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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?

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is a nationally-recognized, award-winning journalist who has covered the business of media, technology, radio and television for more than 10 years. He is the publisher of The Desk and contributes to Know Techie, Digital Content Next and StreamTV Insider. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, the Walt Disney Company, McNaughton Newspapers and Tribune Broadcasting.
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