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AT&T Long Distance USA Consumer Reviews - Page 2

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Forced 'Operator Assisted' Call Charges
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Run for your life! AT&T's Customer Service has been taken-over by Zombies! I was an AT&T customer for 30+ years but not anymore. I am convinced that AT&T is SCAMMING their clients for millions of dollars, just by forcing them to use 'Operator Assisted' calls caused by their own faulty phone service lines.

When I recently called AT&T customer service about a like incident, all of the representative that I spoke to, eerily in an almost spooky-way, responded in the same scripted, accented, mono-tone, word-for-word dialogue about some quirky rule that they “can not reimburse for an Operator Assisted call” and that it was basically my own fault for being forced to use an operator.

I tried, in vain to explain to their customer service folks what happened, as it was so obvious from looking at the phone bill, the terms of events leading up to the forced ‘Operator Assistance'. Looking back, it would have been easier not to have called and just spoken to a brick wall. Never mind that a number I was able to dial prior, using the same exact phone just minutes before was no longer considered valid according to AT&T's system. I can even, remember at the time thinking how nice it was for AT&T to send an operator to assist with connecting my call. Wow! I was thinking such great customer service, until I got slapped with a huge AT&T bill!

AT&T charged me $50+ for a call that lasted less than 10 minutes because it was an ‘Operator Assisted' call. This call would have normally been less than $1 according to my calling plan. I was basically being forced into a situation to pay an exorbitant amount for using an operator, because of AT&T's own faulty service lines. How odd that a valid number all of a sudden became invalid and that I could not make a connection without their own operator to assist! This smacks of extortion.

At one point, when I called AT&T's customer service, and asked to speak to a manager, I got a ‘fake-supervisor du jour', who read off the same scripted response as the initial, non-supervisory representative, when I then asked him for his manager, I was told that he has "an OFF-line Manager" and that “I could not escalate this issue any further” and was than giving a PO Box to write my complaint to.

I believe that AT&T is scamming people for millions using forced ‘Operator Assisted' calls and in general, a shut-out client service tactic, with little recourse for the consumer. This customer bids her final, Good-BYE and good riddance to AT&T! I am walking with my on-line bill pay check-book to a more customer oriented, less deceptive company.

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Lousy Service
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WINSTON SALEM, NORTH CAROLINA -- I ordered phone service through AT&T a few weeks ago with an install date for 9/2. I was not initially given a window of time and was basically told it was anytime in the day. I took off work and spent the day home waiting for them. I called in to AT&T a number of times and the automated machine kept hanging up on me. I waited at the low end 1 hour at a time on hold to speak with someone and most of those representative lost my call during transfer which meant another hour on hold trying to get to speak with someone again. Well this went on for around 4 hours today.

I finally spoke with someone who told me my window of install was between 12 and 6pm so I didn't really need to stay here all day but was never initially told that. This person checked the account, checked the numbers and verified that the install was scheduled. Well at 6 pm tonight after no one had shown up, I started the entire process of calling them all over again.

The first representative after an hour on hold told me he could not give me any info on the account and had to transfer me to another number to obtain the information and of course that office was closed. I once again called back and went through the entire hold process again to be told the account was put on hold and no other information was available except from the office which of course was closed.

Now mind you, I don't even have their service and already am being treated with disrespect and like garbage. No one called me, no one told me there was an issue, they just let me sit home like an idiot all day begging them for information. Well I want to know what happened between 3 pm when the install was verified and 6 pm when no one showed up and no one called. This is lousy service.

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AT&T (frm. SBC) Yahoo DSL - Horrible Service, nowhere near Time Warner Cable
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HOUSTON, TEXAS -- I moved into a new apartment and had to change from Time Warner Cable High Speed Cable Internet (RoadRunner) to the AT&T (former SBC) "High Speed" Yahoo! DSL Internet. This review is by no means an advertisement for TWC - just an attempt to compare and let you know about frustration with ATT/SBC. Had I known what kind of aggravation signing up for AT&T (SBC) DSL would bring I would have never moved into this apartment in the first place. High Speed Internet is a crucial requirement for me - I am an IT professional and work from home most of the time.

