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Pacific Bell - SBC page on DSLReports
Six Month Rating

Reviews:
bullet 1854 reviews (980 good) (463 bad)
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Review by NormanS See Profile

  • Location: San Jose,Santa Clara,CA
  • Cost: $33 per month
  • Install: about 7 days
  • Telco party SBC
Good "DSL support is very good. POTS is pretty good."
Bad "NNTP service is mediocre. Email service is only as good as Yahoo! Mail Plus."
Overall "Still needs improvment. And now, they need to ditch the caps, as well as Yahoo!"
Pre Sales information:
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My Other Reviews

·SONIC.NET
When I started, the name of the service was, "Pacific Bell DSL", which was allowed by SBC, even though they were the parent company. Seven years, and some changes later, the service is now called, "at&t Yahoo! HSI"; a legacy of the outsourcing contract between SBC and Yahoo! (BTW, the name change from "SBC" to "AT&T" reflects a corporate decision by the SBC managment team after they bought AT&T. The "new" AT&T is just the old SBC re-branded.)

Recent changes were made by Yahoo! to the way they hand email through their SMTP Message Submission servers. These changes were made unilaterally, and without prior notice to AT&T, leaving AT&T CSRs to field customer calls when things broke for the customers. These changes pretty much make their message submission servers useless for power users. I am reasonably sure that most ISPs don't force this limitation on their customers. Basically, using an email address different that the account requires prior "verification" with Yahoo! to avoid an SMTP error where email using that as the "From:" address being rejected.

As a result, I have downgraded my opinion of the quality of the services. I probably should have downgraded the "Tech Support" rating earlier, as well; primarily because deciding whether to take troubleto Yahoo!, or to AT&T, can be confusing. Technically, the DSL connecting (AT&T support) is fairly good. However, Yahoo! support for their Internet services is somewhat lacking.

Wish: That AT&T would reconsider their outsourcing conract with Yahoo!.

This is my last word about AT&T. When they announced that they would implement caps, I started re-evaluating my relationship with this company. Though I only, briefly, saw evidence of congestion in the last year, but mostly got my speed, the company as a whole seems more interested in buying legislative consideration than network capacity for their customers. I don't really care for the idea of caps on the service; even though my history shouldn't be a concern. Just the idea protecting content providers over customers isn't cool.

As of about noon, today, I have fired them.

(Updated to add my tested speeds, and their caps. Zip code reflects loation of service.)

member for 13.7 years, 5240 visits, last login: a few hours ago
updated 174 days ago

Comments:

Review by Ahuacamolli See Profile

  • Location: Riverside,Riverside,CA
  • Cost Contract price not specified.
Good "No longer relevant as AT&T has replaced SBC"
Bad "No longer relevant as AT&T has replaced SBC"
Overall "No longer relevant as AT&T has replaced SBC"
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My Other Reviews

·Charter
No longer relevant as Pacific Bell and SBC have both become AT&T.

member for 12.9 years, 141 visits, last login: 154 days ago
updated 321 days ago

Comments:






Review by Tex Longhorn See Profile

  • Location: Coronado,San Diego,CA
  • Cost: $39 per month (12 month contract)
  • Install: about 14 days
  • Telco party SBC
Good "They delivered what they promised"
Bad "dishonest support person, good luck if you have any problems"
Overall "I'm very happy"
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My Other Reviews

·Verizon Online DSL
·Verizon FiOS
May 2002. Almost one and a half years with Pacbell and things have been mostly good. Have an occasional outage but usually back up within a reasonable time. Would go with them again.

