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SBC DSL--Promises Made, Promises Kept?

Posted by: Cliff Edwards on August 29, 2005

Whatever happened to keeping the promises both implied and real that you make to a customer? In nearly every industry you look nowadays, it seems customer service is getting more miserable. Why is the onus now on the customer to make sure you’re getting exactly what you pay for?

Consider my recent experience upgrading my DSL service: SBC is trying to lure people away from cable’s broadband, and to keep its own DSL customers, with hot pricing deals of $15 for basic service and $25 for expanded. I recently discovered that since I signed up for DSL years ago, I was getting speeds worse in some cases that what’d you get for basic service.

A quick call to SBC was meant to change that. I signed up for DSL pro, which offers 1.5 to 3 Mbps downstream and 384 to 584 Kbps upstream. A super-chatty customer service agent told me I would have to sign up for long-distance to get the better price (as a current SBC customer). I did that, then was told to wait for seven days for the DSL speed boost to occur automatically.

Nine days later, I was still waiting.

Again, I called SBC customer service, only to be told that the first customer service agent had noted the change but never actually submitted the order (though he did manage to submit the long-distance order that was adding some bucks to my bill). I was told to wait seven days more for the line upgrade to be provisioned.

Another eight days later, still no faster speed. In fact, the upstream speed appeared to have slowed down! I called customer service again, but was told the speed had been upgraded. My testing through told me otherwise. The new suggestion: Wait a few days more, then call back.

Fed up, I e-mailed the regional PR rep for SBC and described my problems, noting I planned to write a blog on them. Within 24 hours, I was getting speeds near the top of the promised faster range.

An SBC rep told me the problem is that 90% of the time, you can upgrade a customer's speed simply my entering the order into the electronic system. But the other 10%, you must physically do location work to replace old cabling or equipment.

Oddly, no one told me that when I first ordered upgraded service, nor at any point when I called to complain. Other friends say they, too, have ordered the faster service but seen no upgrade. Not being journalists, they haven't been told of the 90-10 problem.

Where's the love SBC?

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Reader Comments

e sapwater

August 29, 2005 03:54 PM

Sounds very much like BellSouth. The company has made promises that the people in the field say it not possible. Every time either tech support or customer service has been contacted there is often a different story told as to why something doesn't work the way advertised or promised. Everyone who is an employee at BellSouth has been very pleasant in conversation. But, when the results are in the company seems to be interested in everything but reality.

Carol Anne Ogdin

August 29, 2005 05:00 PM

Given SBC's monopoly power in their market area (particularly where cable doesn't serve), how can they engage in an illegal "tie" sale of demanding you pay for long-distance--a wholly unrelated service--to get faster DSL?

Sounds like an oppoortunity for some quick class-action attorney, to me.

Oh, and my challenge: Try what you did in an area where I live (about 40 miles East of Sacramento). This is (and will likely never be) DSL for the roughly 30,000 households that aren't directly located near the few outmoded Central Offices in the area.

From our perspective, you got superb service from SBC :-)

Rosemary Childress

August 30, 2005 08:21 AM

I've got DSL from SBC and I know a bunch of people who got it with this deal. They love it.


August 30, 2005 09:03 AM

It is just not with SBC. Almost all enterprises are doing it these days. Customer had to call umpteen times to get what he needs or deserves. The focus has changed from customer service to the bottom lines, no matter what.

I had a terrible experience with Vonage, Uhaul and Budget Truck rental a couple of months back. Here are links to my story of agony over customer service.

Partly problem is due to commodatized customer service agents/call centers, in my opinion.

dee peterson

August 30, 2005 10:02 AM

The cable companies are the worst. They charge you double what DSL costs and then the service is :( Don't get me started.

Selim Bingol

August 30, 2005 10:11 AM

On behalf of SBC, I would like to apologize for the delays in providing you with upgraded DSL service. It should never have happened this way,
and, if it's any consolation, it rarely does.

In fact, today we are meeting the installation date for DSL 98% of the time, and in many cases, customers are up and running sooner, thanks to our improved self-installation process.

That's why 6 million people subscribe to our service, making SBC the nation's DSL leader.

We know that outstanding service is the key to winning and keeping customers. We will continue our work to create the best experience possible for our customers. Thanks for staying with us, Cliff.


August 30, 2005 12:13 PM

What the folks at DSL won't tell you is that attaining those advertised speeds is completely dependent on how far you are from their office or DSLAM. If you aren't getting the advertised speeds on the lower tiers, upgrading is not going to get you any closer to the speed you are paying for unless you want to move. Then again, you get what you pay for. If you want speed try cable!


August 30, 2005 12:52 PM

I had a similar experience with SBC last year when I upgraded my DSL service to a higher speed. Fortunately, there are great resources available on the Internet, like, where I could get information on the problem from their user forum.

Even though I knew what the issues were and how to explain them, it still took several phone calls with customer service and a technician visit before they realized someone forgot to make the switch in their system...


August 31, 2005 09:29 PM

I am definitely with you on the SBC issues. We signed up about 6 months ago for their Wireless internet, yet for the next 3 months, it only worked about half of the time. SBC continued to tell my roommates that the problem was with their individual computers, and that they would have to contact those companies about the problems. Mind you, we had an IBM, a MAC, and a Dell. None worked.

Finally, after probably spending 12 hours over the course of 2 days on the phone with SBC's tech support (all of the other companies agreed that it was in fact nothing wrong with the internal settings of the computers), we got one rep who actually knew something about computers and the wireless routers, had us change one setting on the router, and it's been fine ever since.

Mind you, that's after paying for a router and 3 months of service with almost no use of the internet and probably the equivalent of a week on the phone with various customer service reps who had no idea what they were talking about and sounded like they were making it all up on the spot. You know it's bad if they don't even sound like they know what's going on.

And I have many friends with similar stories. The worst is in places where SBC has the entire monopoly... at least I could threaten them with switching companies and demanding all of my money back. Some friends don't have that option.


September 8, 2005 07:01 PM

Qwest here in Denver was being just as cavalier -- until customers started defecting in droves. Now they call *me* with suggestions for upgrades in service or cost-savings. Yet the larger trend -- of putting the onus on customers to get what they pay for -- is both disturbing and widespread. I recently received a call from Chase Credit Cards, shilling the fear of identity theft and offering a service that will let me know if there is any "suspicious activity" on my card -- for just an additional $12.95 per month, billed to my account for my "convenience." When I inquired, "but shouldn't they notify me of suspicious activity anyway? Why would I pay extra for that?," my poor outsourced contact in India was gracious, but had no answer. I remember when these were "value adds" -- now, in the days of churn and niche services, they are apparently revenue streams.


September 12, 2005 11:41 AM

SBC Customer service is a real pain with their automated voice system. They ask you to enter/speak your choices starting from your telephone number. And finally after waiting for a long time, the CSR comes up and asks the same questions. When I told them that I just spent 15 minutes providing you all the information, she said, 'Yes. It was not recorded for some reason and you will have to provide me again so that I can pull up your account information'.

Marcus Bing

September 12, 2005 09:08 PM

Everyone sounds so surprised with they receive products that don't work as advertised or customer service is less than adequate. Cmon people live in the real world..... it is not about what is promised, right, honest or is about money, it has always been about money and it will continue to be about money...

every decision a corporation makes is based on money - how much will it cost? how much can we make? how much will it cut into our profits? What happens to the stock price?

do you really think these corporations genuinely believe customers are going to get as good or better service from a technical support company in India than in the US?

Just the other day someone said to me "why would Dell have support people 1/2 around the world that don't speak English clearly and seem to know less about the computer than I do?" I simply said "money"

How many class action lawsuits did AOL settle on it's business practices? Recently New York settled a class action lawsuit against AOL. Apparently, AOL wouldn't let people cancel their internet accounts and in some cases said they would but didn't do it anyway.,0,1362551.story?coll=ny-business-print

"To earn bonuses that could amount to tens of thousands of dollars, AOL employees were required to "save," or retain, a certain percentage of subscribers who called to cancel service"

do you think for a moment that any AOL executive or manager stopped to think that this might not be fair to their customers? of course not, they are concerned with money and their stock price. that’s it.

In some cases, customers received free 4 months of AOL service, but I haven't read anywhere where a customer received compensation for the time it took to complain to the DA, call AOL and sit on hold for hours or call their credit card company to cancel the charges....

I have been working in the computer industry for upwards to twenty years now and have never seen a technology company act in anybody's interest but their own.

Don’t think for a minute that these companies are there for you or your happiness. Of course if you are ready to buy their products or services there are more than enough people to take your order but after you have handed them the money, any further contact with you is a cost to the company and they will do whatever they can to minimize that.

Corporations are concerned with making money. that means if you are are a large customer spending lots of money you get preferential treatment - advanced technical support, sales reps dedicated to your satisfaction, etc....

