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AT&T Long Distance Usa / billing practices to extort customers!

1 United States

The saga began when I received my Aug 11, 2007 billing statement and I saw a $62 charge for a 9 minute call to India. I found out I did not have any of their calling plans and I was told to add which I did the $5 world calling plan and that someone would call and make the rate retroactive as a goodwill gesture. Someone called and said nothing can be done as I had canceled the plan in Feb ’07. Now given that that was 6 months back and most people don’t remember what happened yesterday much less a short phone conversation I have to pay this ‘gotcha’ rate.

In any case, 20 years back AT&Ts rates for calling India used to be $1.67 per minute. Now when rates have come down to almost 33 cents and lower for a VOIP call AT&T wants to sneakily charge $7 per minute if you do not have one of their $5 per month plan. If I call from my cell phone the rates are around $2 with no plans, I can roam for much less, I can understand a high rate or something reasonable but $7 is pure extortion.

To compound their poor customer care and service, I called on Sept 11 to discontinue my world calling plan which I had added since they were not going to do anything about it, my calling waiting and my unlisted service. In this process their rep. also disconnected my local toll calling for which I had the $2 plan. When I confirmed with her on what services she had changed she mentioned that and I told her to please put that back as I want that. She had me on hold while she fixed what she had done, however next morning Sept 12 when I tried to make a call I was told I did not have any toll calling service.

I called AT&T and got billing, explained and she said everything looked fine and transferred me to escalated billing. I explained and he said everything was fine and transferred me to residential repairs. There after myriad prompts I got Nancy (person number 3) who finally said I had some sort of a toll restriction that other guys in billing could not see and my service had been discontinued. Much amazement on my part that the two billing people did not see that and obviously the lady on Sept 11 had goofed. Finally, Nancy said she did not know anything about it and transferred me to Carmen (person 4 and almost 1 hour later) in the Business Office on Sept 12 around 9:15AM PST (approx.) Carmen said she would correct my mistake in discontinuing the service and I requested that she not refer it to as my mistake but their mistake in taking it off in the first place. She then hung up on me in the middle of my sentence. I guess the customer is always wrong in this new world.

I called again and got Greg in customer service. Greg was friendly and had a good tone and turned my service back on though took him almost 30 minutes to get the toll restriction off which I checked with him before hanging up since now I was familiar with their terms.

Lo and Behold after that I get an automated call from AT&T to do a feedback survey on my last customer service call for my call placed on November 7, 2009 (yes the date is not a typo).

I don’t know whether to laugh or cry at this treatment and incompetency. What is the compensation for my time and aggravation of dealing with incompetent resources at AT&T. They can hang-up on me, charge me ridiculous rates and yet every time I call they appear to want to save me money.

SHAME ON AT&T for stooping to shafting its customers and providing such poor customer care. I have been a customer for decades and have always paid on time. Suffice to say I am very disappointed!

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