Ma Bell wants more money, so, Mr Customer, BOHICA

Since the first of the year, my AT&T U-Verse bill for internet and phone went from $98.42 in January, to $100.00 in April, $105.00 in June, and, now, $110.07 for August. Wonder how much they will be squeezing their customers for by December? $120? $130?

Ma Bell has one advantage in metro Detroit. Their big competitor is Comcast. I fired Comcast 13 years ago, after their repeated attempts to defaud me: billing for things I never ordered, billing for things they never delivered, billing for services months after I cancelled.



There is always Tmobile or Verizon.


Not hardwired to casa del Steve

Back to Comcast, with a careful eye on their accounting… Sonic is available here, but they ride on Ma Bell’s cables… I’ve had good luck, face to face with our local Comcast/Xfinity shop, different agents, but all have been helpful for quite a while now after Ma Bell’s old copper cables just weren’t reliable… They tried for fiber to the curb, ages ago, but it never happened up here…

My Xfinity in the Condo complex is locked in for something like a decade. The basic rate for TV and Internet is $49 per month. Thereabouts. I think basic TV is hundreds of channels but I have no TV set.

Every time I received another fraudulent billing from them, the customer service people were always apologetic and took the fraudulent charge off. A couple months later, they would bill me for something else. I had to bark at them about charges for the internet service I had cancelled months earlier, three or four times, before they stopped charging me for it. Then, years later, they billed me for not returning the cable modem, except I never had their modem. I had bought one at Best Buy, which their records showed, when I challenged the bill.

Comcast even ran TV ads for a bit, pleading that they didn’t zuk, anymore, like they always had. Seems false advertising laws were still enforced then, as the ads soon disappeared.

Then they changed their name, to cover up their past.

My suspicion is that the “JCs” are hoping the person who manages the product or service is not the person who pays the household bills, so their fraudulent charges get paid. In the late 80s, when “extended warranties” were a big source of extra profit, RS, like everyone else, pushed them hard. If the customer did not buy the warranty at time of purchase, they would receive a billing in the mail. The billing did not say it was for a warranty, nor that the warranty was optional. It simply said “You bought this product at this store on this date. Send us this much money”. One of my customers got trapped by that. He bought a microphone and paid for it in the store. His wife took care of the household bills. She received that bill from RS, and paid it, thinking her husband had charged the mike. Nothing I could do about it. He had to argue with Fort Worth, to try and get his money back. And another class action suit for deception against RS took wing.


Keeping receipts, here as well as taking photos of the hardware as I returned it was to cover it for me. It was one of the local agents that told me about buying my own modem, knocking off that monthly rental fee, so far so good… I caught at&t a while back in a false charge for long distant fees related to a LD carrier, but I had specifically NOT selected a LD carrier to avoid any LD charges… Te did, once I connected with a live person, take it off and refund a years similar charges. I forget now the exact fee, it’s buried in old notes on the bills as I chased it down. Likely just a clerical error, worker bees don’t care enough to be malicious with the little things, but everyone needs to take a peek once in a while…

I am still a landline user, well, only as a safety thing, I turned all the ringers either off or way low so we can ignore them, plus we’re gradually shifting all our contacts over to our cells, so one day we’ll drop it… Also a T investor, leftovers from the bits and pieces employees investments, and it pays dividends, so far… Also a VZ investor, again dividends… Our cells are Verizon, over the years of working with Verizon techs, expanding their coverage, upgrading their tech in their cell sites, learned they had the best coverage for all our earlier wanderings… Again, their local store, techs, have always been good to deal with face to face, like the field techs, just sharper, better folks… But they don’t have landline service in this area… But we’re all cells anyway…

Why would you need it to be hardwired? Is that something you prefer?

They give you a modem and that goes wirelessly throughout the house or you put your cat5 into the modem. It goes over the 5G cellular network. I just received a promotion from Tmobile and they said they would never raise the rate.


I used Comcast up to a couple of years ago. I think they were operating under some kind of consent decree. Everything in the contract had to be carefully spelled out, including the termination dates on any discounts or promotions you were getting. And then you got a signed copy of the contract.

I had a 24 month contract for $36/month on Internet-only. During COVID they tried to jack my payment to $40/month. I told them I had a contract, and then when they weren’t quick enough to adjust the payment, cancelled and went with Verizon wireless internet.

For years I kept my Internet cost at $30/month or less by playing off Comcast and CenturyLink (MaBell legacy company) against each other.


Amen. CYAWP I cancelled the Comcast TV service a couple years after dropping the internet. (see my previous expression of disgust with the quality of modern TV programming) Comcast had gone to scrambling everything, forcing people to use their box. When I cancelled, I hand carried the cable box to their office in Ann Arbor, stood there and glared at the guy until he finished writing out the receipt and handed it to me.

