Someone Has Hexed Our Phone Line

I’ve been offline (except for my BlackBerry) for the past week due to a lack of DSL at my new home in SiFi. I don’t like being offline. Not one bit. It was with this in mind that the boyfriend attempted to have the DSL put into our new home early. As in, a week ago.

Unfortunately, this didn’t work. There was no dial tone, and no DSL, all weekend. And AT&T are clueless why. They say that it’s not on their end, since they have run some sort of magical pulse through the wires to determine that yes, our phones should be working. Now, they’re sending out a technician. Only there’s a condition. If the problem is their fault, they’ll pay for it. If it’s our problem (rat-gnawed wires, previous tenant induced damage), then we have to pay $50 for the technician, plus repairs.

WTF? I’ve never heard of this before. I always thought that all the phone equipment, right up until the jack, belongs to the phone company. Has the de-monopolization and re-formation of AT&T resulted in us all being responsible for our own wiring?

The technician comes Saturday, so I hope to have interweb again soon. Then I will look for the answers regarding the utility history of my building. In the interim, maybe the problem is that there’s a hex on the phone line – does anyone have a good spell to remove it?

7 Replies to “Someone Has Hexed Our Phone Line”

  1. Actually, I think this has been AT&T (and formally SBC’s) stance for a while. We had crossed lines a few months ago with someone miles from our home and AT&T kept insisting there was no problem with the external wiring and it must be the wiring in the apartment, even though I pointed out that it wouldn’t cause a crossed line with someone 2 miles away!

    Phone company is only responsible for wiring to the outside box, you are responsible for everything from that point. If you rent, CA law says the landlord must maintain at least one working jack in the house. So you shouldn’t have to pay anything.

    AT&T actually offer a wire plan program that’s like $3 a month and covers ALL the wiring. Only thing is, once you subscribe to it, you have to wait a month before you’re covered!

  2. I just don’t do wired phones anymore. The internets come in by cable (I’ve had cable internet in Chicago, Garden Grove and L.A., DSL in Chicago, Tucson and L.A., cable ALWAYS has worked better than DSL), and calls by cell (eagerly awaiting the Apple Phone due to be announced next week). I used to use jfax/j2/whatever its called now for faxes, but that need has pretty much evaporated.

    Plus AT&T/SBC is pure evil. Seriously, if you go to their corporate offices you can smell the brimstone.

  3. According to information on the California Public Utilities Commission site the phone company is responsible for repairs to the wire up until the point it enters your house/apartment. I’d point this out to them if they try to charge you to fix a problem that’s outside your building.
    Also, my father used to work for AT&T back before they were broken up by the government and he said their biggest fear was having a complaint filed with the Public Utilities Commission. If you’re unhappy with their response it can’t hurt to file a complaint.

    http://www.calphoneinfo.ca.gov/advisories/061218_changingphonecompanies.htm

    If the wireline service in a house needs repair, the phone company will cover costs to repair its facilities including the wiring that connects to the house.

  4. I had my DSL go out at my first apartment in Silver Lake in 2004 and pre-ATT SBC told me the same thing: if the problem was inside my apartment I was facing a potentially sincere cha-ching, but if it was outside it would be fixed on their dime. Luckily for me it proved to be an issue outside my box so I didn’t get popped. Here’s hoping it works out the same for you.

  5. I would think if the problem is inside your building, your landlord would be responsible for it. After all, the electrical and plumbing are their responsibility, right? Unless you’ve done something to damage your phone wiring it should be on their dime.

  6. Oh, it is the landlord – I think I said “we” out of habit (my last landlord expected us to just fix stuff and take it out of the rent).

    The new landlord rocks and is going to take care of the charges for us, if there are any, which is AWESOME.

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