lanephil's profile

New Member

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7 Messages

Sunday, January 8th, 2023 2:59 AM

is there any way to CHAT with a human instead of a 'bot?

Trying to get ATT repair support for a traditional landline outage (outage is on ATT side of the Network Interface Box, not in the home wiring).  Filed online a trouble report;  got a confirming email;  got text messages to my cellphone indicating repair would happen and/or a tech would visit, by 4pm today.  It's now nearing 7pm, and no tech visit and landline still not functional.  No email with update.  No text message with update.  Online system (att.com/repair) now says "We were unable to meet our previously scheduled service appointment time for [telephone number]"; also "In the event of a missed appointment, you will be given the next available appointment time...".  I should have been notified with a new appointment date/time by now, I think.  Spent 1hr40 minutes yesterday on hold at 800.288.2020;  never got a human capable of dealing with a landline.  On hold today at 866.410.7414 for 53 minutes and counting (despite system saying wait time ~10minutes).   Arrgh.  So.  Any way to CHAT online with a human?

Expert

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19K Messages

1 year ago

Sorry I don't think there is for traditional landline. You could try repeatedly typing representative, don't know if that will help or not as there's no way to tell if they have a rep monitoring chat on a Saturday night. The number you've called is the correct number for POTS repair. I'm closing your other topic since you've started this new one. 

Expert

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19K Messages

1 year ago

Please keep all further comments and questions in this topic. There's no need to start multiple topics. If you feel you're not getting the attention to your problem needed file an FCC complaint.

(edited)

New Member

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7 Messages

1 year ago

Well, current update.  Traditional landline still not working.  Finally spoke to a human at 866.410.7414 (traditional landline "Repair Dept."), using my (non-ATT !) cellphone.  Failed to get thru to them with multiple attempts over the weekend (on-hold times > 1.5 hours);  finally got through to them this morning (Monday 1/9/23 730am) after ~35 minutes on hold.  This is their idea of good customer service?? Jeez.  She tells me that my  Saturday 1/7/23 "before 4pm" repair appointment cancellation was probably due to the big storms in California, with repair techs overworked.  Seems reasonable.  System has NOT YET rescheduled me for repairs.  (??!!), which seems unreasonable.  I probably WON'T (??!!) be advised about when rescheduling occurs by text message to cellphone (as happened previously), or by email (as happened previously).  (WHY NOT???)   Instead, apparently the currently active Trouble Ticket (Ticket # PE508506) will get handed to the repair tech only after his (her) last job is completed;  he/she will then telephone me to my cellphone, to tell me he's on the way, and that's the ONLY way I'll know.  I'll keep calling them at 866.410.7414 daily, and if repairs don't happen soon (3-5 days), will plan to file complaint with the FCC.   Just FYI, other contact options I've tried without success:  (A) online CHAT via ATT website, usually get a robot which provided entirely unhelpful URL links and wrong phone numbers, finally got a human, but she was UVERSE and not traditional landline, apparently no traditional landline support at all available using CHAT, she referred me to Traditional Landline Dept. at 855-250-4777, but there they say they are the Retention Dept., formerly the Loyalty Dept., or maybe the Connected Communities Dept., but anyway, they couldn't help, and referred me to the 866.410.7414 repair line, so that's apparently the only place to go.  And, (B), tried several times the main ATT number at 800.288.2020, each time after ~10 minutes got a human, but they were UVERSE or ATT cellphone or something but couldn't help with traditional landline, tried to transfer me to traditional landline repair dept., once they couldn't even give me the number, another time said it's 866.410.7414, but anyways...    Will continue posting here.  What fun.  I estimate >11 hours already sunk into this, and will ATT reimburse me for my time, at my usual consulting rates??? Not likely.   More later.

New Member

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7 Messages

1 year ago

Additional note.  On one of the phonecalls, I vented to the ATT person about the difficulty of getting repairs to a traditional landline.  She stated that in her opinion she thought traditional landlines were going to be phased out, except for some big businesses and government offices, and all home phones were going to be shifted to VOIP (Voice over Internet ProtocoL) type phone lines, replacing the traditional landline twisted copper pairs.  She believed other telecomm companies had been forced by the FCC to do so, and ATT was the last holdout, and that ATT would be forced to do so sometime in the future as well.  Not sure I totally believe that story.  One person's opinion, but interesting.  I keep the traditional landline as emergency backup for when cellphone fails;  I guess it's a technology on the way out, kinda like the failing of the buggy whip business after the advent of the horseless carriage.  OY!  I suppose VOIP would serve a similar backup/redundancy purpose, but VOIP over twisted copper pair DSL means you need power at home to operate your router, whereas traditional landlines work even if no home power.  O well.