AT&T DSL (former SBC) provides highly unsatisfactory service! Everybody I spoke to at AT&T were making statements obviously not knowing what they were talking about. Like early contract termination/disconnection fee for example... it is still a mystery to me. Contract says $200. When I was signing up I was told by the representative it was "only" $99. Another representative said there was no termination fee. Whom to believe?They say whatever is their latest policy - takes precedence. So what is the point in signing the contract then - if they can change it anytime they want?

BTW, you will get charged early termination fee even if you move during your contract to an area where there is no SBC/AT&T service provided. Keep that in mind. With TWC - no early termination fees and no contracts. I usually spend hours on the phone trying to resolve simple problems, being footballed around from one representative to another. Today I spoke with 8 people from AT&T, having spend 2.5 hours on the phone trying to resolve a simple billing problem. I haven't placed a service call with TWC in years. Also about 50% of the time you would get a non-native English speaker, sometimes very difficult to understand.

I signed up on 05.03.2006 for the AT&T DSL Elite Package - $29.99 and was promised speeds from 3 to 6 Mbps. That required a phone line. (Phone activation is separate from DSL activation and takes about a week each). I haven't had a phone land line in years. I used to keep my cellphone as the only line for voice communications and TWC Roadrunner for the Internet. That was all I needed.

I was quoted $35 phone installation fee, instead I was charged $48. But that was just that, - peanuts for starters... I also had to purchase DSL modem for $50 (TWC provided cable modems for free and replaced them couple of times with newer models), that actually had to be shipped to me (another $13). DSL modem it can be rebated if you send the shipping label back to them and be with them for at least 4 (?) months out of your contract, and then it takes another couple of months to get the rebate. Taxes are very high both on the phone and DSL, on $36 of service I pay $20 additionally in taxes! With TWC it was about $1.5 on $44 service.

Instead of promised 3-6 Mbps I am getting constantly 2-2.4 Mbps. That is with the direct Ethernet cable connection from your NIC to the DSL modem. If you use home wireless network, like most of us, it will be even slower. Also they insist on disabling any ati-virus and firewall protection during the test. Well, how realistic this test is then? If you run Windows OS - running firewall and some sort of AV protection is a must! I opened a technical support ticket and conducted several DSL speed tests provided by SBC/AT&T tech support that confirmed that the speed is not approaching the promised minimum of 3 Mbps.

Technical support advised me that these speeds cannot be provided in my area (by what methods they determined this is unknown, actually that tech support person did not do anything at all, he was just talking), and that I need to downgrade the service to the "Pro" (1.5 - 3 Mbps).

So I called back to let ATT know that they charge me for the falsely advertised speeds that they cannot deliver, and was told that they will "downgrade the speed" but I still will be charged till 05.30.2006 as if I were getting the Elite speeds for the whole month of May. Moreover I was told that I need to continue to pay the full amount on my bills till I see the change, which, as I was told can take 2 to 3 billing cycles.

The last representative I spoke to today (the 8th person) told me that he is doing me a "great favor" by letting me switch to Pro (even though it is totally SBC/AT&T fault - not being able to deliver the promised speeds that I was charged for and were the only reason I signed up for the service), and also giving me the special rate of $19.99 (that is actually quoted on the web site - there is nothing special about it), because I "do not qualify" for the "special" $19.99 rate for whatever reason. With TWC Roadrunner I usually saw 300-350 KBytes/s download speeds, that is about 2.7 Mbps. But then again, they were never making any outrageous claims in the first place.

To the current AT&T(SBC) DSL customers - run the speed test. It can be found here: **. Run it and see what your real connection speed is! It is possible you have been paying for years for the falsely advertised speeds that AT&T just cannot deliver but does charge for them.

To those considering AT&T - think again. All of the representatives that I spoke too never resolved my problems but never failed to try to sell me some additional services. They say they do not work for commission, but based on my experiences with them I no longer believe a single word coming out of them. I am writing to the Better Business Bureau about this as well as Public Utility Commission of Texas. BTW, I am not advertising TWC here. Their services are also far from perfect and also expensive. But everything is known in comparison. ATT/SBC DSL service and support is a nightmare!

