The complaint has been investigated and
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Resolved
AT&T U - Versedeceptive

This past Saturday I went to my local AT&T wireless store to sign up for the U-Verse service at my home address. I had recently opened another line on my wireless account and had learned a bit more about the service. I proceeded to sign up, at the end of the process I was informed that the system was being "buggy" and that someone would contact me the following day with my order details. However, later this same night I received an e-mail from U-verse with my order details/confirmation and installation date/time. Being ever vigilant, I contacted the number located within the e-mail to confirm this information. The information (order details, installation date/time) was confirmed. Sunday I contacted U-verse to confirm again (because I wanted to cancel my cable service as my new bill would start on the 9th) and again my appointment date/time was confirmed. Monday I requested the few hours off from work (unpaid unfortunately) to be at home for the installation of my U-verse service. However, Monday night I receive a phone call from the store in which I originally signed up for the U-verse service and was told that I should cancel my appointment as it is now showing that I owe a 450.00 deposit for Uverse service. Shocked, I asked her to explain to me why all of a sudden now I owe a deposit for an AT&T service (I have been with AT&T wireless for several years, with multiple lines of service). However, she could not explain this to me. She went further to tell me that I should cancel the installation because if they came to install my service, they would then turn said service off the following day and demand 450.00 deposit from me. I was never told by the store (until monday night), or by any of the THREE "customer service agents" I spoke with via telephone that my account showed that I owed a deposit. This is very deceptive practices by all parts imo. I will be canceling ALL service with AT&T. If you feel you can deceive a long-term, paying customer in this way, I don't feel as if you deserve my business.

Responses

  • Ma
    MarGreps Nov 13, 2009

    BEWARE OF AT&T DECEPTIVE PRACTICES. I had a similar experience, but IT'S WORSE THAN AS YOU'VE DEPICTED. The $450 "deposit" is no such thing, but is actually a "nonrefundable credit fee". The rep told me it was a deposit as well, but it aint no such thing -- it is actually a fee JUST FOR THE PLEASURE OF GETTING TO HAVE THEIR SERVICE. They subsequently told me I would "get almost all that back" (free installation, some charges rebated over the next 6 months) -- however, I was lead to believe I was getting these "freebies" as incentive to switch over from Comcast. In other words, I (and you) would simply be paying $450 for nothing.

    0 Votes
  • Sh
    shirellec Dec 17, 2009

    I can't believe this is allowed to happen! It happened to me too! It seems as if you are allowed to avoid the fee(because it is not a deposit) if you have good credit ...and who does??? It's unfair to prey on the weak! I wanted the service because it is better but after this...probably won't it is very predatory! A person with better credit can afford to give away that kind of money ! Instead they get money given to them! Sign of the times...the rich get richer by stealing from the poor!

    0 Votes
  • Bi
    BigDrew95 Dec 20, 2009

    AT&T's $450 'credit fee' is price gouging at it's worst. I live in an older mobile home park, where the utilities are park owned. Since the park owns the utilities, they would have to pony up the money to have cable brought into the park, which of course they wouldn't. On every side of the park is brand new housing, and every form of broadband there is. The only broadband that has ever been available to us is either wireless (cellular), or satelite. So imagine my excitement when I found a flyer on my front door informing us that we can now get uverse! Unfortunately, this was quickly followed by the disappointment of finding out that I would be forced to pay a $450 'credit fee', that is neither refundable, nor applied to your bill in any way. The sad thing is that as much as I hate it, I'm actually considering paying it when I get my tax refund, because it is literally the only way that I can get a real broadband connection at my house. BTW, when I heard about the fee, I thought maybe it would be less if I dropped the Uverse TV, and simple got the $24.95 basic internet. Nope, they still wanted the full fee. I don't know how the CPUC lets them get away with it. I'm going to lodge a complaint with them, as well as the BBB.

    0 Votes
  • Na
    naima63 Dec 22, 2009

    I got stuck in butt as well by AT&T as well. Here's the email I sent to their investors:

    To All It May Concern:

    Today I called your Customer Service [protected]) to make arrangements to move my services to my new apartment here in the Austin, TX area. Your CS Rep, Vickie put me on hold several times (the call took at least 30 minutes). After being on hold, she comes back on the line only to tell me that I would be charged $450 - upfront to move my services to the new apartment because "I was a credit risk"!

    Now, I have been an AT&T U-verse customer for almost 3 years. More so, until May 11, 2009, I was unemployed as a result of a lay-off and I continued to pay my U-verse and Internet bill. I may have paid them late, but they were paid.

