Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Utility Debacle

There are some things associated with moving that I would prefer to never have to deal with again.

Can you say Utilities?

Canceling. Setting Up. Getting right.

The water, gas, and electricity were all set-up and ready to go the moment we walked in. But, there is always a problem somewhere. Such is life.

We had debated for months whether or not we would continue our very basic DirecTV service when we relocated. As I started looking for Internet providers (a must in the new world), I discovered several bundled packages that would make having both of them very affordable. By affordable I mean $31 for TV, $20 for Internet with $10 off each month for 12 months. A total of $40 for both, I can do TV for that.

So we did, or I thought we did.

We suspended our DirecTV account when we moved, and were contemplating it's merits. That account happened to be in my husbands name. When I called to see about bundling services they took my information. What they did on the bundling side was attach my husbands name to my social security number. When they went to "authorize" (after the call ended), it threw up a red flag and activation was delayed because the name and social security number didn't match.

I received an email from AT&T... but let's be honest, I didn't read it. Why? Because it came with a whole slew of emails from all the other providers confirming my request, I don't have time to read junk mail. So I didn't. Had they put something in the subject line that would have got my attention, maybe I would have. But putting my confirmation number as the subject didn't send off any bells.

And as I told them, a phone call or a text would have been better. If you send an email to someone who is setting up Internet service can't you assume that they won't have access to email? I am no genius, but it seems to make sense. What if my phone didn't have that capability? Some don't.

I did read it when we arrived and went to set up our computer and it wasn't working. When I called I was told of the error. I sat on the phone for two hours trying to get it straightened out. I got mad. They said it couldn't be activated any sooner, they needed 5 days. Really? And what for my troubles? Nothing.

Then when they finally did come out, 5 days later, the man left before we could confirm it was working. It wasn't working. This time my husband got mad. I told him I wouldn't speak to AT&T ever again. The next day another person came out and only 11 days after my initial request did we have reliable Internet service again.

And because I am on a roll, can I say that AT&T cell phone coverage in our area stinks. In the house we have 1 bar. I drop calls, or don't get them, all the time. Yesterday my husband called to say he was coming home, I didn't get the call.  I knew he was home when he walked in the door. What if it would have been an emergency? We are in no mans land, in a huge city - go figure.

Because we like to frustrate ourselves we called AT&T for that too. They said we have a cell tower with a deteriorating signal in our area, they don't know when it will be replaced, but rerouted us to a different tower, so now we have 2 bars.... still not 5.

During those 10 days that we didn't have Internet service I really thought I might go crazy. There is only so much you can do from a phone (especially one that has one bar). Not happy with AT&T right now.



  1. AT&T was okay for Internet for us. But phone, terrible. In our new town, we had no service. None. We were contemplating switching to Verizon, so we called AT&T and asked if there was any way we could improve service, and they said no, and they had no idea when they would be building or getting another tower in our area. So we asked if we could have our early termination fee (two months early) waived. Nope. After a week on the phone, someone finally told us they could give us a credit in the amount of our last bill, which would cover all but $15 of the early termination fees, so we took it. Now that we've switched to Verizon, we have good service, but our bill is all jacked up and no one knows how to help us. Ugh.

    1. Isn't moving fun? If we go outside it is only slightly better. Not sure what we are going to do about it. For a Nationwide company I can't believe how bad their service is. I had great reception at my parents house in the middle of nowhere, go figure.

  2. Utilities posed a unique problem for me this move. The landlords of the house we are renting kept pressuring us to transfer the gas & electric to our name ASAP. Our real estate agents were like HELL NO don't do this until June 1, when your lease starts, not May 1, like they wanted. Luckily all parties involved (except the landlords) are smart enough to adopt the latter strategy.

    P.S. I use T-Mobile and it hardly works anywhere. Le sigh.

    1. That just got me thinking... I didn't even ask if we were supposed to transfer utilities, I just set up news ones. Oh well, what is done is done:-) And because no one said anything about it, I didn't start them until the day we actually moved in, 4 days after the lease started. I guess that means she technically paid for 4 days that we should have. Maybe I should bake cookies.


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