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Phones out

So, my AT&T Uverse phone service just went out.  It’s been on the fritz all day, initially incoming calls still worked, but not outgoing.  I’d have no dial town for a few seconds, then get a dial tone.  I’d then make a call only to get a fast busy signal.  Now, I get incoming calls for about 5 seconds before getting disconnected.  Not good.

So, I call customer support which is always one of my favorite things to do.  I get their automated system and of course it tells me that there are higher than normal call volumes.  I go through the automated prompts, entering my phone number, saying I have a telephone outage.  Their automated system says they are looking up my account and it makes those pleasant tones.  Is the system really needing to take time to look up my account?  Google is faster than that.

So, they again say they are having higher than normal call volumes, and ask a few basic questions (still automated) about my problem:

“Do you have a dial tone?”

“No”

“I wasn’t able to understand your response.  Please say ‘yes or no'”

“NO!”

“Okay.  Please wait while I run some tests”

I then get a message that says that there may be telephone outages in my area.  AT&T is aware of the problem and is working to fix it.  Nice.  I love when they know about the problems – although I’m not even sure if this is the same problem  I’m having.

Finally it says they will forward me to a live person.  I’m again placed on hold and reminded that there are heavier than usual call volumes.

I love the automated suggestions they give while on hold.  My favorite one is, “If your TV service does not have any sound, make sure the TV is  not on mute and that the volume is turned up.”

I finally get a live person who was actually very pleasant.  He said there is a national outage right now.  They are getting calls from East Coast and West Coast and all over in between.  He said the haven’t had anything like this in a long time.  He said they hope to have the service returned within 4 hours.

However, it also sounded like they didn’t know what the problem was yet – not good.

I hope they figure this out quickly as a national outage of a phone carrier could be big problems for businesses and people, etc.  I’m also curious what the cause could be for a national outage as I thought they had local servers.  Either they had a software upgrade that went horribly wrong, or someone hacked their system, or someone at headquarters pushed that button that says “Do not push this button”.

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