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My frustration with the American Telephone & Telegraph Company, particularly with their Worldnet "service" seems to grow by leaps and bounds.  Not only is the issue with their faulty servers bouncing a significant number of e-mails still unresolved ("We are investigating this issue, and will have this service available again soon" has been included in one of their service bulletins since the morning of May 29, although they recently changed the date so they they don't look as bad), but I'm getting tired of the regularity at which the DSL connection fails.

Several times every day (and often very late at night — so I know it's not a traffic overload issue) the DSL fails, almost always in the middle of an important upload or download.  My computer will attempt to redail, usually receiving the error message "The remote computer does not respond. Please click on this link for help."  If the remote computer is disconnected, how am I supposed to click on the link?

I recently signed up for 24x7 line monitoring by Broadband Reports.  They ping my IP address every 10 minutes and send me weekly reports of my downtime, packet loss, etc.   The last two weeks, I've averaged around 68% reachability.  During the week of May 9-15, AT&T's DSL service to my home was DOWN a whopping 1157 minutes — that's 19-and-a-half HOURS!  For an "always on" connection, that's just unacceptible. Does this mean I should only pay 68% of my monthly bill?

Of course, the customer service is pathetic.  During this weekend's e-mail fiasco, it took a great deal of searching all around AT&T's website (and I am rather web-savvy) to even find out about the "cause" of the problem (well, they don't know the cause, but the technicians are "working" on it) and never did find out a contact phone number.  I do have a phone number for DSL problems (the only place I found that was on the original letter enclosed with the modem).  On the rare times I do call them (I stopped out of frustration), it takes them over an hour to walk me through the steps I'd already performed BEFORE calling and it still doesn't solve the problem.  I think the problem is with THEIR servers but they won't admit it.  When I first started using their DSL, it seemed like it failed only when it rained so I thought perhaps the relay was getting wet but now it fails just as often during sunny days.  Technicians have checked the lines and the relay stations to no avail.

I'd cancel today if I wasn't locked into a year-long contract with hefty penalties for early cancellation.  But coming July 31st, I will definitely be switching my DSL service to another provider, probably Qwest so I combine it with my regular phone service.

And now that this is off of my chest, let's move on to something a bit more pleasant...