I know this post is long…really long. But it might benefit you to read it before you go through what I did with AT&T and DirecTV today.
Just so there is no confusion, it’s these two companies, of which I am sure you are highly aware of.
The past two months I have gotten my cable bill I have noticed it went from $89 to $130 with Mediacom. The first month I thought it was just me. Maybe there was something I charged up, we are always watching movies, plus I traded in for new DVR equipment and maybe there was a charge I didn’t realize, so while I noticed it, I paid it and forgot about it. This month with the new bill showed up, it was again nearly $40 higher so I called.
I mean, for $40 more a month, they must be sending someone to my house to flip channels for me right? Cause I can honestly tell you my service didn’t get better for the extra cost. Its the same craptastic “sometimes works, sometimes doesn’t” cable I have always had. Come to find out I have a package that “ended” and they have no new promotions to “offer” me. Even after going to retention, I was basically told “sorry, but we don’t care that you have been a loyal customer for 3 years with perfect payment, you’re not as important to us as new signups so you get no deals”. I knew our relationship was over- even if out of principle.
I started asking around to my neighbors and found that DirecTV + AT&T were offered in my area.
For a long time, Mediacom had zero competition out here where I live, but now I had a choice and I intended to change over as long as it was near the same cost.
So on a recommendation of a friend, I called up AT&T and talked to a very nice guy who sold me on a “Premiere Package” with DirecTV including a DSL Bundle via AT&T for 2 years at $98 (I added DVR service), with the second year going up just slightly but not really over what I am paying with Mediacom now so I took it. The package was to include free HD and hoards of movie channels. I figured that while I wasn’t really saving a ton of money, I would be gaining services and getting out from under Mediacom.
I went ahead and set up the install for this Monday on the 3 televisions in my home.
Yesterday a man shows up at 8am to the house and proceeds to inform me that he can’t install my dish because he needs a 40 foot ladder to get on my roof and no one told him. Well…no one asked me. He said he couldn’t install it on the side of my house because of rules and so he called in and rescheduled me for a new technician the next day, which was today, between 12-4.
I can deal with that. I hadn’t cancelled my cable yet, so I was all good.
At 9:30am a guy shows up to my house randomly to install a phone line, one I did not order, and said he has a work order for it. I stressed to him I only ordered the DirecTV and DSL via AT&T, but if he needed to check the lines for DSL, to go ahead. He said his work order sheet said I had phone. I said I didn’t have phone. I did not want a phone hook up itself. But I let him do his thang since I figured the lines have to be clear for DSL. He is here about an hour or so checking the lines and eventually leaves. He was perfectly pleasant.
Although I am not sure what all kinds of efficient it was to send someone to my house without an appt and hope I was home.
That should have been the first indication of how my day was going to go.
At 11:30 a new DirecTV technician shows up, does a once over on the house and lets me know that he cannot install standard boxes on the wall my TV is on because it requires two cable lines and I only have one. To get the second one on that wall was impossible due to the location of the wall in my home and my two story set up and my choice was either to rearrange my living room to put the TV by the outside wall and window so they could feed cable lines in. Or I could upgrade to HD, which only requires one line, and leave the TV in its spot.
Considering the other wall in our living area has a massive window and I wasn’t about to put the TV against it, I was very limited in my choice. Cancel or upgrade.
Also aside from already thinking I was getting HD as part of the package I ordered, I didn’t want to give him permission to do some upgrade and later find out that I was being billed $100s of dollars for equipment so I asked for a time out to call AT&T and ask. He was very nice and said that was fine.
He then proceeds to tell me that technician #1 from Monday must have been lazy and not want to do the work because there is no need for a 40 foot ladder and that while you cant install the dish on the siding, it can be on the brick part of our home. I told him that the tech said there was no “line of site” in any spot but the roof. He said it was a lie because there were over 20K spots in my yard alone and there was no reason to not have the dish installed.
Back to my wait on the phone with AT&T to get some answers.
About a 15 min on hold, I get an AT&T customer service rep who tells me he cant answer my question on the upgrade (Honestly, all I wanted to know was a price difference, kwim? Isn’t this standard info?) and says he has to send me to a DirecTV specialist.
He transfers me.
However this is where he transfers me OUT of AT&T and over to DirecTV, of which I am not aware of at the time.
A few moments later a woman gets online, not from AT&T, from DirecTV rather, and tells me and the technician in my home that she cannot authorize an upgrade and the only thing I can do is CANCEL the whole thing and reschedule as a new customer again with AT&T, starting the entire process over at some point later this week. I tell her I have a guy standing in my house, I don’t want to cancel, I simply want to know the price increase so I can verify with him if I want him to do it or not. She keeps saying she can only cancel the order and I can call back because she doesn’t know the AT&T prices.
I am realizing that monkeys work at these call centers.
I am so infuriated that I just hang up the phone. I was literally on the verge of tears. I am 6 months pregnant, its my work day and I have had strange men in and out of my home all day. All I wanted was an answer like this:
“Mrs. Haas, its $4 a month extra for that service” or “Mrs. Haas, that’s already included in your package.”
Nope. Apparently too difficult. Gotta transfer me to someone authorized to answer that very difficult question.
I take a deep breath and call AT&T back. I will not be defeated.
I get a new guy whom I say to him that I just want to know the price difference in the Premiere package I signed up for and adding HD. You don’t even have to pull my account. He said there is, *cough*, protocol he has to follow, and proceeds to read to me from a sheet regarding permission to record me, permission to share my information with other companies etc.
This is the point I lose it.
I really did. I said something along the lines of…are you serious? You’re asking me if you can share my information with other companies and I have a technician in my home and I want to know if there is a price difference in this situation.
He hung up on me. No crap. HUNG UP ON ME.