If you are spending a measly $25-$30 a month on communications it simply isn't worth providing you with timely support and service. You get support from India, you have to wait on hold and frequently your order is lost or mis-handled.

do you think a major communications company would provide lousy service and support to say "Intel" or "Costco"? of course not, they have lots of money to spend

And what are you "the average person" going to do when you are sold good service and support but receive nothing close to that..... Are you going to spend thousands of dollars and hours of your precious time suing a billion dollar corporation in a class action lawsuit where lawyers collect most of the money and you simply get your money back?

do you think you are you really going to do damage to a billion dollar corporation by saying to your neigbhor(s) you have had nothing but problems and they should get service from the other billion dollar communications company that also has appalling service?

So, when you see what looks like a good buy in technology be it a hard drive or internet service, take the price and at least double it; to include the cost of your time (which is just as valuable as theirs) in getting help or assistance with it. When you plan on calling for support; make sure you have at least 1 to 2 hours available. Don’t expect the person on the other end to have any more knowledge than you do about your product. Don’t expect an apology or any sort of explanation as to why the product or service isn’t working; these people are paid to get you off the phone. And most important, don’t expect any sort of compensation for your time and frustration. After all you are calling a business, an artificial human who’s sole purpose is to make money and serve it’s stockholders.

If everything goes well, consider yourself lucky.

aunt queenie

September 24, 2005 12:05 PM

I just loved Marcus Bing's real is that in what he had to write.

PaPa Vic

November 28, 2005 01:43 PM

I am on the online now and have been phone the last hour. I need to upgrade my modem so far no luck. The sad thing about this is I work for SBC and can't get any better customer service.


November 30, 2005 12:10 PM

Someone needs to sue SBC Bigtime. Has anyone seen the major false advertising involved in getting people to join. All their prices are pitched for the first 6 months or don't include all the fees, but you have to look close to even see it. You can't even really see the ACTUAL price you are going to pay.


November 30, 2005 01:39 PM

They have for the last few years been the bane of the Telecom Industry. They just did an upgrade on November 21, 2005 from 10:00am until 2:45pm. I found this out when I went to get online and it wasn't working. I called, only to get the message of the above noted "upgrade". I called daily to get the situation fixed so I could get online. Each day I would have to put in a NEW ticket number seeing as they had "closed out" the previous day's ticket without repairing my DSL. Is this to keep their repair numbers down or what? On Saturday, the 27th, they sent a Technician to fix the problem. He called saying it should be working and to try it. I told him the DSL light was still out but as we spoke it went to solid green and "synced up". He said they did a software change from Indianapolis and it should work. I tried to no avail. He changed the card at the IT and eventually changed the "copper" to my building to no avail. Well, after being out of service a week, and calling daily, I called Sunday afternoon to see how things were going. I was told the ticket I had called on earlier in the day was closed out two hours prior to my calling. After being told they couldn't send out a Technician until Tuesday the 29th I exploded. Being OFFline a full week means nothing to them and the people in the Midwest have meant nothing to SBC(AT&T) other than MORE MONEY since they merged with Ameritech. I went to Comcast to get their HighSpeed Internet and was up and working Monday the 28th. I called today (Nov. 30) to cancel my DSL and hope to never use it again from SBC. Since retiring from SBC, I have come to REALLY see how they treat their Customers. It's a good thing they have genuine people in their Customer Service Dept. to ease the pain of getting it in the backside from SBC (AT&T)without even bending over.


December 1, 2005 04:14 PM

I once had a major problem with SBC as well. Besides the fact that you must have local SBC phone service to get DSL (which is a joke), the DSL line was slow and I was constantly getting phone calls for a 'Dennis' from a church group. I guess SBC reused their phone numbers very quickly and they wouldn't change the number with a fee.

To keep a long story short, all it took was a 2 minute call to the state Public commissions office. SBC was trying to get long distance approved at the time and the state was really looking at their service ratings. It took less than 1 hour from the time I called the PSC to the time the 'vice-president of corporate relations' was calling me. She was extremely friendly and lo-and-behold, my DSL ran fast, my number was changed, and I got three free months of phone/DSL for the trouble. I also received a couple follow up calls to make sure everything was great, as long as I made sure to call the PSC and close the complaint.


January 7, 2006 05:05 PM

I installed SBC Yahoo DSL 1 week ago. I had major install problems before a smart tech finally solved my issues. I also now know that 3MPS downloads are a dream. Only if everyone gives up their phone connection will I see 3MPS.
Also a major, major headache is the sbcyahoo browser. Several crashes occurred using this browser. Since I uninstalled it my connection is stable.


Jim HOffman

February 8, 2006 03:49 PM

Did anybody else out there wonder where their rebate check was? I was promised a rebate for the modem (why they can't just give you the damn thing is beyond me) and it never showed up.


February 14, 2006 12:43 PM

I signed up for the modem rebate and a $100 dollar rebate but sbc doesn't acknowledge this. does anybody know what's going on?


February 22, 2006 06:27 PM

I did not get the rebate check from sbc yahoo either , when I call them they keep say 2 to 3 buisness weeks and dont let me talk to their supervisor.

Its only a game , its a pity that they can get away with it , and consumers are the victims.
there needs to be a law to prevent such frauds .


February 27, 2006 12:42 PM

SBC should be sued. I switched from cable to SBC dsl because of their advertizing 3-month rebate. But now it's been closing to one year and I've never seen it shown up on my bill. I've been called to them every month since last Oct. Every rep promised that I should able to see it on next month's bill. And now is Feb.

Does anyone ever have the rebate back? Is there anyway to cop with this monopoly cheating money?


February 28, 2006 09:41 PM

Yeah... I did get my check back. Somewhat to my surprise. But, naturally, after they screwed up my order, took two weeks longer to get me my modem, did not divulge the true monthly costs to me and because of this I want to cancel SBC's services. They said that I agreed to a "verbal" agreement that stated I would have to pay a $200 cancellation fee. I don't recall this. I have no record of it in my files. I want it in writing or some proof that this is the truth. They said that I agreed to it when I first signed on. I asked if it stated in that agreement the number $200... she said no, that that was the verbal part. What?? So, if I refuse to pay this fee unless they show me proof they can screw up my credit? It doesn't seem like real life... seems more like a bad dream... accompanied by bad business. Can anybody enlighted me on this?

Jack T

March 3, 2006 02:28 AM

I have a hard time understanding how SBC can currently give NEW customers a $12.99 rate, but, I, who has been a good customer for going on three years, can not get the same rate. I have to pay $26.99 plus fees.

Does anyone know how to be a NEW customer to qualify for the lower rate, without having to cancel at the end of my one year contract, just so I can start up again as a new customer? Are there independent sales organizations that can somehow swing this kind of deal? The SBC/ATT sales people refuse to admit that it is possible?


March 3, 2006 08:06 PM

I just called SBC on the rebate I was supposed to get that I mailed back in October of 05 and that I have a photocopy of. They said that they cannot do anything because it is passed the 90 days. Bull...They are in the field of customer service. They work for me. I am in the service industry and if I responded the same way and told all my customers that they are wrong and there's nothing I can do about it. I'd be out of business.

John Brown

March 13, 2006 12:42 PM

I have had to use SBC now that AOL does not carrie DSL package in my area.
I have had nothing but trubble. It sometimes takes HOURS to get connected to my AOL site.
SBC says that theire is no dile tone. I have dile tone and have been using the AOL Dile up without problems. It is only when I try and use this over priced SBC DSL broadband survice that is slower than christmas in Jsnuary in comming up.

Paul Seymour

March 29, 2006 02:29 PM

I have been calling about the rebate for my DSL modem for months now. Each time I call, I am assured that the check was processed a few days before and that I will definitely receive a check within 2-3 weeks. I am denied the opportunity to talk to a supervisor. This experience has been repeated 3 times now. It is very clear that the rebate is a full-blown scam.

I am in search of a class action law suit to remedy this. If you know anything about this, email me at


March 30, 2006 11:20 AM

Another lovely rebate drama story; I ordered the promotional online offer from SBC Yahoo DSL with a monthly rate of $14.99 and a modem return of $100 in October 2005. I sent in my rebate late November 2005. When January 2006 came around and I still had not received my check I called into the rebate center. They informed they mailed it off early January and told me to wait 6-8 weeks. I waited patiently until March 2006 and called back. They issued a stop payment and reissued another check and stated I would receive it on March 27, 2006. When I didn’t receive it on March 27, 2006 I called to speak to a supervisor and the representative stated they would note for a supervisor to call me within the 24-48 hours. Well here we are on March 30, 2006 and no call was ever received from the rebate center. I finally called 1-877-722-3755 to escalate the issue and spoke to a supervisor at ATT SBC Yahoo. I also found out that the rebate center is an outsourced vendor that ATT SBC Yahoo utilizes for the rebates. After contacting the center the SBC supervisor informed that there was an instant rebate of $49.01 issued on my first statement and my $49.99 paper rebate will be reissued and a supervisor at the rebate center is again scheduled to call me back. We will see if all this effort was worth the $49.99 in the end.

Jerry G

March 31, 2006 08:16 PM

SBC in the Bay Area has some real issues. All the routers appear to be overloaded. But instead of increasing capacity, they just keep suffling the complainers around so that they temporarily get a speed boost. Then, as their performance degrades slowly, SBC hopes they won't notice.

