AT&T left its utility box unlocked and doorless--how do I contact them?
December 18, 2012 2:37 AM   Subscribe

Need help finding contact information to discuss a utility box AT&T has on my easement. Looks like the last tech that was here forgot to put the door back on and lock it (padlock is locked on the ground). I couldn't get it back on myself because of a back injury. Now it is pouring rain and I've been searching for the right number to call for over an hour on their labyrinthine website. I would feel very bad if the neighborhood lost service due to this. :) I have tried calling the main line and it is of no use, they don't know who to send me to. Does anyone else here have a box on their property? It was already there when I bought the house. What department should I ask for when I call them or is there a direct line for "box hosts" like me?
posted by dottiechang to Home & Garden (9 answers total)
I would suggest treating this like any other phone problem (e.g. your land line doesn't work). The goal here is to get them to roll a truck with a technician to your house; then you can just point at the box and the tech will fix it. You can start with
posted by kovacs at 3:34 AM on December 18, 2012 [1 favorite]

I wouldn't stress too much about it, as kovacs said, just make a repair call. I've seen those boxes hit by cars, laying sideways, wires exposed for weeks, sometimes months in the snow and rain, and it doesn't seem to impact on anyone's service.
posted by HuronBob at 5:21 AM on December 18, 2012 [1 favorite]

I agree that you should approach this like any other phone problem. I doubt that there is a specific number on their web site for this particular problem. sounds like the best place to start.
posted by dfriedman at 5:45 AM on December 18, 2012

Call 611 which is the repair line.

That should get you quickly to an acutal human.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 5:52 AM on December 18, 2012

According to, the number to call for phone line tech support is 866-577-7726.
posted by 8dot3 at 6:38 AM on December 18, 2012

If you still have trouble reaching the phone company, call your local city council person. They will have the resources to quickly ID who owns the box and to communicate with them directly.

A communications from an elected official through the phone company legislative liaison office gets handled very quickly, from my experience.
posted by lstanley at 7:27 AM on December 18, 2012

Call whatever your local "call before you dig!" number is. (I think it's 811 in some places, 311 will probably get you there too.) They have the means to arrange a technician dispatch, which is what they do, send out power/cable/water/phone technicians to mark off service lines, and will probably be able to pass on your report or at least tell you who to call.
posted by Lyn Never at 8:36 AM on December 18, 2012

Thanks everyone, I worked my way through their phone system to tech support and made a report this morning but no one has come out yet. If no one handles it today, I'll try the other suggestions.

It seems so strange that they haven't come out yet--there's just hundreds of wires and a rainbow of little plastic plug bits than any little kid could pull out and rearrange if they wanted to. This is a reality in a neighborhood with bored teenagers like mine.
posted by dottiechang at 3:22 PM on December 18, 2012

You could just rewire things yourself, they'll get out rather quickly once you knock down the telco system for a few blocks. Or lock it with your own lock, which I'm sure they'll cut right off next time they need to get in.

Seriously, getting a big company to care about stuff, even things that are in their (and your) best interest is hard. Though, for the most part, if someone wanted to mess with the wiring, they could drive a truck into it or, if they wanted to be less destructive, simply bolt-cutter the lock off. It's just sitting there. For the most part, society operates on an honor system. Kind of reminds of of the phrase about locks keeping honest people out.
posted by Brian Puccio at 6:26 PM on December 18, 2012

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