AT&T Unscrupulous Business Practices on Cingular Cell Phone Clients
In 2004 I used Cingular as my cell phone carrier. I had a rate plan on my contract that cost me $40 a month.
The service was spotty, but I was told that once the company merged with AT&T they would have improved coverage, and my problems would be over.
I wish... My problems were just beginning.
One month I went over my minutes and called the customer service reps to increase my minutes for that month, something Cingular did cheerfully if I exceeded my minutes and let them know about it.
With Cingular, if I needed to bump my minutes up for the month, they allowed me to return to the original terms the following month without incident. I could pay the next increment of $65 for that month.
However, I was now an AT&T customer. So I was very wary, and pointedly asked if I would be able to get the original minutes back once the month was adjusted up. I was told there would be no problem.
When I called AT&T back the following month to return to my original $40 rate plan, the representative told me that my rate plan was a promotion that they no longer offered. I countered that they had made me a verbal authorization, that the rate plan was part of my contract and that they had to fulfill the terms of the agreement.
After much back and forth, I became frustrated and demanded they restore my $40 plan, and said flatly that I refused to pay more than $40.
When the bill came the next month, I learned my new rate plan offered 100 minutes for $40, and the other 2900 minutes were billed to me at 45 cents a minute. Mind you, this was for local calls, not national.
The bill rang in at $1350!! For the same amount of minutes I had been under for my original contract. I tried to work it out with customer service, to no avail. I said I would send them my usual $40. Period.
Next month, they canceled my service and I switched to T-Mobile, happily...
The bills kept coming, and they tacked a $200 early termination fee on. Now they wanted $1500.
I called again and explained that there was no value inherent in a month's local calls being billed at $1500. I also said they were really exercising poor judgment, as they had me paying $40 a month consistently, and now they would get zero.
Years have gone by... Now they've sold my paper on to a collection agency, who are suing me for $1700.
This is to be sure a nuisance suit, and AT&T can afford to harass their customers who keep them in business. Meanwhile, I subscribe to AT&T for my home line, DSL and digital cable, and am realizing just how deep AT&T's corporate greed goes!