The hours of 2pm to midnight are horrible. I normally got 2500K down. Now between these hours I get 600K. Thats less than a THIRD of what I am paying for. Guess what - I only use my DSL during those hours.

This capacity / overloaded router issue goes back months. You'd THINK that SBC would have been able to increase the capasity by now. Nope. But they keep billing me for the full rate . . . no slowdown there.


April 1, 2006 01:44 AM

I switched the DSL service to the less expensive one and here is what I noticed.

Watch out!

Apparently they may limit your download speed to 384kbps unless you scream bloody murder.

I installed my new DSL and it was 384/384 so I called and complained....boy, what a hassle, a lot of unfriendly and unhelpful people to deal with.
I was at least expecting my previous rates of 768/300 or so.

Now, here's the catch. Though SBC advertises up to 1.5Mbps, in their contract they say between 384kbps and 1.5Mbps, What I am learning is that people are being set at 384kbps and if they complain, they get the runaround and are told that this is the limit for their area, etc. Then if one pushes further, they bring up the legal range limit, saying that they are fulfilling the contract by giving you 384Kps (read the fine print which is not easily visible on the online sign up), instead of trying to help you achieve the maximum that your line will allow for the contract which is 1.5Mbps. During my several phone conversations, I never got an answer, but got hung up on, and given the runaround with transfers.

Finally, a tech from the line provisions department called me and instantly gave me the maximum that my line can take, which happens to
be twice as fast as last year's ( I also called and complained and was given the runaround but the speed remained at 384up/768down - it too was limited). He told me that it appears that most (?>50%) of the lines are fixed at 384/384 and "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" was the unwritten policy - so if the client doesn't complain, then leave it as it is. He also said he was getting quite a few circumstance similar to mine.

Is this borderline fraud = false advertising?

So here I am, after all the hassle, successfully setup with a stated rate of 384/1.5 - which is the maximum under the contract giving me throughput
rates of 1290 Down 317 up - which is effectively twice as fast as last year. This whole thing makes me upset - I feel that the $12.99 offer borders false
advertising if they are capping the line at 384kbps, even if the line easily supports more bandwidth.

And to throw some more petrol into the fire:
I was given so many stupid explanations why my speed was slow at first; here are are just a few of them:
1. Line conditions doesn't allow for higher than 384Kbps ( Even if I was receiving twice the rate a week earlier for an entire year)
2. My router firewall is slowing the connection down (I don't think so - it doesn't slow anything else down).
3. There is a problem with my in-house wiring, even though I ran the test both from the house and NIB with the same results) 4. The line needs to
train itself = BS, train from the top down 5. I did not use the
CD which contains speed performance software (what the heck?) 6. My
extension cable is more than 10 feet ( the telephone line is at least
feet and I am running Cat 3 from Cat 2 line) 7. I am too far from the
(and why did you sell me the service?) 8. My modem is defective
but the other two working modems have the same problem) 9. My router is
(I get the same results without a router) 10. Here's the one I got from the call center
, truthfully ("Sir, you can't access the internet while on the
and "there is a metallic sound on the phone") Yes, that metal is me
him in the head for being sooooo stupid.
11. For $12.99 384kbps is the best you can get (but that isn't what is
suggested in the advertisement) and to that she replied "that's why we
12. And the best for last, "Sir, I don't have record of an account for
phone line, you first need to order DSL express before it can work."
was after we went through the setup questions, which are designed to
your blood pressure!

But, strangely, at the end of all this hassle - with my non-stop
pushing and
demanding, I achieved my goal, which is what I usually do...and to
this, I
am happy with the bandwidth rate!

But still....I think people need to know!

The rebate, now that I am reading the feedback...not sure...glad I took a photo of the postman taking it from me, with postage!



April 6, 2006 09:20 PM

Well, here's my latest story on the wonderful company known as SBC/AT&T.

I am an outside technician for SBC, meaning I repair dialtone-DSL, as well as install it. I recently moved to Ohio from out of state, SBC transferred me. I transferred all of my existing services from out of state to my current residence in Ohio. Those services were DISH, Dialtone-DSL, and 2 cell phones.

Now, I am at work on a repair for SBC, when my wife calls. SBC has cut off all our services. This is 1 week after I got to Ohio. I am stunned, so I call an inside billing number I have access to. They tell me that my bill is overdue, and I must submit a payment immediately, as well as a reinstatement fee for all services. As an employee, I don't have to pay install, or reinstatement fees. But also, my bill was not due yet.

Apparently someone got the billing date wrong, and after calling numerous managers, the problem was resolved, but I was out of service till monday, and this was on a friday.

So, 2 weeks later, services were cut off again, And again, the same billing problem occoured. Again I call, and am out of service for 2 days.

This happened 6 times in 2 1/2 months.

I cut off all services with SBC, and went with all the competitors. Since then, no problems. It sucks, and my stock probably won't be affected much, but I was shocked they did that to one of their own.

I don't bad mouth SBC services to customers, but if they ask, I always tell them to call the business office, because my comments would be inappropriate.

I love working there, my job is great but I'll never again be a customer of theirs.


April 17, 2006 08:16 PM

I was ripped off too. It was supposedly sent out November 18th but I never received it. I have since called numberous times, and each time they give me the same answer "we'll put a stop payment on it and issue you another one. please allow 3-6 weeks for delivery" It's April 17th and I have once again called them only to have them tell me the same thing again.

Is this a joke? This has to be a scam. How do these people get away with this? $49.99 isn't a lot of money, but it all adds up, and if they fail to honor their rebate deals, they're making a lot of money off of this scam.

I even spoke with a supervisor who "elevated" something.. Today, the rep I was speaking to said the notes were "vague" and that nothing was done when the "elevation" took place. What does that mean really?

For the life of me I cannot understand how these people are getting away with this! We have to do something about it.

I'm calling the California Public Utilities Commission tomorrow.

earl galbreath

April 25, 2006 11:52 AM

i have had the dsl package for two monthswas told an sent rebate form in an has never got the rebate yet. were is it at................


April 28, 2006 05:38 PM

SCREW SBC!!1 I have been stuck with their crap dsl for 13 months. I live in dowtown san deigo and there is a 2 square block section where the cable company is not allowed to install cable internet. I have had major speed issues and have called many times to complain. I recently called to ask if I could upgrade my plan to a higher speed package. They told me that it would require another 12 month commitment. I told them there was no way I was going to commit to 12 more months. I am not happy with their service and there is no guarentee that a higher speed package is going to fix my issues. Well, I offered to pay them more money! Their not going to even give me the chance to become satisfied. Looks like I will be moving and getting cable again.


April 28, 2006 07:36 PM

My stepmother got yahooSBC DSL about two years ago. It's been slow since then, and even after she upgraded to the "pro" for faster speeds, she was still getting the same slow dragging internet, so she cancles the upgrade. Then the speeds have been even worse, capping at 10k downloads and 2k uploads during the middle of the night. I don't know about other customers, but I strongly dislike yahooSBC.


May 4, 2006 03:05 PM

I have had absolutely no problems with SBC DSL connection speed. The problem I have had is actually getting it connected. I've had unstable jobs and lots of things happening in my life, and have had to move 3 times in 3 years. Each time, I would be charged over $200 to get out of the contract, but to transfer the service would require 8-12 WEEKS. 8-12 WEEKS?! I'm sorry, it should never take 3 months to get service. It was always between 6-12 weeks each time I moved. When I called Verizon, they said they could come out NEXT DAY. The difference is enormous, but I have no choice. I'm getting screwed either way, and they say there is nothing I can do about it.

I'm now in a home, and I can guarantee that once my contract is up, I will be switching to Verizon, and will never recommend SBC to anyone.


May 25, 2006 11:29 PM

Well I just set up my sbc dsl two days ago. Setup was easy and went ok. It was even a day early. But we signed up for pro and are barely getting 1.5mbps an the test sites. I guess I will find out how hard it is to get what we are paying for tomorrow. I cant wait to see about the rebate as well.


May 29, 2006 09:00 AM

I am also waiting for my dsl rebate. I had signed up for sbc in February of 2006. I called them at the beginning of march and they told me I could check the status of my rebate check when I checked it the website told me the check would be sent out on May 20th I is now a week and a half later and I am still waiting for my check. Our tax refunds can be m,ailed in a few days. why is it taking so long? If anybody has an answer please let me know.


June 1, 2006 12:21 AM

I have a business account with SBC DSL withs top speeds of about 5 MBPS download and 500 KBPS upload.

Now I get a horrendous 5 KBPS down and 3 up, it is all over the lace. Had three technicians rewire and test and still no issue. Now I am a network technician and SBC uses cheap routers than hang all the time. They don't use top of the line Cisco products! trace routes hang on their switches and routers, dropped packets, etc.

The help desk is a joke! Customer service non-existent and I have a business service!

