office.
Then, a customer care agent left a message that they were unable to restore my DSL service and to call U-verse to find when my equipment will arrive.
When I called, I was told that switching me back to DSL would be too complicated, involving several departments, and that I should call billing later for some credits.
Essentially, they won’t switch me back to DSL. My not having internet service was not their problem.
New modem arrived.
Still without internet service, I called billing to make sure my bills weren’t messed up. The agent had trouble identifying billing periods, thus, leading me to believe that I was to pay for DSL service that I no longer had. She couldn’t explain why so she transferred me. Somehow I got to another agent who totally stonewalled me. After 12 minutes of combative, unproductive back and forth, I found I was speaking with Accounts Receivable!
The AR lady transferred me back to CS at 5:58pm. After holding for more than 30 minutes, it occurred to me that the office might be closed. Sure enough, it closed at 6pm.
Did that AR lady transfer me knowing no one would answer?
I used my neighbor’s computer to check phone+DSL bill. I was not incorrectly charged.
Called about U-verse bill. This agent told me:
- to wait until tomorrow (Saturday) to do the self-install
- $38/mo. was a promotional offer and on July 1, the rate will be $48/mo.
- I was not under contract so I could cancel at any time without penalty.
- I could switch to a higher download speed 18Mbps at a promotional offer of $34.95/mo. for 12 months.
No more switching!
Self-install was straightforward, I’m not totally clueless with configuring routers. Connecting Linsys to Motorola NVG510 took some work.
First U-verse bill charged me $48/mo.!
I spoke with an agent who didn’t know anything about the $38/mo. price. She offered me $5 discount for 3 months. I was totally fed up and demanded the service be cancelled.
She transferred me, supposedly to someone who can process cancellation. After a minute or 2 of puzzling exchange, we realized that I was transferred to a company totally unconnected to at&t.
I called back to demand cancellation. This agent also never heard of the $38/mo. promotional offer either. However, there is a $24.95/mo. for 12 months promotion for U-verse high-speed internet 12Mbps max. It’s a contract, of course. No one else brought up this before.
- The activation fee could be removed due to service migration (from at&t DSL to U-verse).
- Credits, so I’ll pay what I was told: $38/mo.
- Until $24.95/mo. for 12 months plan kicks in.
I didn’t ask for anything more. This agent seemed competent, experienced and knowledgeable. I don’t doubt her. However, I’ve heard at&t taking back credits without notification. Also, as a “current” U-verse high-speed internet customer, it may later decide that I am not eligible for the 12-month promotional offer.
I have a month or so to research 3 options: Comcast, WOW! and Clear Internet. WOW! is the only company about which that I have not heard many complaints.