When AT&T began to install their video-ready access devices (VRADs) all around town a few years ago, the uproar was huge. Time and again, I’d hear arguments along the lines of, “You’ll be happy they’re here!” and “Once the bushes grow in, you won’t even notice them.”
Just look at the full hydrangeas around this device near the corner of Dempster Street and Maple Avenue. If you squint really hard and zoom in on the picture, you might be able to see the box and its graffiti.
Full disclosure: as a Comcast customer, I have no loyalty to AT&T’s U-verse system. I don’t even understand it, though I wanted to scrap any connection with Comcast last week when, after a full month, they still hadn’t come out to repair a downed cable line that hung across three yards behind my house. Hours of phone calls got me nowhere with the cable company, though I did learn that the Skokie Comcast center has recently downsized. We can still pay bills and swap out faulty cable boxes and modems in Skokie, but now all repair professionals are dispatched from Mt. Prospect.
After my neighbor pulled some strings and got Comcast to come out to make the repair (I’m still dying to know what he did to make it happen), I wanted to switch to AT&T U-verse so we’d never have to deal with Comcast again. However, the company didn’t have customer service hours on the Sunday afternoon when I called, nor did their website seem user-friendly. I resigned myself to “hanging in there” until the next problem with Comcast hits. It’s not a great feeling, but when I look at the AT&T VRAD boxes around town, I’m relieved not to have any association with those eyesores.