| Review by natedj |
member for 11.9 years, 5953 visits, last login: a few hours ago
updated 347 days ago
- $35 per month
- about 7 days
- "AT&T service and customer support"
- "Equipment rentals"
- "Great service so far ... especially with the promotional pricing"
Uverse Log - May 2012
My broadband journey first began in 2000 with AT&T DSL service that lasted till 2006 then I switched to Time Warner cable. Now its 2012 and I switched back agin to AT&T with their new Uverse service.
AT&T has been touting this new service in my area for over a year now, the monthly pricing is on par with its cable competitor but the $250 installation charges kept me from taking the plunge. I got mailings after mailings from AT&T and I even had an AT&T rep come knocking on my door as he was making his way throughout the subdivision trying to get subscribers by offering additional promotions. Since all I wanted was an internet connection and not their TV or phone service, I declined.
My cable service through Time Warner was coming to an end of the promotion pricing, so it did as I usually do every year, I called them up and asked for any new promo pricing that would apply to me. For the past six years with them, they have kept me at the then current promo and they would even tell me to call them back when the promo is about to expire. So when I called they told me that my price would increase by $8 per month for the same 10 Mb down 1Mb up speeds. I said, "Fine, but what's the promo price," they said "that is the promo price" because the regular price is now $55 per month. So I figured now is a good time to call AT&T.
In talking to the AT&T sales person online I got conflicting info when comparing it to the AT&T website. The AT&T online form said that I would have to pay
$149 in installation charges,
$6 equipment rental fee and
$34.95 for the monthly promotion pricing, all for ...
18 Mb down and 2Mb up speeds
The AT&T phone rep said
$100 in installation charges,
No equipment rental fee and
$34.95 for the monthly promotion pricing for
18 Mb down and 1.5Mb up speeds
I double and triple checked to verify the pricing and she assured me that what she said is the actual pricing. So we setup an installation date to commence in the next three days.
If you ever read my previous review with TWC installation, you'll know that my back yard doesn't lend itself easily to installations. The AT&T crew called me as promised and when I met them at the house, they we're trying to figure out how to get to the service pole and then connect to my house, they saw the amount of work involved and told me, we'll have to reschedule ... it might be a week or so ... uh, someone will be calling you back. At that point I remembered the hell I had to go through just to have Time Warner do an install and I thought maybe I ought to stick with TWC and stay put.
I get a call the following day, different AT&T guy, he said he's going to try to access the pole and connect it to the house. Then he calls me back after an hour and a half and said that the connection was made and he's finished and I should be getting a call from the in-house installer. Wow, I'm elated. I've never had such quick service without a lot of belly aching and rescheduling, this has to be a record. AT&T rocks! Sure enough I get a call within the next 60 minutes from the in-house installer and I went to the house to let him in.
The in-house installer told me I had a choice of using my existing copper lines to run the Uverse on or he can run a new cat5e cable from the modem to the newly installed box on the side of the house by the previous AT&T installer and to avoid any old existing copper wiring he suggested the cat5 run. All this talk about using existing lines got me thinking so I asked the question, "I thought that this was fiber optic, why are we still using phone lines?" He said that its fiber to the pole and from the pole to the house its copper lines. So I guess I have FTTP and not FTTH. Then I asked him how many strands of copper are used for the data signal, he said just two, just like DSL. I had a facepalm moment, but if the speeds pan out fine what can I say.
Now the equipment that was installed in the house consisted of a battery backup/power source that is the size of a typical battery/surge UPS and this powers the box on the outside of the house and is said to have a three hour charge in case of a power outage. Then there was the 2wire modem/wireless router. I've got so many gadgets that I balked at having to more leeches sipping my electricity for 24/7. I asked the tech if I can bypass the 2wire router and just use my own since I have my custom settings for Qos, port forwarding, FTP and static IP's on my home network already configured. He said I can still use my own router but I couldn't bypass the 2wire router. No biggie, I configure the 2wire to act as a just a modem.
Anyway, when he was finished, we had a little trouble getting online and then a little trouble staying online. He ran some more test, made some calls and did some reboots and I was up and going. I did a speed test and even though the pings were slightly higher than TWC's the speeds were a consistent 16.5Mb DL and 1.2Mb UL. My speeds with Time Warner Cable read as much as 20Mb DL and .9 Mb UL even though I had 10Mb/1Mb service. I think doing a speed test with TWC is sort of deceptive since they invoke a technology called "speed boost" for the first several seconds of the download which is not consistent for the entire duration of a file download, but it may be long enough to trick the speed test into think that the speed boost is your actual speeds. Im I wrong on this?
Anyway, he left and then I got a call two hours later from some more techs ... apparently when we were having issues getting online, he called in reinforcements and they were just getting back to me. I told them everything was fine but they still came by and double checked the installation, tweaked some stuff and left.
A week after the install, everything is running smoothly so I decide to check my bill online and sure enough I was charged $149 for installation, and the monthly $6 equipment fee. I hate rental fees because they have no end. I rather pay for the equipment outright so I can resell it when I have no more use for it, instead of having a monthly leech in my pocket for something I'll have to return to AT&T. Since I still had my TWC service up and running, I made my mind up to cancel the whole Uverse show and stick with TWC instead of fighting with the billing center since I was led to believe that the pricing would be different and I had no way of proving it. When I called, I simply stated I wanted to cancel my newly installed Uverse service but the lady on the other end said "No, we're not going to let you do that!" I paused trying to figure out if she was serious or not, then she laughed. She was nice about the whole situation after she heard my story and offered to waive the entire installation charges for me to stay even though I'll still have to pay the monthly rental fee, but all things considered, I'll be paying less than if I stayed with TWC and with better speeds.