Billing Due Date
With AT&T, the due date of bills is gradually shortened over time, allowing customers less and less time to settle accounts. For example, my most recent printed bill specifies that it was "issued" on the 21st of May. But I only received this bill in the mail today, on June 1. And again, the due date has been shortened, this time from the 13th of the month to the 10th. So now I have only nine days remaining to pay this bill.
To me, this shortening over time appears to be a deliberate attempt by AT&T to create conditions in which customers, assuming they have a reasonable amount of time to pay, such as before the next billing cycle, are then penalized with late fees.
Try to phone AT&T to learn why they are working to create conditions to penalize you with late fees, and you will encounter one of the worst customer-service encounters imaginable. Employees whose sole job is to listen and talk on the phone don't listen. They interrupt, they talk over you, they repeat irrelevant patter from their scripts. They are incapable of answering the most basic question or solving the simplest problem.
After failing to receive a bill mail last month, today I was told that the problem is that I have requested electronic billing, and it would take 2-3 months to begin receiving paper bills again. No, I haven't. I've only ever received paper bills. I'm not interested in electronic billing. But perhaps that explains the shortening of due dates. Perhaps the goal at AT&T is to force me to elect electronic billing, since that's the only way I'll be able to pay on time in the first place. No thanks.
Perhaps a different phone service could do better.