Resold AT&T fiber - is it worth the hassle?

Internet access discussion, including Fusion, IP Broadband, and Gigabit Fiber!
7 posts Page 1 of 1
by henryouly » Wed Sep 07, 2022 12:07 am
I heard good things about Sonic team's customer service and was quite excited to learn they would provide fiber internet to my new address, via the Fusion IPBB service. I had the installation by an AT&T technician, everything was okay on the day of installation, and I had been a happy customer for about two weeks, and then the nightmare began. My internet was disconnected on 8/27. I checked the AT&T outage map and didn't find any outages related to my area, so I think "it might be temporary".

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.
by loherj » Wed Sep 07, 2022 10:38 am
Hello Henry,

Thank you for the detailed description of the issues that have taken place since signing up for Sonic service (IPBB-F). I apologize for the problems that have occurred so far. IPBB-F is resold AT&T Fiber. IPBB-F will deliver performance similar to Sonic Fiber but since the installation, network and equipment is managed by AT&T, support and maintenance may be delayed. IPBB-F is a type of AT&T U-verse technology that provides broadband service over Fiber to the Home and Sonic offers IPBB as a re-sold product in order to provide faster speeds to a broader area of customers while we build out our own Sonic Fiber network.

Our support staff takes a step-by-step approach to getting IPBB-F service issues resolved. Support over the phone or via text first makes sure the physical connections inside your home are connected properly, then checks wireless signals, and attempts to verify connectivity. When going through these troubleshooting steps if all options have been exhausted a support representative will reach out to AT&T and create the request for a dispatch.

As far as accessibility into AT&T tools our support team does have very limited access unfortunately. AT&T uses a ticketing system Sonic has basic access to which opens a request from Sonic that is sent to AT&T. Upon submitting this request, we have a dedicated support team that calls over to AT&T to specify any pertinent information.

It is understandable that you are unhappy with how this type of support operates but this is how this service has been designed and offered to us by AT&T. This infrastructure is not owned by Sonic and so we cannot repair it ourselves. Unfortunately, we must rely on AT&T to do the repairs and there is no way around it. This is a limitation of the service and the only other option we would have is to not offer service in areas with that infrastructure.

I hope this helps to clarify how the IPBB-F service operates.

As well I will be reaching out to you a bit later today to check on the status of the AT&T dispatch that is scheduled for today.
Jacob - Community & Escalations Specialist
by tlefkowicz » Wed Oct 05, 2022 5:37 pm
Right now, I’d have to say that after four days of internet outage, that it is not worth the hassle. The reliance on AT&T puts a subset of customers into no man’s land when an outage occurs.
by joeyyung911 » Wed Oct 05, 2022 6:07 pm
Can't argue with you on that. I haven't heard much praise (about AT&T) with Sonic being the middle-man. I'd forgo AT&T all together and go with Comcast.
Excelsior, Sonic Fiber
by virtualmike » Thu Oct 06, 2022 6:51 pm
Here's an alternate opinion: I had IPBB with AT&T (FTTN version) from October 2017 through March 2021, and I had no issues at any time.

Let's face it--few people login to post, "Everything works and I've had no problems!" People come to the forums to post when they have issues or questions.

I'm sure that the issues and complaints that have been posted here are valid, but I think viewing the forum only to get a gauge of experiences with AT&T-supplied service can lead to skewed conclusions.
by dkenglish7 » Sat Oct 08, 2022 9:19 am
Here's another alternate opinion: I've had ATT fiber resold by Sonic since April 2021, and I've had exactly one problem - a rodent chewed through the fiber under my house. In only a couple of days, ATT replaced the entire run from my point of entry to my data rack, about 100 ft, with new sturdier fiber. No grumbles, no charge. It sure beats the Fusion VDSL2 I had before, which had pitiful upstream speed.

Also, the ATT installers didn't hesitate to add their fiber to my undergrounded utilities, even though it took them several hours to fish through the 30 year old conduits. I'm still wondering if Sonic fiber will ever be a possibility, despite the regular promises that 10Gb is coming soon!
by tlefkowicz » Sat Oct 08, 2022 2:04 pm
It be nice if AT&T would come out to troubleshoot our fiber line, but they won’t dispatch any technicians while there is an outage in the general area. So, we sit here on Day 6 with no internet service. It is decidedly NOT worth the hassle.
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