Review by Robbord
Good "Reliability, service, connection speed"
- Location: Anaheim,Orange,CA
- Cost Contract price not specified.
Bad "Bandwidth caps, dealing with AT&T"
Overall "Bandwidth caps = No deal"
|Pre Sales information:|
Value for money:
(ratings above consensus)
My family has had AT&T DSL since it became available in our area. We're talking 10+ years! Our first modem was this ancient, white thing from Westell. Thanks to bandwidth caps, it's come to an end. In this review, I will cover the good, bad and the ugly. (In that order)
The reliability and speed from AT&T has been great. We really didn't have anything to complain about. We had a 6Mb connection for years and it has been rock solid. I live in Anaheim and worked fairly close by. The company I worked for had AT&T DSL. I really enjoyed the 4ms pings when connected to our VPN! Very snappy. We had very few problems with our service and when we did, the AT&T service guys were great. You really got a sense they knew what they were doing. Additionally, they would come out on Saturday, unlike Time Warner Cable. All in all, it has been 10+ years of great service.
There were a few bumps in the road which I'll document here. Please keep in mind these occurred over the course of 10+ years. At one point, our connection would become flaky after it rained. This went off and on for about 6 months. Finally, our connection became completely unstable. At first, AT&T thought it was our splitter. After about three weeks of "messing around", they finally sent out someone who knew how to diagnose the problem. He said it was some bad connection in some box somewhere. He said they replaced some panel or cards or something. Our connection was rock solid ever since.
This next issue is non-technical but just shows how hard AT&T can be to deal with. AT&T has (or had) a referral program. You referred a friend and got a $10 credit on your bill. As I recall, it was this cumbersome system where you needed to register with an AT&T website and enter the phone number of the person you were referring. Then, the person ordering the DSL needed to reference your referral during the ordering process. I was setting up DSL for a friend and asked him to use me as a reference which he did. In fact, when he ordered, he specifically asked the AT&T rep to verify that I would get credit. Months went by and I never received my credit so I called AT&T to see what was up. The lady I spoke with explained that the phone number I entered on their website didn't match the phone number my friend used for DSL. As it turns out, my friend installed the DSL on their FAX number. I was like, "OK, so we figured out the problem. Now you can credit me my $10." Guess again... no deal. I could care less about the $10 but at this point, it was all about principle. I argued with this lady for an hour! I even conferenced in my friend. She would not budge on the $10. A giant company like AT&T bickering over $10! I never referred anyone else...
The first line tech support was totally useless but that's par for the course just about everywhere these days. As an IT manager, I just can't stand listening to someone reading from a script. But c'est la vie...
And finally, we reach the ugly. We got a letter from AT&T explaining we were being upgraded to U-verse. It listed all the great benefits. One of the benefits was we would now have a 250GB bandwidth cap as opposed to a 150GB bandwidth cap. The thing is, we didn't have any cap. We have six adults in our house and all use the Internet heavily. We've got a Blu-ray player w/ wifi streaming Netflix in the living room and a HTPC steaming Netflix in the bedroom. I'm always streaming YouTube. February was our biggest month this year: 380GB. None of this was bit-torrent. 95% steaming video. Personally, I'm not buying AT&T's reason for the bandwidth cap. Sure, there are heavy users. What they don't mention is there are users who hardly use any Internet. My aunt has Internet at a house she rarely goes to. I volunteer at the Brea Senior Center. There's plenty of people there who have AT&T DSL but rarely use their computer. It all evens out...
Bottom line: I'll never use a service that caps bandwidth. I made the switch to DSL Extreme. So long AT&T !!! If you remove the caps, maybe we'll meet again!
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