I was very nervous about going with PacBell because of the reviews I had read here. My other option was Telocity and they said it would take 4 weeks to get me up and running. Too long for me. I placed my order with PacBell on 12/14/00 and was told it would take 14 days. The next day I realized I had not been asked what type of connection I had (USB or Ethernet) and whether I wanted self install or a technician to come out. They guessed right on both. I did the self install with Ethernet. Communication on their side was excellent. I received a call that they would be testing my line and I may be without service for 5-10 minutes. This was on day twelve. On the same day, I called to check the status of my order because I had not received my equipment. I had been told it would take 5-10 days. She put me on hold while she called shipping. Fifteen minutes later she said it would be going out that day. I inquired about the delay. She blamed it on the holidays. I didn't believe her for a second. On day thirteen I received another call saying my order was complete. All I needed was my hardware, It arrived on day 14. I have a Mac with a built in ethernet so I didn't have to install the supplied card. Modem installation was just like a dial up modem. It couldn't have been easier. The only problem I encountered was registering my account. The software comes from SBC Internet Services. Apparently they provide software for Southwestern Bell, Pacific Bell, and Nevada Bell. My instructions told me to register at the SWBell website. It didn't work. I had to call and get the correct address which took about 5 minutes of being on hold. Overall, I am very pleased. The problems I encountered were minor. They had me up as promised and I have been up pretty much ever since. I go down occasionally, but it is for a very short time. Speeds have been good. I tested at 1105/105. I love my DSL!

I've been with PacBell for about three weeks. Everything was great until I wasn't able to connect. When I tried to connect, I would get "PPPoE server not responding." Didn't know where to call for help so I started with 800-Net-Help(SBC). He ran some tests and told me I had a line problem. Gave me a case number and a new number to call, 888-900-9933. Here they started a trouble ticket and assigned a technician to fix the problem. About three hours later the technician called and said he was just about finished with the line but there was a problem. He said he talked to PBI and my DSL had been cancelled. This was news to me. He told me to call the emerging products center at 888-884-2375. He also gave me his direct line and told me to call him with an update. I spoke to them and they said that my dsl was not cancelled. They had me call/transfer to 800-708-4638. It was here that I reached Chris. He explained that my dsl is broken down into several parts. For some reason, the provisioning on my dsl had been cancelled. He created another case id and transferred me to provisioning at 800-833-2120. The first person I spoke to was a trouble shooter. He said I would need to speak to billing about the problem. Off to billing I went. I spoke to Erica. She said all of provisioning had left for the day. She emailed my problem to them and recommended I call back in the morning. She was not able to tell me why I was disconnected nor who instructed them to do so. This was her guess. "I guess they figured you wanted to cancel since you weren't connecting." It was about 7:00 when I got off the phone. I had spent about two hours on the problem so far.

I called provisioning first thing next morning. I got a hold of a tech person who would not transfer me to provisioning. He wanted to send me to EPC again. I was getting caught in a never ending loop. I finally had him send me to billing. I got Erica again. She spoke to provisioning and said I would be up by noon. I called the technician from the previous night and told him my provisioning would be connected by noon and he could resume his testing. Noon came and no dsl. I called billing again and got Erica a third time. She spoke to her "friend" in provisioning and said it would be 45 minutes to one hour. I checked back a little over one hour later and no dsl. I called billing again and got Tarik this time. He spoke to provisioning and said it would take 30 minutes. Thirty minutes later, I finally had my dsl. Saturday the original technician called to tell me he did not come in on Friday and wanted to know if the problem had been corrected. Yes it had.

member for 13.8 years, 5731 visits, last login: 17 days ago
updated 1.4 years ago

Comments:

Review by acz See Profile

  • Location: Sacramento,Sacramento,CA
  • Cost: $23 per month (12 month contract)
  • Telco party SBC
Good "reliable over many years now."
Bad "I had to replace the original modem, and the splitters more than once"
Overall "OK service for my needs, not the fastest"
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September 2012

Wow, I had completely forgotten that I reviewed this ISP 6 years ago, and I have had this static DSL line in East Sacramento for 13 years!

Anyway, it works and is reliable. I have never been able to get better than 2.4 megabits download and 400 kilobits upload.

