At Home Corporation Informative - Customer Abuse, Incompetence Or Willful Fraud?
MOUNTAINS IN MEXICO -- While on an extended stay in Mexico working as a medical missionary I received a pleasant gift via AT&T's gross incompetence. An over charge of $700 which was auto-deducted from my checking account. Sucker that I was, I had entrusted AT&T to bill accurately. Now that the charge has been deducted I am looking at a month's time eating beans and goat meat while the monolith AT&T keeps or spends my money.
It began in April 2008 when I reinstated service at my home in the states. At that time I ordered the International Call Plan for about $6.00 per month. The rates to Mexico were about 8 cents per minute.
Two months later, my paper bill did not reflect the addition of the ICP. I called AT&T again and insisted the plan be put in place. The AT&T Agent confirmed that it would and promised that my international calls would be reduced retroactive to the April date. I thought I was done with them.
Today while monitoring my checking account online in the mountains via a SatPhone connection I discovered my $700 surprise deduction by ATT.
Analysis of my bill indicated $700 of the total $795 bill was for International calls at a prime market rate of around $2.50 per minute.
Well, naturally things went from bad to worse when I began the near impossible task of talking with a live AT&T agent to discuss this budget-busting error on their part. (Or? Was it really an error?)
After suffering another $50.00 in SatPhone charges I finally reached a "Customer Service Representative"; this title is such a joke that I needn't even go there.
The "Supervisor" I eventually spoke with reviewed by bill and electronic record of my calls to AT&T and came to an amazing conclusion. According the notes by their "agents" I had specifically DECLINED an International Call Plan on the dates in April and June.
At this point the situation failed the "funny things happen" test. I was and am livid. Since post-mortem lividity is a condition I don't like, even using that word is bad. However, nothing else fits. Bottom line AT&T will not refund a penny and were near-arrogant in stating that position.
I would do the time if I had an opportunity to discuss this "error" in the same room with the "agents" who served this customer.
The various monolithic corporations that collectively rip off innocent people in the U.S. everyday have reached an all-time low in performance, ethics, internal control and training and fundamental honesty.
The mountains of rural Mexico are looking like a pretty good place right now compared to the states. At least here when I have to use two cans and a string to make a call; the people holding the string are honest and know nothing of corporate greed and corruption.
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