Monday, May 07, 2007

Why You Might Not Try To Save $2,000

The ATT&T Lesson: When you called AT&T two months ago to complain about the ever-increasing bill, a young man put you on a new plan to help you save $35 a month. The new plan, it turns out when you get your bill, costs exactly five dollars more than the old one. Because you like the quality of AT&T, you call and ask if you can get their cable internet without the phone. You can! If you also get their cable TV, which will eventually cost you $75 a month. Nobody believes you don't have a television (or that you have one in the attic, in case of emergencies). So you decide to switch to Earthlink cable. When you call to cancel AT&T, they tell you that it will cost you $100 because you were just put onto a new plan that requires a one year contract. You say you weren't informed of a yearlong service contract, that you wouldn't have signed up for one since you were considering the switch to cable for awhile now, and that even if they had told you, they lied about the price. They ask if you if you want to pay the one hundred dollar cancellation fee or keep your service. You ask for the manager. They say it's the weekend, the manager will call you by Wednesday. They have told you this before, about another issue, and you know what they mean is that you should call back on Monday. I haven't had the resolve to do this as of yet.

**Update** 43 minutes into a call in which you speak to 6 different AT&T reps, half of whom think your contract actually expired in August, half of whom think it began in March, you are informed that the manager has to call back because they're backloaded. Turns out it's not only on the weekend you can't talk to a manager, it's everyday.

The Internet Switch Lesson: No matter how proficient you have become in the last twenty years, it will always take at least eight solid hours, usually thirteen, of your time. When the installation guy leaves, for example, you will discover you don't actually have a working connection. The Earthlink call center will help you along and a few days later you will learn a 56k modem is faster than your new Earthlink cable. The Earthlink call center will tell you to unplug your modem and cable connection and restart your computer (the old goat takes more than 5 minutes to restart every time, and throughout this process, you will restart it at least 20 times) and swear your problem is solved. An hour later, you will call the same call center, tell them about the same slow problem. The new call center employee will try a completley different solution that sort of works. Eventually, they will refer you to Time Warner, who installed the service. Time Warner employee will perform all the same tests from your computer that Earthlink did, look at various settings, finally refer you back to Earthlink. At the last second the employee will get a bright idea, have you fix one more thing, and that will work.

The Energy Company Switch Lesson: You sign up for a new service April 16th or so, and get a note back from the Texas Power Commision telling you they've approved the switch for June 15. It takes two months, I guess, to. Um. What???? Whatever. I'm not making any phone calls.

The Bank Switch Lesson: Switch banks before you switch phone companies or you may not have enough life force left to fill out the online application and send it in via snail mail. We are switching from Chase, king of $12 service fees and low interest rates, to EverBank that charges nothing and gives 6% interest on both checking and savings. It's an internet bank...meaning I'll have to send in deposits, but it pays for ATM charges at whatever local bank you make withdrawls.

The Saving $2000 A Year Lesson Ask the internet readers to come up with one. You spend too long trying to think of a pithy aphorism or metaphor, but your brain is in a hateful mood and won't help out.

1 comment:

chuck said...

o dear. dear, dear, dear.