Sunday, February 19, 2006

The Internet saga continues

It was bad enough that my DSL company, AT&T/SBC, planned on increasing my DSL Pro price up to thank me for being such a loyal customer, but today when I opened the paper I found a flyer advertising DSL for $12.99, and the faster version they call DSL Pro for $17.99!

Smoke started coming out of my ears, since the nice letter I got last week said my price was going up to $39.99! I called as soon as the letter came, pointing out that I did not intend to pay this increased price. I got the cheapest version for $19.99, but today's flyer says the faster version can be had for two dollars less. I got online to see if I could take advantage of this offer, since it doesn't say it's for new customers only, but the computer told me I already have DSL service.

Not to be outdone, I picked up the phone and after a few minutes was connected with a brisk-mannered young man who listened to my tempered spiel and then hurried to inform me that the $19.99 deal I got the other day included a one-year commitment that I could not break. What? I don't recall being told that the $19.99 package was a one-year deal! I still don't know if existing customers can get in on the $12.99 or $17.99 packages or not.

What is more, this flyer says that the regular price for DSL Pro is $34.99, five dollars cheaper than what the thoughtful letter I received last week said my new DSL price would be. When I called the other day, I was told that I could get the Pro version for $24.99, an offer that extends through this month. I turned this down saying I hadn't seen any difference in the speed when I got the Pro version, but later that same day the change was made for the downgrade since there was a noticeable decrease in the speed.

Since these low prices can be offered, it would make sense that they should be made available to all customers, especially those who call to ask for them. I am aggravated that the company intended to raise my price to $39.99 while making an offer to the public for the same service for $17.99, a whopping $22 less! It is unfair and takes advantage of customers such as myself who must have the Internet or at least full intend to keep it.

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