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AT&T / fraudulent charges

1 United States Review updated:
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My mother had a business phone line with AT&T which my sister helped set up the plans and services. When my mother retired I attempted to setup call forwarding for that business phone number. To my surprise a cryptically titled item 'SimpleLink Enhanced MMRC' changed from ~$8 credit to ~$26 charge every month. I did not get the full story of what this plan/service was 6 months latter. Every month I would talk to an apologetic supervisor would would offer a few dollars of credit and assure me that the plan was terminated and the charge would not reoccur. Every month brought a bill with the ~$26 charge which prompted another phone call. Once they even suggested that it might take some time for the cancellation to be processed, suggesting that I should ignore the next bill and look for the charge to be eliminated on the following bill. All the while accumulating ~$26 a month.

I get the full story after I have the account transferred from my mothers name to mine, which seems to have terminated the program. In April of 2007 my sister signs mom up for this program that will provide the ~$8 as long as we are billing a minimum of $45 dollars, which costs ~26 when our bill falls below that figure. This is a reoccurring year long contract, which renewed for a second year in April 2008 after AT&T sent use a cryptic letter explaining what we had to do to cancel in February 2008. At that time I was helping mom with post brain-injury therapies. In May 2008 we reduced our service charges below this limit and incurred the charge. In October 2008, by closing the account, we were charged ~$26 for every month remaining in the contract through April 2009, ~$180. I doubt that my sister would have signed up for this plan if it was fully explained to her. AT&T certainly made no attempt to explain it to me during those 6 months, I suspect hoping to capture another year by running the clock.

Ja
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  • 10
      4th of Feb, 2009
    AT&T - Service nightmare
    AT&T
    Houston
    United States
    108DAYS.com

    I had AT&T phone and internet service for 6+years. We never use the house phone anymore, so I called AT&T to ask if I could cancel the phone service but keep the internet. I was told "Sure, I can take care of that for you."
    I'll make a long story short. On Jan 13 2009 they shut off the phone and internet service, and the internet hasn't been back on since. We have called or visited the local AT&T store in person on a daily basis ever since. Let me tell you what M at the local store told my husband just an hour ago. "I'm very sorry, I'm working on it, I'll call you. We're going to put you at the top of the list since you've had to wait so long." We've been told that every single time we call or go in person. This is the short story and there appears to be no end in sight. "Oh, I have to go through 4 managers blah blah blah." In the time since, I know of 2 co-workers and a relative who have ordered and had installed AT&T Uverse service...yet we're still trapped in some AT&T black hole of their own making. This is the short story.

    0 Votes
  • Di
      20th of Jul, 2009

    Same thing happend to me. Five years I didn't use phone service. After 5 years I decided to shut phone service and keep the internet. But AT&T shut both. I think it's some kind of punisment. after that 10 days I couln't use internet. Still I don't have internet. Every day I am calling them. They just apologize. Apology takes 20 min. Other 20 minutes for asking your adress name last name, new adress, old adress accunt number telephone number ... . Every day I waste 40 minutes for nothing. AT&T is not a professional company (They are cvery cheap)

    0 Votes
  • Ga
      16th of Aug, 2010

    On August 2, 2010 I sent the following letter to AT&T and filed a complaint with the BBB, consumer affairs, and the State of Texas Attorney General's Office:


    Mr. Randall Stephenson
    Chairman, President, and CEO
    AT&T, Inc.
    208 S. Akard St.
    Dallas, TX 75202

    Dear Mr. Stephenson;

    The purpose of my letter is to tell you about a recent customer service experience to you.

    Last week I contacted AT&T to review my plan to see if we might find a way to reduce our monthly charge of around $150.00. The individual I spoke to was most polite and helpful. However, I was informed that the plan I had was nonexistent. Moreover, it has been nonexistent for years. I also learned that I could have a much improved plan at a savings to me of around $60.00-80.00 per month. We made the change effective for the following day.

    My question to you Mr. Stephenson is how many years did I pay for this nonexistent service? How could AT&T continue to send me a bill each month, over how many years, for a service plan that was no longer existent?

    Is this an example of your "Centered On You" customer service, as stated online:

    "Great customer service is the cornerstone of AT&T, and we’re passionate about providing a superior customer experience. It’s a vital part of everything we do—from keeping you connected with the latest technology to delivering the best value."

    In essence, just how much money did I actually overpay AT&T for your "thoughtful, caring, and prompt attention" to my needs as also stated online?

    How long would AT&T have let this continue?


    Then, I received the following response from AT&T via the BBB:

    On 08/04/10 an AT&T representative spoke with Ms. Caruth and acknowledged this complaint. AT&T explained that through out the years services as well as promotions change. At the time services and packages are ordered AT&T offers the plans and price points that are available at that time.
    At the point of sale when Ms. Caruth's previous service package was ordered it was at that time the most cost affective. Ms. Caruth acknowledged this information but stated that she felt that AT&T needs to lower the rates and proactively contact the customers to apprise of new pricing.

    AT&T does advertise new products and pricing. In addition, customers are alerted via billing statement inserts, telemarketing efforts and when AT&T has direct communication with customers via customer service, unless otherwise requested by the customer.


    Of which I replied:

    No, I do not accept AT&T's disingenuous response to my complaint. Following is a point by point response to their response:

    • "AT&T explained that through out the years services as well as promotions change." When I set up our phone service 12 years ago it was not a "promotion" it was explained as a standard service rate.

    • The following statement is not correct: "Ms. Caruth acknowledged this information but stated that she felt that AT&T needs to lower the rates and proactively contact the customers to apprise of new pricing." What I said was: "When rates change AT&T needs to contact customers about the new lower rates rather than continue to bill for obsolete services at higher service rates."

    • I never see any TV advertising for new service rates as stated: " AT&T does advertise new products and pricing "

    • I challenge the statement: " In addition, customers are alerted via billing statement inserts, " What fool would continue to pay ($50-80/month) overcharge when it was so abundantly clear they were over paying?

    • The statement is false: "In addition, customers are alerted via ... telemarketing efforts ..." We never received one call informing us of how we might save money ($50-80/month) on a new service rate.

    • The first time the statement is proven false: "In addition, customers are alerted via ... when AT&T has direct communication with customers via customer service..." is when we changed our internet service from a dial-up to DSL. I called customer service to disconnect the dedicated (second) land-line. During the phone conversation I was not informed of the service rate change during that call which clearly was to specifically reduce our monthly invoice.

    • A second time the statement is false: "In addition, customers are alerted via ... when AT&T has direct communication with customers via customer service..." Spring 2010 my husband and I went in to the AT&T store to upgrade our cell phone to reduce our monthly rates. We also discussed our land line and internet service rates. The customer service rep who assisted pulled up our land-line billing information and informed us we could reduce our monthly bill if we included AT&T U-Verse, another AT&T service.

    AT&T has been raping us for years. The response to this complaint both over the phone and in writing is clear that they plan to continue rape the public until they are stopped.

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