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CKDexterHaven's profile

Teacher

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8 Messages

Wed, Jan 24, 2018 12:16 AM

Data Overcharging / Customer service promises investigations, then say there was no investigation.

I have subscribed to AT&T internet for nearly a year. I have a Data Allowance of 1024GB/month. I typically run close to that or exceed it. I receive email notifications when i am close to my limit. Then, when i exceed it, i'm sent a notice that i'm being charged $10 for an additional 50GB package. That's where the problem begins.

 

On two occasions, i have contacted Chat so that i can monitor my precise usage within the Additional Data Pack. I determined on one occasion that i had downloaded 3.6GB of material from Midnight until 11am that same day. But, ATT says i consumed 32GB of data!!!! Nearly 10x my actual usage. Which is impossible. 

 

From Midnight to 11am, My usage consisted only of downloads to my desktop computer, through a download app. My television, PS3, and Xbox devices were all OFF. My iPad and phone were OFF. While i was downloading files, i was also 'surfing' the web. It is not possible that my web surfing consumed the MYSTERY 28GB of data in an 11 hour period, of which i was only online for 3 of those hours. 

 

This has been a repeating theme. I am charged for 1 or 2 or 3 'additional data packs' just about every month, even though i change my internet/download habits when i'm advised i'm near my limits. And each time, even though i'm certain i'm using less than 10GB of data, i'm charged as if i have used 50GB. 

 

I've been over the various permutations with various customer service reps in chats. I've spent ten hours in chats, being transferred to agent after agent, having to re-explain each time, and then given nonsensical, unhelpful, runaround responses by each agent. Each agent also always says something to the effect that, "you will not face this problem again." And yet i do. 

 

What is possibly most offensive at this point is that in both September and October, by multiple agents, i was told ATT would INVESTIGATE the reasons for the overcharges. I wait and wait for the results of the investigations and for the Credits to my account these agents promise. And now, today, four months after the last time i was told an investigation was underway, i'm told there WAS NO INVESTIGATION. And further, the person i just chatted with said HE would initiate an investigation, but gave no means of investigating. I asked specifically for a time period to monitor, so that there would be a way to compare my records of usage versus AT&T's. But, he only repeated a few ambiguous statements, none of which could possibly result in a resolution or determination. 

 

This seems like a scam, pure and simple. The massive company tells you you're using an invisible product. They say you used more of that invisible product than you can see being used. Then they tell you it's being used by you even when the devices that use it are switched OFF. Even though those devices are consuming NO ENERGY/battery power to use all of that invisible product..... And because it's unlikely that anyone would bother to try to monitor that usage in a predetermined time period with a stringent set of rules, the company relies on the consumer TRUSTING the company's technology that measures such things. 

 

What else is offensive? In September when the issue was raised with one agent, that agent credited my account $30 for the overcharging, even before initiating the investigation (the investigation that the current agent says did not exist). But, now, the current agent—a supervisor!— says he can only offer $10 when i was overcharged $20. There was NO FOUNDATION or rationale for why he could only offer $10 when the previous agent was able to credit $30. Then, minutes later, this supervisor says he can make it $15! These agents are randomly making up 'the rules' — more lies. When asked how he was able to change it to $15 when previously he said he could only offer $10, he says he asked his manager. When i then asked to be put in contact with this "manager," he said the manager was "not around." When i asked how to contact the manager, to send written documentation of my claims and complaints, he gave me a name "Stanley." I asked for full name and mailing address, and i was told "Stanley Anderson." When i mentioned that this name sounded "made-up" and asked if either the supervisor or Stanley Anderson were in the United States, after asking three times, the supervisor confessed they were in India. "Stanley Anderson." Sure. So, more deception and lies. I really do not care where a 'call center' is located. But, it's deceitful for agents you're in contact with to make up names, and then put you off and give the runaround when asked how to contact a manager or the corporate office. 

 

This is ALL shady. The strategies EVERY agent uses in the chats to appease the customer without ever resolving an issue — they're all the same. Deceit in the form of placation. Which casts a bad light on the OVERCHARGING matter at the core of it all. If you can't trust a customer service rep, how can you trust the billing practices that force the necessity of the rep? 

 

I have transcript PDFs of all of these chats. And in them are lies and mistakes by agents after agents. Offers made, that are not honored by the next agent i'm transferred to. A consistency in the misdirection and deceit. 

 

Oh! I almost forgot.... Another 'insult.' 

 

When i've explained for the umpteenth time that i was just overcharged $20 for data i didn't use, the agent tries to up-sell me! This actually happened two or three times:

 

Me: You've overcharged me $20 for data i could not possibly have used.

Agent: I have a solution. I can offer you an Unlimited Data Package!

Me: Okay. What's the cost?

Agent: $30 more than what you are currently paying per month.

Me: So.... to correct a $20 problem, you want to charge me $30. 

Agent: I completely understand. Let me check on that!.....

 

Am *I* the m0ron here? 

I get it — customer service agents work from scripts, and routines with regard to responses. But, my god, does it take a genius to recognize how stupid this is before it comes off of your keyboard? It's not even like it's an autonomic verbal response. The person is TYPING this to me, and so there's 20-30 seconds of it going through his/her head while they're doing it.....

