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BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Switching to a new e-mail interface crashed internet service provider ATMC’s servers this week. Nearly 3,000 people were without email.

ATMC says they’ve fixed it, but now they’re picking up the pieces.

The company’s phones have been ringing off the hook, as workers do damage control after the third-party server crash caused thousands of customers to go without e-mail.

“We have done numerous tests leading up to the transition, and this was a problem that we couldn’t have foreseen,” ATMC Marketing Manager Jody Heustess said.

But for some customers their apology doesn’t cut it.

“It’s a bad mismanagement is what it is, but when you have a monopoly in this country, that’s what you’re gonna get,” one customer posted on Facebook. “They have no competition. They know you can’t go anywhere else so they don’t really care.”

And he’s not alone. Folks are unhappy and speaking out on social media saying things like:

“Over 20 minutes on hold so far just to get to someone that won’t be able to give any answers,” another customer wrote.

ATMC released a statement Wednesday saying the issue has been resolved, but one anonymous customer says that’s just not true.

“It’s still out today, so you can’t get the truth out of them,” the customer wrote. “When the ship goes off course, it’s the captain’s fault.”

Heustess says customer service is trying to get to all the calls.

“We brought in extra people to try and help field the questions,” he said.

Customer backlash on social media continues to pour in.

One customer wrote, “Your company has the worst customer service I’ve ever seen.”

ATMC was voted “Best in Customer Service” in Brunswick County last year.

Comment on this Story

  • Guest2020

    My problem was not with Tier 2 and I don’t think I stated otherwise. My issue is how the calls are handled. I just don’t think I should have to spend time going through the steps on the phone, that I have already been through several times, only to be transferred to someone else. It used to be that I would call and get a recorded message to try the steps before talking to a person. That makes more sense than having to spend several minutes on the phone with a person walking me through the steps only to transfer me when those steps still do not work. I don’t blame Tier 1 for that, but as a customer I cannot stand the way it is handled. By the time I call for help, I have already exhausted all possible avenues and will have been searching for a solution for hours to make sure it wasn’t something I could manage and the last thing I want to be doing on the phone disconnecting, reconnecting and waiting to see if it works. I will have already done that at least a dozen times. I know that not everyone is savvy enough to do it on their own, but there should be a less time-consuming way to handle things for those of us who are.

    I don’t blame the Tier 2 people for my calls having to go back through the loop. That is most likely an issue with the phone system. In fact, the Tier 2 technician I wound up with was very pleasant and absolutely knew what he was doing. Once I finally got connected to him, he figured out the problem almost immediately. I think I was on the phone less time with him than I was with the Tier 1 person.

    I ran into an issue when picking up my modem, but that was because someone made a mistake when putting in my password in order to set up the modem for my use. That was simply a mistake and I have no issue with that.

  • guesty

    Get a Verizon MIFI that will support up to 10 wireless devices. Then use a web based mail application and your problems are solved.

  • Guest2020

    I cannot say that I am a big fan of ATMC, but when you’re dealing with technology, these things happen.

    I will say that I hate how they handle their phone calls. If you call with an internet problem, the person that answers the phones has you go through all the steps of unplugging, disconnecting and rebooting, which I know to do. If those things don’t work for them anymore than they do for you, then they attempt to connect you to “Tier 2”. If you’re lucky enough not to wind up back at the original level, then you wait forever for someone to answer the phone.

    As for the volume of calls, maybe they should look into sending out calls like the school system does, the only problem with that is that they would probably use it to send out advertisements.

  • 1234543

    ATMC is a scam artist, nothing more, nothing less, they have a monopoly on the county and that is all you are going to get out of them, take it or leave it, it is an antiquated sytem at best, you pay for 6mbps of service, yet you will not get over 5, and that is because you are doing the speedtest over their site! The FCC should investigate, you are paying for something that is unachievable. And their favorite saying is, we’ll swap out your modem, I have wore a set of tires off running modems up there, give me a break!

