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jnchampton's profile

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Wednesday, December 28th, 2022 4:51 AM

Recurring ACP Program Problem

I am an existing internet subscriber with AT&T. Prior to the ACP Program, I was on AT&T's discounted internet service plan for students. Maybe a month or two ago while on the phone with AT&T support, they informed me about the ACP Program that I might qualify for and gave me the information on how to apply. I applied, and was approved that same day. I called the number (that was also provided to me by support) for AT&T's ACP department and provided them with the required ACP application ID number, to validate my approval for ACP. They congratulated me and told me the benefits would go into effect the next billing cycle. I will refer to this day as Application Day.

Mind you, the reason I made the first call on Application Day was for a billing issue. I was contesting a part of that bill that should have been covered by AT&T's discounted plan for students, but instead had been deducted in whole from my account every month. However, because I was so happy having been approved for the ACP benefit that brought the cost for internet service to $0 every month, and, because I didn't have any more time to spend another 3+ hours on the phone with support, I didn't escalate my initial issue of trying to get the pro-rated charges made to my account that should have been covered under that AT&T program.

That next month my internet service was suspended for non-payment. When I logged onto my AT&T account, I discovered an over due bill, just like the previous (and still without the deductions for even the first discounted AT&T program that I made the first call about on Application Day). So, I called AT&T support and went through the whole shmeil of the ACP Program, providing my information, reexplaining what I did to be already approved for the ACP benefit, and that I'm still being billed. Another few hours in, a supervisor and an ACP dept. staff member later, having to contest being told that I would have to pay the amount in arrears in order to resume service for internet which WILL THEN the ACP benefit will be applicable to, having that argument escalated for consideration, and having that charge waived and my internet service returned—they recongratulated me for being approved for the ACP Benefit Program and rethanked me for choosing AT&T as my internet service provider. To show my gratitude for the support given to me for that harrowing recall and because it's really no fault of his that my account was in that situation, I provided verbal testimony about his stellar service and ability to bring my issue to a resolve when I was asked about the service I was provided afterward. I will refer to this call as 1st Call.

With reason for skepticism and next month coming around the corner, I logged into my account and discovered, yet again, the same bill that I had called to contest on Application Day and again on the day of the 1st Call. This morning I made what I will refer to as the 2nd Call. Aside from immediately insisting that I would like to be connected to the ACP department at the beginning of my call to support, there was still a need to brief the ACP support staff member about the events of Application Day and of the 1st Call. Long story short for this call, it was a repeat of the 1st Call, but I only had to give one staff member the lowdown, instead of three. Got this bill (still, with overages included) waived. Asked the support staff to give me a GUARANTEE that my ACP benefit is actually applied to my account and that I wouldn't have to face this issue again—and he gave that guarantee.

Today's call has made it the third time I have had to call and dispute AT&T's inability? refusal? neglect? to provide the service they committed to providing, and under the ACP Program they have advertised as being available. As a result, I am being prevented from actively applying my ACP benefit since the day I was approved. If ACP benefits are not applied in a given time (mine being sometime in January), then you will have to reapply to qualify. With the recurring issue of me having to call AT&T every month to remind them that I am already under their ACP program so that I won't have a climbing bill that I'll be sent to collections for—it wouldn't be crazy to think this could potentially happen in my case. So, I think I've done my due diligence in trying to work with AT&T to continue being their customer for internet service. Whether I stick to them, or, make a formal complaint with ACP and transfer to another service provider all depends on the next billing cycle, I guess.

Furthermore, I have tried to alleviate the need to have to repeat this whole ordeal over the phone by trying to apply the ACP benefit to my account by logging into my account. However, when I click to submit the form, an error arises where my birthdate is entered. The birthdate entry is preprogrammed to be formatted as mm/dd/yyyy. But, will not accept my birthdate. I've tried all the different ways I could think of to enter it, even tried different dates entirely—none worked.

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