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Old 07-15-2011, 09:50 PM
 
521 posts, read 1,010,264 times
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My friends just signed up last month for Comcast, and they have 30 day trial to decide if they keep it, or drop it. If they keep it & change off, they pay a $150 fee for not keeping their contract for a year..
They got about another week to decide if they want to keep Comcast for a full year, or just drop it!
Meanwhile, they were offered a 3 in 1 bundle from AT&T for only $89, which includes the basic TV service, U-verse internet, and even a cell phone for 450 minutes. However, the installers are so busy, they won't be able to hook up their internet, or TV service until mid August! However, they can offer them the cell phone service right away! They are goign to have to pay their cell phone bill soon, but that contract is expired, so they don't have to keep that cell phone company at all they presently have, it's not AT&T!
Their contract is up on their cell phone, so they need a new cell phone soon.
They're paying at least $50 for the 450 minutes on their present cell phone and don't like their provider either.
Should they just wait until Mid August to get their internet installed thru AT&T, and not have any internet service for a few weeks, and save $$ on their cell phone bill too, or should they just keep Comcast, and perhaps get more TV channels and pay more money?
They pay like $45 a month for both the internet & TV but the internet is super slow and they cannot even watch a video or news clip, it's that stuttery! The TV has not many channels to watch, maybe 40 or so at the most!
I've heard lots of good things about U-verse, and if they don't decide soon, they'll be stuck with Comcast for a year.
But, AT&T also told them they'd give them $150 credit if they choose the internet, TV & cell phone and went ahead and switched off Comcast, so.. they could possibly just keep Comcast, and then cancel when AT&T have installer ready to come install the U-verse in mid August.

Course, they'll miss work opportunities not having the internet, since that's where they work, online....

But they don't have to go with AT&T cell phone, there's other companies out there, but the ones they're thinking of, not sure, they have the best coverage and may get their calls dropped a lot. They don't have a land line presently. They'd rather not have no internet service though for nearly 3 weeks, as they work online, for their job... $150 is a lot of money though...
What would you advise?
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Old 07-16-2011, 01:17 AM
 
13,072 posts, read 11,575,083 times
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It really depends on many factors, such as location, equipment, and even down to the CO responsible for that specific area. Price is also a factor depending on location between the areas and this can be as little distance as simply moving to a mid city location only 10 miles from each other. City planning and state legislation will also have an effect on which provider may have better offerings.

I have seen ATT&T Uverse be absolutely solid in some areas, with little if any issues and great pricing plans only to have the complete opposite be true of a location only 15 mins away.

Also, the features of each are important. Cable is nice when properly segmented and managed. If you are in such an area, you can get extremely fast speeds with little to no service issues, though if not, you may find your speeds drop far below advertised at various busy times.

Cable providers tend to be far more expensive though in most comparisons and personally, I dislike their business practices so I usually stray from them as well due to their lock in deals to which as you mentioned can have a heavy penalty fee for dropping.

AT&T usually has no obligation and you can move up and down the packages, but... keep in mind this is dependent on who is doing your contract. If you do it through a salesman (often those at apartment places, or storefronts), you may also get locked into a limited contract with penalty for early termination. Their phone sales, internet sales, paper marketing and store sales are all different departments to which have different deals and may have different requirements between such. Make sure you read the fine print.

I have used U-verse for a while and it isn't bad, the packages if you find the right deal can be a real steal and often you can upgrade something within the deal to another level (going from 6 mb downs to 12mb, or even 24 for 5 bucks extra a month).

Though all will have their catches. Some promotions will throw in the DVR without charge, others will have it separate from the plan, it really depends as I said where you get your deal, but some... such as the phone sales will often be able to match the other deals (for instance an internet deal) with an identical or similar plan.


I can't really tell you what is the best deal, all I can say is check the fine print, look into the plans in extreme detail and ask tons of questions and then choose exactly what fits your need. Remember, often receiver fees (above one room), remotes (depends on the provider), etc... will not be included in the plan and so the price may increase.

Other than my personal aversion to cable companies, both are probably fine if the price, the deal, and the offerings suit you.

I would however check performance of both ISPs in forums relevant to the specific locations of your area. That should give you an idea on the service performance and stability which could be a coin toss depending on that specific location and the record of those who are in charge of that location.

Good luck!

