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AT&T says it may refund customers for bad internet service

The corporate logo for AT&T.
The corporate logo for AT&T.

AT&T says it is considering whether to offer refunds to residential customers who have experienced poor internet service.

The comment followed an investigative report by Kurtis Ming of KOVR-TV who recently profiled Suzette Halterman, a resident of North Highlands, California who for years has fought AT&T to receive decent internet service at her home.

Initially, AT&T told Halterman that repeated interruptions in her internet service were her fault. The company suggested she upgrade from AT&T’s DSL service, which delivers broadband internet over phone lines, to AT&T U-Verse, the company’s fiber-optic broadband internet service.

Later, an AT&T repairman told Halterman that the service interruptions were due to faulty wiring between an AT&T utility pole and a box on the roof of her home.

Halterman felt she was owed a refund for five years of bad internet service. Consumer attorney Robert Buccola agreed, telling KOVR that AT&T had a contract with Halterman that said the company would provide her dependable service and that “she’s entitled to recover whatever it is she didn’t receive.”

At first, AT&T offered Halterman a $200 credit for her problems. After KOVR got involved, Halterman received a check from AT&T for $700 — or half of what she had paid for internet service over the years.

AT&T told the station it handles customer complaints on a “case-by-case basis,” but also said it would “consider partially refunding customers in situations like this.”

If you are having problems with your AT&T internet service:

1. Call 1-877-722-3755 or write to @ATTCustomerCare on Twitter.
2. Explain your problem and ask for a repair person.
3. Ask the repair person to diagnose your issue.
4. If the problem is on AT&T’s end, ask the repair person to fix it, then call AT&T and ask for a refund.
5. If AT&T won’t help by phone, write and mail a certified letter with your request for a refund.
6. If calling and writing still don’t work, file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission here.

For more information, visit the “Solving Consumer Problems” page at FTC.gov.

KOVR: Should you get a refund for bad internet service?