Bill Roper (billroper) wrote,
Bill Roper

Thanks, AT&T! (With Honorary Bonus Points to Comcast)

So we have a landline from AT&T. It has been getting progressively more expensive, which is fairly easy to ignore.

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.
Tags: home, musings, rant, tech, work

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