Back to WOW! (Or, "Wow, AT&T. Really?")

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As you may recall, we spent quite a bit of time and energy bundling and unbundling our TV, internet and phone services.

And we're not done yet.

AT&T - Simply Taking Advantage.


At first, we went with WOW Ultra TV for everything. TV, phone and internet. And those services worked well - with some caveats.

First and foremost, no matter how hard they tried, WOW could *not* get their phone system to work with our ADT security system. It was 4 service calls and 4 different approaches to the problem - they simply could not make it work.

Which was kind of a dealbreaker. (Plus, I wanted DirecTV Genie for TV, anyway)

We were paying over $160 to WOW monthly for a TV interface that I didn't love, phone service that couldn't handle our security system, and, granted, decent cable internet.

So we totally unbundled.


  • We went DirecTV for television. 
  • We stayed with WOW for internet (primarily because Comcast literally could not figure out how to install at our house.)
  • And we went with AT&T for bare-bones phone service. 
And it was okay! Our security system worked!

And then it got more expensive.
A *LOT* more expensive.

For the first 18 months or so, we were paying $42 for basic landline phone service.

Last month, AT&T billed us $85 for the same phone line. Their cost more than doubled!

And this wasn't an introductory rate expiring - we simply received a letter from AT&T explaining that our rate would be moving from $42 to over $80, for absolutely no reason.

We've had it with AT&T. Their cell network was unusable in Chicago and its suburbs, their home phone service seems expressly designed to drive away customers - I'll never pay them another cent for anything, period.

Sorry, AT&T. You had a good run for those first 100 years or so. But there's no reason for us to continue in any capacity.

It's Not All Good News.

There are some issues with moving our phone service back to WOW - and those issues eat up our savings pretty quickly.

First off, I'm not going to get to use my awesome cable modem. According to the customer service tech I spoke with today, I have to rent a VOIP modem from WOW for $5 a month, which is a serious bummer.

(NOTE: We'll see if that's truly the case. I really can't buy a modem?!)

The rack rate for adding phone service is an extra $20/month - from $50 internet-only to a $70 bundle. But with taxes and modem rental fees, our new bundle is going to run us $87.

That's a big increase in our WOW bill, but we were paying $130 for WOW and AT&T separately, so we're still saving $43/month.

Seriously, don't bother with VOIP.
Secondly, we're back to our initial problem - WOW simply CANNOT get their phone service to work with a home security system.

So we're going to have to move to ADT's "CellGuard" program - which runs an extra $17/month. So our savings move from $43, down to $26 each month. Not great, but it's something.

And while I'm at it, why not upgrade the entire system to ADT Pulse, which will give us the ability to turn our security system on and off with an iOS app?

Bottom Line

We'd reached the point that we actually would have paid MORE in order to stop dealing with AT&T.

After swapping services around, it looks like we'll be saving around $25 each month - but that's off the current "bloated AT&T bill" outlay, not our status quo from the last year or so. We'll be paying $15 or so more than that.

But look what we get! Home security system will be moved up to Pulse and gain iOS control.

And more importantly, we are no longer tied to landline phone service at all. If we choose, we can completely drop our landline, and save an additional $35 each month.

I'll review the Pulse system after it's installed on Friday.

In the meantime, we are a GO for our living room built-in cabinets, and they're being built as we speak! Lots of action in the AAAD household.

1 comment :

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