Goodbye Comcast, hello AT&T!

After a lot of internal debate, I’ve finally decided to make a decision on my triple-play service: I’m ditching Comcast and signing up for AT&T’s U-verse.

A couple months ago, I wrote about how I was exploring my options. After two years of reduced rates for Comcast’s triple-play, my service costs were about to skyrocket. I wasn’t happy about that, but also wasn’t super excited about my choices.

After writing my column, I let the issue drop for a while — and it cost me. My bill skyrocketed to about $170 a month including taxes, which was way, way more than I wanted to spend. Unwilling to keep paying that bigger bill, I resumed my triple-play shopping last night.

I was surprised at how little Comcast was willing to reduce my bill. My base cost before taxes is about $160 a month, for which I get the digital starter TV package with about 80 channels, unlimited local and long-distance phone service and the 30-megabit per second Blast Internet service.

For those service options, Comcast was willing to drop my pre-tax price to about $125 for the next year — but only if I signed a two-year contract. And my price would have risen to $145 in the second year and $165 at the end of my contract, which is more than I’m paying now.

I considered dropping the phone service, but Comcast actually would have charged me more to do that. I probably could have saved some money by getting the 20-megabit-per-second Performance Internet service, but the Internet service is the thing I value the most and least wanted to mess with.

I again called AT&T to comparison shop — and found a better deal. I was able to put together a package that includes AT&T’s U-200 TV service, which is about 200 channels; its Max Plus Internet service, which is 18 megabits per second; and its  Voice 250 phone service, which gives me 250 voice minutes a month. For that, I would pay $115 a month for the first 6 months and $125 a month for the next 18 months.

So, compared with Comcast’s offer, AT&T’s would save me $10 a month for the first six months, and $20 a month for all of the second year. Better yet, AT&T only required a one-year contract. And it offered a $200 gift card that can be used to pay bills or anything else.

Had I been willing to drop my phone service, I could have gotten an even better deal: $85 a month for the first six months and $95 a month for the next 18 months. Unfortunately, it turns out that my wife uses our home phone quite a lot for work — much more than I previously realized — so we weren’t ready to cut our home phone service completely.

Still, I was pleased with the savings we’ll see even without cutting our phone service. In my book, it’s still too much to pay for a triple-play, but AT&T’s deal was definitely better than Comcast’s.

Note, though, that your mileage may vary. We  have cell phone service from AT&T and were apparently given some kind of extra discount to reflect that.

But I’m excited about finally moving forward on this. I’m looking forward to getting more channels and having what promises to be a much better DVR. I’ll let you know in coming weeks if the switch was worth it.

Troy Wolverton Troy Wolverton (250 Posts)

Troy writes the Tech Files column as the Personal Technology Columnist at the San Jose Mercury News. He also covers the digital media, mobile and video game industries and writes occasionally about Apple, chips, social networking and other aspects of technology. Previously, Troy covered Apple and the consumer electronics industry. Prior to joining the Mercury News, Troy reported on technology, business and financial issues for TheStreet.com and CNET News.com.