Nothings perfect, but there's a lot of upside!
Nov 1, 2009 (Updated Jan 5, 2010)
a Very Helpful Review
by the Epinions community
NOTE: I originally had given this 4 stars and recommended. I've obviously changed my tone due to AT&T's false promises / marketing, specifically in relation to promised discounts at the point of sale. They refuse to honor and i refuse to back a company which is doing this to people all around the country... Scroll to the bottom for more details on their practices / treatment...
Recommend this product?
I have been a brighthouse cable TV subscriber for years (dating back to the time warner era) and admit i've never used a dish service. In my old home, i used ISDN (Bell South) and then moved to BH's cable broadband once it was available so i've seen the speed improvements over the years... With ISDN i also had two POTS lines but when i went to cable, i also took on Vonage for VoIP phone service. I'd like to to add that i work from home full time, so the internet is used for business as well as pleasure and the majority of the day.
Frankly, my brighthouse/vonage setup has been serving me fairly well the last ~5+ years and in general, its been mostly reliable. Yet i just switched to U-Serve??? Why you ask? good question! Well, pretty much one reason: reliability.
Of late, it has become increasingly poor. Within a three day window, i began getting intermitent drops / hickups on the internet connection. It was generally happening in mid afternoon, but at night too. Obviously, I'd lose my voice lines with this behavior, only to see voice mail indicators flashing after hearing no ring. But the unbearable part was the impact to the work at home setup. I'd be on conference calls and BLAM! gone. I'd be in the middle of coding in a remote tarentella session and WHAM - gone too... Sure in a minute or so it would generally come back up and i could reconnect via VPN (and re-login into all client apps), but in a work env, this is just unacceptable (btw - i paid for what bright house calls "business class service" mainly for the static IP but again business should equate to better uptime).
Yes we called tech support, and the same BS checklist read back multiple times and answer like "well it must be all that equipment you've setup on your end, etc" Ya, and this setup hasn't changed in 5 years, but whatever... I don't have time to waste on that crap so the Mrs and i made the call we were moving on.
The Sales Process
Note that my setup and needs are slightly different (as you will see) then the typical install and i let AT&T know this through out the process including two-three hours of calls to verify what was available, what was doable, and what wasn't, etc...
WARNING: The on-line chat is rediculous and should be scrapped. It's clear based on the delays to your questions that the people manning that are taking multiple quesitons at the same time. After no less than 4 or 5 "please hold on one minute"s and numerous prepackaged / textbook marketing readings that didn't answer anything i was asking i gave up and just closed the window.
However, i decided to call a real person and am glad i did. The guy on the other line was focused on me and me alone, setup a time to call me back the next day when i had to cut the call short for my son's cub scout meeting (personal service was night and day compared to the chat) and best of all he was truly knowlegable. He firmly knew at least 80% of what i asked and when he didn't he did his best to find out... He had provided only 2 incorrect answers from what i recall:
1) i asked if max resolution was 1080p or 1080i and he insisted it was progressive. Wrong, AT&T's website is clear you have the capability of two HD resolutions just like in the BH service: 720p and 1080i.
2) He assured me that the box had a static IP, DMZ, etc... Partially true - read on
Anyway the guy was right on with respect to everything else, so we'll cut him the slack here :)
My #1 Fear
I had no doubt internet would be awesome, but even after ordering i kept thinking "HD over a single twisted pair - really?" That just doesn't sound right to me... The wire they run including the CAT5e from the TNI is < 20 gauge. But i took a shot esp since Verizon's FiOS (which brings fiber to your home not just to the neighborhood) is not in my area and doubt it ever will be.
Now you might think this is more info than needed, but it will come into play when we talk about the disadvantages of the service (or the competitors for that matter).
I have two main TV sets: 50" plasma in the Family Room (which serves as the home theater) and a 32" LCD in the master bedroom. We often watch things like House / Lie To Me, chick flicks in the master (the younger kids may watch and fall asleep to things as well). The upstairs is used for most action flicks, sports and most of the kids' tv...
