ON YOUR SIDE; Many rural internet custormers say they’ve been scammed by a company posing as an authorized dealer

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) – Internet service has quickly become a necessity.

However getting reliable coverage in rural areas can be tough.

An On Your Side Investigation reveals a company posed as an authorized dealer of a major provider. They promised high quality service but failed to deliver.

Carrie McGinness said, “He’s a scam artist. I mean, he’s scum.”

“It was only a matter of time before we got mad enough and now you’re caught,” said Janet Taylor.

They along with dozens of people in rural areas of the Ozarks say they’ve been had by PTN Internet and Matt Peterman. They say they signed up for what they thought was high speed internet access only to get the runaround when they asked why their service was interrupted.

Taylor says Peterman told her, “My internet service provider has said that they’re not going to use my current router. You’re going to have to buy another one and this one’s going to be $700. It’s going to go up in price by month by another $30.

“We woke up one morning and we had no internet at all and we couldn’t get in touch with him,” said McGinness

Many customers say they cancelled their service with PTN Internet.

Taylor said, “I went with this company. He said, well you know, that they sublet from AT&T don’t you. I said isn’t that what your doing. He said, well, yeah, I guess I am.”

AT&T sent us this statement after they investigated our requests to verify PTN Internet’s affiliation:

“The company that sold these devices was not an authorized reseller of our services. The individuals who lost service were not our customers but we can work with them to get back online if they visit one of our retail stores.”

\Additional information from AT&T can be found here.

When asked about this Peterman sent us this message indicating that he was using what he thought was an honorable company to provide service and that he was also duped, lost a lot of money, and that his company is now out of business.

His former customers aren’t buying it.

Kevin Knecht asked “Did he dupe AT&T and that’s why cut him off?

We said, “They have no record of him.”

He asked again, “They have no record of him?

“Nope,” we said.

“Or of PTN? Oh my goodness,” said Knecht.

“He’s a computer genius. That’s what his job was when I knew him when we worked together in the same public school system. He was the computer guy, the IT guy,” said Taylor.

Other current customers tell us Peterman is still trying to collect on past due bills, issuing invoices less than a week ago.

“I’ve known him for a long time. My husband’s known his family since he was a little boy. We trusted him. We wanted to support the small businessman. For him to do this to his family and friends is just infuriating,” said Taylor.

Peterman declined our request for an official interview.

Many of his former customers have filed complaints with state and federal agencies.

AT&T representatives urge you to do your homework and check to make sure a company is a verified reseller of any internet provider service.

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