I don't know about you, but I'm getting a little tired of discovering all the ways big companies are ripping us off "dollar by dollar"..."penny by penny". I'll tell you, with the economy the way it is I personally scrutinize EVERY bill that comes into my home or business. Why? Because in the good ole days: a bill was a bill. You just paid it; no questions asked.
Okay, I confess that like most Americans I just didn't pay that much attention to all those line items (my bad). Now (in these "hard economic times) I'm beginning to realize how many little petty charges companies like Bank of America, AT&T, FP&L, and only God knows who else who have been sticking it to customers like me and you. Here's the latest "let's stick it to 'em" I've discovered.
Since I have AT&T Internet service at work I figured it would be a great deal to have it at home, too. So, I signed up for the Ultra service because the speed was faster than the Lite they're always advertising. For months now I've been paying the bill and not noticing what was being itemized in the Internet portion. I was more concern about controlling long distance charges that my family members might rack up.
Anyway, I recently noticed a $5.00 Home Networking Plus charge on my monthly bill. I thought the additional charge was for our wireless connection because we have laptops galore among five family members. I contacted AT&T service and asked about the charge. Well, a very smooth talking service representative came on the line (after a zillion phone prompts) and told me that it was part of my DSL service charge. I told her that I didn't ask for this service and why did I have to pay for it. (Here comes the "stick it to 'em"). She said that if I upgrade my Ultra service to the Extreme 3.0 service I wouldn't have to pay the five dollar charge.
Now, if you're following this story closely you already know what's about to happen here. I did, too. So, I asked, "Is the upgrade free?" And, the answer was emphatically: "No". I politely asked (in my "could you rip me off some more" tone of voice), "How much is the Extreme 3.0 service?" Ms. Campbell said, "$37.95.
Okay, let's see if I can figure this out? If you look at my bill below you'll notice that it's the SAME price as what I was paying for the Ultra service. Hmmm?
In addition, Ms. Campbell told me that the Extreme service is much faster than the Ultra service. At that moment I honestly broke out into laughter. In fact, Ms. Campbell started laughing, too, especially when I said, "That's what I'm paying NOW. So, in reality I'm still going to be giving AT&T $5 dollars". (That's right, Buddy). Although I was sarcastically laughing out loud, in the back of my mind I wondered why AT&T carried on this type charade for a few bucks. Then it dawned on me: $5 bucks time a couple thousands or million customers per month could equal some SERIOUS revenue.
So, Dear Readers, if you have AT&T Ultra service I advise you to IMMEDIATELY upgrade to the Extreme 3.0 service. You're getting ripped off!!!! Call: 1-888-757-6500 and at least get something for your $5 bucks. If you're lucky you may get Ms. Campbell and the two of you can have a good laugh as she upgrades your service.