AT&T Extortion-like activity
DALLAS, TEXAS -- I had AT&T service for some time. In the last 2 years of my time with them, I started receiving promotions from AT&T via SMS. I didn't really care to receive them, so I started the customer service song and dance to have them stopped. However, nothing seemed to stop them, no matter what CS did with my account.
Eventually, I discovered that these messages were not free AT&T messages despite promoting AT&T contests and services. Other family members on AT&T were actually being charged for the messages. I was not, because I had a messaging plan. When confronting AT&T CS about this, they mentioned I might have signed up for something. I had only ever used an old service with Cingular years prior to the merger and since disabled it. CS confirmed it was disabled.
When CS and management was unable to figure out what was going on, and refused to investigate, I decided the best course of action was to force escalation through a BBB report. A woman in the local Office of the President contacted me regarding the case. Her conclusion was that I signed up for something and need to figure out what it was to end it. Basically, she accused me of causing it.
Due to her refusal to actually investigate the issue after stating she did investigate, I did my own investigation. I found a third party that was sending the messages on behalf of AT&T. I contacted this third party and they confirmed they created and sent the messages, but the contact list was controlled by AT&T, not them. I read the terms of service over again and found the terms allowed for this, but I still had the right to refuse it.
I contacted the lady with this information and she denied knowledge of this company, or its relationship with AT&T. She blew me off by stating she would look into it and contact me when she had information. She never called me back. I attempted to reach her, but never could.
The BBB case sat dormant, other than my periodic updates as I noted I was still receiving the messages and AT&T has been ignoring the case. Eventually, I got a notice from the BBB that they would like the case closed. They offered to enter into arbitration, and that if I did not respond, the case would close. I followed their directions for arbitration.
During this time, I had canceled my service with AT&T and moved to another provider. AT&T then sent me a bill stating I was late in paying a bunch of fees including 2 cancellation fees. I spoke with CS and they were only willing to waive one of the fees, not both. I explained that I would rather wait for arbitration to complete.
Shortly thereafter the BBB case closed without my knowledge or consent. No notice was sent to me about the closure. AT&T never really respected the BBB case and seemed not to care because I guess they can make them go away. I now sit on threats of credit damage if I don't pay their extensive list of fees, probably punishment for reporting them to the BBB.