We have a third tv (22" LCD) which is somewhat portable (as we move it to the RV when vacationing) and doesn't have a home yet. I got a box for it anyway. Right now it's in the living room at point of use which is the only location without home runs hidden behind a wall mounting. AT&T will support all of it and more (your can have 8 tvs total but with same limitations noted below)
As noted, i work from home, and VPN robs you of some bandwidth and our company mandated internet protection suites (e.g. Norton / McAfee) rob you of even more (speadtests show nearly a 50% drop on average from a VPN'd machine and a home one. So i'll take the fastest connection i can get.
The Setup and Offerings
AT&T has bet the farm on the FTTN offering (fiber to the node) as apposed to FTTP (premises) which is Verizon's pursuit. Obviously, leveraging the copper run in existing neighborhoods is cheaper than running a completely new fiber infrastructure. The key to making it work is distance as service is limited to ~3000 feet from a VRAD box... We are ~2300 feet from this structure in our neighborhood which is where the conversion/distribution from fiber to copper occurs.
They offer varying packages on both internet (1.5M to 18M down) and TV (up to ~400 channels). TV offers on-demand / interactive / and 100+ channels of HD. We tooks the U450 (which is pretty much everything), Max Internet (18M down) and two voice lines (work / home)... You can add some additional subscription based content on the TV side as well if you see fit (its not for me).
Note that AT&T appears to use different settop boxes in different locations (We have Cisco settops, but Motorola appear to be used in some areas). Even the house side of the infrastructure is different - there a guy in texas with pics of an install showing the gateway residing outside at the TNI location (my tech noted this too)
It took my guy about 4 hours to do the install. This seemed a bit high given that i had run fishtapes for him to aid in wire pulling the one run he needed to take to the TNI, all settops went in a single cabinet and all TV/IR wiring was already complete/operational. But he was nice, appreciative of the groundwork i had done, and very helpful. He left some of is wiring trash in my closet and on the driveway, but not a deal breaker. He was going to wear plastic booties over his shoes when he first showed up until i said: "please don't"
If your wiring is in good shape, AT&T has already wired to the street side terminals to support the service (my understandinf from an AT&T line employee/friend is that main change within the copper is that they no longer parallel lines to multiple distribution points leaving them unterminated at all but one location). From that point, it's simply a matter of the cat5 and possibly some coax depending on your needs.
With 18M i figured this would serve us well. I really thought this would be a no brainer and would deliver. Well, as soon as we had it up, i started running speakeasy speedtests and i was on average pulling aorund 7-8M down, 1.5M up. The tech didn't beet around the bush and acknowledged there had to be a problem. He assured me he would log a ticket to have the "line" folks come out and resolve. But no ticket number and no guesses on what the issue was. Well, lacking story short, i called later that night (due to some combined issues on the TV service too) and explained that i didn't want to log a duplicate ticket but that i couldn't just wait "up to two weeks" as requested with the issues i was having. The guy ran a test remotely and said he definately could see an issue with impedance in the line < 500 from my house. Was informed they would send a tech out first thing in the morning and get it addressed.
Now early morning (6am) i was pulling 15M but still 1.5 UP - an hour later, below 10 again... arg! Tech did come out started some rewiring, but didn't finish, yes even with what he did i can see a noticable improvement in throughput...
UPDATE: some additional work, and i have pulled just shy of 16.5M down fairly regularly with average probably around 15M. I am indeep a happy camper.
Note that the gateway has it's own battery backup which is unique because it outputs 12V dc not 120V ac. They claim it last 4 hours (nice), but it is bulky. It can save you the expense of a big UPS + seperate power supply though. You can aslso use a power supply (wart) ony if you wish.
Finally, there are a few major downsides to the gateway's operation
1) If you want to open up all inbound traffic from the internet to a particular box, DMZ (demilitarized zone) must be assigned to a box with a dynamic IP on the lan - no static. This is stupid! I want a constant ip both internally and externally. It's even more idiodic because you assign DMZ by the name of the node. On a windows box, this is the PC name. On things like a security system, ip printer, etc - since it has no such name the gateway assigns it some generic value like "unknownXXXXXXXXXXXX".
