Except that we've been getting long distance service via Sprint. And Sprint is discontinuing their long distance business, which means that we need another long distance carrier. After some investigation, I conclude the best option is to get the AT&T $5/month even if you don't use it plan.
About a month ago, I tried to change this on-line, but their systems were down for maintenance. Today was bill paying day, so it brought it back to the top of my to-do list. Off to the AT&T website, log in, finally manage to navigate to the right page link, click --
And the screen comes up telling me that I have to call them.
So I call the number. It says that all representatives are busy and that my wait time should be about one minute.
After more than 10 minutes, I give up and hang up and start over.
My wait time should be about one minute.
After 15 minutes, someone finally answers the damned phone. I inform her that the scheduling algorithm is completely broken and that they should consider telling someone about this, as I gave up on the first call -- which was no doubt the intent of the evil individual who wrote it, or at least so I suspect.
I tell her that I want to drop call waiting, for which I am now paying the stupid amount of $10.99 per month for a feature where little girls can not be counted on to hit flash on the phone, and that I want to add the cheapest long distance plan that they have, which I believe is $5 or $7 or something. I am put back on hold.
Eventually, she comes back and lets me know that she has removed call waiting and signed me up for the $7 / month long-distance plan. I don't know what that plan would be, as I went back and checked their website and the plan seems to cost $5 / month. There is apparently no $7 / month plan, although I have been signed up for it. Maybe it's the "donate $2 / month to AT&T for no good reason" plan. I dunno. So I suggest to her that I would like the advertised $5 / month plan.
I am told that I now have it.
Of course, at one point during the call, I was told I would be given a confirmation number and I don't seem to have gotten that either.
In the meantime, while seemingly on permahold, I spent time trying to figure out if I could bundle some non-POTS telephone service from AT&T with my existing DirecTV account. That appears to be impossible unless you want AT&T's wonderfully slow U-Verse Internet service, which I do not. There's also the question of whether or not this would work with my alarm system which I suppose I might find on ADT's website, but assuredly not on AT&T's.
There is also the option of giving up and going with Comcast. However, I have a Business Class Internet service from Comcast and it doesn't appear that it's possible to bundle a consumer class phone service with it. There is the Business Class phone service, but -- although the website says that incoming calls are free -- it doesn't say anywhere what outgoing calls would cost.
Because, you know, that would be too simple.
I could consider trying to downgrade my Comcast service from Business Class to consumer. Of course, I have become accustomed to actually having it work and since I'm working from home, that is a major plus. And then there are the burgeoning data caps that Comcast is rolling out around the country.
However, my employer has stopped paying for more than half of what I was paying for the Internet connection, which is pretty much like an almost $1000 / year after-tax pay cut, so maybe I need cheaper Internet service.
Or maybe I need a drink.
If I drank. Which I don't.
I think I'll just order a pizza.