I called Sonic on 8/29 and they helped to schedule the first dispatch on 8/31. The AT&T technician came and checked everything. The problem was triaged to be a failure in the main fiber line, somewhere between the main box and my house, about 700ft away from the drop. The technician said he would create a ticket to call for an outdoor technician to check the main line since it wasn't what he was trained. He said they would follow up in the internal system and they won't need to reenter my house to check anything. Once they replace the failed fiber line, the service should be restored as early as the evening, and I should not need to call again to schedule another dispatch.
Later that day, the outside technician arrived at the front of my house, and I granted him access in case he might need to verify the issue from the drop.
On 9/1, my internet is still disconnected, so I texted Sonic. I explained to them the AT&T technician had confirmed the main cause was in the backbone fiber in our conversation, but Sonic worked with AT&T and confirmed a dispatch was needed, so we set it up on 9/3.
The technician came, and checked everything, and concluded the same thing - 700ft from my house, and 2300ft from the main box, there's a disconnection in the fiber that will need to be replaced. I told him about my first dispatch and asked what was going on with the outdoor ticket, and he told me the system showed it was closed automatically as if the issue was resolved. After checking with her supervisor, he told me the best way to help me would be to create another helper ticket and personally make sure that would not be closed. I asked if there was a proper way I could stay informed about progress, and he said unfortunately I'm not a direct AT&T customer, the inquire has to go through Sonic, but he assured me that he would help to follow up on my case as he could, and he suggested me to reach out to Sonic directly if the issue didn't resolve. I asked if he could provide any internal reference so I could at least provide to Sonic, so they could track the progress by providing that to AT&T tech support showing where the previous triage landed. He said unfortunately there wasn't something like that.
On 9/5, Sonic followed up with me with a text message "Hello this is Sonic support checking in regarding your recent service issue. Our notes indicate AT&T dispatched out on Sep 3rd but needed to create a helper ticket to do some outside work. We have not yet received an informed update on that helper ticket so we have requested AT&T escalate the issue to get us more information on what is going on, and we will need to check back in with them again tomorrow. Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns, otherwise we will provide you updates as we receive them." I responded and requested getting an update latest status and an ETA, and also re-elaborate that the failure point is in the main fiber line. I got reassured that it's still the Labor Day weekend and they would be reaching out to AT&T on 9/6.
On 9/6, Sonic set up another AT&T dispatch on 9/7 for me. I'm pretty certain that the previous technician had told me that a dispatch won't help, so I called Sonic tech support and explained the whole story again - and the support had to speak to supervisor twice since I was very keen on "Please answer if the main AT&T fiber is fixed or not, and if not, why would setting up another dispatch help, why not just talk to AT&T tech support to figure that out." The tech support finally agreed to call AT&T first and get back to me later. 15 minute later, the tech support said sending a dispatch is needed, but wasn't able to give me any update on the status of fixing main fiber.
Later in the day (after finishing my work), I had the time to further figure more detail, so I started to chat with the Sonic tech support:
Me: Can I get to understand why they need to send another dispatch to check if the previous dispatch technicians all concluded that the problem is not related to my installation? Have AT&T indicated that their outside work is finished and they need to re-check to find another failure point? If not, what's the result of the other outside work helper ticket? I don't think a dispatch makes any sense otherwise.
Sonic: Typically outside work is request by the installation tech. The installation tech will make what is called a helper ticket. Helper tickets are then done the same day or the next day.
Sonic: So this may be a case where the AT&T tech needs to go back out and request another helper ticket.
Me: AT&T sends technicians twice last week, both dispatch result in a new helper tickets and called outside technician. Every time they just came and said the same thing to me that the issue was related to an outside fiber and my internet should be restored once the helper ticket is done. However no one can't provide any tracking of the ticket status. How comes another dispatch will fix the issue? Also I will need to reschedule the dispatch since I can't be at home on 9/7, but I want to understand the reason why sending dispatch without solving the real outdoor issue as a customer.
Sonic: Unfortunately, AT&T has not given us access to their internal systems as far as creating or viewing their helper tickets. AT&T generally doesn't want to dispatch out multiple times, though, so normally scheduling them out again will get it fixed just so we stop bothering them about it.
At this point, I have mostly lost all my patience to deal with the communication between Sonic and AT&T. I don't buy that Sonic has limited access to AT&T's internal system, since this is a resold service and I pay Sonic, not AT&T. It sounds like selling me something but not willing to deal with the warranty, and blame the manufacturer for any hassle. I thought it might be at least the same, if not better, if I am a direct AT&T customer, since at least I have an AT&T contact I can come after.
Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy the interaction with Sonic tech support team - polite and responsive. I am just not happy about how the support works - it's unhelpful in my case at all. I'm seriously thinking to switch to AT&T and even Xfinity after this unpleasant experience. Yeah, I know their support is a mess too, and I know there's no way cable internet can catch up with fiber, but I'm quite done with not having internet access for more than 1 week, having 3 dispatches appointment and I have to make time to stay and wait for a technician to come, and the issue remains.
I’d like to share my experience and *disappointment* to Sonic, and any advice how I can get out of this endless communication loop between Sonic and AT&T would be helpful.