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Call Kurtis: Should You Get Refunded For Bad Internet Service?

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Eight-time Emmy Award winner Kurtis Ming is CBS13's consumer...
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NORTH HIGHLANDS (CBS13) — Suzette Halterman could barely believe what she was hearing.

She said a company repairman from AT&T admitted she’d had a bad connection on the pole outside her backyard — causing Internet problems for the last five years.

Now she wants a refund, but when AT&T refused, she called Kurtis.

Halterman said AT&T originally told her the Internet interruptions were her fault, until several weeks ago when she said they admitted it was their mistake.

Is she owed a refund?

“I can go two hours and have my signal drop three times,” she said.

Unreliable is how she describes her AT&T DSL connection for the past five years.

She said every time she’s complained, AT&T said the problem was on her end.

“A lot of grief on my end, a lot of phone calls, a lot of my time,” she said.

When the company recently suggested an upgrade to U-Verse may fix the problem, she said she was floored when the AT&T installer found an issue with their wiring from the pole to the box installed on her roof.

“They owe me the last five years of service back,” she said.

But AT&T refused a refund, only offering her a $200 credit, she said.

“She’s entitled to recover whatever it is she didn’t receive,” said consumer attorney Robert Buccola.

He said Halterman had a contract with AT&T to provide reliable service, but said if they didn’t provide that service, they should give her at least a partial refund.

“If she put the DSL company on early notice of the problem, and they investigate it and told her it was her baby, then they’re wrong and they’re gonna have to own that,” he said.

After we got involved, AT&T admitted us “clearly we were at fault, and we apologize and feel terribly for this case,” and said, “We are incredibly sorry for the inconvenience that we caused.”

AT&T cut Halterman a check for more than $700 — half what Halterman paid over those five years.

“I feel like I have been justified,” she said.

AT&T said they handle these situations on a case-by-case basis.

The company said it will consider partially refunding customers in situations like this.

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