From mid-2011 to mid-2012 I was paying $14.95 or even $11.95 per month after discounts. Now, in September of 2012, they will give me a $15 discount for the next 12 months off a list price of $38 = $23/month, with an early termination fee of $180.

Perhaps it is finally time to try U-verse or perhaps a different vendor.

==================================
OK, I will post an update as of August 2006.

Apparently I was a pretty early DSL customer in East Sacramento, signing up in August 1999.

Anyway, over the years the service has been good enough for me to stay with them. My line is nominally set to 1500 kbps down 384 kbps up, and when I measure using any speed test I usually get between 800 and 1200 kpbs down. My main problem has been reliability. Sometimes the connection is flawless for months, and then it works only intermittently for days at a time, losing synchronization and getting locked up at the Startup Handshake between the modem and the Central Office.

Tech support from India has been awful, but the people at ASI in Pleasanton or St. Louis have been very helpful.

I am on my third modem, currently a Zoom ADSL X5 which at least gives me some statistics from its side of the line. We have replaced the copper wire from the house to the telephone pole - the first time it had clearly been chewed on by the squirrels, the second time it looked OK but no one could figure out anything else to try.

So now in the summer of 2006, when it was time to renew my contract, I was out of town. A month went by, and the put me up to $49.99 per month. When I called to fix it, the best they would give me is $19.99 per month at the same speed, even though the sales rep admitted that last month they would have given me twice the speed for a year at $17.99. I heard that others received new 2wire modems, or the $17.99 rate, so I am slightly annoyed that the renewal is not more honest, straightforward, and direct.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------
All the information below this line is from sometime in 2000.

Installation went very well.

I ordered basic residential DSL for $59/month (with ISP),
and the equipment/installation cost $200.

They gave me an Alcatel 1000 ADSL modem, and a network PCMCIA card.

I have a static IP, and I guess it must be because I was one of the very first DSL users in zip code 95819.

I don't know anything about PPPoE, so I hope it never comes to my house. I got a Linksys Etherfast Cable/DSL router to share the line among 2 computers here, but that equipment was backordered for a long time, worked great once it arrived.

Speed is often greater than the guaranteed 384k.

What used to drive me nuts was when the red light on the modem starts blinking. Speed drops to zero, and there is no way to diagnose where the problem might be:
PBI, CO, my line, my splitter, my modem, my computer, or what.
Tech support just says to unplug the power supply to the modem, and then leave it unplugged for 5 minutes, and try again. Unfortunately that little rain dance does not always work.
Too often, I have to resort to dialup modem at 26,000 bps!!

Eventually, a service person came over and replaced the splitter on the side of the building. Since then, I don't lose sync, don't see the little red light.
MUCH BETTER!

About a year later, I started having sync problems again. Two techs came to the house and replaced the modem with Alcatel Speed Home. That has worked fine now for at least a year.

Latest development (august 2003) was that I called the DSL billing people and requested the $29.99 rate I see advertised everywhere. They said OK but I had to agree to new 1 year committment with a $200 early termination fee. Since I don't plan to move for at least a year, that was an easy decision.

Since August, I had some problems with static on the voice portion of my DSL line, but since I pay for WirePro an excellent tech came out and replaced the wire from my splitter to the pole, and the static went away.

I wonder what the pricing will be when my contract is up in 2004. There is a new competitor in this area called Surewest, they are running fiber to all the houses in the neighborhood, and offering 10 mbps up & down.

member for 14.6 years, 441 visits, last login: 11 days ago
updated 2.1 years ago

Comments:

Review by Bobsacto See Profile

  • Location: Rancho Cordova,Sacramento,CA
  • Cost: $36 per month (12 month contract)
  • Install: about 7 days
  • Telco party Southwestern Bell
Good "Great field service level 2 techs"
Bad "Call Level 1 tech and you take your chance"
Overall "Good Value"
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When DSL became the first and only broadband solution in my area I attempt to get service but was told after about a year of visits and phone calls Pacbell could not provide me a connection.

