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Why do we have to renegotiate every year?


Why do we have to renegotiate every year?

I have been with ATT U-Verse for a few years now.  Every year, my promotions expire, and I am informed that I am not a new customer, and am not eligible for the current promotional rates.  I am then sent to a retention specialist who explains to me that the current pricing can get close to the promotion, but will not be exact.  


Recently, I saw my bill for U300 and 18MB internet change from $132/month to $198/month. I called in and was sent to a retention specialist named Jason.  Jason and I spoke.  He asked clearly if price was my issue with the service.  I was then informed that he could lower my bill from the $198/ month by taking away the movie package.  I could also look at lowering the speed of my internet.  YES, I understand that I could lower my bill by having less options in my package.  I mentioned this to Jason.  He looked at my bill, and told me that he could get my current package down to $122 per month plus taxes and fees.  This equated to $144 per month.  I ran the exact same set up as a new customer in my home and without having to negotiate, I was able to get it for $112/month plus taxes and fees.  The lower price also came with $200 promotional gift cards.


I mentioned that I could cancel my subscription, and resubscribe.  To which I was told that I would have to then pay for the wireless receiver that I had already paid for a year ago.  I was also told that I could not get the promotional cards, as they were just for new subscribers.  


I told Jason that I would think about his offer.  He gave me an e-mail address to get back in touch with him.  He said to e-mail, and he would call me back.  I spoke over the offer with my wife, and after looking at our usage, we realized that we really mainly watched the local HD stations.  Most of our viewing was actually on the DVR.  So she mentioned seeing what they could offer on a lower package, or to see if it was time to cut the cord, and go with internet only.


I sent Jason an e-mail.  I received a message from an automatic system informing me that they could take up to 3 business days to reply.  As this was on a Friday, this meant that I would still be billed at $197/month for 5 more day s while I awaited a phone call.  I sent a follow up on the 5th business day, and was contacted.  I mentioned to Jason that we would like to look at a lower "entry level" plan.  I had priced it out online, and with 2 TV's on the UFamily plan with a DVR, a new subscriber could get it for $84/month, and they received 2 $100 promotional cards.  There was no charge for installation.  


Jason looked, and said that on his side, he could not get find any way to reach that price.  He could only get to $92/month plus taxes and fees.  As a current member he could not do anything about the promotional cards.  I asked him if he could get my pricing close to $80/month, and issue a credit of $100 to my account to offest the promotional cards.  This would also be fair to offset $197 that I had been being billed for the last 2 months, and to make up for the delay in being able to discuss it.  At this point he said no.  As we had been contemplating going with streaming services only, I asked about the cost of an internet only plan.  I was told that to keep my internet would be $58/month plus the gateway fee.  Effectively around $67.   I told Jason that at this point I did not see how we could continue to use them, and that I could get a better deal signing up as a new subscriber.  His reply was "OK, then I guess you are saying that you want to make no changes at this time!  Right?"  I responded with "Yes, you are correct.  No changes at this time!".  


I have since set up an installation with another internet provider for 30MB internet for a monthly total of $49 per month, and purchased a New Roku box.  Aereo offers me all of the DVR functionality I need for $8.00/ month with local channels.  As we still like the convenience of our current plan with AT&T, I have sent an e-mail back to Jason with  PDF copy of the cart I was looking at for the $84 per month with the $200 promotional cards.  I asked him to contact me again.  It is now on the 2nd business day since I sent the e-mail.  I am hoping that he can find the current promotion that I showed in the e-mail.  I have always enjoyed the service,but have found dealing with the pricing is a complete pain.  


Why is it that a current customer cannot get the same deal as a potential customer.  It is sad that our loyalty has no value.



Message 1 of 3

Re: Why do we have to renegotiate every year?

Why is it that a current customer cannot get the same deal as a potential customer.  It is sad that our loyalty has no value.



Unfortunately that is the nature of pay tv providers.  All of them will offer great deals to get you to switch, but once your contract is up, you have to fight to get the best deal.  This model, no matter bad it sucks for the customer doesn't look to be ending anytime soon.  Every provider I've looked at has great promotional prices, however, rates will go to "normal" pricing starting your 13th or in some cases the 25th month.

” Auto racing, bull fighting, and mountain climbing are the only real sports … all others are games.”- Ernest Hemingway
Message 2 of 3
ACE - Master

Re: Why do we have to renegotiate every year?

versedinatx wrote:

Why is it that a current customer cannot get the same deal as a potential customer. 


New customers get a price of $XXX for 12 months. It sounds like you've received a price of $XXX for more than 12 months, so you've already gotten a better deal that new customers. 


If you choose to work the system to keep getting new promos, either by threatening to disconnect or actually changing service providers, that's your prerogative. Keep in mind the time spent to do much is that time worth to you?

*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
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