AT&T Billing Us For MDNS Account Closed Three Years Ago

Dear telecom readers,

I am looking for assistance in dealing with AT&T over an MDNS (Managed Data Network Services) account that our company closed in approximately September 2002. I've been with our company for about 16 months, and I know that none of the DLCIs, PVCs or any physical equipment associated with the un-killable MDNS account have ever existed at the company's current address. The company actually moved to a new city in January 2004. Our bookkeeper tells me the MDNS account should have been terminated in June of 2002, with an AT&T technician collecting the Cisco router and CSU/DSU from the company's former address in September 2002.

We've tried repeatedly contacting various billing departments, a dispute resolution department, dispute escalation officer and assorted white collar workers at AT&T without having any luck at getting the billing stopped. The charges are mounting to multiple tens of thousands of dollars. I have called the AT&T customer support center and they agree that there is currently no LMI signal and no live PVC. They know the assists have been picked up, but they don't know they were returned to AT&T.

What I'm hoping is that a reader of this digest might know what office inside AT&T would have issued a work order for the decommissioning of the MDNS circuit and/or retrieval of the physical assets such as the router. It be great to know by what name AT&T calls such a work order, so that we know what to ask them to find in their archives related to the MDNS account. Hopefully we can make the point that if they dispatched a technician to pick up their equipment on such and such a date, there is no way they could have been rendering service past that date ... and dare I say it, rescind the bills to that point in time. I am not too hopeful, however, as AT&T seems to be very capable of ignoring obvious facts.

The SBC merger hasn't helped any either. I tried calling many of the contact numbers on the AT&T web site. They seem to have all been absorbed into SBC, and any customer-facing contact points sound like they are being relayed to off-shore call centers by low quality voice-over-IP. I'm wondering just how low they can lower the bar for customer service!

Thanks for any assistance,


[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: Are you using AT&T for anything at all these days, or at least anything which cannot be swapped out to some other carrier? Unless your company is in a position to toss 'multiple tens of thousands of dollars' (your wording) at AT&T every year or so, my suggestion would be to drop them entirely; calculate a final billing due as you can best estimate it; send them a final payment marked 'payment in full' and let it go at that. Believe me, they will contact you soon enough. At the very least, quit paying the disputed charges once and for all; let _them_ get after you when they eventually decide they want their money. PAT]
Reply to
Bill Mayhew
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