NEBRASKA -- It is only $24, but I am just one person. Multiply me by who-knows-how-many, and this adds up to quite a racket by AT&T: My daughter calls collect from her West Coast home to mine in the Midwest. That is my queue to refuse to accept charges, hang up, and make the call from my home (at 5 cents a minute). I NEVER accept collect calls. Well, here come a bill from AT&T for two separate collect calls at $12 each, listed as lasting one minute each. AT&T Customer Service is a joke. I finally reached a "manager" after 30 minutes on hold. I was told that someone at my home HAD to have accepted the charges. (It is only my wife and I.)
I was also told AT&T does NOT make mistakes, therefore the charges were valid, and it was insinuated that I was just trying to "get something for nothing". Could my answering machine have triggered an acceptance signal to AT&T? I don't think so, and the "manager" had no idea. It's only $24. And, I always pay all of my bills. But, I highly resent being charged for services I did not use or receive. In my opinion: AT&T sucks.
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA -- We often receive collect calls from my father-in-law, which we NEVER accept. In February, I received another AT&T collect call, which I promptly declined to accept and hung up my telephone. Within a few seconds, my telephone rang back with a recorded "Thank you for using AT&T" message. It seemed like an odd computer glitch, but I didn't think much of it since I hadn't accepted any collect calls.
Now I have received a bill from AT&T for $15.12 for a one-minute collect call that was never accepted. I contacted AT&T to straighten this out. The first representative told me she could not cancel the charges. I asked to speak with her supervisor, and she hung up on me. I called back again, spoke to another representative and asked to speak with his supervisor. He connected me to **, who also told me that AT&T does not cancel charges for collect calls. I asked her if it was AT&T's policy to charge customers for glitches in their system, and she declined to respond.
I asked for the name of her supervisor, which she offered as ** (although it was hard to tell for sure because she, like the other two representatives I spoke with, did not speak English as their first language). When I asked to speak with **, amazingly he was not in his office, nor did he have a direct number I could reach him at later.
Since it does not seem that AT&T will do the honorable thing here, I am stuck paying for a telephone call I never accepted. While I realize $15 is not a great deal of money, I am furious with AT&T for their refusal to credit me for their mistake. Therefore, I am determined to make sure everyone that I know will be aware of AT&T's unscrupulous policies and terrible customer service. And I am sure that the business they will lose or never receive from my friends and family will definitely be in excess of $15.