Monday, February 20, 2006

Internet epic concludes

Not happy with the deals or treatment I've been getting from my DSL company, AT&T/SBC, the past week or so, I called again this morning to see if they could get me any closer to the wonderful $12.99 express DSL/$17.99 professional DSL deal they advertised in the newspaper yesterday.

My call in to the company yesterday afternoon only resulted in more frustration as I was informed that the $19.99 express DSL deal I signed up for last week — after I got a letter saying my DSL pro was going up to a staggering $39.99 from an already-too high $29.99 — was a 12-month contract that I couldn't get out of. No further explanation was offered as to why I couldn't get the low rate of $17.99 for the DSL pro I really wanted.

My call this morning was answered by a very friendly Becky, who with great understanding of my aggravation let me know that the deal I saw advertised in the paper was for new customers only. That little tidbit had not been included on the flyer from yesterday's paper or revealed by the brusque-mannered young man I talked to yesterday, but I had an idea that was so anyway.

As it turns out, the best deals with AT&T/SBC DSL are by one-year contract, Becky explained, and it is best to call the company every year to make sure you get the best deal. I pointed out that the sickly-sweet letter I got saying the company was going to hike my already steep monthly price up another $10 should have said that I could call in to the company to check for current deals and specials. She agreed, saying that many of the employees had suggested the same thing.

I asked her why they didn't just automatically give their returning customers the best deal available, but the company can't automatically enroll people in another contract for their best deal, she said. It is up to the customer to obligate themselves to a contract and thereby the best price for service.

The very best deals go to new customers, and although it looks like loyal customers should be the ones to get the good deals, it does make sense since they are trying to lure new customers in. The $19.99 DSL express/$24.99 DSL pro offer made available to me was the ongoing deal for returning customers. I had signed up for the express package the other day but it wasn't too late to go for the pro package, so I had that changed.

I had noticed on the newspaper flyer that the regular price for DSL pro is $34.99, when my letter from the company stated that mine was going up to $39.99. Becky explained to me that when I signed up for the $29.99 pro package discount last year the regular rate was $39.99; if I hadn't called the company for another contract my service would revert to the regular price. The regular price now, a year later, is $34.99, so people who sign up for the $17.99 deal will get an oh-so-thoughful letter next year thanking them for their patronage and informing them that their bill will double and no action is required by them!

I am still not completely satisfied with the deal I'm getting from this company but I am happier that I spoke to someone who seemed to care and emphathize with my plight. I suppose I will leave it at that and busy myself with using the Internet for the purpose I have it — working!

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1 comment:

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