Expert

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19K Messages

1 year ago

The FCC has not mandated the phasing out of POTS lines, they've given their approval to do it. Big difference. Yes, all carriers that offered POTS are phasing them out. I've been suggesting wireless home phone service if you have a good cell signal. The only major carrier that offers standalone wireless home phone is Verizon, other third-party carriers also offer them. Need to stress the need for a good cell signal a couple bars won't do it. 

New Member

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7 Messages

1 year ago

Final update.  FIXED!  Break out the whiskey.  Trouble ticket at att.com/repair shows:  1/6/2023 2:58pm, "undergoing testing"; then several days of "ATT missed the scheduled repair appointment, it will happen soon";  then 1/13/23 9:14am "referred to technician", and 1/13/23 1:53pm "ticket closed".  So, a solid 7 days to get a traditional ATT landline fixed, after major storms in California.  Dwayne, the very nice ATT repair guy, today went up to the overhead phone lines, then to my Network Interface Box, then indoors to my landline&DSL outlet, where he stuck on a box with a couple lights.  Went back to overhead lines.  Went away to ?"local box" somewhere nearby;  came back in an hour.  Flashing lights in a different pattern on his little box on the outlet.  Unplugged it, plugged in my landline phone, voila I GOT DIALTONE.  OK, lessons learned, from ~18 hours spent on this issue over last week.  (1) You MUST have a cellphone;  if you don't, go buy an "anonymous burner phone" at some drug store.  (2) Don't call ATT at the number appearing on the phone bill (800.288.2020);  if you do, you'll wait 5-10 minutes for an ATT person who knows nothing about traditional landlines but will try to sell you something else, or will transfer you to ATT landline repairs, but not be able to tell you the direct dial number needed.  (3) Call ATT landline repairs at 866.410.7414, open "regular business hours", best I can determine these are 6am-9pm Mon-Sat (not sure).  Wait times over 5 different calls on different days were typically 1.0 to 1.5 hours (!!).  Best time to call (for me, in California) is about 620am on a weekday;  wait time on that one call was  a mere 12 minutes.  (4) Online, sign into your ATT account, then (in a new tab in the browser) go to att.com/repair and file a trouble ticket.  Do it in that order;  if you go to att.com/repair first, the security login always fails. The site att.com/repair is not very user friendly, but play with it and it yields very useful info.  You'll give your email address there and your cellphone number.  You'll get ONE email with trouble ticket details, saying repair will be [tomorrow] by 4pm (it's a lie). You'll get text messages to your cellphone that the appointment is [tomorrow];  it's a lie.  Then, you'll get a text message saying ATT missed the repair appointment, and you're next in line.  (HA!).  You'll get NO FURTHER INFO BY EMAIL OR TEXT; in my case, for 6 days.  (5) Now the next day, call ATT landline repair at 866.410.7414.  I did this 5 times , different days, spoke to 5 different agents, each had different useful info (and sometimes, wrong info).  (6) If your landline has regular Call Forwarding, you can't turn it on yourself since the line is out;  the ONLY way to turn it on is to request it at  866.410.7414;  it took two separate tries on different days, but finally succeeded in getting the landline forwarded to my cellphone (whew!).  (7) At 866.410.7414 they will ALWAYS tell you the fix is [tomorrow] by 4pm (or, once, by 12noon);  they're lying.  As best I can determine, after asking many questions of multiple ATT staff, this is what happens.  The trouble report goes in an internal ATT queue.  It's apparently always at least several days long;  for me  it took a week.  The ATT repair guy, he finishes his last repair, then the next one pops up on his display automatically (transferred from the queue-ing system), then he telephones to your cell to tell you repairs are in process;  that's the ONLY way you will know it's happening (aside from when the dial tone finally reappears). (8) ATT traditional landline repairs dept. is grossly under-resourced, apparently intentionally by ATT, which makes far more money on other services it sells (one person said ATT loses money every time it sends out a repair truck for a traditional landline repair).  (NOTE:  I'll be filing a California Public Utilities Commission complaint.) (9) ATT is now reportedly permitted to start shifting (forcing them, maybe?) customers from traditional landline to digital (VOIP) landline, with the various downsides of that option (nonfunctional if power outage for router, etc.). Protests may be in order.  Apparently in Illinois customers were able to obtain some mandate that the local telecomm had to continue with traditional landlines;  maybe we need something similar here. (10) Kudos to ATT for providing/supporting this forum, whose users provided invaluable info to me (thank you spoom2 and that other commentator from Texas!);  it's likely your best resource, plan to spend some time reading the various posts.  OK, signing off.  - PKL, Berkeley, California (ATT landline here locally since PacTel days, first got it in about1988 or so).

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