Oh and one other thing, as for special offerings and ability of the cable providers (been about 3 years since I used Comcast), I found their on demand selection to be limited in many ways compared to U-verse and I personally disliked their channel menu interface design and functionality. That may differ though from some locations and might have changed since I used it last, so it isn't a certainty.
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Old 07-16-2011, 09:22 AM
 
521 posts, read 1,010,264 times
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Well, I think the main thing.. is that they have to wait 3 weeks to get their new internet service thru U-Verse, if they just switch off, and get off Comcast when that 30 day trial period runs out.

I'm not sure they can afford to do that, as I said before, their job entails them being on the internet.
Now they could stay with Comcast, and get hit with the $150 cancellation fee, and the sales person said they'd get a $150 visa card for switching to U-verse (sounds like they really want their business), but all they got that put was on a business card, with the salesperson's name on the front... Nothing formally in writing... and I think my friends need that in order to be sure they'll do what they say they'll do.
Like many of us, they're constantly being told one thing by a company, only to be ripped off.
They could however, just go with AT&T for the cell phone service, and forget about switching their broadband, but they say its seriously slow and they cannot even see newsreel videos.. or nothing...
They've called comcast and someone fixed it temporarily but now it's slow as rain again...

They sure don't want to stay with their present provider for cell phone service, though... which is another big name company I'll not mention... They're quite expensive and the service is terrible.

They hardly want to stay with another big name company who treats them horribly either though, and the service is poor... so to get off Comcast might be a good thing too. I've heard many complaints about them on the web and from people in person myself.
I've seen their internet and how it loads and it's quite slow... not only when times are busy but always. It really doesn't seem like broadband even.
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Old 07-16-2011, 02:51 PM
 
13,072 posts, read 11,575,083 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanaMarley View Post
Well, I think the main thing.. is that they have to wait 3 weeks to get their new internet service thru U-Verse, if they just switch off, and get off Comcast when that 30 day trial period runs out.

I'm not sure they can afford to do that, as I said before, their job entails them being on the internet.
Now they could stay with Comcast, and get hit with the $150 cancellation fee, and the sales person said they'd get a $150 visa card for switching to U-verse (sounds like they really want their business), but all they got that put was on a business card, with the salesperson's name on the front... Nothing formally in writing... and I think my friends need that in order to be sure they'll do what they say they'll do.
Like many of us, they're constantly being told one thing by a company, only to be ripped off.
They could however, just go with AT&T for the cell phone service, and forget about switching their broadband, but they say its seriously slow and they cannot even see newsreel videos.. or nothing...
They've called comcast and someone fixed it temporarily but now it's slow as rain again...

They sure don't want to stay with their present provider for cell phone service, though... which is another big name company I'll not mention... They're quite expensive and the service is terrible.

They hardly want to stay with another big name company who treats them horribly either though, and the service is poor... so to get off Comcast might be a good thing too. I've heard many complaints about them on the web and from people in person myself.
I've seen their internet and how it loads and it's quite slow... not only when times are busy but always. It really doesn't seem like broadband even.
Well, if they are already having problems with Comcast, then it seems as if AT&T would be a better choice (at least in terms of a chance for better service). DSL doesn't have quite the complexity requirements concerning distribution that cable does (though it also doesn't have the speeds of such, but this is only important for people wanting max speed connections), so likely your service will be more reliable to your advertised speeds.

If you want to test such, go to Speedtest.net - The Global Broadband Speed Test and check their speeds compared to their advertised. I think there are options there to check performance based on location and ratings for various providers to your locale.

Just make sure that when they talk to the person that they clarify anything they do not understand or have a question about. It is highly unlikely they will be lied to and given something else and if they document well in their discussion with the sales person, they will be protected from that anyway.

My first install with AT&T U-verse didn't go well, the techs didn't know much past basic install and so they were completely confused with my network setup (which meant I had to do their work for them and simply had them plug it in and bypass my routers and switches to test it was working) and the sales person did make a mistake giving me the wrong plan, with the wrong, options, and monthly fee.

It wasn't intentional, just what seems to be a common problem with businesses these days concerning their ability to provide skilled people within these roles. I did have it corrected and they also threw in a battery pack for the IP Phone which usually costs an extra 40 bucks.

So, they will have to be diligent in their dealings with the company and document their interaction so any problems can be resolved quickly. Make sure they get a battery backup for the IP phone or they will be without service during power outages. They can use their own battery back up device if they have one and if its cheaper, but just keep that in mind as when I had them install it, the option wasn't included in the base offer.

Anyway, as I said, it seems for the most part their decision is already made for them. If they are having problems already with the cable companies actual service, they are likely to continue having such.

