My parents have been long-time customers of AT&T. They've endured the transition from Michigan Bell to Ameritech to AT&T's final form. They've had a land-line longer than I've been alive.
Today that all changed. Today they're now with WOW!.
The reason is pretty simple. AT&T no longer wanted them as a customer. Over the years my parents have paid more and more for less service. It's become almost criminal how much AT&T has taken advantage of my parents.
My mom felt secure with AT&T's landline service. She remembered well the power outage of 2003 when the only things that worked were the land lines (the cell towers were so clogged back then that you couldn't connect a call). She wanted that certainty that if the she picked up the phone there would always be a dial tone.
But the final straw, the indignity that got my mom to want to wish violence on ant AT&T truck she saw was the moment that AT&T betrayed that trust. On May 12th their phone went dead.
Now, it's not uncommon for phones to be temporarily disconnected. Usually these sorts of disconnections are fixed pretty quickly. Unfortunately AT&T no longer wants to be that old reliable phone company. They'd rather be one of those hip wireless / cable / fiber optic companies. Which means that fixing degraded copper wiring is just not in the cards, daddy-o. Nope, That cable needs to be replaced with fiber optics or what-have you. When will that be done? Um, we're not sure.
As of today I don't think anything has been done to repair this cable. Had my parents continued to have faith in AT&T they'd likely still be waiting.
This is, frankly, absurd. I understand the reasoning behind AT&T's reluctance to work on their wired network (they'd rather be one of those cool, hip new wireless carriers, daddy-o) but to leave folks on the lurch like this is just unfathomable. But my parents are just members of a long-line of customers that AT&T doesn't care about.
Not to mention that my parents were also paying $80 per month for the privilege. Oh, and most of the phone calls they made were charged by the minute because they were making "long distance" phone calls.
It's 2023. Nobody should give a shit about LATA.
AT&T should feel ashamed of themselves for how they handled this, but AT&T has proven time and time again that they have no shame. And with a FCC that is basically useless there's no incentive for them to feel shame. They can charge customers usurious rates for sub-par service on a degrading network with no backup.
I'd say "fuck AT&T" but they couldn't care less. They're a shambling corpse that people still keep feeding for some inexplicable reason. I'm grateful that my parents have options but plenty of folks are stuck with them. To those who have no options I can only say that pitchforks and torches to rid your town of this creeping menace is always an option.