Rhett was trying to order $10 DSL for his mom when he got the fabled “$10 DSL Runaround.”
My mother recently moved to a new home and was trying to decide which provider she should choose to provide internet service. I told her that because of AT&T’s recent merger, they had to provide $10 DSL to new subscribers. I warned her it would be a little difficult because despite the low price offer, AT&T often tries to get people to pay more. She called them this afternoon and they told her that she was eligible for the offer, but should would have to sign up for it online. My mother brought up the point that she was not able to get online, and in fact, that was the reason she was calling them in the first place. The rep basically told her that was her problem.
Of course my mom calls me and and I offer to sign her up from my computer. It wouldn’t seem to be a problem, except the AT&T site is intentionally obfuscated to hide the low price. After about 10 minutes of searching I finally discover the link to the low price eligibility quiz, that in turn takes you to the low price offer page. From there I find that in order to actually receive the offer, I must give AT&T permission to share my mothers information with other segments of AT&T’s operations an/or business partners. Also to be eligible, I have to sign my mother up for automatic billing and purchase a DSL modem from AT&T for $49.99.
During this screen, an AT&T rep decided to send me an instant message offering to answer any questions I might have (see attached). Even after finally agreeing to all the terms, it takes me another few minutes to bounce around the site to find a way to check out. After dodging numerous upgrade offers and opting out of spam and telemarketer calls, I am finally allowed to enter all the credit card information in.
At that point it seems like I am finally done, but after all the tricks they have pulled so far, I double check everything to make sure. Something seems wrong so I go back to the verification form to finally submit and finalize an order for about $65 (modem and shipping), and $10 a month when the service is actually activated. At this point I received a mysterious error from the website and I had just about had enough. I started the process again, and fortunately, the second time through I was able to finalize the order.
I know others troubles with AT&T have been extensively documented, so the problems I experienced aren’t exactly news. However, the IM rep did give a curious response after I called her corporation an evil empire. (see above)
PREVIOUSLY: AT&T Swears $10 DSL Is Available, But Only If You Don’t Follow Their Directions
AT&T CEO: $10 DSL “Not A Product That Our Customers Have Clamored For”
AT&T Giving Consumers The Runaround Over Secret $10 DSL