Monday, January 26, 2009

Dumbest. Company. Ever.

I've been meaning to switch from DSL to cable internet for a while. My DSL service is too expensive for what it gives me, and my former local ISP has been sold to some larger entity, which is never a good thing. So the things that bound me to my existing service no longer apply.

And after ignoring AT&T's entreaties for some time about their services, I finally realized that they weren't, in fact, trying to sign me up for video over phone lines, but actually trying to get me to switch to their fiber-optic system, called U-Verse. Lame name, but whatever. The service and price points are pretty appealing, so I start to look into it.

I go online to sign up, it looks good. Until I get to the page where it says, "Sorry!" Because they see that my existing phone line is shared with my DSL service. Well, yeah. That's why I want to change. Duh. But they can't take the order online.

So I call them, figuring they can just override that. Oh boy, was I wrong. They run into exactly the same issue. They can't order the switchover because I have "shared service" on my existing phone line. It's not that there's any technical reason they can't switch me over, just that the order system won't let them enter the order, either.

So my option is to cancel my existing DSL service, and then order U-Verse as a replacement. Meaning I'll be without Internet access for a while. Yeah, great solution guys. Or I can just go with the cable company option, which costs more and gives me less service. And sends me to their competition.

Brain-dead. I can't be the only one in this situation, but they have no solution for me.


Sarette said...

Hey, at least you can get u-verse. By the way, do you know if you can get a static IP with that?

Anyway, I'm on Comcast cable and, yes, it is painful. I'll probably end up with Direct TV later this year (once the new Tivo box hits their service), it's that bad. But I'm stuck with Comcast for internet for the foreseeable future.

If I was you, I'd get a second phone line so you can get u-verse. Then, once you have u-verse installed, ditch the second line. Juggle your main house number across phone lines as needed.

Alternatively, ditch DSL, order u-verse, and then go on a dive vacation to a far-away exotic location while you wait for u-verse to get installed. Hey, at least you'll know that I'm jealous.... :)

Chard said...

Hmmm. I didn't ask about that. I haven't actually NEEDED a static IP address for some time. I work around it now by using a dynamic DNS account (through My router supports DDNS, so that's fairly handy.

We have cable at the weekend house, and it works ok for that. But I don't want to rely on it for my real work, for a number of reasons.

We schemed another notion over dinner tonight. If I can arrange to mooch off the neighbor's wifi for the time we're disconnected, that might work. I could even give them my access point to plug into their network, probably.

I like the dive vacation idea (other than needing to be here when they install). Also, my niece who lives here would be fairly unhappy if we took off for a trip and left her incommunicado.

I shall pursue this neighbor idea. It seems plausible.

Sarette said...

How far away is the neighbor's house? Maybe you can string some CAT-5 from his house to yours and avoid all the gnarly reception issues that go along with WiFi. Otherwise, you might want to figure out how to build directional antennas using soup cans.

And what's up with that niece? She doesn't like diving?