    The latest scam is this email switchover, bam, notta, and they didn’t even have the courtesy to put on a few more people to answer the phone and explain the situation, they just let the phone discourage you, pitiful, but typical BRUNSWICK COUNTY! And to add insult to injury, this is a pitiful excuse for an email server, at least the presentation on the other iste was pleasant, this one is star wars and whoever picked that little tidbit of music when it finally loads is limp.

  • Your Name

    Being a former customer service manager, I first want to apologize to all the customers who felt that the first point of contact service was bad. I know, for me personally, my goal is to make sure everyone hangs up the phone with a smile. I may not be able to solve the issue… but if you are smiling when you hang up, then I know we made progress towards the resolution.

    Now, I do know that ATMC is a good company. Their guys in Tech Support work hard to make sure things are going smoothly. The server issue was not something that anyone could have predicted. Seriously… Facebook goes down and people freak out like it is the end of the world. Google goes down and OMG it is the cable providers fault.

    Don’t complain about what you don’t know. Many times a small overload of users can surge the systems and cause it to freeze. How many times have you all opened youtube and tried to play candy crush at the same time only to have it freeze up on you? This is not the fault of your internet provider but a computer issue… when you have too much happening at once… it stops working!! Kind of like a human!

    The First point of contact customer service agents usually find out about an outage when YOU do. So When you call them cussing and yelling… you put them in a state of shock and on the defensive. They put you on hold to try to reach someone who can tell them what is happening and how to fix it… and YOU the customer get mad because they TRY to help you.

    Give these guys a break and let them fix the issue without someone up their ass or hundreds of people overloading things while they try to correct it! If they say wait an hour then that means wait an hour so they can reboot things…. if you follow instructions… it makes their jobs harder.

    If you needed stitches and the doctor said wait 2 weeks before they come out… and you waited 3 days… what will happen? You reopen the wound and it has to be fixed all over again.

    And you dont call yelling at your doctor because you didnt follow his orders…. do you?

    Quit bitching about something and blaming the company when they are doing their best… and here is an idea…. take this down time and actually spend face to face time with your friends and family. The internet is a tool… not a way of life

    And by the way … I was not paid for this by ATMC, I do not work for them or have any affiliation with them…. In all honesty, I live on the other side of the states… And I will say that the west coast is so much prettier.

    So snap out of zombie internet land… put down the tablet or laptop… let the tech guys fix the issues and go enjoy your families… tomorrow will be a better day

  • Michael

    I’m sorry, but I needed to respond to this …I led the Tier 1 team a bit over a year ago. Those are the people you talk to before your transferred to Tier 2. Your actually talking to a group of very talented individuals, with high technical capabilities, and expert troubleshooting techniques. I am unsure of what is happening today, as I no longer work for the company taking these calls, but when I was there, this is what I left.

    I negotiated, and had the freedom, (albeit a limited time due to management transition), to give these elite individuals the power to do everything in their power to successfully resolve each and every issue by all means necessary, up to and including a senior technician taking over the call, to a call back to resolve …also known as a “first call resolution” within the industry.

    I personally apologize that this is no longer the case, and wanted to remind everyone frustrated with the “lack of first call resolution”, that it is not always the Tier 1 technicians fault …This is where corporate politics come into play, and the allowance thereof is stifled by rules and regulations out of a Tier 1 technicians control, created by those who do not understand the “out of box thinking” needed to create a resolution, and happy customer… Please hang in there, IT WILL get better :)

  • Michael

    I know for a fact that ATMC does care, and personally know that there are no “horrible” people involved. They are overwhelmed by an issue, and working diligently to resolve. Hang in there, its not the end of the world :)

  • Alan Ladson

    Horrible nasty customer service, they lied to me and made me pay for a problem that was in their equipment! And their prices are about 50% higher than the same services elsewhere. I have lived all over the country and never seen such a company that cares less about customer satisfaction. The problem is there is no competition in Brunswick county and they know it! You are stuck with them for internet and landline phone service because they own all the lines and no other company wants to come in a rural area and invest in laying lines. This is what happens when there is a monopoly. ATMC employees must have all voted for them as “best in customer service.”