Good luck!
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Old 07-17-2011, 10:35 AM
 
521 posts, read 1,010,264 times
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they decided to go with AT&T... they'll see how the reception is in their home. They got 30 days to cancel I think, if their cell phone won't work... they've decided on mobile fone, not home at this time, but maybe they will have to switch if they cannot be heard on their phone line..

They only got 1 week though for the U-verse and internet.. that's weird.. they made them sign an agreement they'd get the $150 back, for switching.. the store employee didn't even want to honor the agreement that was sent to them!
It's good to get stuff put into writing.
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Old 07-18-2011, 09:59 AM
 
13,072 posts, read 11,575,083 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanaMarley View Post
they decided to go with AT&T... they'll see how the reception is in their home. They got 30 days to cancel I think, if their cell phone won't work... they've decided on mobile fone, not home at this time, but maybe they will have to switch if they cannot be heard on their phone line..

They only got 1 week though for the U-verse and internet.. that's weird.. they made them sign an agreement they'd get the $150 back, for switching.. the store employee didn't even want to honor the agreement that was sent to them!
It's good to get stuff put into writing.
Like I said, there are many different subdivisions of the the sales departments and they operate completely independent of each other concerning deals. Usually, they will have similar deals and honor similar plans between each other, but this isn't always guaranteed.

Yeah, the store fronts and various in person sales people seem to be a bad way to get the service. Phone sales to the main company (not a store location) and internet sign-ups seem to be the way to go in my experience. They offer much better deals and you have less issues with shady plans. The store fronts and sales people (ones you see selling you plans at apartment complexes and the like) get commission on the plans they sell and those plans often have locked in contracts, hidden conditions, etc... Keep in mind, that with phone sales, as long as you get them to provide you a confirmation number for the call, it will be just as good as a written agreement because they record the phone calls (out of the control of those making the deals) and the plan offering is easily referenced in the database with your confirmation number. Store front and individual sales can be a problem in that area.

It can be a pain depending on who you go through. All I can say is that after having dealt with most of the major companies, the issue of possibly getting a raw deal isn't relegated to a single provider as all will have such issues. The real indicator is not that they mess up a deal, or there is confusion on their part between the deals and installs, but their acceptance of correcting the issue. If they are persistent, they can get what they desire, but you have to be diligent as most of these companies make their money on the people who just accept the mistake or problem and just pay for it.
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Old 07-18-2011, 02:26 PM
 
Location: Atlanta
606 posts, read 1,530,558 times
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Quick question for anyone reading this thread:

Do I need to have a phone line or anything to do AT&T U-verse?

I've always picked cable over DSL in the past because I wasn't willing to pay to have a landline phone, when all I need is a cell.
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Old 07-18-2011, 11:12 PM
 
13,072 posts, read 11,575,083 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DiderotsGhost View Post
Quick question for anyone reading this thread:

Do I need to have a phone line or anything to do AT&T U-verse?

I've always picked cable over DSL in the past because I wasn't willing to pay to have a landline phone, when all I need is a cell.
DSL is a bit different in its offering and requirements as it is simply using the spare channels of your POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service) line for data which is why the plans usually require a phone service as well.

U-verse is completely self sufficient in that IPTV, VoIP, and Broadband are all handled over by the residential gateway unit and all services are provided over IP. No phone additional phone service is required.
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Old 07-19-2011, 08:09 AM
 
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
11,815 posts, read 13,959,030 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DiderotsGhost View Post
Do I need to have a phone line or anything to do AT&T U-verse?

I've always picked cable over DSL in the past because I wasn't willing to pay to have a landline phone, when all I need is a cell.
For the record, since people have been dropping landlines most of the larger DSL companies started offering DSL without a home phone. You still need the house to be wired for phone service, of course, but you don't have to pay for home phone service like you used to.
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Old 07-19-2011, 11:04 AM
 
521 posts, read 1,010,264 times
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well, they decided to go with AT&T but they had to be extremely adamant to the store manager about the deal they got thru the mail.. :X that's was creepy..
you get a letter from a major company telling you the price is one thing, you go into their store and the head manager wants to INSIST that you not get the deal you got in writing, but it will cost MORE!
Wow.. store managers.. you're making your company look SO bad doing that.
They had to spend like an hour insisting that they'd put the deal in writing.... they got that done... and now they must wait to get the U-verse, and the mgr was saying they may NOT have the service in their area! it MIGHT not go thru okay... ????
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