So my father in law has been going on for years about how great Ameritech/ SBC/ AT&T’s new broadband service is gonna be once it was activated. I personally like the idea of having fiber to the curb, so I’ve been looking forward to it for a while.

A few months back they sent a rep out to let us know they were offering ‘U-verse’ in our area. I wasn’t home at the time, so Jackie got information and said I’d get back to them. I didn’t bother since we’re looking for a house. I figure I can look them up after we find a house.

Well, they came back Wednesday. They had already been by when I got home, and Jackie told them to come back later. I hadn’t been in the door more than 20 minutes when they knocked again. I then listened to them go through their spiel about how they were going to save me money by charging me more per month than I was paying already. ($30 phone+ $30 DSL + $15 static IP < $59 TV + $30 fiber) I managed to get them to understand that I didn't want the TV or telephone service- just the internet connection. I also asked them one question that proved to be their undoing: "How much will a static IP cost?" I asked that question 10 minutes into the 2 hour conversation- most of the time was spent with the rep on hold with AT&T's customer support, who gave the following responses: * What's an IP? * What's a static IP? * You mean dynamic IP? * Yes, we have those, it's an extra $15/mo for DSL * We don't have those. * You can change the setting in your router so your computer has the same address. * We don't have those in Michigan. The first five we receive several times, the 6th I was told by one of their "technicians" who didn't get that I wanted the router's external ip to be static so I could host this site. Finally the rep called a friend of his who was a "technology director" and found out they didn't offer them in Michigan. I told them that was a dealbreaker and bid them farewell. Two hours later, they came back- apparently he called someone else and was told that U-verse does in fact have static IPs, and they're $15/mo. That would bring the total price to $45/mo (once I cancelled the TV portion), where as now I'm paying $45/mo + $30/mo for a phoneline I don't use. Quite a deal, right? Sign me up. He tells me that the form he has doesn't cover the static IP and I'll have to call in the morning to have them append that to my order. So the next day I call to have this set up- and guess what? After 3 hours standing outside talking and now 30 minutes on the phone, they decide they do not in fact have static IPs available for U-verse customers. I ask the phone lady to call the rep I talked to and figure out who's right. after another 5 minutes on hold, she says his source was mistaken, and he will correct whoever he talked to. So I cancel the service I just signed up for because it didn't provide the only feature I requested. I'm not sure what's more disappointing:

  • The fact that NO ONE seemed to know what a static IP was
  • The sales rep was given the run around just like us customers
  • They apparently don’t offer this very simple service
  • The fact that most of the support people couldn’t find this information
  • They charge $15/mo whereas Jasnet charged a one-time $15 fee
  • That the sales rep probably misled me to get the sale so he could get a comission
  • So, if anyone knows of an ISP in Madison Heights, MI that offers a static IP, decent upload speed, no blocked ports all at a decent price, please let me know.