Call It A Telco, It's Still The Phone Company
Here is why that won't happen:
ATT (formerly Bell South): How may I help you?
Over the Line: You provide residential telephone and DSL to my beach house in North Carolina. I would like to suspend the DSL service while the house is essentially empty during the winter months.
ATT: OK, we can do that. To suspend your service will cost you $9.95 a month.
OTL: WHAT? Why is there a change to NOT provide a service?
ATT: Well, this way, we reserve your email address....
OTL: Don't care! Never use the email address you provide. Not an issue.
ATT: Well, we keep your place in line, so that the service will be available to you when you resume it.
OTL: (incredulous) Are you trying to tell me there is a WAIT LIST for folks wanting to sign up for ATT DSL service? Are you serious?
ATT: Oh, yes--that's why we charge you to hold your place. You can cancel the service. But we can't guarantee it will be available when you want it back on in April.
OTL:(laughing) You know what? I think I will take my chances. You realize, of course, that by charging me a fee to 'maintain' a 'switched-off' service, you are inviting me to cancel DSL with ATT and look at alternatives provided by satellite TV or cable--and you may lose me as a $45-a-month customer forever?
ATT: That is our policy and I can't change it.
OTL: Can I speak to your supervisor? [Who then reinforces the same idiotic position, prompting the next call....]
OTL: How is your build-out to upgrade service on Bald Head Island coming?
Tele-Media: Well, because of the weather we are about two months behind, but we think we'll be done by January or February.
OTL: What will you charge for high-speed Internet service?
OTL: Excellent. You'll notify customers by snail mail when the system is ready?
OTL: Hello, ATT? Cancel my DSL service effective today.
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