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No Customer Service Whatsoever
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SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA -- Irate CSR retaliates to a statement I made and disconnected my phone service which I've had for over 13 years. For three days I am told a variety of differing stories - phone service to be reconnected with no worries by 8 with DSL on the same day. At one point my call is routed to an outsourcing call center where my very feminine voice keeps being met with Mr. and sir this and that. Blind transferred to multiple departments on several occasions.

On the third day without DSL, I am told this is unrealistic to think I will have DSL anytime soon. It is a new account now and I will have to wait at least a week or more to have internet service. Switching internet service providers. You can have AT&T.

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Bogus Charges
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CARNEYS POINT, NEW JERSEY -- Someone from a prison has been calling my house collect in error. We do not accept these calls, instead we hang up. AT&T has sent bills for reflecting these calls are one minute long. Upon speaking with one represetative, explaining that this is a billing error, I've been placed on hold. The next person to pick up is never the first person I spoke with, so I explain the situation again (and again).

A call from their collections department got me back to several more customer service representatives. In response to my explanation of these unwanted calls, I explained once we would hear the operator and then the person speak, we would hang up. The first representative stated that the caller does not say anything until the call is accepted. I explained that this caller, apparently in frustration, surpassed saying his name and would say "** pick up the phone!", which made her statement incorrect. I felt as if the blame was being placed on me!

Finally, after being placed on hold four times and speaking to yet more people, the final AT&T employee that I spoke with stated that we must be accepting the calls. It was at that time I pointed out that even a "I'm sorry you have the wrong number." would exceed a few seconds and requested the definitive time frame of the calls. An offer to remove "some" of the charges was made. However, since this is not a service that I used, I don't feel it is fair for me to be obligated to pay for erroneous charges.

The last representative suggested I block collect calls. I'm not quite sure why I should have to do that to avoid bogus charges. If I used the service, I would pay for it, but I did not. If there is an emergency and one of my kids has to call collect, I want to have the option available. I was also told by the last representative that if my voicemail had picked up the call, that would have incurred the charges. For clarification, I very specifically asked him "No one would have to accept the call?". He said unfortunately, "no".

So, some guy in prison dials the wrong number, no one accepts it, but since the voicemail answers, the consumer is obligated to pay for it... Is there something wrong here? My father had several hundred dollars worth of charges. Seems a prisoner was charging their calls to his home phone. Keep in mind, no one was home to approve these calls. The response to that was that it is a scam and prisoners can share a telephone number with others to make calls. Again, because AT&T does not have safeguards (such as a real person accepting the call and/or charges), the consumer is held responsible.

I asked the AT&T representative "is there a way to avoid ANY charges from this company". He stated the block would be my only option. So, in other words, they can bill me, whether correct or not, if they so choose and not be obligated to justify those charges. My billable time is $40.00 an hour, I'm considering sending them a bill for my time they have wasted. I asked for the specific amount of time per call, as I am positive they are less than an entire minute. That information was not available to him.

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Update
By -

MAINE -- Just an update... STILL have yet to receive the return shipping label. I refused to pay for the first installment (of four) for the cheap incomplete phone. Still getting emails from my AT&T complaints asking me to call 800 numbers who put me on hold for 15 minutes. And NOW, and this is RICH... getting a REAL LIVE PERSON calling ME from AT&T from the COLLECTIONS DEPARTMENT threatening to "cancel service with AT&T." I was delighted to inform them that they needn't bother. I saved them the trouble by switching to Verizon. Finally, one note on the irony of AT&T SALES ADS being posted next to my comments. I have posted the latest three replies below. TOO FUNNY!!!

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Illegal billing practices, lying reps
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REDMOND, WASHINGTON -- My husband and I just got off the phone with the AT&T wireless office in Washington State. On January 7th, I noticed that my debit card was missing and contacted my bank to cancel it. I sent out a payment to AT&T that same day in the form of a check. On the 9th, I realize that there were fraudulent charges on my account, this was on a Friday after they had closed so I had to wait until Monday the 12th to call my bank and put a stop payment on the check. On the fifteenth, I gave AT&T a courtesy call to let them know there was a stop payment on the check and explained why. I also told them that we would be reissuing another check for the full payment.

