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germ65

join:2009-10-27

Crappy AT&T install

Sorry for this rant, but I am really pissed.

This whole ordeal started last week when AT&T unexpectedly suspended my service. I first noticed that my email account wasn't working.

It took 10 different CSRs (and over 90 minutes of my time) to find out what happened and fix it. (I did not respond to a notice of conversion to U-verse). That's really ridiculous that I should have noticed and replied to one notice among the hundreds of U-verse spam mailings. There was no notice on my billing statements (the only ones I read). Anyway, I decided to upgrade to DSL (12 Mbps down, 1.5 up) for $29.95 (one year contract). The CSR told me that the new service would become active Nov. 7, and they would send me a new modem by mail. This would be a self-install and no technician visit would be required.

On Thursday, Nov. 1, at 5 PM an AT&T technician shows up unannounced at my home claiming that the wire to my house needs to be upgraded for U-verse. I wasn't home and my wife let him do his thing.

What I saw the next day really brought my blood to a boil:


New cable over wall

That's right. The installer just pulled the wire on the wall in plain sight and drilled a hole on the bottom of the box to pull it through! Never mind that there's a perfectly serviceable conduit that is used by the Comcast cable connection.

Cables coming to the house


Inside the box. Notice the entrance of the conduit that leads to the top of the wall.


So today I called AT&T to complain. Terrible experience as usual to get through. I feel I wasted 20 minutes. I will fix this myself as there's no way I will let those idiots touch my wiring again.
Unbelievable.

Splork

join:2001-02-20
Austin, TX

I don't really see what you're upset about, regarding the install. Sure, the line may not have been where you wanted it, but it's not ugly. Does your service work? Believe me, I've seen "crappy" installs and I think most people would agree that yours is not "crappy."



ArgMeMatey

join:2001-08-09
Milwaukee, WI
kudos:2
Reviews:
·voip.ms
·AT&T Midwest
·Time Warner Cable
reply to germ65

I see your point, and I wouldn't be happy either with an unannounced visit, but from the installer's perspective, your wife should have objected or specified how the work was to be done. Because she did not do so, the installer took that as implied consent to do the minimum that met AT&T requirements.

Or, the terms of service or PSC requirements may state somewhere that they can do what they want from the pole to the NID, and notifying you or "your agent" is just a courtesy. I don't see your NID so there is some gray area there.

We have a pretty stereotypical marriage - she chooses styles & colors, and it's my fault if stuff isn't done right. If this had happened at my house, my wife should have called me. She uses good judgment, but my requirements are sometimes arcane, so it's usually best if she does not communicate in any way with installers.

In any case, if she does what she thinks is reasonable, and it doesn't meet my requirements, it's my fault because I didn't communicate the requirements in advance. Never mind that I had no idea the work needed to be done in the first place.

Sorry.
--
USNG:
16TDN2870
Find your USNG coordinates:
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Canezoid
End of line

join:2001-02-16
Powder Springs, GA
Reviews:
·Comcast
reply to germ65

Cosmetically, you may not like the "observance" of the outside service line, but there is nothing wrong with the install.

Was the previous service wire that was replaced in that conduit or was there not one there at all ? I see the protector unit in that so called NID w/ your wiring. The tech is not responsible for pulling anything into conduit w/ a "co-joining" service wire w/o a pull string, which has to be supplied by you.

Network/ST's have pre install service orders for Uverse all the time & are dispatched accordingly to get any outside work completed before the actual hardware install. Granted a "pre call" to the customer for the work should be done, but it's not always done unfortunately. Your wife could've refused the work & the tech would've went on there way, it's not a big deal.

As far as you fixing it, I would suggest you make your call to AT&T repair & request that the local network mgr for your exchange area come take look, you should not be manipulating the outside wire, it's not yours to do so, sorry. Don't forget the pullstring, it'll save you headaches.

Just my 2c.


Barovelli

join:2002-04-03
reply to germ65

Does anyone notice the nonstanard Comcast install here? I don't see any proper attachment to the building, and a hard bend where it enters the vent hole.

The AT$T job looks good IMO.


germ65

join:2009-10-27
reply to germ65

I fixed the install myself today. It took about an hour and it wasn't easy to feed the cable though the 90 degree bend near the roof. But nothing that a professional installer should't be able to do easily.

@Canezoid:
1. If I request that the "local network mgr" comes take a look, I would probably have to wait for a long time only to hear a bureaucrat telling me that the job meets their standard. Well, it doesn't meet my standard.
2. Interesting that you ask about the previous connection. I seem to remember that the older cable went down from the inside of the box, not up. So I always thought it would connect underground. This new cable connects to aerial lines.
3. Why should I have to provide the pullstring??? What is in those huge white AT&T vans that I frequently see in my neighborhood? Doughnuts?

