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AT&T Long Distance USA Collect Calls


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AT&T Collect Calls - Bogus Charges
Posted by Sle1014 on 05/03/2005
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 Anna, 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 Derrick Neal (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 Mr. Neal, 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.
     
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Posted by Slimjim on 2005-05-03:
Often? I knew someone that would call their parents collect when they needed to be picked up. Game was, parents never accepted, yet still knew it was time to leave. Why would he still call often, if you NEVER accept?
Posted by LegalCollector on 2005-05-05:
Id call your local mental health institution.
Posted by familytravel on 2006-09-01:
I have had ATT for many years now...and about a year ago I was billed for two directory assistance calls, WHICH I NEVER MADE. I was billed about $10.00 for them, and ATT refused to do anything about it. However, I never cancelled my service because they are the cheapest company in my area.
Posted by Goofy3697 on 2006-10-28:
You have the capabilities of disputing any charges on your phone bill. I am in saint Louis, and have suffered the same type of customer no-service. I got my bill once and there was a charge from a long distance carrier what I never heard of. Now, I do not have a long distance carrier on my line (my cell phone takes care of that) and the charge was for $74 and change. It took me over 30 minutes just to get hold of a customer no-service representative to explain my situation. She started to tell me that there was nothing that could be done, but before she could get the words out of her mouth I asked a simple question. "How can you bill me for a service that I do not have?" She still refused to reverse the charge. I immediately demanded her stupid-visor. The stupid-visor fought with me about the charge. I asked "Do you know what this phone number is (210) 821-4105? She asked me "What phone number is that?" I stated that it is the direct number to the main switch board of AT&T and it would not be any trouble to have the office of Mr. Whitacre, the Chairman and CEO, look into the situation and investigate your practices and your improper handling of calls. Furthermore, your whole attitude toward me was totally inappropriate. She stated, "Well, it's my word against yours and who think they will believe?" I stated "Me! Because I am recording this phone call. Your phone system states that this call might be recorded for quality assurance, but never specifies by whom. She had no response. She stated that she would charge the call back to the LD provider and take it off of my bill.

In closing, I would like to state that I still called the office of the president and played the tape for them and gave them my reasoning for doing so. The lady with whom I spoke stated that she has never listened to a customer recorded phone conversation with their customer no-service department. She profusely apologized and applied a $100 credit on my account. I am still with AT&T because I do not have a choice. It is unfortunate that we need to have a phone and it is scary that they know this. Most of the CSRs take advantage of this knowledge ad treat us customers like crap. Their are very few out there that will not take it and we need to put a stop to it.
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Bogus Collect Call Charges
Posted by Xappa on 12/16/2008
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 que 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.
     
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Posted by Anonymous on 2008-12-16:
I'm not familiar with how collect calls bill, but maybe your daughter could get a calling card to avoid this problem in the future?
Posted by old fart on 2008-12-16:
I suspect that the answering machine is the culprit.. The phone only responds to an incoming signal and the line will automatically connect.. that's why it's called an "answering machine"...
Posted by tnchuck100 on 2008-12-16:
'...just trying to "get something for nothing"'. That is exactly what you have been doing. She calls collect. You refuse the charge. You call her back. You have "used" AT&T's system to convey information without paying them a legitimate charge. I know how this works and it's not that uncommon. However, under these circumstances you should not be complaining. You usually got away with it. This falls under the category of "unclean hands".
Posted by Slimjim on 2008-12-16:
Talk about quite a racket. So it's 5ยข at your house, but how much really can it be more for her? Rates are so competitive, what are we talking, a couple pennies per minute more? It just seems so not worth the aggravation of playing games, especially since this happened.
Posted by madconsumer on 2008-12-16:
i thought they charged a minimum of 1 minute even if the call has been declined?

most cell phones have even lower rates, and or free long distance. i know on my plan, i can all anywhere except international for the same low fee.
Posted by Starlord on 2008-12-19:
Are you aware that this method, very popular among people is fraud , and wire fraud on top of that. I hope the police in your city can't identify you. It is cheaper and safer to get a Magic Jack if you have high speed internet. Free local and long distance calls in the US and Canada for $19.95 PER YEAR!. If your daughter has high speed internet, send her one. They are $39.95 for the first year, which includes $20 for the device, and $19.95 for the first year's service. They do not cash your check or money order for thirty days, and if you decide you don't like it, send it back and they will send your original check or money order back to you. If you have someone going overseas, make sure they have high speed internet and give them a Magic Jack, and they can call you from anywhere in the world FREE.
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