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ATT / billing practices

1 FL, United States

The FCC gave the thumbs up for ATT to purchase Bellsouth. Again giving way to a monopoly. I didn't agree with the first disbandment of ATT and chose to stay with them all these years. Leased their phones, paid higher per minute charges for long distance and finally they came out with an unlimited plan that suited me just fine. I have never had a complaint with their service. I never once jumped ship. Home telephone service was thru Bellsouth. Service was reasonable and I have no complaints with them until nephareous companies began slamming. According to Bellsouth at the time, these charges for services are out of their control. I paid them. I had one heck of a time tracing original company for voice mail services but after a year finally got those removed. Lost all that money tho. Home telephone service got a state authorized increase in utility charges. The billing was getting expensive and the "new" fees began to show up. The telephone company states these are goverenment mandated charges (taxes). I call these "BYC" fees. They range from 13.00 to 15.00 per month as of today. BYC means "because you can". So, I called bellsouth and was going to cancel home phone service due to the byc and higher service charges. They offered me a "permanant" home phone service for 18.95 with added bells and whistles. They assured me this was not a 90 day or 6 month teaser rate. It worked just fine, for over a year, until ATT took over. Now the nightmare begins. Began having problems immediatly. All charges immediately increased. When you call customer service they are not only rude but downright disrespectful. After explaining that these charges are not what I agreed to they simply ignore the concern. First, you don't get a bill, then your late-late fee plus interest is applied. When you call about this-more rudeness and then they want payment over the phone at a charge of $5.00. Now your paying $5.00 late fee plus interest plus $5.00 payment fee on top of being overcharged on homephone, long distance, and internet services. The suggestion is to pay the bill online. I followed their suggestion begining last April. Seemed to work fine. Went online, paid the bill, got a confirmation number. Charges still high and can not get satisfaction. May-paid the bill. Got a confirmation #. Did so in June and July also. In August I get a bill in the mail for #377.00 dollars. This was on the 31st of August. I am fit to be tied and now I act like they do. This was my fault because I did not confirm that payment was removed from my checking account. Pay the bill for $5.00 again. On Sept 11 I get a call on my cell phone and told my home phone has been disconnected. I call again. This time I'm told the phone was disconnected for "returned check". I call again, after explaining my complaints I'm told: "pay your bills on time" and "your the one who wrote a bad check". I got a supervisor. After over an hour on the phone the supervisor gets to the bottom of the problem. Offers refunds and appologizes and assures me that account will be corrected. I ask to be removed from online payment and return to mailed billing. What had happened since: still overcharging, didn't send a bill in October. Told it is a "courtesy" to send me a bill and it's my responsibity to get payment to them. I did a 2008 telephone bill account audit-jan 08-dec 08-overpaid by $483.83 to date. Smoke signals or two cans and string would be easier than dealing with these thieves. They disconnected me again on Dec 12th. I asked to discontinue service. Paid them again. The phone rang on Dec 22.


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