  • Beachgirl1983

    This area is a bunch of retired Northern people who want to complain about everything ( they are mostly making the remarks because they are not able to chaeck their daily stock market prices and to lazy to google it). My dad is a local owner here, yes he went without email for a day and a half, his reply “It’s crummy, but hey thats life, nothing is 100%”. My coworkers should be part to blame for locking theirself out, they knew that there was an issue but kept trying to change their passwords and jamming up the system up more ( because everyone was doing this and not following what ATMC had ask them to do, just wait a few hours). Bunch of Babies around here, rule to remember, nothing will work 100% if its new, its not the end of the world to not connect for a day ( and it would of been just a day if people wouldnt of jammed up the system even more, after ATMC post online not to change your passwords,and when i call in i was asked not to. As of today my email works fine and so does my dads, why because we did what we were told.

  • Really? ??

    Can you say Verizon Wireless???

  • Koden

    ATMC sucks big time. Always has.!!!
    Just a fact of Life!!

  • Casey

    “ATMC was voted “Best in Customer Service” in Brunswick County last year.”

    Must have been a stuffed ballot box. ATMC has the poorest customer service I’ve had the misfortune of dealing with. As developed as Brunswick county is now, it is a shame we have to be subjected to a podunk co-op that overcharges for and under-provides services in the area.

  • skewlteacher

    I have ATMC because there is no competition. Our internet has never worked correctly- it takes who knows how long to watch on YouTube. You call, they trouble shoot and end up sending you to their “higher level” of tech support. Then you wait for a return phone call and what really ticks me off is I’m asked to drive 45 minutes across the county to get a new modem. Seriously? I am teacher and rely heavily on my internet service at home for planning as well as my son’s homework, etc. Such a bunch of country beach-bums. You really get what you pay for here- crap! I’d go back to Centurylink or better if they’d ever offer it here!

  • Mike rest

    Please move from Brunswick county we don’t want people like you living here or teaching the kids here.

  • Guest2020

    If your modem issue was anything like mine, then you probably had no choice but to get a new modem. Mine was outdated. I was given the choice of driving to the main office that day to get it or to wait until the next day when they could send it to their location in Sunset Beach. Machines wear out and have to be replaced. It happens. The only issue I had was in calling customer service.

  • noel cassell

    You have not covered this with complete accuracy. Over a month ago we received notice AT&T had bought their wireless telephone service and they would only be a money collection agency. We would be charged, I think it was $4.95, per month to use wireless in our home. That meant though I already had wireless service I would now have to pay to use my tablet in my home. I then knew ATMC.net was a scam artist with the guise of being legitimate. Shortly after that we received notice they would change email servers to better, faster, more secure email and we would have to upgrade our browsers to either IE 11, Foxfire, Safari etc. to be able to use Email. BINGO !!~ They were going use a FREE open source mail server. With minor research I found it . They were going to use a free Unified Communication Server. Google can find anything I beg for. fm2.email-guru.com.. Please research this more. Mozilla Foxfire might would be interested in this also in that they are the largest open source browser and are being used as a profit making operation. Thank you for reading this and hoping you will research this…Noel Cassell p.s. as of 9:00 am 5/02/2014 with the latest Foxfire edition, NO email.open

  • Al Kale

    Let me first say there are no 100% perfect utilities. The power goes out, internet fails, cable goes out, but my experience with ATMC was better than my experiences with Charter, Time Warner, and the worst Verizon. I recently moved out of the ATMC service area, my cable provider is now Charter (horrible), ATT DSL (out at least once a month,) and cell phone from ATT. A year ago I signed up for phone and cell service with ATT in Hickory, NC. I had signal issues, cell email issues and others. After several phone calls and two trips to the ATT office in Hickory out of desperation I called ATMC service department (I still have one cell phone with them). The person from ATMC told me what I needed to do to take care of my problems. Sorry you folks have had a few problems but if ATMC were available in Hickory I would switch immediately.

  • Timekeeper

    Never had a problem with ATMC internet that was not quickly resolved. As for e-mail, I only use G Mail, which always works.

  • G Earley

    Still no e-Mail Friday May 2


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