While not useless, its extremely frustrating! At least give me the standard MAC address to map... See my later comments on microsoft below. the fact that the summary lists "computers" proves some of my other thoughts that microsoft is controlling this way too much and catering to novice home user. This may come as a shock to MSFT / AT&T, but IP is already used for more than PCs even in the residential world (it's not just a Gates dream).
2) You have automatic or manual LAN config for IPs... I find this odd. The automatic seems to give you no ability to specifiy starting IP (though i'm guessing it's .50 based on what's assigned) Ya you can do it all manually, but seems to be an odd way to do it when the Linksys routers i've used are so simple to control - they expose the all details of the defaults and you can alter them. Here you must specify more than just the dhcp pool.
On the other hand, the wireless signal this thing puts out is the best i've seen. I've used a few WAPs mainly Linksys B/G and i was lucky to get 2/3 bars in my office/outbuilding. I get 5 bars with this one (bested in a closed closet) 100 feet away through two block walls. Nice!!!!
Not much to say here. It's a phone and its VoIP. Just like Vonage and other offerings, the quality is high, the features are pretty much standard (and solid) and so there's not a lot to write here with two notable exceptions. One particularly slick feature you won't get with a non-integrated provider like Vonage is access to caller history via the set top boxes visually...
However a few knocks:
1) you don't have access to playback voicemail via a similar menu. Would be nice to do this - you can do it over your yahoo account on AT&T - why not here?
2) you get no overlay from those same set tops on incoming calls. This is such a basic "wish i had" and shouldn't be that hard to achieve. CQC, MainLobby, etc all do it as well as Brighthouse (if you use their phone service). AT&T says they are working on it - the tech implied there's a legal issue due to them being a utility? nots sure about that, please just figure out a way to do it...
3) because you're with "the Bells" here, AT&T seems to distribute phone number via the local exchange just like POTS lines. Read: my existing number (which i had previously ported to vonage at my old address 20 miles away several years ago) could NOT be ported to U-Serve. Nor could i bring my California-based work number (i'm in florida, my company's HQ is in the bay area which has been nice to have a local number for them to call). A minor inconvience and i'll live with it. Too many people have our number anyway(especially in-laws on both sides!).
4) no simul-ring feature like Vonage has.
Frankly, i had perceived TV as the real risk in the tri-headed beast called U-serve... so how does it deliver?
Simple answer: i knew what i was gaining and what i was loosing and given those constraints, it's good but that line problem seems to be causing issues. Pixelation, momentary pauses in the stream (image just haults and resumes periodically), music channels were initially unintelligable. after the line work yday, it's better but not perfect, still getting some live pauses in the picture. If the final line work resolves entriely and once they rollout the the current batch of enhancements: wow!
1) HD Picture quality is awesome. On par if not better than bright house in most cases. I often had the image "pixelization" with bright house where you could see distinct squares as the image broke up (esp when trying to run multiple HD programs on both sets). We have read and experienced slight pauses in the stream (which are truly reflected as a pause/hickup on the tv) but i am hoping this goes away with the line fix.
-> see update at bottom of review for more details...
2) single DVR can record 4 things at once. Now you're limited to 2 HD / 2 SD there, but still not bad given today's programming. If you want to record everything currently on HBO/MAX HD, well you're out of luck. For comparison Brighthouse boxes offer 2 tuners only each. In my experience, pixelation was sporatic but more frequent the more HD content was in use (housewide). So even if you tried to record 3/4 HD programs over two settops with brighthouse, quality degraded with pixelation being the primary result.
3) record and watch anywhere. Without any extra outbound wiring from settops to switches or multiple tvs, you can watch any (recorded or not) anywhere (but see the caveat via #7 above). You can also pause at settop 1, pause and pickup elsewhere and you can watch same item at different places i nthe stream.
