How Can We Break Ties with SBC?
September 16, 2005 3:14 PM   Subscribe

BadServiceFilter: My wife has been getting truly atrocious customer service from SBC recently and has decided that she wants to explore other options for phone, dsl and cellular service.

What happened is they disconnected her business phone without sending a notice first, the disconnect notice arrived five days after the disconnect. They give her the runaround on the phone support (telling her it will take 2 days for a supervisor to call back) and basically treating her like dirt. Yesterday she got a "courtesy call" from the billing department letting her know that her bill was due (it wasn't due until today).

So, the question is: How can we extract our phone, DSL and cellular from SBC without paying their ridiculous disconnect fees (which amount to more than the year of service would cost) and what are our other options for phone, internet connectivity and cell?

Or, alternatively, does anyone have a better route to getting decent customer service from SBC?
posted by fenriq to Shopping (6 answers total)
For DSL, if you "move" to an area not serviced by SBC, they'll let you out of the contract.
posted by trevyn at 3:29 PM on September 16, 2005

I definitely understand the pain that is SBC customer service. Their pbx system has grown much more complicated as of late to navigate and understand. I suggest you keep calling and telling them that they messed up and keep asking for the manager's manager.

Run ins I have had with SBC have involved being billed for a phone line that wasn't mine and DSL connection problems.

You just need to keep calling and argue with those people. Most of them are just phone jockeys trained to repeat the same script over and over. Call and let them know that you are irate and plan on sending higher ups letters regarding their poor service. Implant the idea that the longer you stay disconnected the more it effects to profitability of your business.

No cell experience from them but their DSL support is atrocious. On trying to setup my friend's home I had to argue with tech support for an hour as to why the problem was a server between us not communicating. Another recent event led to spending an hour with phone jockeys from India explaining to me that there were no outages in my area and that obviously the problem was on my end. Going through the loops of rebooting computer/modem/router reset passwords 5 times to just ask for a manager that eventually confirmed that my entire locality was down.

SBC customer service sucks.

If you can get cable in your area you can probably get broadband phonelines with whatever company. I don't know about where you're from but there is no choice here when it comes to landlines and electricity.
posted by andendau at 9:28 PM on September 16, 2005

I left SBC a year or so ago and went with the Cox Communications package which includes Cable TV (with DVR), High Speed Internet (I get between 3 and 4 megabits per second) and their telephone service. I get good customer support and I like the "Cox local" philosophy on service. All customer service is handled by a call center in your home city. It truly makes a difference. I love it and it's a world of difference from SBC. If you live in a Cox city - I would highly recommend them. Good luck!
posted by Independent Scholarship at 10:12 PM on September 16, 2005

Another SBC evacuee... I left them several years ago after similar, spectacularly poor customer service regarding an ISDN line. I don't run a business per se, so I just moved my phone calls to cellular. For Internet, I went to Time Warner Cable and haven't looked back.

Dunno if they service your area, but I'm starting to see very some aggressive DSL pricing from Verizon. For phone, you might want to consider VOIP service (assuming you're OK with the drawbacks).
posted by skyboy at 12:41 AM on September 17, 2005

Well.. Not the best way, but this "worked" for me. I called SBC prior to move, cancelled my DSL and phone. They said sure. A month later, got a final phone and DSL bill, prorated. The next month I got DSL only bill, then another, ... I called them up and SBC said you still have DSL. Asked them how I could have DSL without a phone, CSR seemed puzzled, didn't know. Explained it must have been a bad rep cancelling only part of my service. She agreed I shouldn't have to pay but suggested I do, for collection reasons. It took roughly eight calls to straighten this out. What finally solved this issue was when one helpful CSR hand carried my issue to the billing resolutions department over her lunch hour, she said had a friend there and would take care of it for me. It took cycling through sometimes mean, sometimes clueless, and sometimes just flat our tired CSRs before I got one that actually cared. Basically SBC is your 800lb gorilla here. Contesting it against your CC might not help much. Bottom line, keep trying. Don't like the answer? Hang up, call again.
posted by sled at 7:22 AM on September 17, 2005

The only solution is to get rid of SBC. That company's continued existence is, in my opinion, proof that the free market does not always work the way it's supposed to. I have never, ever dealt with such a dysfunctional company. After numerous horrific experiences, I pay significantly more for RCN to avoid dealing with SBC. Oh, and please file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau.
posted by walla at 8:17 PM on September 17, 2005

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