Home Web information AT&T failed to fix faulty Ohio man’s internet service for a month

AT&T failed to fix faulty Ohio man’s internet service for a month


Ohio resident John Sopko had to go a month without his AT&T fixed wireless internet service because the company repeatedly failed to diagnose and fix the problem, the Akron reported today. Beacon Journal. AT&T finally discovered this week that the antenna on Sopko’s roof was broken and needed to be replaced, but not before a series of support calls and visits from technicians.

Sopko said he is not a big internet user but his girlfriend and 17-year-old son are. The son has been “with his grandmother for four days later. [the outage] started because he needs it for school, ”Sopko said. Sopko’s home is in or near an area where AT&T has received funding from the U.S. government to deploy the service.

Sopko’s service ceased to operate on October 30. Restarting the modem did nothing, so he called AT & T’s service phone number and “followed the instructions to restart the system.” It hasn’t done anything yet, so AT&T sent a technician home to Akron, but the technician simply repeated the steps Sopko had already taken, according to the report:

“He went to turn everything off and plug it back in,” Sopko said. Same result: no connection.

AT&T sent a second technician on November 8. “He did the same,” Sopko said. “He said it was an engineering problem and he was going to send an email.”

No more frustration, no explanation from AT&T

Sopko did not hear back from AT&T, so he called the company back a few days after the technician’s second visit, according to the Beacon Journal article. “They said they were ‘fixing’ and it would come back in a few hours,” he told the newspaper.

The service did not come back online after a few hours and Sopko said he had to “hunt” them again because AT&T had not called him back. He was finally able to make an appointment with a technician for November 23. But that day, “he received another text, confirming a date for November 26th. A text from November 26th confirmed an appointment from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. he may not have responded to this text in time, so a new appointment has been set for December 3, “the newspaper reported.

The Beacon Journal report continued:

Sopko called the service line again on November 26, speaking to a customer representative. “I don’t want to be mean to you,” he told the rep. “But this has been going on for 28 days now. Why?”

The representative could not give a solid answer, which further frustrated Sopko. “I am buying a product that I cannot use,” he said. “Tell me lightning struck a tower; tell me something. “

AT&T government funding

Finally, Sopko was contacted on Tuesday of this week by an AT&T representative, and the company sent what Sopko called a “more advanced technician” to his home on Wednesday. The technician tested the antenna, found that it was not working, and replaced it.

“This ‘antenna’ was a fixed wireless unit that the company had installed about a year and a half earlier. The units are primarily used in rural areas where wired lines are not in place,” the Beacon Journal noted.

Ohio is one of 18 states where AT&T has received $ 428 million from the Federal Communications Commission per year for seven years starting in 2015 to deploy 10 Mbps Internet using fixed wireless technology to 1.1 million homes and small businesses. It is not clear if Sopko’s home is counted in this deployment, but his address on East Voris Street is very close to other Akron properties where the FCC map shows an AT&T-sponsored deployment.

AT&T is still trying to ‘determine what happened’

Sopko “received an invoice Tuesday for a month of service he did not get,” but then received invoice credits “and a gift card for his problems,” reported the Beacon Journal. AT&T told the newspaper that “our technicians have restored Mr. Sopko’s Internet service and he is satisfied.”

We asked AT&T why it took a month to diagnose and fix the problem. The company did not explain itself but said it was investigating the matter.

“Obviously, this is not an acceptable customer experience and does not meet our expectations of how we serve our customers,” AT&T told Ars today. “We have apologized to Mr Sopko and credited his account. We are reviewing this matter to determine what happened and to prevent it from happening again.”