3) connections are pretty good. You have hdmi/component/svideo/coax for video, hdmi, tos-link (optical), analog(rca), coax for audio (only missing the coaxial digital audio). The one thing that i could ask for would be two sets of component out (see comments on wiring the DVR to two tvs) and an 1/8" jack for IR so we could go stright from the IR amp block and into the back of the units.
4) Ready to go rf remotes (USB for remote connectivity). the AT&T store has two versions ready to go and not bad on price. We don't use these, but if you want to hide your settops in a closet, this gives you an alternative to IR distribution systems.
5) it's backed by Microsoft (this a catch 22 and i knock this below as well) Despite the negative side to this, there is no denying MSFT's influence on the typical home user and where technology will likely head. As such, i think IPTV is likely here to stay.
6) Wheather - I grew tired of our local channels goofy/drunk weatherman years ago... The interactive feature is awesome as you get: accuweather, radar, satelite, etc for all the cities you specify and all at your command. I like!
7) web based DVR control - sure it could be improved, but the fact BH still has no such offering when AT&T / Direct TV do?
8) i-phone uverse app. You're not always going to have a PC when you remember / discover a show you want to record. priceless... especially when you're somewhere bored and nothing to do...
9) within the guide, theres a rapid paging access via the "aspect" button to page through days quickly. (also applies in some other menu areas where you have entire list of channels)
10) Parental controls
11) The ability to hide channels... I want to stress that I am not a racist, but i get really frustrating scrolling through spanish, ethnic, music, or other channels we will never watch. With U-verse, no problem at all - just hide what you never want to see in the guide. You can still direct access them... The value of this (in addition to parental controls), i can "shelter' my kids from even seeing some of the rather explicit titles i'd rather they not know existed or wonder what they are. Remember on this point: direct access (by number) is possible, so you still want to use parental controls...
12) live preview in the guide. As you navigate through current content, most channels display their live stream in a small PIP window. You can tell if there's a commercial before you flip, etc. However, with kids, this is risky if you don't hide all channels that have nudity/porn. I found this out last night while looking through some otherwise harmless HBO/Max movies...
13) Infrared range/strength. For whatever reason, the brighthouse remotes have to be within a very narrow range of "line of center" with my xantech/niles IR sensors; meaning i couldn't operate it from the far end of a couch in the family room. Now no issues at all. The output end of the remotes are vastly different and i think this plays in with the difference.
14) incremental speed on fast forward/rewind. brighthouse has the same.
1) as everyone points out, only one settop is a DVR and as such, you can only record on that and you can't pause live TV on the others either. You CAN pause recorded content and thus, there is a rather simple work around: just record the show and then playback from the recording (but see the next point). If this is a deal breaker for you than Cable / Dish offerings are your better choice.
In comparison to brighthouse - yes the BH recording is "local". But you lose the ability to view at all locations without introducing signal splitting hardware (or running component to one tv and hdmi to another from each box)
It is important to note that AT&T has already released phases I-II of many promised enhancements. III is supposed to include the pause on any set and should be released "soon". Forums very in AT&T response with we expect it released by "X". But it is apparently forthcoming... In the mean time, you're not dead in the water here and there are options.
2) when working around #1 as described above, you quickly realize that recorded playback of an in progress show automatically starts up at its current location with no quick way to restart at the beginning.
Brighhouse clearly ups them here as when you select a recording (even an inprogress one), you're given the choice to resume / restart...
3) 1080i max... yes i knew this going in and it holds for brighthouse too, but going from blueray in 1080p to 1080i is indeed noticable. If 1080p is a dealbreaker, then dish may be a better fit for you... But it's still better than what i spent the majority of my life watching in 480.
4) audio is maxed @ dolby 5.1 If you're loving that HD Audio format on the Transformers Blu-Ray, like the resolution, you'll miss out here. But i don't believe you have that option with any of the competitors anyway (certainly not brighthouse).
5) no slow motion... brighthouse allows speeds while playing back.... No go here. You play or you stop.
