My parents were fairly insistent that I needed to get a landline phone in my apartment. I grumbled a bit but eventually agreed. According to AT&T's website, the plan with unlimited local calling is $17. I concluded I could probably fit that into the utilities portion of the housing allowance from my scholarship and signed up. Because I went through the sign up process online, the initial $45 fee was supposed to be waived, and I have the email to confirm that. I did all of this on August 10 and was supposed to get service between 8am and 8pm on the 13th. By the evening of the 14th, I still didn't have phone service so I used my parents' phone to call customer service. After spending a long time trying to use the automated system to get through to a human, I became very frustrated indeed, especially since the computer insisted I had an unpaid bill (despite having never dealt with AT&T before) and repeatedly demanded I enter my social security number to confirm my identity (despite my having never given AT&T that information in the first place). I then got put on hold, talked to an actual human about my problem for 30 seconds, went back on hold, talked to another human who had none of the information I'd given the automated system of the other human, went back on hold, and finally talked to another human who had none of the information I'd previously given others but who was able to enter something in her computer to tell them to turn on my service and who assured me I did not have an unpaid bill. All told, I spent about 40 minutes trying to resolve the problem, most of it on hold.
Today I received an order confirmation in the mail. It states that my monthly rate is $23.71, not $17, and that there will be a one-time charge of $45. I don't know if there is anything I can do about the extra $6.71 a month, but I will NOT be paying them a $45 fee that I have proof they said they would waive. I'm not looking forward to spending my afternoon on hold, but I guess I need to address this as soon as I get done with my last class. I'm would almost consider switching to ham radio as my sole means of voice communication if this is what dealing with the phone company is going to be like. I am already licensed.