Wednesday, October 30, 2013

A word to the wise: If you value your sanity, don't subscribe to AT&T's U-verse service

    Maybe you've heard about AT&T's U-verse service and are thinking about subscribing. I strongly advise against it. Read on.
    We subscribed to U-verse, which is AT&T combo service providing Internet, phone, and TV, when we moved into a rented townhouse in Oxford, just over two years ago. I have to say for the most part we liked the service. The problem is that it is impossible to quit and no one at AT&T will answer the telephone.
    We bought a house this year and transferred our service to our new location. We were told that our new address wasn't eligible for U-verse and that we would have to go back to old-timey phone and DSL service. The service at our townhouse was to end on May 21 and begin in our new home May 24. Well, it didn't. I think we finally got phone service June 14; so we were without phone service for three weeks.
    Of course we called to find out what was going on with our phones. We were always told it would be cut on in a couple of days. Then we would call again two days later. Or we tried to. And that's when we made an unpleasant discovery. Regular AT&T service and U-verse service are apparently two completely separate divisions within the AT&T empire. We would call and ask about our phone service and be cordially welcomed as a "U-verse customer." When we would finally talk to someone they would tell us they couldn't help because we weren't with the U-verse division anymore. They would then deposit us back in he automated phone queue. Lather, rinse, repeat. Ad infinitum.
    I do understand, by the way, that automatic phone systems save corporations money. But it's ridiculous to have to go through 20 minutes of phone prompts, two Spanish lessons, and a lecture on texting while driving when all one needs to say is, "May I speak to someone in billing, please?" Oddly enough, there is no phone prompt asking if one has been charged for something one doesn't owe. In fact, it is virtually impossible to talk to anyone at AT&T about any problem. It's made even more difficult when one's phone number is linked to the U-verse division even though one is no longer a U-verse customer, so that one enters an endless circle of phone prompts.
    AT&T continues to charge us for service we did not receive. They are trying to charge us for equipment we returned. They are still charging us for long-distance charges that are supposed to be part of our package. They refuse to answer the phone so we can discuss it.
    I've said enough. If you think you will be a U-verse customer for life, go for it. But if you think you might ever want to move to a new address, avoid the service like the plague.
    Lawsuit to follow? Probably.

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