I was told by one of their brilliant cs reps that everything would be fine. On the 21st, I got online to check my bank account and was surprised to see a $20 return check fee from my bank. I called to find out why since there was a stop payment on the check. They said that apparently, AT&T transferred my paper check, into an "electronic check", and the bank did not pick up on this. They reversed the charges but said that I needed to speak with AT&T concerning this. When I called them (AT&T) they said that the check had already posted. Posted means they have "received" the check but has not processed it.

When I called them on the fifteenth, they had not attempted to process the check. Any other month they use regular means to process my paper check. The lady told me my account balance and I sent a check in for that amount. Today I noticed that they again processed this check electronically. When I attempted to call my husband I realized that the phone had been turned off. I immediately called AT&T to find out why. The rep said there was a $20 return check fee that wasn't paid. I explained to her as calmly as I could that should not be because they had no business trying to process a check with a stop payment on it.

The rep told me that it didn't matter, they will process anyway KNOWING that you will be charged for a return check. (REALLY?) But if the check is done electronically, what was returned??!! I asked for one of their even more brilliant resolution specialists and got a brick wall, they said the phone would stay off until the twenty dollars was paid. I was livid! When my husband returned, he asked if I had authorized AT&T to do an electronic check and I told him no. We went online to www.electronic-check.org and found out that no company can turn your paper check into an electronic check unless you authorize it. Which I didn't!!

My husband called them back and the cs and resolution specialists were very nasty and we got three conflicting stories. The first rep told me that they process ALL of their customers checks electronically ALL THE TIME, the second rep, said "oh no, your bank made a mistake", they processed it the normal way which is a lie, because if they did then my bank would have enforced the stop payment. The third rep said that this a process they JUST started doing within this last month. The resolution specialist refused to give us the supervisors name and hung up on my husband. This is very serious business.

According to what I have read, AT&T performed an illegal and a definitely unethical act by doing this. I need your help to find out who the top dog of AT&T wireless is and all the channels I need to go through. They refuse to refund us the $20 "return check fee" and will not cooperate at all. Please send any info you may have to **. Thank you.

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AT&T has no customer service
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BANGOR, PENNSYLVANIA -- On several occasions I have tried to contact your company, via the telephone and email, to straighten out the billing on the above referenced telephone number and each attempt was unsuccessful. I find it very disturbing that one of the leaders in telecommunications could not resolve a problem over the phone or email and was told by your representatives that I need to write a letter.

In July of this year I was contacted by one of your representatives to switch to AT&T as my long distance carrier. Your representative told me you had a one-rate plan that would cost $24.95 a month. After insisting with your representative that I would not be eligible for that plan he told me that I would as long as AT&T billed be separately from Common Wealth (the local carrier). The following day, I called Common Wealth, they informed that I would be eligible for that plan as long as AT&T billed me separately. Your representative called me a couple of days later and said in order for me to switch and get the one-rate play, I had to contact Common Wealth.

While on the phone with your representative, he patched us through to a Common Wealth representative. Once again, I asked the same questions to insure that I was eligible for your one-rate plan. Upon the arrival of my monthly Common Wealth bill, AT&T did not bill me separately, nor was I charged the one-rate both of which I was assured of by your representative. It is from this point that this entire fiasco began.

I immediately called your company and explained the situation, I was told they could not resolve the problem. They had no idea what I was talking about. To aggravate the situation, I was told that I was not listed on your system as an AT&T customer. It was suggested that I to write a letter to one of your offices in Florida. Write a letter, now if you set me up as a customer over the phone, how is it that you can not resolve a problem (you created) over the phone? That does not sound to me like one of the leaders in telecommunications, nor does it sound like reputable company.

I called again and again was told that they could not help me, but that she would patch me through to someone who could. After over a half an hour of waiting the phone was disconnected. I called again and at least this time (after a half an hour of waiting) I was connected to someone else. However, that person could not help me either, he told me that I would have to contact a person during the day at this number (800) 225-5282. Once again, your company contacts me in the evening to do business, but I can only resolve an issue with someone during the day? I am in construction and I do not have access to a phone during the day.

