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.
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!!!
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.
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.
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.
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.
AT&T continues to have the worse customer service of any major company I have dealt with. For simple billing question there is no after hour service. During normal business hours you will remain on hold for at least 30 minutes. Their systems are not integrated. If you call with a phone question and then need to ask an internet service question you will be transferred and inevitably dropped in which case you will call back and stay on hold another 30 minutes. I'd switch companies in a heart beat if there was another choice. AT&T you should be ashamed.
MICHIGAN -- We have always purchased our calling cards at Sam's Club as they were only 3.5 C per minute. Without notification, AT&T changed the rate to 10.5 per minutes for all calls within the state (varies state to state). We don't call out of our state! Thanks to Sam's Club for the refund of minutes. Now I need to find another calling card provider with better customer service and prices.
TEXAS -- At the end of March 2003 I signed up for AT&T long distance service. Part my plan included international calls to the UK for 9 cents a minute. When I received my first bill I was charged over 30 cents a minute for all of my UK calls not 9 cents a minute as I was promised. The overcharge came to roughly $35. I called and spoke to a customer service rep who assured me that the problem was the fault of AT&T and my account would be adjusted immediately.
When I received my next bill at the end of May 2003 it showed that I still owed this extra $35. The account had not been credited at all. I called again and was promised again that the account would be credited as soon as possible. Then, I began to receive collections phone calls regarding this $35 worth of unpaid charges on my account. I called most recently at the end of May to try to resolve this issue once and for all. It was then that I was told that if I did not pay these charges I may be credit reported. I have perfect credit so this really, really upset me.
However, each and every customer service rep I spoke with said that this was a known problem within the system and I was not the only one who had been overcharged for international calls during that particular time frame. But, during this last conversation the customer service rep told me that there was nothing they could do to prevent my account from going into further collections and ultimately being credit reported for AT&T's mistake. Each time I call there is no new activity on the account, i.e. an adjustment for the $35 overcharge. It is as if they are doing absolutely nothing about the problem and in the meantime I and my credit will suffer as a result.
PS. According to one CSR over 1500 accounts have been overcharged for this exact same thing and he happily reported that some people weren't even aware of it.
Not only do I have to wade through a huge automated message board to finally get a person, but when I do, it's to someone in India in a call center that can't actually do anything directly about my complaint. (I've actually called the customer service number 5 times in the last 3 days and every time it's been answered in India). I've had AT&T for 12 years as our international plan. We moved, they didn't' move our plan and our billing came to triple the normal amount it has in the past. It's obvious that the plan was never transferred.
After going through a list of the billing itself "Did you use a phone card"?? (NO) "it must be a porn number" (LOL, it was my MOTHER'S NUMBER)- I was told I'd have to talk to a supervisor. Well, there are NO supervisors available whenever you call AT&T anymore. You are told they will call YOU within "24 hours". This was at least 3 days and 4 calls ago. The outstanding credit they owe us is close to $250 and I'm sure if I can get someone that knows what they are doing on the phone, I can get this resolved. In the meantime, I've switched to my local company for EVERYTHING.
I know I can walk into their building if need be and talk to someone that can fix my problem. The call centers AT&T are using are lousy; the connections are lousy, the people difficult to understand on the other end of the phone and the lack of supervisors to actually DO something is just plain bad business. They've lost a customer they had for a long time.