We re-activated the DirecTV service we had suspended for up to six months, because we didn't want to catch spoilers for the new series of "Doctor Who," and it was the sort of thing we were able to work out with a longish phone call last Wednesday (or so). DirecTV understands customer service. They are unable to offer internets, so they bundle with AT&F***ing T. Eventually, they'll figure out how to provide SUPREME customer service by offering internets and taking the bastard company out of their loop. In the meantime, if you order internet from DirecTV's "bundling" department, you end up with the best possible customer service you can, because you don't have to deal with the other company. Yet.
So we've had satellite TV for several days now. The guy who came out to install our brand-new satellite dish was very professional and friendly, and when I completed the online survey, I gave him "10"s across the board. We like DirecTV.
But the internet options, ugh. The "self-install" U-Verse Gateway kit arrived via UPS on Friday, but our internet "activation" date was pushed to today. Yesterday, Stephen unpacked it all and plugged it in to see if there was a way to test whether there was even a dial tone coming through any of the multitude of phone jacks, since we don't have a landline phone. The system actually WORKED - for a few minutes. We got our account registered, and then in our attempt to download the next step, it all crashed.
So today, I tried setting it up again, at a different phone jack. I was hoping to have the flashing box quietly tucked into the bookshelf, rather than hiding behind the popcorn bowl in the kitchen. My computer saw it, all right, but when it initially connected, I got the error message from AT&F***ing T that my account was not yet active. It's true, because we were instructed to do nothing until 8 p.m. on our activation day (today) so as not to "break" the Gateway (router). So I unplugged the thing and let Stephen deal with it this evening.
We tried plugging the system into the jack I'd chosen with the 15-minute "warm-up" time ending at 8. Then we got impatient to see what I'd seen earlier today, so we started over after 8. Then we switched back to yesterday's successful jack. While waiting for that to work, Stephen found another jack in the bedroom. When we'd unsuccessfully tested both of the preferred jacks, we plugged in the damn thing in the bedroom. Lo and behold, internet success! And no 15-minute wait!
Stephen posited that the reason AT&F***ing T makes you wait until after 8 p.m. is so that they can bill you for a full day of service, whether you ever get it to connect or not, AND they don't have to deal with a phone call from you until the next day if you have problems. From my history of interacting with them ever in my life, I would say that's probably valid. WHY are they such a terrible company? WHY does something like "establishing a DSL connection" have to be such an ordeal? WHY do they not seem to give a flying F*** about their customers? And really, WHY do so many people actually choose them to provide things they can get elsewhere?
We didn't choose them. We opted for DSL only because it's cheaper than any of the cable options. Monopolies in utilities is a rant for another day. These things should NOT be so damn difficult! :P
We have interwebs now, y'all. And satellite TV. It's almost like we never left! Yay!