By then Comcast was providing service in my area so I went with them. The company was sold to AT&T cable with @Home service. @Home went under my speed was capped at 1.5 and AT&T sold the company back to Comcast. Still no problems. I fact my only issue was the 56.99 I was paying at the end for 3mb service.

Kept getting the pitch for DSL so thought I give it another shot. With the addition of a RT in my area I thought my chances for service would be increased. Seven days after my first call to sign up for the DSL pro service I was supposed to be ready to go. After one call to Level 2 support, where the tech expressed thanks that I had not installed their software, I was connected at 1.1mb.



Waited the requested 10 days but was still at 1.1. Left a message on the SBC direct board here did what they suggested but still a 1.1 even when connected at the NID. Made the call at 4 and the next day both an ASI tech and a SBC tech showed up exactly when scheduled. One installed a POTS splitter and hooked up a direct line to my modem (no charge) the other went searching along my phone line back to the RT and made some wiring changes along the way. Immediately my speed went up to what I was paying for around 2.8-2.9. They said my line was still not the quality they would like and the another tech would be by. The neighbors began to wonder why different strange men were stopping by the house every day while I was at work and my wife was home alone. During this time my speed never dropped and I never lost my connection. Some of the techs said with their readings I shouldn't be able to get synch. Finally one tech said that the company might drop my cap if they had to keep paying me visits. I said I didn't call with complaints my speed was what I wanted and they really didn't to pay daily visits to the house even though I know my wife is attractive. Got a call from ASI that night and I asked him to please close my ticket. Still getting the same speed and never a dropped connection saving $20 a month.

Update 6-26-05

Had service over six months. Never have lost it, never have experienced a speed slow-down. The same can not be said for my experience with Comcast.

Update 8-01-05

Lost voice and DSL service fixed quickly given phone number of local ASI manager if any issues received follow-up call making sure everything was okay and assuring credit for the time we did not have service. Also received letter of apology for our inconvience.

member for 10.1 years, 331 visits, last login: 2.2 years ago
updated 2.2 years ago

Comments:

Review by puppers See Profile

  • Location: Sacramento,Sacramento,CA
  • Cost: $29 per month
  • Install: about 2 days
  • Telco party AT&T
Good "Easy upgrade from DSL 6000/768 to U-Verse 12mb/1mb"
Bad "Customer service is not that good, though the techs can be of help"
Overall "I had fast service before and even faster now for less money!"
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Service has been great the past few years. I'm in Sacramento and am only 300 ft from my CO. Super fast connections all the time. Update 12/2011, U-Verse Internet is now available in my area, was able to switch from DSL with only 1 day down. 12mb/1mb for only 29.99 with no contract.

The only complaint I have is that customer service has been outsourced (difficult to understand them at times) and the people handling problems just read from a script.

member for 14.5 years, 3428 visits, last login: 2.8 years ago
updated 2.8 years ago

Comments:

Review by altdel See Profile

  • Location: Danville,Contra Costa,CA
  • Cost: $45 per month (12 month contract)
  • Install: about 10 days
  • Telco party SBC
Good "Good value for money, high reliability, good speeds"
Bad "After-hour telephone tech support has become pretty much useless"
Overall "Good bang for the buck"
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I''ve had SBC DSL for over 5 years. The service has been mostly reliable and stable. I've had about a day or two of downtime per year. Most of the time, the service came back without me having to contact tech support. On the few occasions that I do have to call tech support (ASI in particular), they were able to solve my problem within reasonable time.

On more recent experience; I was pleasantly surprised to have discovered this site and the wonderful SBC tech support in the forum. The tech support guys can really help you solve your problem, and fast too. However, if the problem occured over the weekend then it might not get fixed before Monday because the after hour offshore tech support is useless.