Enough is enough! Comcast provides dedicated business service 24x7. To hell with SBC, they are simply TERRIBLE! And SBC, get rid of your offshore customer support or we can find an alternative with REAL AMERICANS running the support centers!


June 1, 2006 02:55 PM

The whole idea of offering lower rates to new customers and screwing existing DSL customers is just plain discrimination. There must be some grounds for class action suit. Existing customers are willing to enter into any contract they offer to new customers, if they would only offered them.

My contract is about to expire this month and I am reading everything I can here to figure out how to get the deal I rightly deserve.


June 8, 2006 06:35 PM

Same here on the DSL rebate. Have been calling every month for 6 months but to no avail. I hate this company and cannot wait until wi-fi or some other company can come in and take it down. Any actually get a check???

jim herzoff

June 13, 2006 12:28 AM

SBC offered me a higher speed connection for 17.99 a month. Then told me I was at the end of the line so I couldn't receive the dsl pro. S o instead of offering me the same speed I have at the 17.99 rate, they are going to raise my rate. What is up with this company. I could cancel send back the dsl wait 5 days resign and get it for 12.95. I am more mad then anything else. This is no way to treat a loal customer.


June 16, 2006 02:00 PM

Same happened to me, no modem rebate check! - HATE SBC!


June 16, 2006 04:11 PM

Much like the author, I signed up for SBC Pro service. I tested the service using DSLReports and found I was getting on Basic level speed. I called SBC Tech Support and they confirmed that I had the wrong speeds. Here's where it gets weird: they shunted me to customer support. The support woman insisted that I had the right plan. I had her conference in tech support (again) and they confirmed again that I had the wrong speed. Her response was to suggest that I downgrade the service! When I asked what to do when I didn't want to downgrade (but actually receive the Pro service) she hung up on me. A second call produced a rep who said fixing the problem 'looked tricky'. He suggested I just cancel.

So that's what I did. I called Comcast and I was unexpectedly impressed - a friendly rep picked up right away and re-provisioned my service in 15 minutes. They gave me a 4mb connection for $19.95 per month - just slightly more than SBC's 3mb 'Pro' connection.

Anyway, spare yourself the hassle. Just call Comcast. If SBC's reps are encouraging people to downgrade or cancel, they're simply not interested in customer retention.


June 27, 2006 05:46 PM

I had this same problem with SBC. In the end, the only way I was able to secure my rebate is by calling the California Consumer Protection Agency, whose contact details can be found on your SBC bill. I spoke to the CCPA, they opened a case, gave me somebody at SBC to talk to, and the next thing I knew, my account had been credited the amount of the rebate. No check ever came from the rebate office. In fact, I don't believe SBC has a rebate office that issues checks.


June 28, 2006 01:11 AM

After the merger of SBC-AT&T, they lost all my faxes from my fax service company. The fax service company reps were very patient with me and we tested my and yahoo email accounts--No luck. Then we tested the fax (in pdf format via email) through my hotmail account. Bom! It worked.

Given my recent experience after sbc-AT&T merger (DSL didn't work at all--spent 3 to 5 minutes to get connected, then the connection only lasted for about 2 minutes practically all day). When DSL wasn't working, sbc-AT&T reps told me that there was an outage going on and that they were updating their network etc. So I had to wait. Then after DSL started to work again, their via voice message asked me to call back. Then they said there was no outage or system upgrading at all.

As customers, we need to form an association and go after these bully companies.

Shaodoe McClure

July 4, 2006 12:33 AM

I have been running SBC Yahoo! DSL for almost a year now. The only complaint I have is their modem. They sent me a "crippled" Siemens Speed Stream 4100 modem\router in the mail. I never had the rebate issue, they just gave me the modem. I cannot upgrade the firmware in my modem to un-cripple it. It is also really bad about freezing up and not communicating with my router. They intentally wrote the firmware to do this. I went out and bought a Linksys Dsl modem to go with my Linksys Firewall DSL/Broadband router (BEFSX41). It took me forever to get it going. I am a Network Tech and know that there should be no differnce in the modems to the DSLAM unit, but they had locked me out! It took me four days to get the problem fixed. No one knew how, it just "appeared to be working". I looked at the modem, and sure enough, it was logged in and working. I have never been getting close to advertised speeds in my area. I am on the 384KBps/1.5 Mbps plan. My modem says that I am connected at 384KBps, but I can only run at around 165KBps. I think it is my location. Back when I was on Comcast though (left because of $50 internet), I got 2MBps or more. Just a fyi to everyone complaining about the lower rate for new customers- It is only to attract new customers and usually only last 3-4 months. Unfortunitly for me I live in an area surrounded by Monopolys. Comcast controlls all cable, SBC is the only one that offers DSL. Tired of almost $130/month for basic cable and internet, I switched my phone to SBC so I could get DSL. I don't pay that much more for phone, and my DSL rates are around $20/month. I then really stuck it to Comcast and shut down my services with them and went to Dish Network. I now pay about $30 for that. I hate both Comcast and SBC, but for now, I havn't much choice. :(


July 8, 2006 02:51 AM

I was recently moving out to California.
I was looking for the best consistant internet sevice in the area. I read this page, and I must say, I am very greatful for this page. I was just about to sign a contract with SBC then, I read this page, so I spent about 15-20 min. reading through it all, when I saw a lot of the problems I have seen here. I got the local cable company number (from a comrecial) and they let me try 30 days free with install. I was amazed when what they advertized was true. So, I kept the service, and have loved it sence. BTW, They advertized up to 6 Mbps, and I haven't ran slower then 6.5Mbps. I have had to call Customer Service one time and I was on hold for no more than 30 sec. So, ya, I am jockin' 'em, I can't help it.
(BTW, I love my Comcast, no problems ever)


July 12, 2006 09:42 AM

I don't know if this is the place to be asking this, but i wanna give it a shot......... i have sbc dsl and i keep getting randomly disconnected and reconnect to 32kbps... and it's really pissin' me off.. can anyone give me to a clue why it's doing this?? is it me or the sbc?? =/

r weadock

July 16, 2006 11:29 PM

Office of the Attorney General
PO Box 30213-7713
Consumer Protection Division
Lansing MI 48909
Ref. AG# 200605988 - SBC Long Distance

Michigan Public Service Commission
Customer Intake Center
P.O. Box 30221
Lansing MI 48909

Roger Kahn
State Representative
(via e-mail)

This is an amendment to my previous allegation of fraud by the SBC Long Distance LLC d/b/a of AT&T Long Distance, in a letter dated April 11, 2006.

This amendment applies to another division of SBC/AT&T, the “AT&T Yahoo! High Speed Internet Rebate” program.

On January 29, 2006, I ordered the “SBC Yahoo! DSL Express Package online (, which included a FREE DSL Gateway modem. There were two choices, a wired modem for $49.99, or a WIRELESS modem for $79.99. The screens all indicated that the modem selected was subject to a mail-in rebate, and did not differentiate between the two models regarding the amount of the rebate.

I selected the $79.99 Wireless modem, and eventually, after numerous phone calls, received a check for $49.99.

Details of the transaction and followup are as follows:

1. The “Checkout - Order confirmation screen, a copy of which is attached, reads:

SBC Wireless Gateway with Mail-in Rebate, Quantity 1, One Time Charge*: $79.99

Note the asterisk (*) accompanying the One Time Charge. There are 3 footnotes under the “*”, none of which make any reference to the amount of the rebate or any limitation on the amount of same.

2. The Packing Slip, which accompanied the modem, contains a section called “Rebate Information”, which states:
1. Affix the peel-off Rebate Activation Sticker at the right to the designated gray area on the yellow postcard.
2. Make a photocopy of this coupon for your records.
3. Apply appropriate postage to return postcard, and mail.
Visit our rebate status web page at or call 800-228-5015. You will need the following information to use the site.
Order Number: 100395-7099355-1
Shipping ZIP Code: 48638
DSL TN: 9897923174

Once again, there is no mention of any limitation on the amount of the Rebate.

3. The yellow mail-in postcard contains the following statements under the heading “Terms and Conditions” that may be pertinent to the current fraud claim:
A. Customers are not eligible to receive both an instant credit and rebate that would exceed total purchase price of equipment and account must not be in delinquent status.
(There was NO instant credit applicable to this order - “Billing begins when your SBC Yahoo! DSL is activated.” Monthly charges are included with my monthly telephone bill, which is not now nor ever has been in delinquent status.)
B. Rebate check will be mailed to the SBC billing address within 10-12 weeks of filing for your rebate.
(The yellow postcard was mailed 2/2/2006 and the Rebate Center has acknowledged that it was posted to their system on 2/17/2006. The rebate check for $49.99 was dated 6/12/2006, nearly four months after receipt being acknowledged by SBC/AT&T, and only after several followup phone calls to the rebate center (see below).)
C. Disputes regarding rebates can be handled by calling 800-228-5015.
(See attempt at resolving shortage below.)

4. On 5/13/2006, I accessed the “Rebate Status Web Page” at www. as directed.
The response was:
We’re sorry, but we were unable to find any rebate claims matching the information you provided. Please make sure the information is correct and try again. ......
If you were unable to find your rebate status and you submitted your rebate form more than 4 weeks ago, please call 1-800-228-5015.

