This Is our Village

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Hi all,
We have received a number of calls in UCO about AT & T aggressive marketing of products in Century Village. Salespersons, often in pairs are knocking on doors around the dinner hour and making presentation to sell our unit owners Digital Telephone service, High speed INTERNET and Television products. Taken jointly, the AT & T system is branded U-Verse.

A bit of background is in order; some 10 years ago, UCO signed an agreement, allowing AT&T the right, at some time in the future to come into Century Village and market their products. This right extended for 15 years from the time of signing, and thus has 5 years to run. In return for this right, AT & T paid UCO a significant sum of money. While a non-disclosure clause forbids me from stating the amount; it is in the six figure range.

Any unit owner interested in a copy of the Agreement may, of course, come to UCO for a copy.

Of particular importance is the fact that while the Agreement gives AT & T access, the Agreement specifically forbids Door to Door solicitation; thus these aggressive tactics are forbidden.

UCO will identify senior management at AT & T and put them on formal notice of this violation of the Agreement, but in the meantime, Association Boards must be vigilant in protecting their buildings from these tactics.

All unit owners must be further aware, that signing up for U-Verse will NOT relieve them from paying the Bulk Comcast Cable monthly fee.

Please do not rush to sign any contract without taking time to research the consequences!!

Dave Israel
United Civic Organization


  1. Thanks David. I printed your
    post and placed it on our bulletin
    board so all unit owner will know
    about it.

  2. I did the same as Nutmegger. Many thanks for keeping us up to date on this kind of stuff, Dave.

    Footnote: Yesterday afternoon a guy wearing an AT&T shirt was knocking on doors at Sheffield O, went upstairs there and then came over to us at Sheffield N. A neighbor and I were out on the walk watching at the time, and the man greeted us as he walked by. I stopped him and asked if he was soliciting business, and (of course) he said no, he was visiting residents with whom he had made appointments. I wasn't nasty to him because the poor guy was probably only following someone's orders, and of course I could not disprove what he claimed. But I let him know in no uncertain terms and in detail what you had said in the blog, and that door-to-door solicitation was NOT allowed, which (of course) he said he realized. He left quite amicably and took off in his car, which was down the street a short way.

  3. To give blog readers an update, this subject was brought up at yesterday's Executive Board meeting. One person, citing one instance, said the young man going door to door had been insistent that the person signing his contract with AT@T disclose both his (or her) credit card number AND Social Security number.

    Apparently AT@T has been mounting a vigorous campaign to sell its U-Verse service, which, as I understand it, includes Cable-TV service as part of the package. Unfortunately, this will NOT exempt the purchaser from continuing to pay his share (soon to be over $20 a month) of cable-TV expenses included in his condo dues.

    I am curious: Why, unless a person opted to pay his AT&T bill by credit card, would he need to give AT&T a credit card number? And why under any circumstances would be need to disclose his Social Security number? We are warned repeatedly in this day and age of scams against doing this.

  4. A further update: Yesterday one of the AT@T men went to the door of a friend of mine in Canterbury K WITHOUT APPOINTMENT. His spiel was that copper wiring was going to be replaced by fiber-optic wiring by AT@T in a year, which would cost everyone in the Village money, $200 of which would be SAVED if my friend signed up RIGHT THEN. The salesman said AT@T was buying out our Comcast contract. He also said Dave Israel (naming Dave) was allowing him and 3-4 others like him from AT@T into the Village. (Of course he said nothing about knocking on doors making cold calls being allowed!) Fortunately, my friend didn't sign up for whatever he was offering. He didn't even get that far. For one thing, she was put off by the standard pushy salesman line "You have to sign up NOW."

    If I remember correctly--and I may well be wrong--the old cable wiring in trenches throughout the Village was replaced by fiber-optic a year or two ago. I believe I heard this was AT@T's wiring, but that by law Comcast, or any other cable-TV provider, could use it (I would assume by paying AT@T something for the use). If so, could this have been only the wiring going BY our buildings but not INTO them (and thence into the apartments), so that replacement of the old wiring INTO the apartments was the future AT@T work the saleman referred to in his pitch?


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