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I have now added the full transcript of this conversation below, because it helps to show how the treatment I have received from AT&T violates the tariff behind which they hide. Everyone knows there are problems, but they refuse to put that in writing. Mr. Miller admits the problems here and also that it is unlikely anything will be done about them— in fact he intimates that I will have to move if I want to get the level of service for which I am paying.

A summary of the conversation follows:

I tell Miller that my problem is not as much with the overbilling, as with the fact that "I keep losing service because the wires in the street are old." I point out that it has been raining and that the repair people have said the same thing, that the wires in the street are really old. Miller said, "Right, because they told me part of your neighborhood was down also."

I tell him that was actually last week, and the repair person had told me if the lines are bad and there is water on the wires it can cause a busy signal, which is what she thought probably happened on December 30 (1997). I tell him I can't run a business when the phones keep going dead, and I am really hoping AT&T can do something about it.

Miller says there is not much he can do, but he will tell his bosses (Gail Burns and Mike Bunse). He said he tried to get someone to call me about my current problem fixed (no local service on my residential line), but that he had trouble getting ahold of anyone himself and finally just left a message on audix about it. No one had called me and he apologized, but said he was powerless.

I ask him again about the six hour delay there had been in getting my number to be forwarded while the service was out, because one repair people who had been out to my place had said Miller could have gotten it done quickly, and another said no, it takes a while because AT&T has to talk to Pac Bell. MIller says it was a delay between AT&T and Pac Bell, that Pac Bell probably could have done it in 20 minutes. But later in the conversation he says he was "amazed" that it had even been done in five [sic] hours. (Note: for a comparison, see 2-18-98. Just a week later, when there was another problem, an AT&T operator was able to get my number forwarded while I waited — that fast!)

I tell Miller that right at that moment my phone line is working again, and explain that the other night when the dial tone was gone I had measured the voltage on all my lines at the demarcation point. The one that was bad was only getting 8 to 13 volts, compared to 43 to 45 on the other phones. Now it was working again and no one could explain why.

Miller tells me he had called on my [repair] ticket and he had been told it was because of the rain.

I say again, how am I supposed to run a business when the phones go out because it rains? It's not even as if I live in an area that has flooding. I don't. We talked about the billing side of the problems, and then I said again that I had really been hoping when I switched to AT&T that something would happen to make the lines in the street better. I ask MIler if my only choice to get better lines would be to move to a different neighborhood.

Miller tells me yes, "or to a commercial area, "because "if it were zoned for commercial you'd probably have better lines." When I ask why, he tells me that commercial areas get updated first.

I say, "So I'm charged commercial rates, but I get residential service?"

Miller says, "Hate to say that," but he really doesn't know any other way to explain it and wishes he could tell me something more.

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