December 18, 2016

You Can't Fight City Hall (or the Cable Conglomerate)

Cable companies are the dregs of the earth. Sigh. I know that. But I signed up with Time-Warner as punishment to ATT, which is a desperate enough move (and a merger seems imminent anyway with ATT), but it felt good in the moment. Which is what Bill Clinton says often.

Ultimately it seems ATT Uverse just doesn't offer standalone Internet, which they have never told me but can be inferred from voluminous phone calls to reps. To say that communication is not ATT's strong suit is like saying ballet dancing is not my strong suit.

I got stood up for the 8am-10am appointment today. Called ATT. Tech said that that appointment got scheduled over top another appointment (being my cease and desist phone and cable order).  Would've been idyllic to have been informed of this. But this rep assured me they'd be coming out between 8am-8pm today to do that order, although he couldn't give me a time window.

Naturally, I got stood up for the 8am-8pm appointment today as well. Called again and got another tech and this one said no appointment was needed, they'd do it remotely. By tomorrow.

But the straw that broke this camel's back was when I asked, with much trepidation, what my new bill would be. Not $79 like I was told by a rep not even five days ago, but $128. Game over, Time Warner wins. In the space of a single week I had three different customer service reps give me unique if not particulary compelling stories. (And they say the gospels don't match up exactly!?!)  I feel pretty confident that if I call back I'll get new "information".  

Of course I'm back in the boat where I have to negotiate yearly deals with Time Warner to prevent them from jacking up the Internet-only package, so this all feels so pyrrhic a victory. My goal was to avoid having to renegotiate every year and now I'm back to renegotiating every year. I've squared the circle. I fought the cable and the cable won.

What I've learned from all this is that annual re-negotiating is not negotiable. 

Consider it part of the life maintenance, like going to the dentist.

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