A friendly AT&T rep stopped by my house (unannounced) last week to let me know that fiber optics are coming to my neighborhood and that not only would I be upgraded for free, but my monthly bill would go down about $20 (I currently have DSL and phone line service with them.) In an effort to get the damn guy out of my living room ASAP, I nodded a lot and scheduled an appointment to have the installation done (why not, it's free and it'll be faster, right?)
Looking over the info the rep left behind, I noticed a few things I was not very happy about. First, the installation visit "averages 4 hours." Wha? Seems a bit excessive. Reading further, I would need to give access to my computer to the AT&T guys. Wha? Why would I let complete strangers use my computer and install who-knows-what on there? I've never heard of such a thing in all the times I've changed/installed new services. Send me a modem and some directions and I'll hook it up.
So, I figured I'd call and see if all this rigmarole was really necessary and while I was at it, let them know that I had no use for the rest of the upgrade, which included free cable service for 1 mo. and a free DVR. I haven't had cable in a decade and I figured it would be easier to have them never install it then to hook it up only to have me call and cancel it before the free trial was over. Well, if I don't get the cable, two different phone reps told me, the $20/mo. savings vanish and there would be a $140 charge for installation.
"So you're telling me that you'll install internet, land-line and cable for free, but if I just get computer and phone service, there's now a fee for the installation? Does that make any sense?" .
"Everybody wants cable," I was told, which is neither true nor an answer to my question.
I can understand the savings disappearing -- it's a package deal, and without the whole package, I'm not entitled to the discounted price on internet and phone -- but what kind of bullshit is charging me $140 for not wasting everyone's time?