Indeed, AT&T's attitude of, "the customer is always wrong," would certainly sway any recommendations I would make regarding from whom our company should purchase datacom services. This fact, of course, has been expressed to AT&T's sales representatives, but they to date have been unable and/or unwilling to leverage any back office departments to assist with our spurious billing problem.
I have asked for records, billing tapes, or whatever they would be called, from the Frame-Relay switch that show frame counts for the circuit in question and also whether LMI (Local Management Interface) data were being returned back from the router supposedly connected at our end of the virtual circuit [that had been disconnected and removed years ago]. I called the AT&T customer support center and asked for the information, but was told that it was not available. This seems odd, since this was a, "Managed Network Data Services," Frame-Relay facility, thus this information would have been required for AT&T to prove it was meeting its service level agreement for the facility.
I am a technical person, not a book keeper, but as far as I know, we have had no success in getting AT&T to stop sending bills for the non existent service. What I am looking for is the magic phrase to say, office inside AT&T for their billing dispute people to contact, or whatever can explain the situation to them in terms they can understand.
I am flabbergasted how clueless, unhelpful and unfriendly AT&T treats its customers. The absorption of AT&T into SBC has only aggravated the situation, as what's left of AT&T is able to hide behind SBC. The re-merger of AT&T and SBC proves the validity of Judge Green's 1984 MFJ breaking them up in the first place. It is like some sort of evil hydra re-assembling itself.
As a separate company, AT&T as an inter exchange carrier was vulnerable if it provided lousy service -- MCI or whomever could swoop in and get business. SBC is lobbying hard to get rid of equal access rules, and force out other local exchange carriers so they'll be the only game in town if you want a local loop -- and who doesn't (unless you have a satellite downlink). So it looks like we're headed back to the bad old days all over again. The only other infrastructure alternative where we are located is Adelphia cable, and they aren't able to provision business grade datacom service over the cable plant in this area.
Where it stands right now is that we've explained the situation to the Ohio PUC, and they're investigating. With no current contract or evidence that AT&T was delivering any tangible service, hopefully the situation is obvious to the people investigating at the PUC and they hold a big enough stick to get a resolution.