    When I found a job here in Austin, I took your services with me. Granted I had a choice from Time Warner, DirecTV, Dish Network - but because I loved your product and the great Customer Service I received, I kept U-verse. More importantly, I gave your product great reviews to several friends and family members - all who are now customers of yours:

    XXXX, Mansfield, TX
    XXXX, Arlington, TX

    Now you want to charge me $450 just because I'm moving to a cheaper apartment and Vickie - your lovely CS Rep (who by-the-way didn't deserve the choice words I gave her) tells me that the $450 is NON-REFUNDABLE and if I would stay at my old apartment and UPGRADE MY SERVICES TO HD, I would not be charged the $450 fee.

    A customer that can pay her bill even when she's been laid off should not be penalized by such an incredible and unjust fee! I don't know, maybe you guys lost alot of business in this economic down fall, but raping your customers to get your money back is not the way.

    This is formal notice that I will complain to every entity that regulates your company and all media outlets that will hear me in regards to your egregious and greedy $450 fee. It is bad business and such an awful way to treat your loyal customers!

    Most Sincerely,

    Janice Brown

    0 Votes
  • Tm
    tmcnamara Feb 12, 2010

    Here's my story.

    Been a customer with ATT for years (in both Kansas and Texas) and have always paid on time. Credit score of 758. I am about to move to a new home in Dallas and called to transfer Uverse service to the new home. At the end of a lengthy call, the rep told me about this "$450 deposit". (I didn't know at the time that it was non-refundable...now I do...thanks to others on this thread.) Being a long-time, faithful, and regularly-paying customer, I was outraged about being asked to pay a "depsoit". I asked to speak to a supervisor. No supervisor available...blah blah blah.

    These practices are incredibly deceptive and predatory. (What...because my credit score drops 2 point or something, I now have to pay ATT $450!?!? In my case, the only negative thing in my credit report is the repeated uninvited credit inquiries that ATT does! All creditors have me marked as "Pays as agreed" with not a single recorded late payment on anything.)

    Not sure what I am going to do about this...still waiting for the promised call from the supervisor...

    Will probably go with Time Warner just on the grounds of principles. I don't want to send money to a company that behaves like this, even if they have a relatively good product.

    Tim

    0 Votes
  • Da
    Dan in Sacto Jun 01, 2010

    This is a despicable business practice of a company that puts on the appearance of an honorable entity. The $450 is actually an initiation fee but re-dubbed 'deposit' to try to slip it past customers accustomed to putting a deposit for new service. The difference is this 'deposit' is non-refundable.

    What's worse, AT&T justifies the non-refundability based on the customers credit rating, this time, counting on the fact that most customers would introspectively find something not quite right about their own credit. When pressed for specifics, the AT&T sales staff were very vague, citing various examples of credit reporting agencies. When I told them that I just got approved for a home loan based on my excellent credit rating, they counter that the AT&T rating for customer credit is based on much more than that, but still no specifics. AT&T disregards the anguish they're causing their customers who suddenly discover their credit is unacceptably low, per AT&T. How can AT&T stoop so low? AT&T: the honorable thing to do is call it what it is--a fee. Stop the shenanigan.

    0 Votes
  • Br
    Brictone Oct 26, 2010
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    The same thing just happened to me just recently, I was never told about it until I just looked at my credit card bill. Someone is supposed to call me back. I will be writing emails to all the big boss' pretty soon here. I wasn't ever made aware of this charge if I was I never would have gotten the service and I will be disputing this charge on my credit card.

    0 Votes
  • Ra
    R&RH Nov 29, 2010

    Been an AT&T customer for years for cell and u-verse and then I decided to upgrade internet because of all the games our kids have online and they told me I could do this but only with a 450.00 deposit... forget it they can go someplace else and get the money, I hate to do it but i'll switch to comcast!

    0 Votes
  • De
    deferet Jan 18, 2011

    I've been an AT&T wireless customer, and also at one point had phone and internet through at&t. My wife and I have wanted uverse for awhile now, but it was not offered where we currently live, so now that we are moving we decided we would finally get uverse. However, when I called to setup the service and schedule installation, they said they couldn't do anything without a $450 deposit. Now we're moving we just bought a house, we can't afford $450, and when we had phone and internet with them before, they didn't require a deposit for those, why now? We decided to go with Comcast.

