AT&T failed to repair Ohio man’s damaged Web service for a month

Typical AT&T service —

Fastened wi-fi person simply wanted a brand new antenna, however AT&T could not determine the issue.

Jon Brodkin

A man with an umbrella walking past a building with an AT&T logo.

Ohio resident John Sopko needed to go a month with out his AT&T mounted wi-fi Web service as a result of the corporate repeatedly did not diagnose and repair the issue, the Akron Beacon Journal reported at this time. AT&T lastly found out this week that the antenna on Sopko’s roof was damaged and had to get replaced, however not till after a parade of help calls and technician visits.

Sopko stated he is not a giant Web person however that his girlfriend and her 17-year-old son are. The son has “been at his grandmother’s since 4 days after [the outage] began as a result of he wants it for college,” Sopko stated. Sopko’s home is both in or close to an space the place AT&T acquired US authorities funding to deploy service.

Sopko’s service stopped engaged on October 30. Rebooting the modem did nothing, so he known as AT&T’s service telephone quantity and “adopted instructions to reboot the system.” That once more did nothing, so AT&T despatched a technician to his house in Akron, however the tech simply repeated the steps that Sopko had already taken, in response to the report:

“He went and turned every part off and plugged it again in,” Sopko stated. Identical consequence—no connection.

AT&T despatched out a second technician, on Nov. 8. “He did the identical factor,” Sopko stated. “He stated it was an engineering downside and was going to ship an e-mail.”

Extra frustration, no clarification from AT&T

Sopko did not hear again from AT&T, so he known as the corporate once more a few days after the second technician go to, the Beacon Journal article stated. “They stated they had been ‘troubleshooting’ and stated it could be again up in a few hours,” he informed the newspaper.

The service didn’t come again on-line inside a few hours, and Sopko stated he needed to “chase them down” once more as a result of AT&T did not name him again. He was finally in a position to schedule a technician appointment for November 23. However on that day, “he acquired one other textual content, confirming an appointment for Nov. 26. A textual content on Nov. 26 confirmed an appointment for two pm to 4 pm. Sopko stated he might not have responded in time to that textual content, so a brand new appointment was set for Dec. 3,” the newspaper reported.

The Beacon Journal report continued:

Sopko known as the service line once more on Nov. 26, speaking to a buyer consultant. “I do not wish to be imply to you,” he informed the consultant. “However this has been occurring for 28 days now. Why?”

The consultant could not give a strong reply, which pissed off Sopko much more. “I am shopping for a product that I am unable to use,” he stated. “Inform me lightning hit a tower; inform me one thing.”

AT&T’s authorities funding

Lastly, Sopko was contacted on Tuesday of this week by an AT&T rep, and the corporate despatched what Sopko known as a “extra superior technician” to his home on Wednesday. The technician examined the antenna, discovered it wasn’t working, and changed it.

“That ‘antenna’ was a set wi-fi unit the corporate had put in a few yr and a half earlier than. The items are primarily utilized in rural areas the place cable strains aren’t in place,” the Beacon Journal famous.

Ohio is certainly one of 18 states the place AT&T acquired $428 million from the Federal Communications Fee per yr for seven years beginning in 2015 to deploy 10Mbps Web utilizing mounted wi-fi know-how to 1.1 million properties and small companies. It isn’t clear whether or not Sopko’s house is counted in that deployment, however his deal with on East Voris Avenue could be very near different Akron properties the place the FCC map reveals sponsored deployment by AT&T.

AT&T nonetheless attempting to “decide what occurred”

Sopko “acquired a invoice on Tuesday for a month’s service he did not get” however later acquired invoice credit “and a present card for his troubles,” the Beacon Journal reported. AT&T informed the newspaper that “our technicians restored Mr. Sopko’s Web service and he’s glad.”

We requested AT&T for a proof of why it took a month to diagnose and repair the issue. The corporate did not clarify however stated it’s trying into the matter.

“Clearly, this isn’t an appropriate buyer expertise and didn’t meet our expectations for a way we serve our prospects,” AT&T informed Ars at this time. “We have now apologized to Mr. Sopko and credited his account. We’re reviewing this case to find out what occurred and to forestall it from occurring once more.”