Hoping calling this number would resolve this entire issue, I inconvenienced someone else to help me out. Unfortunately when this person called, the number is area specific and they could reach someone. However, they did call you 800 number listed on your website and spoke you one of your representatives. Even your representative could not get in touch with someone from that number because it was area specific.

That representative informed her that I was in fact listed as an AT&T customer (finally some bit of validation) and that I was signed up for a $.07 a minute plan on July 17, 2003 with a monthly charge of $4.95 plus connectivity charges.

Now, "can you explain to me how I agreed, only agreed to a one-rate plan with a cost of $24.95 a month but was signed up for a $.07 a minute plan". I would have never agreed to a $.07 a minute plan with a $4.95 monthly charge when I was only paying $.05 a minute with no monthly charge. No one for that matter would switch long distance companies to pay a higher rate. The minute your representative found out that I would not be eligible for the one-rate plan he should have called back and not just sign me up for another plan, that I never agreed to. Your representative only had the authority to sign me up for the plan I agreed to.

I am very upset with AT&T and this entire situation. I would greatly appreciate if someone from your company would address and resolve this situation. I will not pay AT&T for more than I agreed to pay, which is the $24.95 a month. Currently I have an absolutely ridiculous high long distance bill. I expect that my account, for the months I was with AT&T, will be adjusted according to the plan I agreed to, once I receive the adjusted billing statement I will gladly pay.

Common Wealth has shut off my long distance and I can't even switch to another company. How am I supposed to clear this matter when you won't respond to any of my email or phone/fax efforts? Thank you for you time and attention to this matter.

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Endless Telemarketing Calls
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I don't think I could be more upset with my experience at AT&T Long Distance USA. Just for the record, here's my telephone information: **. Please be advised that I am forwarding a copy of this letter to the Florida Attorney General. I am also having it placed on a public website where millions of potential customers may see it.

I have received numerous telemarketing calls from various At&T representatives. They are calling for the prior resident and will not stop calling me. I have given them my information and requested that they stop but the calls continue. We are a military family living on MacDill AFB, FL, I would think that At&T would treat service members families a little bit better than this. I have explained to them that this is base housing and that once the prior resident is gone there isn't much I can do to contact them to tell them to get taken off the call list. In fact I shouldn't even have to think about that as it is not my job.

This morning (4-15-02) I received yet another call and again attempted to explain to the caller that I was not interested. That they are calling for a person who no longer lives here seems to make little difference. When I would not let her go through her script or give my personal information yet again to a company who is harassing me the woman on the phone told me that she was going to "put me ** down to be called every second of everyday from now on" and hung up on me.

I have contacted the Florida Department of Agriculture who handles consumer issues and filed a complaint. I have requested the forms to put my phone number on a nationwide do not call list. Also I have called AT&T at 212-387-5400 and again requested to be placed on a do not call list. The associate I spoke with assured me that this would take place within 24-48 hours. This remains to be seen.

Given the nature of this problem, I'll make sure that I NEVER use AT&T for any telephone service. I'll pay for a cell-phone before I use your company, even for local service. And I'll definitely tell other people about my negative experience so they can avoid it in the future. It is truly sad that your company alienates potential customers by attempting to browbeat them into signing up for a service that they do not want or need.

Here's what I'd like to see happen: Remove my phone number from the telemarketing systems immediately per my conversation with your representative.I have been informed that this will take effect within 48 hours and I expect no further calls after Wednesday. No more calls. Period. An apology for the rudeness of the person representing AT&T would be nice too and, in fact, is expected. I hope you get back to me soon. I simple e-mail response would take maybe 10 minutes and I expect one within 3 business days or I will write again.

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Poor Service
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SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA -- I had AT&T internet service at my old address and the speed was fair. I moved to a new address and it took them 2 weeks just to get my service running and the speed is poor. I called to upgrade service. It has been a week and no upgrade. I have been on the phone at least one time a day and sometimes 3 or 4 times a day with no luck.

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AT&T Long Distance USA Rating:
43 reviews & complaints.
Contact Information:
AT&T Long Distance USA
32 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10012-2412
800-288-2747 (ph)
www.att.com
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