5. At 4:45 pm on 5/13/2006, I called the above number. The clerk told me he would have to e-mail his supervisor and that I should call back in about a week to find out status of rebate. When I asked the clerk why they made it so difficult to get the rebate, or even any information about its status, he told me it was because they didn’t want to send out the money.

6. At 10:00 am on 5/31/2006, I again called the AT&T rebate center in Utah and spoke to “Monica”. She confirmed that the rebate application had been entered into their system at the rebate center on 2/17/2006, but that the rebate center was waiting for “SBC to download unspecified information into the AT&T rebate system”. She told me that she would ‘escalate’ a request to SBC to send the required information. I should call back in 2 more weeks.

7. I received a check from AT&T for $49.99, $30.00 less than the cost of the modem, dated 6/12/2006.

8. I called the rebate center once agin to take advantage of the dispute procedure outlined in the yellow postcard (See 3.C. above) and spoke to a “Jenny”. She told me that the rebate center only sends out $49.99 rebate checks. I asked her to direct me to a place on the Internet screens that I used to order the service where the maximum amount of the equipment rebate was $49.99, even if the $79.99 modem was selected. After placing me on hold for several minutes, she admitted that she was unable to find any reference to such a limitation.

Therefore, as a result of this experience, I am further alleging fraud on the part of SBC/AT&T, by
a) unnecessarily complicating and obfuscating information,
b) their failure to carry out their commitment to process the rebate in a timely fashion (“10-12 weeks”) without having to make numerous phone calls,
c) to deliberately fail to make the rebate status available online as advertised, and
d) to shortchange the amount of the rebate by $30.00 without publishing any limitation on the amount of the rebate.

As a remedy for this blatant fraud, I am requesting that SBC/AT&T immediately refund the $30.00 balance of the promotional rebate.

Copies of pertinent documents are attached.

Very truly yours,

ethopia jackson

August 15, 2006 10:38 PM

i'm trying to find my rebate check that i haven't received yet

SBC sucks

August 16, 2006 12:58 PM

This rebate stuff is a bunch of baloney. Each time you call they tell you that they will do something and to "call back in 2 to 3 weeks" to check the status of it. You wait and call back just to have them tell you the same thing, "call back in 2 to 3 weeks." Then they tell you that a manager will be calling you back in 24 to 48 hours, that's hogwash. They never call. You just call back and they tell you that the other CSR never inputted anything into the system. I bet you it's some call center somewhere where they don't even have computers, they just try to make you feel better and tell you anything you want to hear. "I'm sorry for the inconvenience sir, a supervisor will be in touch with you in 24 to 48 hours." I don't know of any company that doesn't have supervisors available right away. What do they do, hand the supervisors a huge list of numbers that they need to contact? He would be at it all day. I've called SBC so many times that they should put me on the payroll. We should do something about this, it's clear they wont. Has anybody ever been successfull at this. Maybe there is some direct number or internal number that somebody can post so that we can all call it and at least piss somebody off. Anybody that works there and has any part of this SCAM should be ashamed. Do something about it if you do work there, make a difference. The first chance I get I'm turning my back on SBC, damn contract. I am also telling everyone I know not to hook up with SBC.

John Ehrhart

August 18, 2006 06:50 PM

I have had SBC Pro for a couple of years with no problems until a couple of months ago. Now am getting logged off quite often, freezes sometimes and cannot get into my e-mail except after numerous tries. Logging on sometimes a recent problem.

Inquired with tech support by e-mail as to whether they were having congestion problems. I was told there are no peak demand congestion problems. Was given a list of optimization steps etc... Did not make any difference. Went on-line and looked for SBC problem articles through the Yahoo browser. Only found one. Looked through Google and found a bunch; they even filter out unfavorable articles. Found out that their two servers have been going to 100 percent capacity the last several months due to all the sales they have made.

Down loaded Firefox for free and zip around easily. Unfortunately locked in to SBC.

patricia lee

August 25, 2006 02:58 PM

I have never been so dissatisfied with a company in all my life. And, just for the record I am definitely not a spring chicken. I recently moved,in so doing; I called sbc to place my order two hours later the operator was speaking about all the by-law's which I have neard a hunred years ago.I was told it would take seven days to just switch a switch; no one even had to come out to the house. Then the lies began. They also informed me that my dsl would be up and running same day as phone. We had the phone on time. However, it took ten extra days for the net. My husband and I called at least 20 times speant numerous hours on the phone trying to get some professonia help.I had a trouble number, three different names and I.d. bages. etc. the list does goes on. my time is getting is short so, just trying to compact it. I also asked them to no longer take the bill amount out of my checking.Of course they assured me they wouldn't. You guessed it I just called to get a balance on my account and sure enough; they did katy board the door. this hussy is bad. Thanks for letting my vent. I think we need to start a 12 step meeting for victims of sbc and att. Very upset and let me get real i am pissed off.


September 8, 2006 04:21 PM

Want to talk about PISSED!.. I called SBC in May 2006 for a broken modem. They said they could send me the same modem for free, or I could purchase the wireless modem for $79.00 with a $49.00 rebate. Needless to say we have waited and waited since the 1st of June for this rebate. Its Sept. 8th and I just got off the phone with a rep. for SBC rebate, saying ohh on your card it says "you may be eligible" for the rebate. EXCUSE ME..but why send me a product that I didn't want in the first damn place (that doesn't work more then half the time) if I didnt think I was going to get the rebate. I tell you..these people really have a racket going BIG TIME. Needless to say.. I suppose I'm out the 50.00 extra bux I paid for the modem.


September 14, 2006 04:48 PM

I bought SBC DSL internet service with the AT&T phone service 2 weeks after I moved to my place. It needed 2 weeks because parts took a time to get by mail. Anyhow, now after 1 year I'm moving out, and my DSL one year contract goes 2 weeks into new tenant's month. I asked SBC to pay for the remaining month, but to get disconnected, and they told me there is a $200 cancellation fee !!! I asked for a written contract that sais this, and I was told that they told me this over the phone ??? during my activation, and that it sais on the installation CD, which it doesn't! One costumer service person told me that there are contract terms on att website, and there it does say this. However, I was not reffered to this contract during internet's activation.

I think that this is outrageous, and that something needs to be done. As solutions to this problem, I was offered to transfer internet to the new home (which already has RCN cable internet with no contract, but month-to-month service), but this is not a good option for me. I asked them to disconnect my phone and keep internet, because I don't mind new tenants using my intenet, just wouldn't like them to call Australia with my phone, and they cannot do this. I asked them to put a block to outbound longdistance calls from my phone, and they cannot do this either!

In my building, management (Lakeview Associates - which has dozens of buildings) has an exclusive contract with SBC eliminating any competition in its buildings. Tenants have no choice about this.

I am thinking about starting a class action against SBC. Interested people should send me an email (lakinekaki at yahoo).

p.s. I had already inconvenience with ATT cell phone service, that wanted to charge me $200 cancelation fee after my contract expired!!! They redrew this charge after I sent them a letter by mail.
I DO NOT recommend ATT or SBC to anyone (except to my enemies, which are few :).

This companies are making millions in this screwed ways, by hoping costumers won't do anything about it.

Joshua Hazel

September 21, 2006 09:14 PM

I have the 6 Mb DSL connection through SBC which is now AT&T. I get 623k/sec download and 79k/sec upload which is actually a few "k" more than expected. And all this speed for only 29.99. A T1 is half the speed and costs $399.

Donald Gothe

October 6, 2006 01:06 PM

AT&T took 2 weeks to send me my modem in the mail because THEY forgot to put my APT# on the package, but I did get my first bill before the modem. Then when I moved to an area that did not offer AT&T I cacelled service. They told me that they were going to charge me a early termination fee. I told them that when I signed up for service the sales person told me that if I moved to an area that they did not offer service that the early termination fee did not apply. AT&T told me that was not true after the fact. I told them not to charge my card with the "auto pay", but to send me a bill. She told me that they do not charge termination fees with "auto pay". After almost 2 months with out getting a bill they charged my card $99. I called and told them the above and they AGAIN told me that what I was told was wrong. I told them they need to live up to what their reps tell customers. They told me that they did not and that is the way it was going to be.
I want to take legal action against AT&T, but do not have the resources. They will say one thing and do another and that is not right.


November 9, 2006 01:04 AM

I too was scammed by SBC on this DSL modem rebate. It's been almost a year since the so-called rebate. 6 months after mailing my rebate form, I've been calling the rebate center every month and they give me the usual "we are going to flag it for escalation" everytime. I finally got pissed and demanded to speak with a supervisor but he was busy on meetings so he will call me back within 24 to 48 hours as they promise to everyone. It's been almost 2 weeks and I have not heard from this so called "supervisor" or anybody from SBC.

I'm going to start looking for a class action lawsuit against this scam so I can sign-up. This is just bad business but unfortunately, they know we the consumers don't have much choice so they keep sticking it to our backs. The sad thing is that part of the tax I pay probably goes in building the infrastructure they use for their business.


