AT&T — completely frustrated from at&t
I am writing in hopes that someone can help or point me in a direction that will help me find resolution. Thank you in advance. The details are listed below.
On 1/16/07 at approx. 9am I called AT&T to inquire about calling plans offered to china. I was offered the Asia Saver feature which would allow the first 60 minutes to be free and additional calls after that to be made at a rate of .15 a minute. I agreed and signed up for the Asia Saver 60.
The Asia Saver plan worked great except for two calls. On 01/16, after many attempts of dialing, I called the operator I told her that I was not able to get through to a number in China and asked if she could see if there was something wrong in the line . I called the operator to see if there was something wrong with the line (I had been able to reach the number from a different phone a few days prior so I knew the number was correct). She said she would try the number. She was not able to get through immediately and then she was after the second time. I asked her if I would be charged additionally if she dialed it. She said I wouldn't. This happened a second time on 01/31 when, after several dialing attempts, were unable to connect. We called the operator to see if something was wrong with the line and she again connected us. At the time of these calls we were told that these calls would not cost an extra amount. These calls cost $4.50 a minute for a total of $291.55... NOT .15 a minute as we understood. The phone system between the United States and China is not always reliable as far as being able to connect. I was very meticulous about making sure I followed the guidelines for making calls to China through the Asia Saver. I specifically asked the operator if we would be charged additionally and she said in this case no I wouldn't.
I called the phone company and spoke to an agent (I didn't document the name of the person) the last week of February. I asked about the charges to China and asked why one call was $33.25 and another call was $258.30 while the rest of the calls to China were .15. She wasn't sure and said that it must be a billing glitch. She said that someone would be taking a look at it and if it was determined to be a billing error, then my account would be automatically credited. I asked if someone could call me back and she advised me to keep checking my account online to see if the charges were credited. If they weren't I was to call back. I paid my phone bill for the amount minus the disputed charges.
There were no credits so I called back on 03/13 and spoke to Matt to dispute these charges again. He said he couldn't see any reason why I would have been charged that amount either. I told him the only difference I could see between these two charges was that they were under the heading of "operator assisted". Matt said he didn't think that should matter but he wasn't sure. He said this had been escalated and to keep checking my online bill for any credits. I asked to speak to a manager. He said one was not available and he could have one call me back in 48 hours. I gave him my cell phone number to call. I received no call back.
I called back on 3/23 and spoke to Maribelle. I explained that I have been waiting for a callback from a manager regarding a billing dispute. She put me on hold and spoke to her manager. She came back and said that a specialist, Leena, would be working on it. I asked to speak to Leena and was told someone would call me back in the next 15 days after Leena had reviewed my dispute. I asked to speak to the manager she had spoken to while I was on hold. I was told that the manager wasn't available now but the manager could give me a call back within 48 hours. I didn't receive any callback.
On 04/09 I received a disconnect notice saying my service would be disconnected if I didn't pay in full by 4/13. I called back on 4/09 and spoke to Ricky. He told me that no dispute of charges had been filed and that's why I received the disconnect notice. He put in a dispute claim (I thought this had been done the first time I called in February). I asked to speak to a manager because there seemed to be a communication gap between their escalation department. He said one was not on the floor. He said a manager could call me back within 48 hours. I explained that I have been waiting for a callback since February and I just wanted to get this straightened out. He said that in the notes someone had called me back on my cellphone on 3/16 at 2:09 pm... the notes say that they called and it was hard for the caller to hear so caller said that they would call back. when the caller called back, they got a busy signal. I told Ricky that never happened; I went online to view my cell phone records while Ricky was on the call and confirmed that no one had called me on 2/09 from AT&T... not that day or anytime. I told Ricky I really wanted to speak to a manager. He disconnected the call.
I am completely frustrated at how this has been handled. I worked for Pacific Bell Internet in the call center so I understand how call centers work. It might be excusable for one miscommunication during a string of calls, but this is not acceptable. At this rate, the phone company can choose to ignore any billing disputes and offer no way for the customer to speak to someone in charge while shutting your services off without having to offer any documentation that the dispute was even looked into.
I would like the two calls that were charged at a rate of $4.50 to be charged at a rate of .15 per minute, per the Asia Saver plan that I agreed to. Again, I specifically asked the operator if I was going to be charged extra for her putting the call through after I was not able to by directly dialing and was told I would not.