The order didn't go overwhelmingly smoothly. They've just started up the ordering process, and clearly have in place an elaborate computer database setup to methodically walk through the necesarily complex details involved complex services—getting you registered, address, identity validation, phone numbers, porting, 911 service, email address, passwords, confirming question (like mother's maiden name), multiple channel packages, and other seemingly endless bits and pieces. I managed to find oddnesses in the software. (My street name has a St. before it & a St. after & my name has a St. before...that software can be confused by such I know from long, unhappy experience with university databases--my guess is that the software designer didn't live in South Louisiana...)
I didn't buy a simple bundled package, but broke it up into high end internet, a middling channel package, and a minimal landline phone order. The folks on the other line handled all that quite easily and when you order you should know that you can unbundle almost anything...including buying phone services a la carte. Just ask. One thing I forgot to ask about in my eagerness was static IP addresses--a beta tester told me that he's got one and that it is supposed to cost $5.00 a month. If you want such just ask. My experience was that the folks on the other end of the line either actually know all the details or when they are uncertain just ask...a good norm in a service center.
At the end of the afternoon after a couple of callbacks all was done, and I was and remain an exceedingly happy man. (Who now has to take that Cat 6 out of his trunk and actually finish rewiring the house.)
For those who've asked for the nitty-gritty details...remember you did ask...here is the long version:
- You get a nifty sheet folded to make it into a two page (4 page front and back) promotional brochure. The brochure comes folded in half to make a mailer the size of a large postcard. It's sealed with tape and tucked inside you'll find two informational sheets with all the prices and the most current channel lineup.
- You eagerly tear it open
- Get with your significant other/s and decide on what you want
- Call the number on the flyer (99-Fiber)
- Transverse the phone tree to get to hold of one of those new LUS service reps. Punch 1 and then 1 again... I got a very nice guy with a distinctly local accent who was both methodical and very solicitous.
- They go through a process to verify that you really are in the area that is currently open for service. This verification apparently is separated from the sign-up process so they ask for a few things a second time later on. (But my guy told me he was going to be asking again and apologized in anticipation. I was in no mood to worry about such.)
- Once you are confirmed as a potential location they want to know who you are. You get to verify your identity, in my case by SSN, and get an identity in their system. I provided a password and the answer to a standard security question.
- Then you get to give your address and billing address. That should be easy. But in my case having a "St." in front of the street name caused problems. We eventually hit on a series of letters that the database acknowledged existed. (Saint needs to be spelled out.)
- Part of confirming your address is that you need to have one that the 911 system acknowledges. So the address needs to go in and be accepted in that database. We wrestled with that a bit too...as it turns out that field doesn't like the other "St." —the one that denotes "Street." (That one needs to be left off entirely.) Coming out of that series of retries we got a "unexpected error" error. —Another of those ever so informative computer messages. He couldn't get unhung and asked to call back.
- He got unhung and called back. We managed to duplicate the error. Great for bug tracking. Frustrating to my service guy. He let me go again.
- My callback was from a nice, brisk, and apologetic woman who apparently was the supervisor. Anyone who has hung on technical support lines for hours recognizes that I'd had a level upgrade... She muscled past the buggy screens and finalized my setup.
- At that point I "just" had to specify my order. That was complex. Even the most minimal land line has to go through a lot to port a number and set up all the required 911 details. I asked a lot of questions (being who I am) about service details on the internet side, got the fancy 50 meg symmetric package, and a digital DVR box with one premium channel...That involved a lot of talk.
- She set me up on the spot for an inside install and let me know that the outside installer would be coming but would ring us up first.
- She apologized for everything one more time, checked my particulars and let me go. Done!
I eagerly await.