November 9, 2006 10:55 AM

AT&T SBC Yahoo DSL scammed me for $$$. How do these people get away with this stuff. I have had this for nearly three years, the 19.95 treatment. Not paying attention to my bills I see they have charged me the $49.95 treatment for the same service for over 6 months. They say my rate was increased because I failed to answer an email from them.
Is there a class action lawsuit against them for this scam? has anyone else had any success in getting a refund? What a SLEAZE company AT&T is for treating their customers this way.


November 20, 2006 11:51 PM

Man, I couldn't agree more. Lie, then sell. Bonus.


November 22, 2006 12:09 AM

I too am not getting the minimum speeds promised from SBC. My local cable company offers tv and phone and high speed internet. I am going cable all the way. SBC can remove their lines and equipment from my home. Goodbye SBC forever.


November 28, 2006 08:42 PM

I have just gotten off with an ATT *Manager* service rep and guess what she offered me for my 8 month odyssey with ATT $28.33 Gosh at least I now know what my time is worth to ATT. But let me share with you the horror of my time with ATT/yahoo DSL techs.

Being a frugal gal I signed up with yahoo for their wonderful 12.99 DSL service. To be honest I was fine with dial up but I thought I should try and enter the modern age and at $12.99 it was worth it - or so I thought.

Everything showed up and I set everything up fine it all was looking good for about a week. Then I had intermittent service I called the tech line. Oh how I called the tech line. I spent more time chatting with my new friends in India those first few weeks than my own family. Ahh the good old days….it was just a lark then. Every since person I spoke with assured me they cared about my problem and would do everything in their power to help me, everything that is except actually take my call seriously. Not one suggested that perhaps they couldn't help me and that I might need to be kicked up a level to someone who knows more about fixing problems than plugging and unplugging things. No after a few months I lost my cool and began actually demanding some help. I requested that I be kicked up to someone who could get me real consistent service maybe even someone...dare i say it... not in India.
Apparently they juggled me to their friend in the next booth. Not one wrote up a service tag not one suggested they might send a technician over to my house. I didn't even know this was a possibility.

Months roll by I check in a few times a month when I couldn't get any service. By this time I was happy to collect my email once a day. I just thought bad service was all I deserved. July rolls around and now I am just plain mad I call and yell at my pals in India. It's not their fault and I am embarrassed, but fer crying out loud how hard can it be. If you can't fix it tell me I'll go my own way and we could still be friends ... really. No I am strung along but now they are actually writing up service tickets. Apparently about every fifth call got me a service ticket. So I have repair tickets for July Aug and Sept.

Finally in Nov THEY SEND SOMEONE OUT!!! He's there with tool belt and equipment. Be still my heart. Unfortunately my intermittent service is working for the 20 minutes he's there. So he leaves and say's everything is fine. Well it's not fine. But somebody at ATT who knew what they were doing was working and HE CALLED ME TO SAY THERE WERE PROBLEMS ON MY LINE. Oh my god I can't believe it I someone actually cared about doing a good job. I felt all warm and fussy inside. l called to request another service call (less than 24 hrs after my first one) and I am treated like a clinging vine. He is an American with an attitude and believe me not nearly as charming as my Indian friends. Basically he pings my modem and tells me everything is fine and to bug off. I play him the message from my prince charming and he scoffs wanting to know how HE would know so much. Well I insist I WANT ANOTHER GD TECH OUT THERE. So Monday comes and yes another strapping technician shows up and checks all my plugs and wires he even looks under the house and miracles of miracles he believes me. Yes Yes he will send someone to check my line Yes Yes Yes...

I get all gushy just remembering the moment I was told it wasn't my fault that indeed it could be fixed and yes first thing in the morning they would take care of it.

And they did. And it was good. I have perfect service since. No issues what so ever.

But now I am just plain pissed off. 8 months of practically NO service and I am offered by a manger customer service rep $28.33. She apparently can't prove that my service was bad enough to warrant more … again not taking me seriously.

You know what I want. I want my 8 months back. I want the excited little girl who was thrilled to have new technology at her finger tips. I want to sue the crap out of ATT. But more than that I want to dump their a** after my year is up

What I don’t understand is such bad management. They probably have spent soo much more on my problem than they have made off my pittance of $12.99 per month. You would thing they would care about keeping me on as a customer at the $29.99 rate that I would have paid once my year is up. But apparently not, apparently with us the honeymoon never even got started. We will both leave this bad relationship glad not to have suffered more than we did.

I look forward to my next DSL experience. I will be a bit more jaded and guarded but then again we all have baggage. I suspect whomever I end up with will have been down the same road. Maybe we can be truthful with each other.

I hope so.



December 6, 2006 11:07 PM

I was one of the victims of this "rebate fraud" and I actually posted a comment 5 posts above dated Nov. 9. I called again at the end of November and was finally told that I did not qualify for the rebate since I was not a new customer. This got me really upset because of the following:
1) Why didn't I get a notice about this as soon as they received my rebate claim like other companies do.
2) The customer retention replied when she told me that I will be billed for the modem but would get a rebate if I send the form. This is why I asked for a new modem and decided to renew my contract.

Since the rebate department confirmed I will not get my rebate (after getting the run-around every month that I called), I decided to file a complaint to the Public Utilities Commission's website(address is on the back of the phone bill). I received a confirmation letter from the utilities commission regarding my complaint. A week later, I received a phone call from AT&T executive office regarding my complaint and guess what. I suddenly qualified for the rebate and my check will be processed December 1st. The public Utilities Commission would get an update to my complaint if I don't get that check within 2 weeks. I'm actually willing to pay an additional $100 if persons from corporations doing this kind of scam will be put in jail.
Sure, I'll get my $50 but I'm tired of them getting away so easy everytime.


December 10, 2006 12:44 PM

I am currently embroiled in a dispute with at&t/sbc dsl due to poor service on the part of the tech's or the company. I finally had to bring my computer to a local contractor to have it fixed following hours and hours on the phone with Tier 1 then Tier 2, then Support + (which I had to pay $69.00 for) They had me making all kinds of changes, so many that some may never had returned to the normal settings, therefore, my dsl and my dialup (which had been working fine until I installed their equipment) would no longer work. They never mentioned in their sign on that their would be a charge for service if a problem occurred. I'm now requesting my money back for the Support + which they are refusing to grant. I'm attempting to get names and contact address of the various department within to file an appeal and no one will give me any contact names or addresses. I finally located the regional PR rep in Norwich, CT but have yet to hear. Risk Management out of Illinois has denied my request. Should anyone have any contacts and addresses or phone numbers to follow this process upward I would appreciate knowing what they are. Judy


January 1, 2007 03:45 PM

I have had sbc dsl for over 2 years starting the first week they offered it here. I have upgraded speed 3 times and still only pay 5 dollars more than I did initially when the (actual) speed was 1.3mbps. My (actual) speed now is 4.6mbps, which is more than fast enough for my and most peoples home use. The equipment was free if I signed up for a year, and was installed/online in about 15 minutes. Each time I upgraded they said it would take a week to be activated but was usually 2 days. And in that 2 years I have never had any downtime.... Did I mention I live out in the country about 15,000 ft from the server? Sounds to me as though you guys are either the unluckiest people on the planet or (most likely) are just a bunch of whiners that have no clue about how to run a computer and to hide your own stupidity you point the finger at the company that is offering a service that you voluntarily signed up for but can't figure out. Go back to 56k... Thats more on your level


