1 December 2009

Fuck AT&T (and just about every other large corporation)

Posted by Dirk under: musings .

We recently switched from the used-to-be-local ISP that we had been using for nearly 10 years to AT&T for our internet.  When we signed up, they told us we needed a new modem.  I thought this was odd, because our old ISP was basically just reselling AT&T service to us, after adding a cut for themselves, so why wouldn’t that modem continue working with AT&T?  But they said that even though the new modem would cost 100 bucks, they would give us a $100 credit so it would be free.  Ok, whatever then.

The other day we get our first bill.   The extra $100 charge is on the bill, the $100 credit is no where to be seen.

Doro calls AT&T.  The lady she talks to tells us we should have gotten a postcard in the mail that would have had a webaddress that we could have went to and filled out an online form in order to get our $100 credit.

I shit you not.  That is what she said.  What kind of fucked up, round about, stick it to the customer bullshit is that?

Doro perservered though and the lady said  she could do it for her on the phone.  After 20 minutes on hold we find out that soon we will get an automatic phone call telling us that our Visa gift card has been shipped.

A Visa gift card.  Not $100 off our bill, like the guy said when we signed up, but rather a Visa gift card.  Whenever that arrives.  If it’s not stolen in the mail.

And what really annoys me is there basically is no viable alternative.  This sort of fuck-the-customer mentality is how pretty much all corporations do business these days.  We could pay a hefty ‘early cancellation fee’ and quit AT&T, but I doubt Comcast would treat us any better.

3 Comments so far...

Arcanum Says:

1 December 2009 at 10:43 pm.

Not to rub salt in the wound, but as far as I know those Visa gift cards can only be used for purchases up to their limit. In other words, if you want to purchase something that costs $100.54, you can’t simply plunk down the extra $0.54 out of your pocket. The card just won’t work. I don’t know this for sure as I’ve never gotten one of those for a rebate, but that is what I’ve heard from other people. Fuck. That. Shit.

I think we should investigate the possibility of a Municipal fiber network project. A city-wide, city-owned fiber network that has nothing to do with the current incumbents AT&T and Comcast. They both suck, and the service they offer is pathetic by today’s standards. I really don’t know how we would go about getting the ball rolling on something like that, but it may be worth a shot. UTOPIA, in Utah, is a good example of this: http://www.utopianet.org/about-utopia

Dirk Says:

2 December 2009 at 8:35 am.

I think that’s a great idea. It seems I’ve heard of a few towns that have tried that and been sued by commercial ISPs claiming that the government going into the ISP business impacts their ability to screw over all their customers, or something like that. Sort of the same thing as the government going into the health insurance business.

Arcanum Says:

2 December 2009 at 1:31 pm.

That’s the real roadblock. Large ISPs will do what they can to stop projects like that from succeeding. Of course, money is another roadblock. From what I understand Chico isn’t exactly rolling in dough these days.

Still, we’re a quasi-intelligent group of people who loves us some Internets. We might want to look at starting a campaign for muni fiber.

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