6) storage expandability = Zilch! Brighthouse offers eSATA ports/firewire to add storage capacity to the DVR... the 133G on the AT&T DVR will run out rapidly if you record a lot of HD content. Such a simple thing especially when you're limited to 1 DVR in the house! I've had this for 2 days and i'm already down to 89% remaining... There are some options you could pursue to workaround it (e.g. Tivo) but why pay extra money?
7) There's no way to "sync" playback start on all tvs. So if you wish to play the same content throughout your home allowing you to walk room to room w/o a hickup (think linuxmce / fireball), think again. Even if everyone tried to start at the same time on the count of three, you'll be enough off that you'll hear a delay when moving between rooms.
8) As noted above, it's powered by microsoft (specifically CE). After all the bluescreen/crashes i've had in the last 20 years, this seems risky. Additionally, the limitations to Media Player only integration (no support for zoom, itunes, slimserver) is frustrating. Its a great concept, but make it open...
9) the blue screen saver is just plain ugly (and very grainy especially with its low resolution on a large 50" screen in 1080i)
10) the splash screens upon start up (i.e. the ones that say VOD) are also ugly. It looks like a 1K gif file. Makes a well featured offering look chinsy as hell...
11) speed of the menu access is inconsistent. sometimes the menu navigation is instantanious, other times it just seems to choke up (especially when you're on the last line in the guide trying to down into more rows, but its not always just that retrieval). Hoping this is related to the line issue?
13) inability to link your web access to a non-att.net yahoo account. Would be nice if i could use my existing yahoo account via linking or something to access the Web DVR without signing off/in of the different accounts. Maybe i haven't found this yet...
14) series recording. With brighouse you can set all series recording options at the time you select it. With UVerse, if you're in guide and hit record twice to flag it for series, that's it. You have to go to the recording area to alter new only/reruns, end time options, and save for how long options... Something like this really makes you wonder how some things make it out the door to consumers with such basic slaws. Even the webapp allows choosing immediately upon select! If you use the "Search" option form menu, you are given the options before saving - why not do it here too?
15) inability to playback DVR/live content over IP to PCs on the network. At least my talks with support indicate it can't be done. There are links on AT&T website that point to a URL at mobitv, but that says the service is discontinued. I'd just like to have a client app i could watch stuff over rather than pay for extra settops and either extra tvs or video capture cards in places like the office.
16) you can't search directly from guide - you have to go to menu...
17) Several settings are saved local to the setbox. For our usage, i find this annoying. Prime examples: channel hiding and parental controls. Each must be done independantly on ALL settops. Our kids watch all TVs. I understand this may not be true for all users, but i would think it is for most. It would be nice to at least offer an option to "copy" these preferences to other settops rather than reentering the same exact info three times.
18) External power supplies. This is just stupid (brighthouse's are internal). I'd rather increase the footprint of the box instead of having to deal with massive power warts.
19) differing footprints of the boxes. I have my settops all on one shelf in a single cabinet. And while i know smaller size may be better for point of use cases, stacking 2 small boxes on top of the medium sized DVR looks ugly.
20) minor, but no clock on the face of the settop. My family got really used to looking at the BH settops for time when we walked by the cabinet.
TV-On the fence
first and foremost: the ui....
1) A lot of people have griped about the intuitiveness of the UI. I personally don't think it's that bad. Yes, it's a lot of stuff. You have the menu and the ubarm shortcuts to certain features. There's some overlap on some things too (see above on recording options depending on navigation path), but it works and i don't find it hard to get to where i need to be... My 9 year old has pretty much mastered it...
2) I mention LinuxMCE in the last section of this review, but i really like how its fully openGL version of that interface overlays the screen. It's far less invasive then this always solid and very large one AT&T has. Ya, the picture is still behind it, but the menu is so "big" and dominant that it's not worth trying to watch whats playing behind it...
Mixed bag. I had one really knowledgeable tech my first call in. However, i've had two morons afterwards whose product knowledge consists of powering on the box and navigating the guide. True anywhere (including brighthouse - trust me!)
