TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: AT&T Billing Us For MDNS Account Closed Three Years Ago

Re: AT&T Billing Us For MDNS Account Closed Three Years Ago

Bill Mayhew (
Wed, 18 Jan 2006 00:37:44 -0500

Indeed, AT&T's attitude of, "the customer is always wrong," would
certainly sway any recommendations I would make regarding from whom
our company should purchase datacom services. This fact, of course,
has been expressed to AT&T's sales representatives, but they to date
have been unable and/or unwilling to leverage any back office
departments to assist with our spurious billing problem.

I have asked for records, billing tapes, or whatever they would be
called, from the Frame-Relay switch that show frame counts for the
circuit in question and also whether LMI (Local Management Interface)
data were being returned back from the router supposedly connected at
our end of the virtual circuit [that had been disconnected and removed
years ago]. I called the AT&T customer support center and asked for
the information, but was told that it was not available. This seems
odd, since this was a, "Managed Network Data Services," Frame-Relay
facility, thus this information would have been required for AT&T to
prove it was meeting its service level agreement for the facility.

I am a technical person, not a book keeper, but as far as I know, we
have had no success in getting AT&T to stop sending bills for the non
existent service. What I am looking for is the magic phrase to say,
office inside AT&T for their billing dispute people to contact, or
whatever can explain the situation to them in terms they can

I am flabbergasted how clueless, unhelpful and unfriendly AT&T treats
its customers. The absorption of AT&T into SBC has only aggravated
the situation, as what's left of AT&T is able to hide behind SBC. The
re-merger of AT&T and SBC proves the validity of Judge Green's 1984
MFJ breaking them up in the first place. It is like some sort of evil
hydra re-assembling itself.

As a separate company, AT&T as an inter exchange carrier was
vulnerable if it provided lousy service -- MCI or whomever could swoop
in and get business. SBC is lobbying hard to get rid of equal access
rules, and force out other local exchange carriers so they'll be the
only game in town if you want a local loop -- and who doesn't (unless
you have a satellite downlink). So it looks like we're headed back to
the bad old days all over again. The only other infrastructure
alternative where we are located is Adelphia cable, and they aren't
able to provision business grade datacom service over the cable plant
in this area.

Where it stands right now is that we've explained the situation to the
Ohio PUC, and they're investigating. With no current contract or
evidence that AT&T was delivering any tangible service, hopefully the
situation is obvious to the people investigating at the PUC and they
hold a big enough stick to get a resolution.

Bill Mayhew < (removethis)> wrote in message

> Dear telecom readers,

> The SBC merger hasn't helped any either. I tried calling many of the
> contact numbers on the AT&T web site. They seem to have all been
> absorbed into SBC, and any customer-facing contact points sound like
> they are being relayed to off-shore call centers by low quality
> voice-over-IP. I'm wondering just how low they can lower the bar for
> customer service!

> Thanks for any assistance,

> Bill

> [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: Are you using AT&T for anything at all
> these days, or at least anything which cannot be swapped out to some
> other carrier? Unless your company is in a position to toss 'multiple
> tens of thousands of dollars' (your wording) at AT&T every year or
> so, my suggestion would be to drop them entirely; calculate a final
> billing due as you can best estimate it; send them a final payment
> marked 'payment in full' and let it go at that. Believe me, they will
> contact you soon enough. At the very least, quit paying the disputed
> charges once and for all; let _them_ get after you when they
> eventually decide they want their money. PAT]

Post Followup Article Use your browser's quoting feature to quote article into reply
Go to Next message: DevilsPGD: "Re: AT&T Billing Us For MDNS Account Closed Three Years Ago"
Go to Previous message: Seth Breidbart: "Re: In With the New E-Mail, Out With the Old"
May be in reply to: Bill Mayhew: "AT&T Billing Us For MDNS Account Closed Three Years Ago"
Next in thread: DevilsPGD: "Re: AT&T Billing Us For MDNS Account Closed Three Years Ago"
TELECOM Digest: Home Page