Time for Uverse

Earlier this year I wrote about considering upgrading my internet and cable to AT&T Uverse from my currently separate packages consisting of AT&T DSL and Dish Network TV. Ultimately, even though I wanted to upgrade my internet speed, I decided that once I included all of AT&T’s add-on fees, the package was just too expensive to justify.

So the other day two salesmen came by the house pushing me to sign up for Uverse. They were able to put together a package that was going to cost about $105 per month, but right now I am paying about $80 a month, and the $105 was just the introductory rate: after 12 month it would go up substantially. The salesmen said the answer to that was to call AT&T and tell them you wanted to keep the old rate and they would leave it alone. I wonder about that. I ended up sending them on their way without agreeing to anything.

Then I talked to Eric, who has been accessing the internet at high speed using his phone, but a software upgrade had just prevented him from doing that on a routine basis and he was kind of panicking. He said he would pay for whatever increase was necessary to get the upgrade. So it would cost me the same amount (at least for as long as Eric is here), and Eric would have to pitch in an extra $25-$35 for the upgrade. So I found a similar deal online and placed the order. They said they would be able to install it the next afternoon when Eric would be home from a shorter day at work. But they didn’t show up during the 2-hour installation window. I checked the order status online and it said they needed additional information. I called them and they tracked it down to some kind of engineering problem with getting the wire to my house. I’m not sure why they didn’t realize that already and they didn’t have any specifics. I waited until this week to hear an update from them, but wound up calling again. They said that because their crews were very busy, it would be two more weeks before they could actually hook up my house and install the service. Disappointed with the customer service and having second thoughts about the whole thing, I asked if I could just cancel, and surprisingly they let me do that. Done! I felt a lot better about that because I imagined making the call to Dish Network and them asking why I was cancelling and telling them I was happy with the service, happy with the price, and had no problems except they just had to go.

Later that same day, an online ad said I could get Uverse internet and TV for $39 per month plus free HBO and free Amazon Prime. I knew there would still be add-ons, but that was a pretty good price. Maybe I could just get internet and keep Dish. And $39 wasn’t bad for internet service that is 10 times as fast as my current $26 service (which just went up to $41). I set up the installation for November 11 and maybe that will give them time to fix my home connection, or maybe they will wait until November 11 to figure out I’m still not hooked up. The TV service I’m getting is Uverse Basic, which is just broadcast channels and some junk. The discount on TV covers the entire price of the TV service, but by having free TV in my package, that qualifies me for a $5 bundling discount which reduces my internet cost. And by keeping Dish as my main TV service I avoided AT&T’s $15 add-on for DVR service, $10 for HD, $8 for a second TV, and who knows how much to upgrade from basic channels to 200 or 300 channels. Now the only add-on is $7 per month for the internet modem, putting my monthly rate at $46 plus tax.

So we’ll see how it goes.

3 thoughts on “Time for Uverse

  1. They sent me a couple of messages beforehand reminding me they were coming out and I even had to text them a confirmation. The installer got here early and then took a long time getting the house hooked up all the way from the pole to the house and then inside. It took maybe 5 hours, which seems crazy, but she stayed pretty busy and never got frustrated or anything. Now I have HBO and local channels in standard definition for TV and pretty good internet speed of between 16 and 23 Mbps, over ten times faster than the old internet. I should get an email with the free Amazon Prime membership at some point. Videos come over very clearly and without any kind of interruption, though some websites are still kind of laggy.

  2. Last month’s bill included some installation fees, but this month’s bill should be more typical. The total is $49.56, which isn’t too much over the nominal $46. The Max Plus internet service should be 18 Mbps, but I’m still getting in the low 20’s pretty routinely. Eric had to get a new wireless board for his computer because he was only seeing about 3 Mbps. With the new board he is still only getting around 12. There are a few walls between him and the router, so maybe that is as well as he can do. I’ve connected the Asus Transformer to the TV and played some episodes of Last Week Tonight With John Oliver via HBO Go. It’s a little cumbersome, but it works. Amazon Prime’s video streaming doesn’t seem to be that good. They have a pretty good library of TV shows, but not much in the way of movies. Prime has really come in handy for getting fast shipping from Amazon, including Eric’s wireless card.

  3. The year of U-verse is drawing to a close. I called AT&T today to see what they could do for an internet only plan for the next 12 months. $53 per month was their best offer. So I will be switching to Comcast Xfinity whose intro deal is $40 per month for a year and they are throwing in a TV box with local channels and Showtime. I’m surprised AT&T really felt that was the right price point since their equipment is already in my house and I’m paying my bill.

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