We are disappinted in the speed and the perceived impacts its causing in the settop services. But we love the feature set and will likely be sticking with it in the hopes they fix quickly. If you can live the main restrictions and/or are willing to wait for solutions to the biggest issues, i don't think you can go wrong if you're in a covered area.
Remember that until pause live tv on all STBs is enabled, you're trading that flexibility for the ability to record and watch anywhere (including multiple locations) which is priceless in my opinion.
Each of the offerings be it cable, U-verse or one of the disk providers has pros and cons. I'm convinced none is perfect. But for us U-verse offers almost everything we want, and AT&T seems to be genuinely committed to the technology and interested in fixing/improving the gaps to stay competitive and keep customers happy.
If i may relay the opinion of my older children (9/7), "this is way better than brighthouse, dad!!!!" and they can list why. I watch them and its clear even they run into a few of the frustrations above on the interface side, but overall they are convinced this is a far better choice than Brighthouse
Is it for you?
it depends namely on what features are most important to you. If you're a couch potato, the lack of hard drive expandability may be a nail in the coffin. If you must have pause live tv anywhere without having to proactively record shows where you might use it, you probably want to hold off on switching until its available... Brighthouse clearly has the edge on both those features. Other than that - if you have a solid incoming signal, i think it's a good choice...
P.S. Some Additional Commentary for Home Automation Folks
I have been an Audio nut since i was a kid and have gotten more into the world of home theater, home automation, etc in last several years. The following offers some very specific observations about what this means to those geeks who may be of a similar mindset.
Many people put setup boxes and other equipment in a cabinet under or near the TV. I don't as i built a central closet/cabinet housing all of my audio gear, players, set tops, internet switches, etc. I had gone to some pretty extensive efforts when i bought the house to prewire eveything from whole house audio, ethernet, coax, etc the way i figured i might use it when i was "finally setup". (that day still hasn't arrived)
Currently, what i was using with BrightHouse and also with U-Verse:
1) I use two IR zones to distribution IR from the two primary TV rooms back to this cabinet.
2) I have 2 HDMI cables home run from each tv to the closet along with 1 set of component, 2 coax, 1 ethernet. (e.g. these run from the closet and come out of the walls behind the tvs)
3) speaker wires (including 5.1 in the master bed and 7.1 in the upstairs) are all home run, in attics/floor joists / walls
4) i also have whole house audio covering these same rooms and all others. (4 zones total currently)
On the TV side, I have component video + analog audio hooked up from the set top to the two primary tvs (master bed / family room) along with HDMI running to receivers for both rooms and then HDMI from the recievers to the TVs. Thus, the amps must serve as the selector / middle tier for all sources except cable which we can watch in decent picture via component w/ standard stereo audio unless we really need the sound. (i.e. no need for 7.1 with cartoon network)
So in addition to the 3 main areas of the service above, let me just focus on what's important to me:
As noted above, I am a novice home automation buff. Part of the reason for the central closet is so i can tie my security system, lighting (zwave: viziarf), hvac, electric stuff (via relays), etc all together. I have a touchscreen (and eventually intend to have some portable units at each media area as well) to control it all. Ultimatley, I really want to tie ALL my media into the same as well. That's where any offering from brighthouse / at&t falls short and where you run into proprietary issues / etc. U-verse is no different in this regard.
The primary gaps in this area as i see them are:
1) no RS-232: contrary to the claims of pc manufacturers, serial is not dead! for home automations, it offers reliable two way comm. My Onkyo receivers, lighting, hvac, etc all interface with it. I have yet to see a set top box that does. Yes you can integrate with IR (and store / map the codes) but it is not two way and if there is a disconnect/hickup, you don't immediate have feedback on the controlling application (esp true on start up when you need to query a devices current state - read: current channel on a set top).
2) though they offer flicker integration it's propritary and not available in my area
3) though they offer media serving from PCs, its again propritary (via MS windows media player 11+ only).
