Lacking any other choices than evil Comcast and slightly-less-evil AT&T for Internet service at our apartment we signed up with AT&T. Having cell phones with more minutes than we can possibly use we had no interest in getting land-line phone service. When you look at prices online the DSL prices AT&T offers are cheaper if you bundle it with phone service, but the overall price is always higher. So, when we moved in we signed up for just Internet service.
Our most recent bill has some fine print labeled “Important Information” that informs us that beginning this month our bill would be increasing by $3 a month. I was annoyed with this and called to complain, see if they would leave it at our existing rate, and if necessary downgrade our service to a lower price point (we’re already paying ridiculous amounts for the service we get when compared with the fiber service I had in Utah which was both cheaper and incredibly faster). So it was the principle of the thing.
After fighting my way through their obnoxious voice-only prompts (I would much rather push buttons than try to “explain in a few words why [I’m] calling today”), and waiting on hold for 10 minutes, I got a live person who had no idea what I was talking about. They had never heard of this price increase and apparently couldn’t see anything about my account that says it was happening. So he conferred with someone else who had no idea what I was talking about. Then they discovered that I had originally ordered my service through the AT&T website, which is apparently an entirely different department. So he tried to transfer me to someone else, and I was greeted with, “We’re sorry, this number is not in service…” Awesome AT&T, way to transfer me to a non-existent phone number.
So I called back (voice prompts, + 10 minutes on hold) and got someone else. Who also had no idea what I was talking about at first, but pulled up by bill and read the text. Then she suddenly knew what I was talking about, but said she didn’t think it applied to my account. So she put me on hold. After a few minutes she came back and said she could offer me the same DSL service plus local phone service for $5 cheaper than our current monthly amount! The magic of AT&T’s system. I asked, if this was the case, why did they bother selling DSL without phone service? Her answer was to claim that some people just really didn’t want phone service. This is despite the fact that I can’t find any such deal like this on the website, but I’m not going to mention that to her.
So, she gives me the exact price quote. To be absolutely clear on the matter, I ask directly, “Is this an introductory offer?” – “No.” “Is there an activation fee?” – “No.” “Will I have the same DSL speeds I have now, 6.0 Mbps down, 768 Kbps up? – “Yes.”
Ok, well, why wouldn’t I do this? We might not even bother hooking up a phone. But somehow we can get the same DSL service plus local phone service for cheaper than the DSL service alone. And there’s still no contract.
As odd as the notion seems to me, I’m pretty sure I actually won that phone call. We’ll see if it actually pans out the way it was sold to me. But if there’s any trouble I made sure to get the CSR’s name, so I’ll know who to blame.
No, of course I didn’t win. The answers I was given were outright lies. There was an activation fee that I had to call and get reversed. And it was an introductory offer and after 6 months my bill went through the roof. Filthy lying useless company.