Weighing The Different TV And Internet Options

We’ll be moving into our new house in a few weeks, and one of the key impending decisions for us is:  what to do about TV and internet coverage?

At our old house we went with cable-based service provided by Time Warner.  Our TV and internet coverage was generally reliable, but it was expensive and we really grew to dislike — actually, “hate” is more accurate — Time Warner and its employees’ collective attitude about customer service.  They seemed to revel in making us jump through stupid hoops for no apparent reason.  We won’t go back to TW because we know we’ll just end up infuriated.  WOW is the other cable provider in Columbus, but its on-line reviews seem extremely mixed — it’s great or it’s awful, with not much in between.

IMG_4686The second option is a satellite service.  Our new house already has a dish on the roof.  I think it for DirecTV, but I haven’t paid attention because I don’t like the idea of a dish on my roof.  Now I think it needs to be considered as an alternative.  However, satellite services seem to only provide TV and “partner” with another company to offer internet — which just means, apparently, that we’ll have to deal with two providers rather than one.

A third option is AT&T U-Verse “internet TV,” which would provide one-stop internet and TV.  The house we’re staying in now has it and we haven’t had any service problems, but the TV offerings are limited and don’t include some of the “basic cable” channels that we’ve come to like, such as the Big Ten Network.  Of course, that may just be a matter of getting a different package.  The more high-end TV channels, too, aren’t simple to get to and involve juggling multiple remotes.

And the final option is:  only internet service and no TV.  Since we’ve been at this house, I’ve gone for days without watching any TV.  We’ve got friends who’ve forsaken TV and seem perfectly content.  Maybe that’s an option — but I think we’d regret it when the next seasons of Game of Thrones and The Leftovers start and I want to watch a football game.

We want to make an informed decision in selecting among a confusing array of choices.  I’d be very interested in any thoughts on these options, and particularly in personal experiences with WOW, DirecTV or Dish, and AT&T U-Verse.

Death To Door-To-Door Salesmen!

OK, that’s a bit of an overstatement — but only a bit.  Few things are more irritating than arriving home from a hard day’s work and seeing salesmen prowling the neighborhood, ready to disturb your solitude and send your dogs into a barking frenzy.

IMG_6181Tonight the salesmen were from AT&T U-verse.  Before I could shut the garage door one of them had scampered up to my driveway and was shouting, “Hello!  Is this where I can get my dinner?”  Huh?  What the heck does that mean?  But rather than have the guy ring the doorbell and catapult Penny and Kasey into a nerve-jangling barkathon, I said hello and asked what he wanted.  When he said he was from AT&T, I said we were on Verizon and didn’t want to change.  When he said he wasn’t trying to sell cellphone service, I said we had no land-line phone.  When he said he just wanted to tell me about AT&T U-verse’s upgraded, bundled cable/internet/phone service, I said I wasn’t interested.

Of course, no salesman ever takes no for an answer.  The guy kept asking me questions about our current provider and acting like all of our neighbors had switched over to AT&T U-verse and we were idiots for not letting him waste 15 minutes of our time with his sales pitch.  Much as I respect and admire our neighbors — thanks again for the beer last night, Dave and Amy! — we’re not going to make cable and internet decisions based on what they have done.  I kept saying no, not interested, and he kept pitching — so finally I had to be conclusive, say “no” with more vehemence, and shut the garage door in his face.  I was trying to be polite, but he wouldn’t let me.

Guess what?  AT&T U-verse has come through our neighborhood before.  And, they had already stopped at our house today, when Kish told them we aren’t interested.  The fact that they troubled us, twice, after we told them we were not interested is unforgivable.  Hey, AT&T — stick it!  I will NEVER buy your service now.  Stop bothering us!