Not to be outdone by other nationwide companies offering internet, television and telephone all in a bundled service, AT&T introduced their U-verse product. This service is provided through a fiber-to-node, or fiber to premise network available to about 20 million people in the U.S. Since bundling all these services into one takes a well coordinated effort, AT&T has not been without problems in its implementation.
- Slow internet – One complaint is from customers who previously had AT&T DSL and switched to the new U-verse, which resulted in slower internet speeds of up to 30% .
- TV not user friendly – Customers find the television system very cumbersome and hard to navigate through the program guide. Instead of having the 200 channels, they subscribe to all in one place, they’re scattered throughout all 2000.
- Hard to call customer service – When people try to call customer service they are routed through the main AT&T phone system and have a hard time reaching the U-verse division. Then they’re subjected to the on-hold waiting game for interminable amounts of time.
- Same old AT&T problems – Previous customers site the same problems they’ve always had dealing with AT&T. The main complaint being that, they just don’t care about their customers.
- TV picture freezes – The most prevalent problem seems to be the television picture freezing. This happens frequently for various reasons and lasts up to 30 minutes at a time.
- Trouble setting up boxes – The IPTV service is routed through massive 52B boxes that towns are not happy to grant public right of ways for. This causes problems for customers who aren’t close enough to the boxes to get reliable service.
- Techs don’t show up – People, who have signed up for the new service, plus those who need repairs, have trouble getting technicians to show up on time. Appointments are sometimes rescheduled several times before anyone ever shows up.
- Limited service area – Since the infrastructure for this service is still being installed, many potential customers can’t get the U-verse even if they want it.
- Equipment interference – Another complaint is that the various components of the TV, internet and telephone equipment interfere with each other. If one member of the household is on the computer it may interrupt TV or telephone connections. Other household items may also affect reception.
- Unhappy employees – It’s pretty bad when even AT&T employees won’t use the U-verse service themselves. One service rep who was transferred to customer care detests his job and no longer uses any AT&T products. Even though he has complete sympathy for the people he deals with all day, it doesn’t make his job very fun.
As with any new technology, growing pains are to be expected. AT&T isn’t going to get anywhere with this new product, unless they work out the bugs. Be sure to check with others in your neighborhood before signing on to any new bundled services.