January 2, 2007 01:08 PM

I am TOO, still waiting on my $50.00 rebate. I sent the Rebate Activation Sticker-Proof of Purchase to them on 2-10-06. I checked the online status of it, but . . . SHOCKER . . . it was unavailable. So, I made my 1st call to them on 5-11-06. They said my rebate was sent to my address in March '06. Then they proceeded to tell me that the rebate check was sent in a post card form. And because of that, it was possible that I mistakenly took it for junk mail & threw it away. So, they were going to do a stop payment & reissue a new check to me. I was supposed to get the "new" check within 3 weeks. No check as of 6-21-06, so I made my 2nd call. They showed that the only check mailed was the one in March, so they were going to make a note to expedite the 2nd check. They then told me it would take 4-6 weeks to get it. I made my 3rd call on 7-24-06. Apparently, a new check was issued, but now they said it could take up to 7 weeks to receive it. I made my 4th call on 8-29-06. This time, they told me that a check was mailed to my work home office on 3-13-06 & that it was cashed on 3-20-06. Why didn't anyone tell me this during my 1st 3 phone calls? Anyway, they were going to fax me a photocopy of the cashed check by 9-1-06. Surprise, never got a fax. I made my 5th call sometime in September of '06, but didn't document who I talked to, or the date. Shame on me, but same old stuff again. I made my 6th call on 10-10-06. This time, they were going to fax me a copy of the cashed check, & send it to me in the mail as well. Never received either. I made my 7th call on 10-19-06. I finally asked to speak with a supervisor. The rep told me that all she could do was e-mail a supervisor to call me. I said okay. The supervisor was supposed to call me within 24-48 hours. I never received a call. On 11-2-06, I sent an e-mail to customer support with all of my documentation. They did respond. They gave me a case number. They told me that the original check was cashed, & that they were looking into whether or not I was eligible for a 2nd rebate. I never got a response after that. So today, 1-2-06, I made my 8th phone call. The rep told me the same old stuff. That she could have a supervisor call me. That she could send me a copy of the cashed check. I just lost it with her. I told her that I was so sick & tired of all these false promises. So, I sent another e-mail today. Who knows if or what kind of a response I'm going to get. This is my deal. I work out of my house for a company. The company pays my office phone bills. However, I pay for my internet services. SBC/ATT-whatever they are now, takes $44+ a month out of my own personal checking account for internet charges. The rebate sticker (which I kept a copy of)clearly shows my home address on it. It is not my fault that they sent the rebate to the wrong address. And it is not my responsibility to go to my home office and ask them for the $50.00 (if they did indeed cash the original check-which I'll never know). The check should've been sent to me. They sure don't have a problem taking the $ out of MY account monthly! When I sent them the e-mail today, I attached a copy of the rebate sticker I have. And just for the record, 2 of my neighbors never received their $50.00 rebates either. Unfortunately, they just gave up. As I stated in my e-mail today . . . the common person is drawn to this service with the expectation of receiving a rebate. What a horrible scam. The common man doesn't stand a chance against a big business such as SBC/ATT!

Sarah Smith

January 22, 2007 05:52 PM

I have been waiting on my $99 rebate check for about six months. If someone gets up a class action suit, please contact me!


February 13, 2007 05:47 PM

I have been waiting for the last 1 year for the $49.99 rebate for my modem. I used to call almost every month to inquire about it and I get an assurance that I am going to get it in a few business days. Earlier one GREAT representative told me there's some discrepancy in my account even though I have been paying my bills regularly. When I spoke to another rep the same day after a few minutes, he said there's no such discrepancy. God knows whats going on.

Q Nguyen

February 22, 2007 05:42 PM

I have been waiting for the $50 rebate for my modem for more than 8 months. ATT customer care keeps asking me to wait for the next two weeks since my case has been escalated. I'm so tired with ATT!

Take Action

February 23, 2007 03:56 PM

I urge you all except dear ole "Ben at January 1, 2007 03:45 PM" to file a complaint with the attorney general (not just a local town's states attorney)in your state. When enough complaints are received, somebody will either take action, or else you can all notify your local newspaper editors about the problems and the lack of support from the attorney general's office in your state. Publicize the problems. Wishing you all, except ole Ben, the best of success!

Marc Downes

April 5, 2007 10:56 AM

Another unhappy SBC or is it ATT DSL user (or non user)
In the summer of 2006 we ordered a DSL to a Marina slip.
Service was terrible and the only way we got the install guy finally here was to chase down a Service Van on the street who kindly radiod in through back channels (no pun intended) to get a service rep.
Installation sign of anyone
Following week showed up and installed outlet in a weird location...why make appoitments!!!
Recieved and installed equipment...yeah we had service day later no or intemittent DSL service...repeated calls to service line....

Technician after technician after service rep god i was sent from CT to Calcutta to IL to CT ...half the time spent was repeating the same info over and over again even though most of it was also punched in through my cell phone key pad.......
Service is up
Service is down...
now here is the irony.....they sent the bills to the marina location home address given to them via phone and via a credit check was never billed......bills were returned to sender...i never recieved here we are on the phone now with the new Friendly AT&T rep....yeAH RIGHT.....THEY WANT $611...FOR ALL THE BILLS AND CANCELLATION FEES......

Commisioner here i com


April 9, 2007 01:03 PM

Well... hmmm I just got off the phone with sbc... and Yeah they told me they were gonna charge me $60 dollars for a tech to check their own equpment... They wanted a tech to come out to check the dsl signal on their own equipment? I don't understand this...

I told the service lady... She gives me a long story about if I bought a refrigerator, and the freezer broke and called the service dept. I would have to pay for the tech.... Yes I agree that is true... but she's comparing apples and oranges... If at all the scenario she should've told me was sbc is a like a limo service, If at any point I'm in the limo and the limo breaks down and one of their limo techs come and fix it, the limo break down charge is not billed to me that is the responsibility of the limo company...

So I refuse to pay for the tech to check their own equipment... So my next question is does sbc do maintenance on their own equipment and send the charge to the house that is linked to that pole? Talk about piss poor customer service...


April 28, 2007 10:22 PM

Well I have one way to fight back, and EVERYONE must also do this, or it won't work. It's the only way, the sure way.
Drop your silly high speed worthless internet, drop worthless telemarketer filled phone service, turn off your commercial-filled PAY for TV cable.
Simple, yes there may be withdrawal, but trust me, you won't die from it, it is quite harmless.
And you know what IT FEELS GOOD !! I know, I did it, and as of Monday, I will not be able to read all this BS on the internet. Bub Bye Comcast, Talk America, and all the rest of the crappy greedy worthless things in my life.
Turn BUSH into bio fuel.
Ah bliss...


May 20, 2007 05:03 AM

I was sent two SBC (siemens 4100 dsl) modems, and both were bad. No lights come on but smells burnt after turning on power switch. Is there a recall on these? My ZyXel earthlink modem works fine.

Dawn Chevoya

May 21, 2007 02:25 PM

Count me in as another victim of the ATT/SBC modem rebate scam. They told me on my first call that the rebate 'Was not received within the 90 days". I have saved all of my photocopied documentation and further conversation revealed they "Had not ever received the form and paperwork from me." I asked to speak with a supervisor. I too was told I would receive a call within 72 hours bla bla bla. Fist of all I thought it was strange how quickly the CSR told me it was not received within the 90 days...almost like it was a scripted pat answer.
I will be looking into a class action especially after reading of so many similar experiences with this company!

former SBC 2-wire user

May 24, 2007 11:25 PM

I obtained SBC/ATT DSL service at the end of jan. after having the earlier 2-wire service a few years ago. I have both the wireless router and a dumb modem so when the service rep wanted to send me a DSL modem with that rebate I refused and so avoided any problems with the 'free' $12.95 S&H and the rebate

I was promised the monthly charge would be ~ $33. but the actual charge is ~ $44 with added fee's, taxes, etc. I suspected it would be higher..

I've used both the modem and the router which gives detailed info on the connection - max speed, error counts, etc

I've had 'basic' DSL service for about 4 months and the connection has dropped a few times usually only a matter of seconds but once for a few minutes. the speed is almost always as promised (384 up/768 down) but I have noticed some congestion during day & evening hours on download but not upload (I run bittorrent constantly along with downloads from usenet, etc)

I picked only basic service because the upload rate is more important then the download rate and it would have been much more expensive to even get 512 up - the ratio of this basic DSL service is only 2:1 which is good for torrents

other than some DSL leakage on the line which a tech took care of the first few days as he was testing/provisioning the DSL and some ground leakage which causes a minor humming on the phone that I haven't called about to have corrected (because I rarely use the phone and you can only hear it anyway with the receiver volume turned up - not on a normal phone which the tech would use to listen to the line and so probably wouldn't hear it) I've been pretty happy with the DSL service. I'm definitely getting my $ 14.99 worth with all the torrents I do - a few GB a day at least...

the phone is a different story as I hardly use it - they require it to get the $14.99 DSL.. If I could I would have just DSL on a 'dry line' but then DSL is $29.99

I was getting calls to the last person who had the number and TELEMARKETERS but I put the number in the national 'do not call' list and now only get an occasional call which I ignore - don't answer until the 6'th ring or pickup and don't say anything (they can only ring 4 times and have to disconnect in 15 seconds at no reply)

so the only complaints I have are the DSL should be the same price on a dry line and they should give a more accurate estimate of how much the actual bill will be

I don't have any complaints with the actual service - the speed is nearly always maximum excepting normal internet congestion. I run traceroutes both outward and inward and see a bit of congestion in the local VLAM sometimes - the first few hops of the SBC network but nothing serious, 50-60 ms compared to an optimal 38 ms, and sometimes further in like dallas which I've also seen with cable. I like DSL more than cable which often becomes very congested during peak hours, is far more asymmetric, more expensive and cox is nosey to boot - they actually spy on their customers while SBC only does a little (my firewall reports hits from NOC's and internal network nodes according to traceroute - much worse with cable, only a few pings here & there from SBC which I block anyway)


May 27, 2007 07:41 PM

wow..I was about to order dsl service from sbs,when I came across this article, and after reading ALL the stories,I'm having second thoughts;perphaps I'll stick to my dial up


June 4, 2007 03:13 PM

I too been having the problem with the $50.00 rebate. I have done called them 3 or more times. The first time they said my post office sent it back to them. They also keep putting me off by saying they're going to mail it out. But I wait the 2 weeks and nothing comes and I call again and get the same result. I've been waiting since April 2007 and as of now this is June 2007.


