How AT&T 'gets power' for their modems

spencer_electricianJanuary 16, 2010

Without asking first, the technician decided the best way to plug in the modem was to take a claw hammer and rip the receptacle for their bar through the hole and turn it around towards the un-finished space (hanging there). Brilliant.

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hexus

I've seen Qwest techs drill in from outside of the house right into furniture too. I've seen it twice, one was right into the home owners antique china hutch.

I guess it doesn't take a lot of brains to be a low voltage tech.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2010 at 2:42PM
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spencer_electrician

True for a one solution fits all (Drill hole, run cable, install splitter) installation. But not for a real low voltage technician, there are many that routinely need a lot more knowledge than "some" electricians (which goes the other way of course, depends on the person). I equally respect electrical and low voltage work. Guess I have to since I'm a master electrician and half of my company's work is low voltage (: I often install audio/ video installations with touch screen controllers and wind up with over 100 different cables to keep track of and terminate. Then there are hundreds of things that can go wrong that require trouble shooting. There are some phone/ cable company people out tracing 100 pair lines and such. Guess it's just these crews they send out for residential installations.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2010 at 4:02PM
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petey_racer

NO WAY! Please tell me they did not do that. Holy crap. I know they are complete hacks but this is uncalled for.

I would take plenty of pics, call a real electrician to fix it, and bill AT&T (or whomever). Tell them you will not allow ANY of their workers in your house ever again.

I would also file a complaint with the BBB or building dept stating what they did.

These morons are going too far!

    Bookmark   January 16, 2010 at 4:09PM
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spencer_electrician

Actually I am the electrician that put everything back together, hired by the homeowner. The homeowner was way too polite and asked me if what the installers did was normal!

    Bookmark   January 16, 2010 at 4:35PM
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bus_driver

I suspect that all the crummy work described above was done by contractors for the service supplier. The contractors probably are paid a flat rate for an installation. Quick and dirty yields more pay per hour. I have encountered the most problems with Time Warner. If I see one of their trucks near my property, I get my shotgun and supervise the work. Rural area, no problem. Calling Time Warner about a problem is a complete waste of time. Supervising the work avoids the problem in advance.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2010 at 5:18PM
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Ron Natalie

The cable installer drilled through my central air refrigerant line while running the cable in from the outside.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2010 at 8:15PM
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countryboymo

Dish network did my install on my new house and I had a box right there ready to run the cable to with a hole in the wall plate into the basement with string and the plate off behind the tv. I had all of the holes drilled and all that needed to be done was poke cables through and make terminations. I was distracted by a neighbor during the install and got back in the house when he was finishing up. I signed the papers and he hit the road. I later looked to make sure the wall plate was back on and it was on the floor like I left it. I rolled the tv out and he had drilled through the carpet in the floor where the tv sits which is about 2 feet away from the wall one way and three feet from the other. I was beside myself. So now I am free to rearrange the living room as long as I can set something over the hole in the floor. Oh and I forgot to mention I could shove my thumb in the hole between the cable and the subfloor. The carpet was two weeks old.

Dish Network offered me a $5.00 credit for my 'inconvenience'.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2010 at 1:47AM
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spencer_electrician

Most of the higher end houses I work on, I try to warn the customers of cable, phone, sat installs and tell them it is best to basically keep the installer out of the house as much as possible. Home run all the rooms back to a central board or enclosure and terminate everything and buy equipment (like cable amps, network switch). Bring out the main RG6 and Cat5 feed to the outdoors and let them take it from there. Homeowners get confused when they are paying me $100 plus per drop when the cable company says $30 but just have to remind them what $30 gets them ($5-10 worth of cable, the service van's expense, $5-10 for the labor). Then there have been a few times they've still attempted to mess with my work or run new wire. One day the cable tech cut off every termination I made (same connectors as theirs) I got to the job and he told me that their connectors have a blue ring and mine are red. If his supervisor came out, he would know he didn't do any work because of the connector color. Most of the time the techs are just baffled to see our board with 4 to 60 RG6 cables all cut to the inch and cleanly labeled and the hierarchy of splitters correctly designed. They're used to zip tying a ball of cables and splitter to the ceiling.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2010 at 1:11PM
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weedmeister

That guy would not have made it back to his truck without my foot in his butt.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2010 at 7:05PM
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hrajotte

"Dish Dope" drilled through wall from the outside, right through SE cable on the other side. I guess it takes too much time to go see what is on the other side. Actually, he just nicked it, but exposed the aluminum of one of the conductors. To his credit, he reported it, and to the company's credit, they reimbursed the cost of the repair (nearly $500) in a reasonable time.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2010 at 7:54AM
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wayne440

On my second day as a CATV tech, I drilled into the back of a customer's meter base. I tried several times to explain what was on the other side of "his" wall in that exact space. The reply was along the lines of "I've lived here for XX years and know $%%^&* well better than you where things are....". So I gave him a marker and agreed to drill exactly where he marked.

I got my most worn out bit, hot gloves, googles and drilled from the inside out per company policy. "ZZZT-BOOM" and the lights go off. Unchucked the stuck bit from my drill and left. When I came back later, The customer invited me to drill "where ever you think it should be". But no doubt when he tells the story , the dumb*** technician is at fault.

It is like shooting fish in a barrel to point out bad installs, since they are the ones that every customer talks about. No one mentions the guy/girl that shows up, does the work right (or as close as company policy allows), cleans up and leaves. For the paltry money that some of these companies pay, it is a minor miracle that most "installs" don't look like the above.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2010 at 9:51AM
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davidandkasie

i find that really hard to believe, it is almost impossible to get an AT&T installer to even power up the modem anymore! we put in wireless sites all over the country and nearly every time AT&T will leave the modem in the sealed box. they plug their tester to the telco line, verify DSL and leave. this must have been a subcontractor, they usually make sure the modem itself works before they leave.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2010 at 10:33AM
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graywings123

Fortunately, they are not all like that. The Verizon FIOS tech who installed at my house was very careful to ask me if and where he could drill into my house.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2010 at 9:13AM
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hrajotte

Wayne is correct. Despite my one bad experience with a SatTV tech, I have had several good experiences with techs who did neat, professional work.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2010 at 1:44PM
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