4) would be nice if they offered basic internet browsing capabilities (and a non-IR keyboard/mouse expansion) so you don't have to devote a PC for this sort of thing (similar complain i have had with xbox). you could access the automation/security controller , dimming lighting, etc all from one interface.
If you're confused/interested in what i'm getting at here, see Charmed Quark, Main Lobby, LinuxMCE. Imagine having the settops talking to a central controller to drive/control lighting / whole house audio (via any stored storage not just a windows share)/ etc. It simply offers a UI on any TV in your home...
Maybe i'm asking too much here - i just get frustrated with all the disconnected offerings. Apple got it when it came to the iphone. Why can't we take the same approach with set top boxes, internet, and home control... Frankly,if the settops had basic browsing, you could access anything with a page on port 80 (which would meets all my needs)
Update: Some specific picture commentary:
Ok after day of football and watching Matchbox's 20's concert on HD net (which i have had on BH DVR for ~3 years - ya my oldest recording), i have some more specific feedback on image quality.
Football: SD quality seems suspect - especially fast action. Not sure what the compression technology is, but closeup action was fine, but when viewing the entire field at the beginning of a down was clear... Seeing small images run looked pixelized... HD quality on networds or redzone is fantasic for the most part. However, i am watching NFL Network right now and it seems like the grass on wide shots is more of a wash of solid green instead of showing consistant detail. And really fast action where the camera is not moving at the same rate as the players also seems to pixelize.
MB20: Right now i'm swapping between the BH and AT&T recordings and closeups are on par in terms of quality (you can make out the individual hairs on rob's head (if you wish), the strings on kyle cooks guitar during solos, you can see the rings in the cymbals, etc). But i feel that with wide expanses of color (i.e. unfocused dark backgrounds behind a member of the band, washes of lights, even the stage itself) looked slightly more pixelized with AT&T. I'm not talking about just out of focus or the images on their backdrops (those are easily explained).. I'm talking beams of light which look awkward and should be pretty even especially.
For a specific example, watch the portion of "Downfall" towards the end of the first verse and headed into chorus to see what i mean. I actually see it in BH recording as well, i just feel its more pronounced on AT&T. My wife is comparing as well, but comes to the opposite conclusion. Overall the difference in minimal and the mrs says you're crazy if you think we should go back to brighthouse over this...
When i ordered i went with the sales guy cause he had been helpful, but at same time was following along online to make sure all my discounts were the same. They were except that the gentlemen increased one of the closers from 50 to 100. So in addition to monthly discounts, i was to get $300 in rebates via debut cards after 30 days of service.
Well, so far i have finally received 100. After multiple calls to support, rewards and every other department they can transfer me too, they refuse to honor those deals. Everyone ackowledges they can clearly see in the notes that indeed i was promised what i'm claiming, i keep pointing out they had huge banners for marketing with this deal all over the net (and currently have a $400 offer). Yet, no go. They keep trying to tell me that my monthly discount is more than the remaining $200 i expect and that i should be happy and i keep saying oh no, these were exclusive deals, not inclusive...
As for the email from the sales gentlemen? Oh ya tried that and initially got one response asking to confirm my account number. No replies / responses sense (i'm sure i'm on his block list at this point).
While i thought the competition between AT&T and brighthouse was a good thing, i am convinced AT&T as a company... simply sucks. You can read everywhere on the net where they are refusing to honor these for people.
As such, i am dropping to 1 star. Regardless of the features, no legit company should be able to lie, manipulate and decieve customers in order to get their business like this... If it were just me, i'd cough it up, but as noted above, do a search and you'll find AT&T is doing this to everyone. If you proceed to order get screen shots of your order, showing the discounts. Unfortunately because i went with the rep, i don't have that and the confirmation emails provide NO detail as to the promises you get.
Here's the addy for my sales guy: af4924@ATT.COM in case you too have been scammed and want another contact to ask for action...
In the mean time, I'm keeping my eyes out for a class action law suit to tag onto.
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Amount Paid (US$): 200
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