June 19, 2007 11:51 PM

i too have been waiting for both a $50 modem rebate and a $75 Visa gift card for signing up for DSL Pro. I SIGNED UP ON JANUARY 20, 2007---IT IS WAY PAST THE 10-12 WEEKS. I have called twice a month for 3 months, only to be told the "mail is running slower than usual" and that instead of waiting 2-3 weeks, I shoudl wait 4-6 weeks for my check to arrive. Well, it's been 25 weeks already and no success.

If anyone knows of a class action suit, please let me know!


July 5, 2007 02:58 AM

SBC is nothing but garbage..period. The only person you have to blame for the problems you will have with this service is yourself. Go away. Do not use their service..period, end of problem.


July 6, 2007 07:05 PM

Add me to the list of people who have been scammed out of the $50 rebate for signing up for AT&T DSL. (Technically, the rebate was $49.99 for purchasing AT&T's wireless gateway.)

First, they sent me an Ethernet modem, rather than the wireless gateway (which I can prove that I ordered). No prob. I had to ship it back, and they sent me the right equipment, both within a few days, so this was a minor annoyance UNTIL 3 weeks later when they charged me over $200 for BOTH initial customer kits.

When I called, they admitted that they had received the original incorrect package that I had returned and that I was now being incorrectly charged for, but they encouraged me to pay the total bill anyway, and promised to refund the overcharges. They said this was so that I could avoid having my account flagged with a "billing dispute". OK, so it took them a couple months to refund the money, but, hey, I'm a rich retiree who can afford to float AT&T a short-term no-interest loan, right?

Now for the kicker: they denied my rebate for my wireless gateway because they said I had a "billing dispute" for the bogus charges that they had subjected me to. When I talked to them about this in March (we're now up to 3 months elapsed time after my rebate request), a very pleasant woman told me that it was all a big mistake, and that I *would* get a rebate. She even gave me a tracking code. Last time I checked, it said my rebate for $0.00 had been cancelled. It *used* to say $49.99.

I followed up with certified mail, since talking on the phone obviously doesn't do any good, but I never heard anything from them (after 2 more 6 months elapsed after my rebate request).

So I'm not wasting any more time on this, but I *will* hurt them. They apparently misunderstand the fact that rebate scams are profitable only if you're selling one-offs with respect to the cheated customer, and you don't plan to sell anything to them in the future. If you're scamming someone like me who's already paying you over $100/month for *services*, however, you're just an imbecile.

They may be calling themselves AT&T now, but, trust me, as someone who's lived with Southwestern Bell for the length of their existence, to riff on their inane, semantically-challenged, slogan announcing the Cingular-to-AT&T name change, I fear that "SBC is the new AT&T". SBC has regularly scammed Texans, (and others as the company grew, I'm sure). *This* will be the new AT&T, so beware.

As for me: AT&T in their various flavors has been my *only* communications provider since I established my own household decades ago. But because they screwed me out of 50 bucks, this will now no longer be true. I'm examining all my communication services to look for alternatives.

I'll start by immediately cancelling AT&T cell service, since that's the easiest to replace. (I've been their cell customer for over 10 years, so I have definitely fulfilled my contract obligations.)

I won't get the $50 they owe me, but *they* will *lose* it within a month...and continue to lose it, and more, forever, month after month, year after year, since I will *never* use them again for cell service. I was paying for way more cell service than I used anyway, so they have made a *really* dumb business move by cheating me. Idiots.

(Oh, and I'll definitely file complaints with the BBB, FTC and TX AG, too, and encourage anyone else who's been cheated to do the same.)


August 29, 2007 11:38 PM

Dennis, I hope you check up on your post (a few months old), but try calling SBC/AT&T's Executive Appeals and explain the rebate problem. They can probably issue a credit if you still use AT&T landline. Call Billing, and ask for Executive Appeals.

Several years ago, I noticed that I was not getting the speed that I paid for. The cheap rate was 0.7 to 1.5 Mbps speed, the middle rate was 1.5 to 3.0 Mbps, and the most expensive rate - mine - was 1.5 to 6.0 Mbps speeds. My installation was at an unmanned location (just backup servers), so I did not notice until 7 or 8 months later that I was only getting up to 1.5 Mbps (1.2 with network overhead), even through tech support and customer service showed the account was a 6.0 Mbps account.

It ended up being a misconfiguration at a network ops center that physically capped the circuit at 1.5 Mbps for whatever reason (beyond Level 2 support apparently), which may be the same 90-10 issue in this Business Week article.

After resolving the speed problem, I called for a refund of the over-billing. One technician said since it was "up to 1.5" Mbps (0.7 to 1.5 Mbps), it satisfied the 1.5 to 6.0 Mbps criteria, so no refund. How unethical! Why have a 0.7 to 1.5 plan, a 1.5 to 3.0 plan, and 1.5 to 6.0 plan, that are all capped at 1.5 with no chance of getting over 1.5? That's like buying 12, 32, 44 and 64 ounce sodas at a drive-through, but all are really just 10 ounces of drink and the rest being only different amounts of ice.

My complaint to Billing resulted in the billing supervisor wanting to negotiate how much to refund. Again, how unethical! They overcharged me, and only wanted to refund a portion of it.

I finally reached Executive Appeals, and was assigned an agent. It took a while, but I got the full amount as a credit to my account.

But I decided to downgrade to the cheaper 1.5 to 3.0 Mbps plan. Seeing how my credit balance would last for 7 or 8 months, I asked for a refund check. They already borrowed my money for 7 or 8 months, and I was not interested in letting them borrow it for another 7 or 8 months interest-free.

It took several months to mail my check. But get this. Right after they mailed the check, I am then charged for late fees even though I had a credit balance for several months prior. No idea why, but my guess is that their system did not show any real payments for several months (duh, it was a credit balance!), and automatically retroactively charged late fees. A call back to my Executive Appeals agent quickly resolved that.

Eleanor M Schwartz

December 16, 2007 11:15 AM

Can't get through to any one with the phone numbers given to me to call when I have installed DSL to confirm for my rebate how do I know if this is taken care of? Thank you

Non SBC user

February 11, 2008 11:50 AM

Once I part company with blood sucking phone companies, cable companies, and who ever else wants to loose my business I never go back to them; and I mean never! Especialy SBC, I know stupidos that went back to em only to get screewed again with huge bills and stickings in the rear, you know where you can go!

emma barr

March 1, 2008 02:30 PM

sbc was to send me a rebate check for my dsl well it is 7 months later call after call and i have been told its on its way.and still no rebate.

quency hampton

July 28, 2008 09:33 AM




August 13, 2008 12:34 AM

I have had sbc dsl since 2004 with slow speed being my only complaint until June of this year. I have been on the phone at least 3 times a week since then. Intermittantly I would lose my dsl. I called sbc and finally after throwing a hissy fit they sent out a lineman, who said the line outside and inside were fine, all connections fine. I then replaced my router, no improvement after serval calls to sbc tech support(i think i know more than they do). Next I asked if it could be my modem, i was informed it was out of warranty and would have to pay 50 bucks for a new one plus 12.95 shipping. I hit the ceiling and they finally said they would replace the modem at no charge except shipping. I got the new modem, and within an hour of install my dsl light was red for 20 minutes. I have a brand new aspire laptop and took it in to be looked at in case it was my nic, it was fine of course. After over two months of this crap and being mad everyday when the dsl was down, I have gotten Mediacom cable, it is wonderful!!

SBC tried talking me into not cancelling and offered to lower my monthly payment to 12.95 a month for 6 months., I told them no way was I ever going through this mess of a dsl service with them again.

I have no idea what their problem is, but it was none of my wiring or my peripherals. I think they are getting overloaded and no one gets speeds that they are told they will get, and then on top of it all the dsl is out of sync all the time.


October 21, 2008 12:15 PM

I start using my PC around 7:00 every morning.My DSL is working fine.Then between 9:00 and 10:00 AM my DSL light starts blinking red.This happens every morning so I know the DSL lines are just getting loaded down.I know that At&t in my area just have to many subscribers for there equiptment to handle.I have to keep resetting my 2 wire modem all day.Every time I get a service person out thy make a phone call and every thing gets ok for a few weeks.One of the service people told me what thy were doing was slowing down my DSL speed.He suggested I call in and subscribe to the next lower speed because I was not getting the speed I was paying for anyway.My DSL speed is just about on par now with dial up.


February 9, 2009 03:45 PM

Since January I have had ATT DSL and purchased the Motorola modem, for which I was supposed to be able to get a rebate. I have not been able to find any information on the rebate online. Can you direct me to where I maybe able to find the form or information on the rebate.

Thank you

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BusinessWeek writers Peter Burrows, Cliff Edwards, Olga Kharif, Aaron Ricadela, Douglas MacMillan, and Spencer Ante dig behind the headlines to analyze what’s really happening throughout the world of technology. One of the first mainstream media tech blogs, Tech Beat covers everything from tech bellwethers like Apple, Google, and Intel and emerging new leaders such as Facebook to new technologies, trends, and controversies.



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