AT&T has caused irreparable harm to our business
We have been AT&T landline customers since they bought BellSouth. We have had a landline with BellSouth/ AT&T for over forty years. We live in a rural area where there is only spotty cellular coverage and internet is only available through satellite providers. We started a home based business in mid 1980 and converted our residential line to a business landline.
Fast forward to October 2022, the beginning of our busy mail order season. Phone calls were down. The phone always worked when we made phone calls. October is our contract renewal month. With their “best pricing for loyal customers” our bill increased from $85.00 per month to $150.00 per month. Over 30% of the charges are “taxes and surcharges” over which “AT&T has no control.” In addition to a mail order business, we have a wedding venue. Our 2023 wedding venue bookings are down 92.8% from 2022.
In January 2023, we started noticing significant problems with our service. Callers would get a message, “We're sorry, the wireless customer you are trying to reach is not available at this time.” This is a LANDLINE. Then we found out calls to us were not getting through. Business associates told us they tried for weeks to reach us by phone. Frequently there was significant static on the line making impossible to talk to anyone. At one point, when trying to make a call, there would be a dial tone but after dialing the number the dial tone would return. Also, when talking with some one the call would just disconnect. Multiple service calls did not correct the problems for any meaningful period of time.
Even though there is no cellular coverage in our area, we decided to get a cell phone from AT&T and use it over WiFi. We could get a basic cell plan for $35.00 per month rather than pay $150.00 per month. The landline was continuing to deteriorate and service technicians said the entire county had problems.
We ordered a cell phone from AT&T on a Monday. It arrived the next day. We then started the process of porting our landline number to the cell phone. The wireless department needed our wireless account number (not the phone number), which was supposed to have been emailed to us. It was never emailed to us. Over 15 hours was spent on the phone trying to get the port started. We were told multiple times the port was complete but it wasn't because the landline still worked. I had to go to an AT&T store to get our wireless account number because AT&T could not email it to us, even though they said it had been emailed. The account number was needed so the customer service representative could access our account online to see why the number was not porting properly.
Once we had the account number, we contacted wireless customer service and gave the number to the representative. This was seven days after ordering the phone. That customer service representative told us the port was complete AND DISCONNECTED OUR LANDLINE. THE PORT WAS NOT COMPLETE.
For some reason we can receive calls and texts on the cell phone FROM AT&T CUSTOMERS ONLY. When someone who is not an AT&T customer calls our BUSINESS TELEPHONE NUMBER they get the message, “We're sorry the number you have reached has been disconnected and is no longer in service.”
We reported this IMMEDIATELY to AT&T. After two hours on the phone, the wireless department determined that the port was not complete and the landline service would have to be reconnected. That department was closed for the night.
As soon as the porting department opened the next day, I called them. I BEGGED the representative to help us out. She got the same runaround as we had gotten in the close to now twenty hours of phone time with AT&T. She finally got a representative from the Business landline service who she said would be able to resolve the problem. After an hour on the phone with him, he determined the wireless department needed to handle the port. We told him the wireless department stated the landline had to be reconnected to complete the port. We made it clear that the wireless department said they could do nothing until the landline was reconnected.
He did some checking and put a request into the 'back office' to reconnect the line. He stated it would take FIVE TO SEVEN BUSINESS DAYS to complete the reconnect. In the mean time our customers get the message “We're sorry the number you have reached has been disconnected and is no longer in service.”
Congratulations AT&T on your success as a business! Add to your accomplishments successfully putting us out of business.
Your employees are very nice and are all very sorry for our inconvenience.
ARE YOU ???