@ArgMeMatey:
1. The "NID" is that white box in picture 3 where I wrote "Comcast cable". Inside it there are two screw terminals where the new wire is connected (orange pair) and the inside wire is connected to the same screw terminals.
2. My wife actually called me. Unfortunately, my iPhone 3G had switched to "silent" mode, so I missed the call. I could not have come home anyway because I was busy at work that afternoon. For the record, my wife didn't even look at the work.

@Barovelli: Yes, the AT&T technician did a better job than the Comcast ones as far as connecting the cable properly to the roof, I will give you that (see picture 1). I am going to attach the Comcast cable to that same carrier wire.

@Splork, @Barovelli. You really think the install look good? Wow.


Oedipus

join:2005-05-09
kudos:1
reply to germ65

If that qualifies as a "crappy install," most installs, regardless of provider, are crappy.

Regardless, the installer probably didn't know that those woodpecker holes, which in and of themselves look crappy and half-assed, led down to the demarc box. I can't fault him there.


Austinloop

join:2001-08-19
Austin, TX
kudos:1
reply to germ65

"3. Why should I have to provide the pullstring??? What is in those huge white AT&T vans that I frequently see in my neighborhood? Doughnuts?"

Simple answer, your conduit, your responsibility for a pull string. That is the way it is over the AT&T area, whether for a residential customer, or a business customer getting fiber to his location.


Barovelli

join:2002-04-03
reply to germ65

There needs to be a separation of the wires at the house attachment. Call Comcast and have them properly attach the line to a separate p-hook. Putting the cable line on the phone attachment can lead to the phone co cutting it down.

Yah, I love a wired world. Though maybe a little closer to the downspout might be asked for there.



dmxrob6
Premium
join:2005-06-24
Boonville, MO
reply to germ65

How the **** was AT&T supposed to know what your holes in the roof led to? I'm sorry, this is nothing more than someone complaining for the sake of complaining.



DataRiker
Premium
join:2002-05-19
00000

4 edits
reply to germ65

People that know me know I RARELY (eg NEVER ) defend ATT, but this is exactly how techs are trained to do it.

Do you really think the tech is going to shove the drop line down some random hole on the side of your house hoping it pops up at the NID??????

To say this rant is retarded would be too nice.


germ65

join:2009-10-27
reply to dmxrob6

Because there's a Comcast cable that enters the "woodpecker" hole near the roof and exits from the conduit near the top of the box and from there it feeds all the cable lines in the house, that's how.
A look into the box is all one needs to figure this out--- if one has an IQ larger than 50.


germ65

join:2009-10-27

1 recommendation

reply to DataRiker

Random hole? That sounds pretty retarded to me.


Austinloop

join:2001-08-19
Austin, TX
kudos:1
reply to germ65

It makes no difference if he could recognize which hole went where, if there is no subscriber plased pull string in the subscriber owned conduit, it won't get pulled into the conduit.

IQ has nothing to do with it. That is company practice.



Msradell
P.E.
Premium
join:2008-12-25
Louisville, KY
reply to germ65

I think the biggest problem for the OP was at the installer showed up without an appointment! If he had known that he could have either been available or at least informed his wife of the conduit! It sounds like a communications with the biggest problem for AT&T!



DataRiker
Premium
join:2002-05-19
00000
reply to germ65

There is no need for and appointment. Techs are sent out on self installs to provision the telco side of things.

If he wanted a tech to talk with he should have paid for a full tech install.


germ65

join:2009-10-27

DataRiker,

First, if AT&T sends a technician who enters my property and performs work in a distribution box in my house, then I would expect to be notified in advance at a minimum. Contacting me and making an appointment would be what I would expect from a company with good customer service.

Second, why the hell would I have to pay for install if they only do their side of the wiring???



ArgMeMatey

join:2001-08-09
Milwaukee, WI
kudos:2
Reviews:
·voip.ms
·AT&T Midwest
·Time Warner Cable

said by germ65:

First, if AT&T sends a technician who enters my property and performs work in a distribution box in my house, then I would expect to be notified in advance at a minimum. Contacting me and making an appointment would be what I would expect from a company with good customer service.

You should check with any regulators about this matter.

I've had pretty good luck getting definitive answers on matters involving utility practices and equipment on customer premises from the Wisconsin PSC. Wisconsin produces a couple of brochures and Q&A info on what is and is not supposed to happen, and PSC staffers can speak with authority about many issues specific to particular installations.

Although they may decline to use enforcement power because it's not involving POTS, the guidelines for NIDs and drop cables should be about the same.

