Here is a summary:
Price: Uverse charges more for HD channels, Comcast has free broadcast HD channels
OnDemand: AT&T's is pathetic, Comcast has lots of free movies & shows
Phone service: similar for both
Internet: no noticeable difference
DVR: AT&T is good for non-HD users (see below), Comcast let you record only two shows at once
I had Comast for four or five years and it was good but it was kind of pricey. There were also some small things that were kind of annoying (like not being able to watch OnDemand while two shows were recording). U-Verse came to the area claiming lower prices and sweeping me off my feet with the promise of recording four shows at once. Switching to U-Verse was on my to-do list but when a co-worker said they were handing out $300 Visa gift cards to switch I got on the horn and got the ball rolling.
In late February, I took half a day off and waited for the tech to come out. He was due to be there by 5:00 but I gave him the benefit of the doubt and didn't call to check on his whereabouts until 5:30. Nobody could tell me where he was or if he was coming. I called back six times between 5:30 and 8:30. The fifth time I was transferred to an office that had closed for the day. I called right back and told the first person who answered the phone, "Just cancel it. This is ridiculous. Cancel the whole damn thing." The guy said, "Great," and hung up on me.
I called back the next day to make sure they were canceling the order and the rep told me there was a technical issue and they apologized for the inconvenience and promised to cancel it.
A few weeks later I got eight calls in five days from them asking me to call them. Whatever the problem had been, they fixed it. I wrote that day in Feb off as a one-time snafu and gave them another try. The guy was prompt, friendly, knowledgeable, and professional. There was some wiring issue in my apartment building's phone box so he had to call out a special tech at 4:00 to fix it. The first tech stayed as long as he could but he had to leave at 4:30. The lineman came out and fixed the box later that evening and the first tech was back promptly the next morning and everything was installed properly.
While he was cleaning up his tools and things I was playing with the remote and trying to set up recordings. When I tried to set up HD channels to record, it said "doesn't allow recording." That's when I found out it's $10 a month extra to have HD, even for broadcast channels like ABC, NBC, CBS, etc. What the hell? These were all included with Comcast.
The tech left and I went online to program my TV from my computer. This is a useful feature that I wish Comcast would offer. I couldn't use my existing Yahoo address to set up my account so I had to open another Yahoo address via AT&T, an annoying process that should be eliminated for people who already have a Yahoo account.
When I tried to set up HD recordings, it kept telling me that there were conflicts even though there were only two recordings set in one time slot. I didn't understand why it wouldn't let me set up the promised four recordings at a time so I called up customer service again.
Apparently you only get two HD lines at a time. So you can still do four shows, but not four HD shows. I was irritated because I paid for the whole TV and I wanted to watch the whole TV, not just the middle of the screen which is what I have to do when I'm watching non-HD media. But whatever, I could live with that.
Then it got to where it would only let me set up one HD show at a time. What the hell? I mean come on. It turns out the DVR starts recording one minute early and stops recording one minute late and there is no way to change this. It's a default setting.
So say you have one show set to record at 7:30 and two shows set to record at 8:00. The 7:30 show records until 8:01, while the two 8:00 shows start recording at 7:59. So that's three minutes that you're recording three HD shows at once. but you only have two HD lines so you can't do that. Which means you can only set one show to record at 8, since the 7:30 show is still recording. You can still record up to four shows, as long as they're not HD. So at 8:00 I could record one HD show and up to three non-HD shows. This is what an extra $10 a month gets you from AT&T.
Yesterday I looked at my bill online. There was a $57 charge listed as a "prorated charge." So I called them up again. It turns out your billing cycle has nothing to do with when you signed up, it's on an established cycle for your neighborhood. Also, they pre-bill for the next month. That $57 was for the ten days in the last cycle that I had service, and then I also have to pay for a month that I have not yet used.
$57 isn't a lot to most people but it sure is to me, and by the time they added taxes and fees and all that crap it was $80, which is a big chunk of my budget.
So my bill that was supposed to be $157 is now $235, which is going to mean I'm washing my clothes in the bathtub for a while because $80 is two months of laundry at the laundromat.
I know a lot of people complain that Comcast is expensive and they have bad customer service. I've never had a bad customer service experience from Comcast. Their prices are about the same as AT&T, but they have lots and lots of free shows and movies on demand, while AT&T has no free movies and not a great selection of shows. I can't find any regular broadcast shows on their "Free on Demand" at all. They want to charge me $5.00 to watch the super shitty "All About Steve." I wouldn't watch that movie even if they were the ones paying me to watch it.
They don't even carry CLTV, Chicago's local news channel. With Comcast you can only get it if you pay an extra $10 for a digital box, but at least it's available.
I'm sticking with AT&T just long enough to get my $300 gift card and then I'm running back to Comcast as quick as I can. I'm sorry, Comcast! It was a weak moment! Let's never fight again!