Updated on 8/6/2010.

Well, after 12+ years with the same DSL service, during which the company name changed from Pacbell, to SBC, to AT\&T, I was hoping for an upgrade to higher speeds to be available. But, no such luck. U-Verse is not available for my neighborhood. While the DSL service I have (6.0M down, 765K up) has been rock solid throughout the years, it's getting a little old. The availability of services such as Netflix streaming is pushing the need for higher download speeds. My patience is running thin waiting for U-Verse to arrive. At this point I'm seriously considering switching to Comcast, who has Docsis 3.0 deployed in my area.

I figure I'd give it another six months. If U-Verse doesn't arrive then, I'll be a cable customer.

member for 11.2 years, 1755 visits, last login: 11 days ago
updated 3.1 years ago

Comments:

Review by chene209 See Profile

  • Location: Merced,Merced,CA
  • Cost: $20 per month (12 month contract)
  • Telco party AT&T
Good "stable connection for a good price,i like it"
Bad "modem used to disconnect and reboot alot before"
Overall "get it!"
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first two months it was fine then modem started to reboot or disconnect randomly alot.4 months later i did heavy research and found out that i needed to put the modem in wireless B mode.now connection is super stable,so i am very happy at the moment,plus the pricing is nice.$20 a month for 1 year,i had to call them 4 times to get the pricing right.people were right,u have to remind them about the promotion or else they will charge u full price.

member for 6.1 years, 160 visits, last login: 78 days ago
updated 3.1 years ago

Comments:

Review by nmarrion See Profile

  • Location: Los Altos,Santa Clara,CA
  • Cost: $35 per month
  • Install: about 3 days
  • Telco party AT&T
Good "Very reliable & fast."
Overall "Elite is $20/mth cheaper than cable for me"
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Update 4/15/11
No change. Service has been uninterrupted over the past year. Still seems to be the best bang for my buck.

Update 4/27/10
Still happy with service. Only one outage that affected the whole area in the past year. Will be trying to see if I can reduce the cost in the light of current promotions.

Update: 5/11/09
Yesterday afternoon, 4 days after the switch to DSL Direct, out of the blue we lost internet access and got a landing page tell us that there was a problem with our AT&T account and to call Customer Service. I had to go through the new account registration process to re-establish our account. The rep could not offer any explanation as to why this happened 4 days after it should have done and with no warning.

I am left shaking my head again as to how clumsy this whole process is.

Update: 5/7/09
Have had Pacbell/SBC/AT&T DSL for 7.5 years and I remain very pleased with the reliability and speed. A couple of years ago I replaced the original modem with a Siemens 4100B and perhaps by coincidence, perhaps not I found that I could finally upgrade from Express to either Pro or Elite.

I ended up with Elite and get 5.1M down and 650K up on speedtests. The speed is very consistent.

To cut a long story short we decided to drop our home phone line and switch to DSL Direct (dry DSL). Cut off was planned for today and DSL was scheduled to be reconnected tomorrow. However, an AT&T technician turned up on our door step this afternoon and apparently had to check the line as though we had never had DSL. When he was done, we were back online, so we were offline for just a few hours. It doesn't seem to be a very efficient process, but it worked far quicker than the horror stories I have heard.

The price will still be $35/month as we have AT&T cell phones.

member for 13.4 years, 3385 visits, last login: 2.9 years ago
updated 3.5 years ago

Comments:

Review by ddougb See Profile

  • Location: San Pedro,Los Angeles,CA
  • Cost: $46 per month
  • Telco party AT&T
Good "Connection reliability and speed."
Bad "Cost"
Overall "Think I will stay for now. Cable is my other option."
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I ordered DSL when it was the only option for broadband. Basically I've been pleased with the results. It was Pacbell.net at the time. I average 4.7m down and 600K up.

member for 12.5 years, 166 visits, last login: 1.7 years ago
lodged 3.5 years ago

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