In any case, you are not happy that AT&T does not understand what you want, while AT&T is proceeding according to established policy. AT&T's culture is not one of meeting your needs, but of maintaining a profitable rate of return under favorable regulatory conditions. While you may find individuals in the company who are willing to accommodate you, the culture and systems in place are not designed with you in mind; they are designed to keep regulators from imposing fines and from creating more regulations.

In other words, if you put yourself in AT&T's shoes, you can at least understand where their practices originated. But ultimately, caveat emptor. Read the TOS and if they violated the terms, take it up with them.
--
USNG:
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Find your USNG coordinates:
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medbuyer

join:2003-11-20
kudos:4
reply to germ65

said by germ65:

1. The "NID" is that white box in picture 3 where I wrote "Comcast cable". Inside it there are two screw terminals where the new wire is connected (orange pair) and the inside wire is connected to the same screw terminals.

can you post a bigger picture of that "NID"?

I've never seen one like that before...

That looks like a simplified, owner installed and customized homerun / structured wiring which really should be inside...


DataRiker
Premium
join:2002-05-19
00000

4 edits
reply to germ65

said by germ65:

DataRiker,

First, if AT&T sends a technician who enters my property and performs work in a distribution box in my house, then I would expect to be notified in advance at a minimum.

If you don't like utility companies accessing their equipment then cancel their service.

In my area we are not even allowed to fish drop lines into houses for very good reasons, not the least of which is having an object fall on the drop line and rip out a chuck of your house. ( yes this has happened many many times, which is the reason for our policy )

Another reason is from time to time we must change our drop lines, even when the property owner is not available. For example your self install order needed an upgraded drop line.

germ65

join:2009-10-27
reply to medbuyer

Ok, will do but not right away, possibly this weekend.

I can assure you that it was installed by AT&T when I switched to dry loop DSL a couple of years ago. It ain't pretty. And, in typical AT&T way, it was attached badly to the wood board in the back of the box, with only one screw (instead of two).


civicturbo

join:2009-11-08
USA
reply to medbuyer

The poster must live in a dry climate like me(las Vegas) we have those cheap tin boxes half sunk thru the stucco on every house here, you can even buy them at Home Depot. Their as cheap as they look, NEVER survive the weather in my home state of MN or anywhere in the Midwest. Or actually any state with rain or snow. I rewired and don't use mine


Oedipus

join:2005-05-09
kudos:1
reply to germ65

said by germ65:

with only one screw (instead of two).

You're really splitting hairs, here.

medbuyer

join:2003-11-20
kudos:4
reply to civicturbo

said by civicturbo:

The poster must live in a dry climate like me(las Vegas) we have those cheap tin boxes half sunk thru the stucco on every house here, you can even buy them at Home Depot. Their as cheap as they look, NEVER survive the weather in my home state of MN or anywhere in the Midwest. Or actually any state with rain or snow. I rewired and don't use mine

that's not a NEMA enclosure right?

was that like a builder installed and wired enclosure?

civicturbo

join:2009-11-08
USA

Nema!!!! Hahahaha ok you must be being sarcastic because if i was drinking anything i would have spite it out all over my iPhone. I'll have to shoot a little vid of these when I'm in the depot next time.


germ65

join:2009-10-27
reply to Oedipus

said by Oedipus:

said by germ65:

with only one screw (instead of two).

You're really splitting hairs, here.

Yes, I like things done properly

And I forgot to mention: There were two screws holding the cover of the box. After AT&T's installer visit, only one of them was screwed in. The other was on the floor...

I am not making this up.

germ65

join:2009-10-27
reply to germ65

@civicturbo, @asjamias: Yes, I hail from sunny California. This part of the house was an addition by the previous owner. The box may be cheap, but it does its job.


medbuyer

join:2003-11-20
kudos:4

said by germ65:

@civicturbo, @asjamias: Yes, I hail from sunny California. This part of the house was an addition by the previous owner. The box may be cheap, but it does its job.

I didn't know that houses up in your area came with that box...

down here, builders just leave cat5 and rg6 cable with enough slack so phone and cable can be connected on the side of your house where the demarc is just like yours....

difference is, phone has its own NID box just like this...»emuneee.com/images/uverse/NID2.jpg

and a cable "NID" just like this...»www.reeleysoft.com/wp-content/up···0901.jpg

wires coming out of that going inside the house go up in the attic and gets distributed there OR you can customize it like what I did...like this...»www.diychatroom.com/attachments/···anel.jpg mine's just a little simpler...


DataRiker
Premium
join:2002-05-19
00000
reply to germ65

said by germ65:

Yes, I like things done properly

Properly is very subjective.

ATT has a corporate standard, which you do not like. Blaming the tech is in bad taste.


David
I start new work on
Premium,VIP
join:2002-05-30
Granite City, IL
kudos:101
reply to germ65

I probably would have ran it the same way. Reason being I wouldn't want to be responsible for damage to the comcast cable.