at&t makes my brain hurt

Life without Internet is like life without water. Yeah, you can live for a couple days but it SUCKS. And then you die.

So, of course, when I moved in to my apartment in St Louis this past weekend, the first thing I thought about was getting access to the series of Tubes. Sadly, all of my neighbors are smart enough to use protected wireless networks, so I was forced to go to a Panera (called St Louis Bread Co here) to use order service. I checked out Charter, which had a great deal for the lowest end service, but the cost tripled for an upgrade, which I thought to be too ridiculous. AT&T was a better deal for faster Interwebs, and they had a deal online where if I bought phone and DSL service I would get a free modem plus $60 credit for my first three months of service. I figured I just wouldn’t bother getting the phone, and then would cancel that part after 3 months. Turns out things wouldn’t be so simple.

I finished my order online last Sunday, and went home thinking that I’d have a modem arriving on Thursday. Because I was a little skeptical about the website’s behavior, I decided to call the next day to make sure everything went through, even though I had printed confirmation of my order. The woman I talked to couldn’t find my information for a long time, and had to talk to a manager to get to it. She then informed me that, in fact, I had not ordered DSL at all and had ordered a different phone line than my confirmation said. I was a bit baffled, and had her redo the order. Since now the order was over the phone, I wouldn’t get the deals but I didn’t want to go through the hassle of starting the order over. She offered me a big coupon that would be similar to what I would have gotten, and said the service should still start on Thursday.

So then comes Thursday. I went to work, excited at the prospect of having access to the world when I got home. When I got back, my modem was nowhere to be seen but I had missed two calls from AT&T trying to install my phone line. This seemed promising, but the customer service woman had seemed pretty certain I’d be getting it my modem on Thursday as well. So I called again.

After one woman couldn’t find me in their system at all, another one eventually did after talking to a supervisor. I was informed that, again, I had  only ordered phone service and not DSL. I told her that I had printed confirmation from my first order and verbal, human confirmation from my second, that this simply  wasn’t true. She insisted it was, so I insisted that she just cancel my entire order and start over. She said that she couldn’t until the service started, and that it would have to be done via the phone they were supposed to install and that I didn’t want. When I asked if she was saying that I would have to purchase a phone, which I never intended to use again, just so I could cancel a service that I didn’t want and they were going to have to waste their time  installing just so I could cancel it, she talked to a manager and had them cancel the order. And we started over. The date was now set for next Wednesday.

Can you guess what came next? Half an hour later, around 7PM, there  was a knock on my door.

I knew what that was. And I was right. It was a modem.

So I received the modem that belonged to an order that ATT said I didn’t make, and on the day that I was supposed to receive it. So someone was wrong. At least once. Maybe twice. I’m still waiting to receive the next to modems…

So I called them again yesterday, explained that I received a modem anyway and that, firstly, I wanted to make sure I was only getting charged once and, secondly, asked if I could go ahead and start service that day since I had the modem. They said they still can’t start it until Wednesday.

But, she seemed optimistic that I wouldn’t get charged more than once and that I wouldn’t receive any more modems. I’m inclined to disagree with that optimism.