I have the wringers turned off on my phones too. Let the telemarketers and scammers talk to the answering machine. Got a call today from some solar power company. The entire message was obviously recorded. After offering to send someone out to bid on a solar installation, the voice said “can you hear me?” Of course, anyone who says “yes” to that innocent sounding question can have that sound bite edited on to anything they want you to consent to, and you have no proof you have been scammed. I can’t get sucked in to that, because I don’t answer the phone. :slight_smile:


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ATT and Verizon play a different premium game than the rest of them.

Even Xfinity plays more the internet TV game which is lower in cost sometimes.

We negotiated 1096 units in our complex a couple of years ago.

Centurylink went stupid a long time ago. Their price for only local wired telco was $45/mo. Long-distance was another $45/month. After I finished laughing, I went with a cell phone from Consumer Cellular (AT&T because T-Mobile can’t do high rise buildings–don’t ask why. I am on eighth floor–no T-Mobile signal). Now I have two cell phones ($46/mo for both lines) and Comcast Internet only for $26/mo (using my own gateway/router via Cat5 network cable to my PC). Of course, everything is on a UPS (have 3-4 of them in use due to lightning strike on the building some years ago that took out a number of stacks. My gear untouched). Could get unlimited cell data for an additional $40/mo but I don’t use the 1Gb/mo minimum now.

ATT and Verizon are now cellular companies, the copper game is over. The only thing that can compete with Cellular is Fiber and Cable. So anyone looking for a good deal on broadband should look at Tmobile and Verizon. You can get service for 25 dollars with a cellular contract. Much faster than any DSL service and it is all wireless. If you are in a city it is easy peasy.



Check to see if your area is already wired for fiber–and by which company. Once an area is wired for fiber, a competitor will not add competing fiber because there simply are too few available customers to make it worth the cost.

Point to consider: I am in a building with Comcast copper wiring (1980s vintage–i.e. original installation). Management will NOT allow another firm to run fiber into the building and run it to every apartment–even when it is at zero cost to management. I do NOT see Comcast in any rush to remove the copper and add fiber (they have no incentive to do so).

I always insist on receipts with item description and serial number. Knowing Spectrum, I keep them in a filed labeled “Do Not Destroy Until After You Bury Me”, which could be an issue as my request is to be cremated.

I figure if Spectrum really wants to collect from me, my kids can tell them, in all honesty, to go to hell.

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I am sure that is coax and your right jerry. Comcast most likely has a contract with your buildings owner. The only way around that is through wireless or cellular. I hate it when they lock you into a company. They do the same thing when running fiber into new communities. They will give the contract to one company.


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The key point to me, at least, is the fact there is no fiber in the building yet (years after the fiber was laid in the street). This was a 20-yr city contract for citywide WiFi (yes, it works), but it can not reach higher than (say) three stories (i.e. above the height of most houses). A friend lives nearby (same neighborhood) and has their fiber. Works great.

So many people wanted (and were willing to pay for) fiber, the company just kept on expanding their in-home fiber network, covering virtually the south and west parts of the city. Their web site still shows they will install and wire entire apartment buildings for their fiber at no charge to the owner.

Jerry they love putting fiber into high rises because the ROI is really good. But if the building is under contract with a cable company they probably will never do it. If it was important, I would try to have a meeting with the people managing your building and see if they can get out of the contract and get into a contract with the fiber company. Putting fiber into a building that is already wired for coax would be very easy. But then you will be locked into the fiber company so there is that to think about too.


There is “no contract”. In the 1980s, the city originally granted Rogers exclusive cable rights within the city (as was standard then). Comcast then bought and/or traded areas with Rogers and Comcast has the former Rogers area here. Today, the city has no exclusive contracts except for the WiFi network contract (otherwise, no one would do it). Multiple companies are allowed to wire/develop the same area if they so choose. As fiber is superior to coax, there is no reason to not allow the fiber from another company when Comcast refuses to do so. This is especially true when there is “no financial cost” to do so. Comcast made the “conscious choice” to NOT participate (or bid) for the contract to provide citywide WiFi service (or they were a losing bidder). So they can not legitimately whine about “unfair competition”.

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Jerry I am not talking about the city unless the city owns your building. In a city anyone can wire the city up. The utilities have been forced to share poles and conduit. But when it comes to a newly developed community, apartment building, condo high rise, etc. Then it is up to the person running the entity. Some will allow multiple utilities in but some of them will go under contract with one utility. The reason they do this is because they get all the work by the utilities for free and the utility gets all the cashflow without a competitor. Now maybe your buildings contract has run out. But if that is the case the cable company is not going to allow a competitor into their conduit. So a competitor would have to come in and run fiber throughout the building and compete with the cable company. They are not going to do that when they can get buildings all to themselves. “Greenfield”. The only way a fiber company is going to come in is if they can have the whole building under contract to themselves. At least, until all the low hanging, easy building are taken. Then they will be very selective. After all, all of these fiber companies are competing with the 5G companies and as the 5G companies keep getting better and better, they keep stealing marketshare away from all of the companies running fiber and cable. The fiber and cable companies are very scared of the cellular companies and do not want to get over their skies.