Teacher

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8 Messages

5 years ago

Thanks for the reply, but.... No.

In the 'test period,' the timing of which was told to me by a Chat representative, there were no web/internet-related backups. There was no dropbox activity. No pic/video uploads. I do not post to facebook, youtube, instagram, nada. I do ZERO online gaming. And, as i said, we're talking about a window from Midnight until 11am. My day doesn't even begin until 9am. So, all the activity that i accounted for in 3+GB was from 9-11am. From midnight to 9am, there was about 1 hour of tv streamed through my PS3 or Xbox, via netflix. And not 4k. 

 

Even if the rep was wrong (again) and wasn't speaking of those specific 12 hours, but meant 48 hours, it is still impossible for me to have consumed as much data as ATT charged. I didn't even have sufficient hard disk space to allow as much as 15GB downloading, and i don't watch tv until after my workday is over, after 7pm.

Mentor

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18 Messages

5 years ago

"Customer service" my eye!!  

Sure, they'll "start an investigation."  Then, in short order, you'll receive a message to the effect that "the issue has been resolved;" only to find that AT&T's resolution is to do nothing!  

Spend hours on the phone, weeks (or months) emailing with representatives, and plenty of time amassing proof of your claims - only to have all ignored, and be given some asinine reasoning for nothing being done to fix it. 

One rep may "put all this in your file," while the next rep will deny any knowledge of previous correspondence. It is an endless cycle of maddening indifference!

kelly_a

Scholar

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313 Messages

5 years ago

Just my just my opinion. Seems like the unlimited plan upgrade is a no-brainer, if only to avoid the monthly grief 

Teacher

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8 Messages

5 years ago

@kelly_a

"Seems like the unlimited plan upgrade is a no-brainer, if only to avoid the monthly grief"

 

But, and i hate to echo the cliché: "that's how they get ya." 

They overcharge you $20, so you start paying them $30 to not worry about the $20? No, that doesn't work for me. 

Even if the 'grief' were worth $10, it's a matter of principle on one hand. And on the other hand it's a matter of deceptive business practices or fraud. If they '$uck you into' a contract at a rate of $50, and then they falsely charge you for additional services you never actually needed or used in order to get you to pay a higher rate, that's unethical to put it mildly.  

 
 
bloomin

Scholar

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258 Messages

5 years ago

@my thoughts

 

Data is both uploading and downloading

So automatic backups or updates, pic/video uploads, Dropbox, and the like are also consuming your 1T of data.

I am not sure the data reported used is real time, always thought it was an accumulated over a period of time. But I could be wrong on this. I know gateway stats are in 48 hour segments, thus a month is 15 individual files of information.

For unlimited either pay $30 extra per month or bundle with a TV package from Uverse IPTV or DirecTv. I believe TV packages start around $40-$50 per month with the $30 unlimited included (waived) So for about $20 more than the $30 unlimited can have both unlimited and another form of entertainment such as Ufamily with HD channels and a DVR for (1) TV.

 

 

Except the OP clearly indicated that the power to all the devices was OFF so there is no way any data could be used.

Sure he could be lying, but I believe him since you hear this same kind of scenario some many times.

The sleazy aspect seems to be that they are playing the pay a few bucks more to avoid the scam of inaccurate data usage on the bill. OUTRAGEOUS.

bloomin

Scholar

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258 Messages

5 years ago

 

 

 

But, and i hate to echo the cliché: "that's how they get ya." 

They overcharge you $20, so you start paying them $30 to not worry about the $20? No, that doesn't work for me. 

Even if the 'grief' were worth $10, it's a matter of principle on one hand. And on the other hand it's a matter of deceptive business practices or fraud. If they '$uck you into' a contract at a rate of $50, and then they falsely charge you for additional services you never actually needed or used in order to get you to pay a higher rate, that's unethical to put it mildly.  

 

 

 

Exactly a sleazy scam. They should be penalized over this, it's a form of fraud.

Mentor

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18 Messages

5 years ago

Seems the mantra of AT&T "customer service" is:  Every complaint is an opportunity to upsell.  Just wait... after providing all the proof in the world of their malfeasance (which is, of course, ignored), then they'll try to claim it's your equipment that is faulty!  FRAUD!!!

Teacher

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8 Messages

5 years ago

Well, they've done it again. 

I was monitoring my data before i reached my monthly allotment, and of course they then said i exceeded it. 

Then, a day after charging me for an addition 50GB, they said i used 35GB!!! of it, when i had only used 5.29GB via downloads, plus about 4 hours of tv streaming. 

 

Criminally dishonest. SAD!                 

 

Oh, and here's another kicker: After i posted the first message, an 'AT&T rep' sent me a private message about it. Said he/she would look into it.... A month later, no word.... 

Mentor

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18 Messages

5 years ago

Months spent trying for resolution with AT&T "customer disservice" with similar results to what you seem to be experiencing.

Finally got real help here:  https://consumercomplaints.fcc.gov/hc/en-us

They won't listen to the little guy; but the don't screw around with the FCC!

Good luck.

Teacher

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8 Messages

5 years ago

Thank you. I've just completed the FCC query [Edited to comply with Guidelines]It's going to be a bear to deal with all of this, but—just the principle of the matter. I don't stand for fraud. 

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