At&t U-Verse Strike 3 Tom October 13, 2008 Random, Technology I figured this would be a good thing to post in case anyone was thinking about getting At&t U-Verse service, or if they just hooked it up in your area. So about a month ago, AT&T trucks started pulling up around my parents house setting up the new network that would run their U-Verse network and naturally with the installation trucks came sales people. So of course the salesman comes by my parents house when my dad is at work and my mom doesn’t know a whole lot about this kinda stuff so she takes his pamphlets and tells him she’ll discuss it with my dad. A few days later I happened to be at their house before a softball game and the At&t guy was walking down the street when he saw me and my dad standing in the driveway, so he decided to give us another shot. He came in and gave us the whole sales pitch about how we’d get a box for every TV for free, the DVR can transfer shows to every box, and so forth. All of this stuff sounded good, but the price was still the same as Comcast, which has been the only option in our neighborhood forever. So after he’s done I start asking questions that my parents wouldn’t know to ask, and really I wouldn’t have known to ask if my friend didn’t keep up with all this crap. My first question was the speed of the internet that comes with the basic package. They claim they start with the same speeds as Comcast, well I understand that Comcast advertises 6mbit for their service, but that’s more or less a burst speed and not what you get consistantly, but U-verse was still way less than that, I think it was 2mbit or something. They do offer a 6mbit package for more money though. Not like this was a big deal since my parents are the only ones living there and they wouldn’t need the speed for anything. So then I start asking about the HD stuff. My friend had told me that with U-Verse you could only have 1 TV on an HD channel at a time, which seems ridiculous to me, so I asked. Apparently they have made advances in the network (or some bullshit) since my friend talked to them and they can now do 2 HD channels at the same time. Seriously though? Only 2 TV’s can be watching HD at any given time? Now it really doesn’t matter for my parents since again, it’s just the two of them, and the only HD tv’s in the house are in the bedrooms, but I’m sure they’ll upgrade the family room tv soon, so that could have lead to problems, but they really weren’t worried about it. I guess they couldn’t think of a situation where they would have more than 2 HDtv’s on at the same time. So no big deal there. I think what sold them on it was the DVR and the cable box abilities. They really liked the fact that you could record up to 4 programs at once and then any box in the house could watch those shows. They love their Tivo, but it’s older, only has 1 tuner, and it’s in the family room not the bedroom. So at this point I had to leave for the softball game, so it was up to them to decide and ask anymore questions. And apparently they liked what they were hearing and setup an appointment for an install, which would take approximately 6-7 hours! This is where the trouble started. Apparently the salesman made the install date on one of the dates they told him wouldn’t work (I don’t know how that happened), but he assured my parents that he’d talk to his manager and change the installation date for them to a better date. Thinking this was going to be taken care of my parents planned on being home for the new install date, but when At&t called the day before the original date to confirm the install the dates were never switched, strike 1. So they switched the dates over the phone and again they waited. The 2nd install date came around and they were supposed to be there between 12 and 1. They called right before 12 and said they wouldn’t be able to make it for whatever reason and asked if they could reschedule… strike 2. So they rescheduled again for last week. This time everything seemed to be going well in the fact that they showed up and my dad was there. So they go to start installing stuff and one guy goes outside to the pole in the backyard to check the signal strength and what do you know, signal strenght is too low! The guy came in and explained that the main box, or whatever, was too far away from the house and that with the signal strength they had he would only be able to get maybe 2 TV’s to work, strike 3. So my dad said forget it, cancelled, and they are now still with Comcast. So that was my parents experience with At&t U-verse. What I still can’t figure out is why would they come into their neighborhood trying to sell them a service that they couldn’t even have? But at least the install guy was honest and told my dad that the signal strength was low and it wouldn’t work right, instead of just doing his job and installing it and then having someone else worry about it. So thanks to him, and no thanks to the salesman that is selling service we can’t even have, or to At&t for not getting the install dates right.