AT&T Tries To Scam Me

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Prof. Wagstaff
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AT&T Tries To Scam Me

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Fri Aug 06, 2010 3:40 pm

A friendly AT&T rep stopped by my house (unannounced) last week to let me know that fiber optics are coming to my neighborhood and that not only would I be upgraded for free, but my monthly bill would go down about $20 (I currently have DSL and phone line service with them.) In an effort to get the damn guy out of my living room ASAP, I nodded a lot and scheduled an appointment to have the installation done (why not, it's free and it'll be faster, right?)

Looking over the info the rep left behind, I noticed a few things I was not very happy about. First, the installation visit "averages 4 hours." Wha? Seems a bit excessive. Reading further, I would need to give access to my computer to the AT&T guys. Wha? Why would I let complete strangers use my computer and install who-knows-what on there? I've never heard of such a thing in all the times I've changed/installed new services. Send me a modem and some directions and I'll hook it up.

So, I figured I'd call and see if all this rigmarole was really necessary and while I was at it, let them know that I had no use for the rest of the upgrade, which included free cable service for 1 mo. and a free DVR. I haven't had cable in a decade and I figured it would be easier to have them never install it then to hook it up only to have me call and cancel it before the free trial was over. Well, if I don't get the cable, two different phone reps told me, the $20/mo. savings vanish and there would be a $140 charge for installation.

"So you're telling me that you'll install internet, land-line and cable for free, but if I just get computer and phone service, there's now a fee for the installation? Does that make any sense?" .
"Everybody wants cable," I was told, which is neither true nor an answer to my question.

I can understand the savings disappearing -- it's a package deal, and without the whole package, I'm not entitled to the discounted price on internet and phone -- but what kind of bullshit is charging me $140 for not wasting everyone's time?

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Re: AT&T Tries To Scam Me

Postby chris! » Fri Aug 06, 2010 3:47 pm

AT&T is terrible. who knew?

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Re: AT&T Tries To Scam Me

Postby rabble » Fri Aug 06, 2010 5:17 pm

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:I can understand the savings disappearing -- it's a package deal, and without the whole package, I'm not entitled to the discounted price on internet and phone -- but what kind of bullshit is charging me $140 for not wasting everyone's time?

Such devious methods are difficult for me to understand but the way it was explained to me by a devious person is that a percentage people who intend to stop the cable end up electing to keep the cable, at least for a few months. The amount of money that percentage pays is more than the cost of installation, which of course is really much less than 140 dollars.

But if the mark elects to not have cable installed, there is zero chance they'll keep it beyond the freebie zone. Therefore they must force the mark to accept the free cable, thus creating the chance that they'll keep it long enough to pump some money back into the system.

Ta da.

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Re: AT&T Tries To Scam Me

Postby ArturoBandini » Fri Aug 06, 2010 5:31 pm

I have U-verse service. I originally had only wanted the fiber-based internet, which advertises speeds much better than DSL, but wasn't 'allowed' to install U-verse internet by itself.

After my many repeated questions about the strange logic of their price structure, an AT&T phone rep admitted to me that they sell the combo packages only as packages because they make more money on the TV service than the other services. They wouldn't sell me U-Verse internet by itself at the start, but after a few months, I canceled the TV and kept the internet. They got their money, I got exactly what I paid for, so I'm happy.

I believe the added installation time is because the connection is fiber-optic and must be physically installed from the street to your living room. It's not really a DIY modem plug-and-play situation unless you already have fiber run from the street.

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Re: AT&T Tries To Scam Me

Postby Henry Vilas » Fri Aug 06, 2010 5:45 pm

U-verse fiber was installed in my neighborhood last summer. An AT&T rep also came to my door. But since I have TDS DSL and phone, I couldn't immediately switch to any AT&T service. TDS Metrocom rents their lines from AT&T and their contract has a non-compete clause. I would have to do without phone and DSL for a week or so before AT&T could install their service.

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