We have officially switched sides. For all of our married lives, we've been AT&T customers in one form or another; either with landlines, cell phones or both. As of today, no more.
All of our wireless service is now provided by Verizon. Yesterday we migrated our cell phone numbers over and purchased a new iPhone 4S for me and a very basic phone for Randy (his choice!!). And today I cancelled our air card with AT&T that provided our internet service. What prompted all this, you might ask? Well, I'll tell you.
While we were in KS workamping at the Corps of Engineers Visitor Center, we found that what little cell service we had usually came from “partner” towers. I knew that this could be a problem from our stay in KS a couple of years ago, so before we accepted the position, I checked AT&T's coverage map for that area. And it showed moderate coverage. Yay! No problem. Yeah, right.
As soon as we arrived and set up, we realized we would have little to no coverage at our site. Oh, well, we'll deal. But, I found that I could get online with my phone even though the air card wouldn't connect. Good. At least I could do that.
Just a few days into our stay, I began getting emails from AT&T stating that I had gone over the courtesy “off network usage” limit. I immediately called and explained the situation, including my due diligence. Bottom line, this problem continued for the entire not-quite-three months we were there. Ultimately, AT&T restricted my usage to AT&T networks only and that was fine, I understood that and was able to access the internet and make calls when we were away from our site. No problem.
Skip to earlier this month when we got yet another email from AT&T stating that our off network usage was too high and to call them immediately. I was flummoxed. We hadn't been in KS for more than two weeks! So, I called. Much to my surprise, they told me that the restriction from using off network towers would be made permanent!! WHAT THE HECK!!?!?!! That meant that if I was on the phone, going down the road and the call pinged from an AT&T tower to a partner tower, my call would be dropped. I told the manager (yes, I asked to speak to a supervisor thinking I would get better customer service) that was totally unacceptable. He was sympathetic, of course, but basically, it was “Oh, well. Too bad. That's the way it is.” I voiced my great disappointment and disgust that AT&T would allow two months of high off network usage to cause them to lose a good-paying customer of such long standing. But, yep, they would.
So, we are now Verizon customers. Of course, even though the early termination fees at AT&T were waived (wasn't that nice of them!), it still cost us to make this change. Before rebates, it was $300! After rebates, it's still $200. Because, of course, we couldn't use our same phones. But, I can trade my phone in and get almost that much for it. So, it will be close to a wash, eventually.
Folks, it's not our parents' world anymore.
Until the next time . . .