I know a few people have been waiting on my U-verse review, now that I finally had it installed. For those who might have missed it, you can read about my first experience with U-verse – when I actually signed-up – here and why it was love at first sight.
But, just like you get nervous after that first date (I really liked her, did she like me? What if she doesn’t? She said she likes sports and Tarantino movies…was that the truth? I really hope so!) I was a little nervous as installation day drew near.
The best part about the installation? I was given an exact time on the phone when
I signed up. And then I received a confirmation email three days before; a confirmation text two days before and a courtesy call one day before. Then, as if that wasn’t enough, our installer called us that morning saying he was on his way. That was more communication in one week than I had had in 10 years with TimeWarner.
On a side note: one thing I found very interesting throughout this installation was how U-verse had learned from TimeWarner’s mistakes. Everything that annoyed me about them had been addressed in some way by U-verse. So either AT&T had planted bugs in my house or they did their own extensive customer research.
Back to the installation. Brandon, our installer, brought us flowers, chocolates and a case of beer. He even brought crayons and coloring books for the girls. Ok. I’m lying. He didn’t. But you almost believed me. He did bring a lot of knowledge and patience to the installation. He told me everything he was going to do, how long it would take and what I could expect. Then…this really crazy thing happened. He did it! All of it! And once he did it he walked us through his ‘class’, which basically was our crash course in U-verse.
Now, if my fears hadn’t already been relieved, they were now. U-verse is everything they say, people say it is…and more. The user interface. The ease of recording. The simple DVR. The On Demand functions. The multiview stations (that allow you to see every type of specific program at once…think all of the sports stations running down the right side of your screen v. you having to flip through or look at the guide). Everything was designed to be easy and be even easier to operate. (A little too easy, in fact…while he was walking us through, my seven-year-old was on another TV DVRing Teen Beach Movie and Full House. 380 hours of DVR space? That didn’t last long.)
Appropriately, once the installation was complete I had to run over to the TimeWarner store for one last interaction…or so I thought. I was returning my cable box and remote. When I got there I was greeted by a touch screen asking me for my info. I filled it out and was told my wait was six minutes. I then watched the monitor to see where my name was in the order…for 25 minutes. Finally it was my turn. I turned in my box, my remote and was on my way out the door when the lady called me back. I still had a modem. Son of a…they didn’t tell me I had one! So now we have to go back, and, in the mean time get charged by the day for the equipment that we have. Fortunately my wife was able to run it over on Tuesday and we were only charged for two days ($36 – yep, $18/day).
It’s worth mentioning that when I called TimeWarner to cancel my service they did what they had to keep me, offering a discounted rate (ironically the rate I should still be locked in to). I politely told them (and the people listening) that if they valued me as a customer they should’ve offered me that rate when I called to complain the last three times.
In all seriousness, I’ve had U-verse for a grand total of five days. Sure, there might be some problems. And yes, I know some people probably feel about U-verse the same way I do about TimeWarner. No one’s perfect. There are so many elements that can’t be controlled. But the things that can be controlled – and weren’t by TimeWarner – were too big to ignore. TimeWarner continues to invest in better technology and more options – here’s hoping they invest in better service and listening.