    0 Votes
  • Dc
    dcarter1 Jun 07, 2011
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    I've been a customer of ATT wireless for over 8 years. I changed my account to add my girlfriend on my plan and changed my entire plan to a family plan. I had a balance from the previous account before adding my girlfriend that, until recently, I had no idea was there. I was never called or notified about this balance in any way. And every time I called ATT or checked my account online, I was assured that my account was in good standing. My address was always updated and correct. And I never saw this balance reflected on any bill or the website or when talking to a representative. Yet when I called to purchase the ATT U-verse cable and internet for my home, I was told I had to pay $449.99 extra that was not a deposit or refundable because I was a "high risk" customer. I was surprised at this because I HAVE been a loyal customer for over 8 years and always paid my bills on time and I was currently spending over $200.00 a month with my current services. I went ahead and paid the balance that I owed from the previous account right away and I still was told I had to pay the extra $449.99 fee because I was still considered "high risk". And to this day, I never got a bill for that previous balance or a receipt and I dont have any access to records of payment except from my own credit card statement. I was very surprised a big corporation like ATT conducts business this way and treats their loyal customers in this manner. I've decided to use ATT's competitors cable and internet service and I'm considering canceling the current ATT service on both my cell phones and I will NOT be recommending ATT to anyone.

    0 Votes
  • Lo
    lolita0118 Jun 16, 2011

    I just went through this myself and I am an employee! I got Uverse 2 months out of bankruptcy and my employer (ATT) is moving me to another state. They ran my credit (without asking) and told me I would have to pay a $450 deposit because I came up as a high credit risk. My credit is better now and I have had service with them for over a year and pay my bill on time faithfully! How crazy is that! I can easily go with another provider but I am trying to stay loyal to my brand, it's unfortunate that my own employer (AT&T) won't allow it.

    0 Votes
  • Bi
    Bill Krawczyk Apr 25, 2014

    Hackers aren't a threat to AT&T...just to us!
    This is a warning to customers of AT&T.
    My telephone bill revealed a call to Singapore. Now that's a long way to order Chinese food.
    When I called AT&T I was passed to five different departments until I finally connected with someone who could speak relatively recognizable English. After repeating my problem for the fifth time, she told me that they would pay half of the cost. HALF OF THE COST of a phone call to Singapore! I told her in no uncertain terms that this was not an acceptable answer. So, she gave me two options:
    (1) Pay one-half of the charges and then cancel the line
    (2) Get a 50% discount on the long distance calls for $8 a month (that's $96 a year, folks!)
    So, we now have AT&T acting as an intermediary between the hackers and their customers!

    Is this world going insane?

    0 Votes
  • Ji
    jim choate May 07, 2014

    This happened to my girlfriend. In 2011 the store told her that this was a deposit, ordered the service and when she asked if it was refundable and told no she cancelled service, , , , in the store. They even called to confirm it was cancelled same day and the store rep said they would refund... I've been fighting this for her for 2 weeks now and its clear they have no intention of refunding the money. I think this is extremely concerning and some lawyer out there could get rich with a class action suit.

    0 Votes
  • Vi
    vividly50 Sep 02, 2014

    I TOTALLY agree with the thought of a class action suit. ATT is gouging customers who choose to not be forced to get u-verse. I, too, have been a customer for quite a while - and have had sales people calling/walking the neighborhood, saying that ATT has the area wired or set up for u-verse. Well, many of us don't even have or want cable (busy living life, not to mention the cost) - and don't want u-verse either. So ATT has been continually increasing my Internet and minimally-serviced phone service bill because of my choice -- so, yes, hope some savvy lawyer checks this out. One day very soon, will cancel altogether and go to the friendly library - hope ATT pays in the end!

    0 Votes
  • Ti
    timmasen Sep 30, 2014

    We were going to switch to U Verse since our cable company is dropping some of our favorite channels. My husband called to set things up and was told that there was a $499 non refundable deposit because of his "poor credit rating". His credit rating is WELL OVER 700! How is that poor?! We can qualify to buy another house or for numerous credit cards or loans but his credit isn't good enough for ATT...what a scam! We own our house outright, both cars are completely paid for, we have 1 credit card that is far from maxed out and we haven't had any late payments on any of our bills in years but according to the U Verse people we are a credit risk! I think they are using this story with people just to extort a ridiculous amount of money from people and after reading the numerous Consumer Reports complaints from all over the country about their service, tech support and billing practices I am glad we didn't get their service!

    0 Votes

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