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silent_hussar's profile

Tutor

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5 Messages

Wed, Apr 15, 2015 5:00 PM

Why mandatory refill on 10 cent per minute plan

I purchased from AT&T the 10 cent per minute plan exactly because it was sold to me as a pay as you go plan.  Indeed, I need my cell phone very infrequently and hardly spend more than $5 per month. (Yes, I understand that I am kind of unwanted customer for AT&T, but they wouldn't tell.) What they did tell, is that they want me to 'refill' my account monthly even though I kept $50 or more in it. They also attempted to steal my money by setting the balance to zero two times claiming some 'expiration' that I did not subscribe for. In both cases, I managed to talk the call center person into not doing so. Last time, tehy 'generously' extended the no-refill term by four months ending in late April.

 

Now I want to put it in writng. 

 

I have purchased an AT$T plan as a pay as you go option rated at 10 cents per minute. Period. At the time of purchase, no notion of mandatory monthly refill was made for me by the AT&T staff. The printed document that I got from the AT&T clerk reads only about how to make a refill but it does not explicitly tell that I MUST do it. In fact, this plan is not a a pay as you go. Indeed, the monthly pay is at least the mandatory refill amount which is vagually stated as $10 to $25 range (one more confusing ambuguity to easier syphon my money). And most imortantly, even though I maintain the balance on my account greater than $60 as of today, thay want me do the 'refill' !. 

 

So, what I want.

 

1. Becuase I did not purchase my palan with the mandatory refill (nobody has made it clear to me and the documents do not state this policy explicitly), please stop bugging me with the reminders of the refill while my balance is substantially higher than the asked refill amount.

 

2. If you do not want to satify my request, I am going to close my account and take my balance back. Just because nothing in your documents explains the meaning of the 'Balance Expiration'. If you do not agree, I want my money back before the expiration date, anyway. I still have ten days before the deadline.

 

Please keep this for your records (and I will do it,too). Should you want to communicate privately, please send me email to my address registered with this forum.

 

Thank you.

 

Accepted Solution

Official Solution

Community Support

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15.2K Messages

7 y ago

Hi @Anonymous_hussar

 

I’d be happy to help explain account balance expiration terms! Customers on a monthly plan receive 30 days of service, and day 30 is the rate plan expiration date. When a customer adds money to their account, the amount of the refill determines when the account balance expires:

  • $10/$24 - Refill expires in 30 days
  • $25/$99 - Refill expires in 90 days
  • $100 or more - Refill expires in 365 days

For example, if a customer purchases a $100 refill PIN denomination, the account expiration is set for 365 days regardless of the amount of the balance in the account. More information is available in the GoPhone Plan Terms.

 

I hope this helps!

Charise

Accepted Solution

Official Solution

Teacher

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14 Messages

7 y ago

Silent, Hey man/woman I have been a ATT client sence they purchased Cingular and I was with CellOne before Paul Allen sold it to Cingular, so I am talking about 25+ years with the same or successor carriers. When ATT started the pay-as-you-go plans with the 10 cent minute package about 7-8 years ago I jumped on it, KNOWING THAT I HAD BOTH A TIME AND VALUE REFILL TARGET. My family (I"m 80+, so I got a large family) can"t believe that my cell costs me about $8 a month, and I have the auto refill option set so that I never bust either target. I know that logically I eventually will have a balance sitting in my account that ATT doesn"t own, but I can always transfer some of it to one of my daughters (who are on ATT) so that they can get value out of it. So my advice to you is to suck it up and recognize that, 1. you were misinformed (or misunderstood what you were told) and 2. you have the most economically advantageous cell phone plan on the planet. Oh by the way I retired 15 years ago as a senior audit manager for one of the nation's more respected audit vendors.

Tutor

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5 Messages

7 y ago

You did not get my point, Charise.

 

Did you ever take an Accounting course? I bet you did. It is all about accounts and balances. The verb 'expire' just is not applicable to the concept of 'account balance'. This sounds like a motor vehicle can 'expire'. Can it indeed? So cannot the balance.

 

Rather, an account balance can deplete. My point is that AT&T are using self-invented terms to confuse their customers with the purpose of syphoning money from their wallets. The document that I received after subscribing for the AT&T pay-as-you-go wireless service mentioned the mysterious 'account expiration' (which is nonsense - see above) but never told me that I must add money to my account even though I am maintaining a positive balance (say, $60).

 

To the best of my knowledge, I have never subscribed for allowing AT&T taking my money for the service they never provided for me (or I never used). This is exactly what the account balance expiration boils down and what AT&T effectively is doing. 

 

So, my concern is the poor language used in the contract.

 

Indeed, AT&T offers the pay-as-you-go service on the following condition: you pay as you go at 10 cents per minute rate but no less than $10 per month even though you do not go anywhere.

 

This language would be clear, unambiguous and honest. What I get indeed is a misrepresentation and dishonesty on the part of AT&T to say the least.

 

 

 

Tutor

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5 Messages

7 y ago

My only concern now is that I was misinformed about this plan by AT&T posted docs and their staff.

Thank you.

neo979

Scholar

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98 Messages

7 y ago

All Pay As You Go plans from all carriers in the US work this way.

 

No one will just keep your account open indefinitely for free.

 

I'm sure this is explained in the terms and conditions.

Tutor

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9 Messages

6 y ago

Unfortunately, we can't be sure that we saw when we signed up the same documents or web pages that you saw. I signed up for the 10¢/min. plan quite a few years ago. I've refilled many times, and it's always been clear that each refill came restricted with an expiration.

 

I also rarely use my phone. I refill with the $100/year option, and I've always known that the balance will disappear if I don't refill when a year is up.

 

I can't guess how the expiration wasn't clear to you. I'd have to read the same things that you read at the start.

 

For me, the need to "refill" after a year has gone by is why I go for $100 refills. I could see that the lesser amounts had shorter expiration limits, and I didn't want to be bothered with doing it every one or two months. Besides, it works out to something like paying under $9/month just for the 'insurance' of having a phone when I need one... even if I don't use it.

 

Not much more I can add. Nothing useful for you for sure.

 

Tom

Contributor

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1 Message

6 y ago

This is just another example of how a company that steals your money. Imagine if you bought gas for a car and if you didn't drive enough the gas company would drive by and siphon it from your tank. People would scream that gas station is stealing from them. And this is exactly what they are doing. They are stealing your money in the form of saying the minutes 'expire'. How and why do they exprie? Because ATT makes profit from you that way. The mintues don't go bad, they don't get moldy and they cost ATT nothing to have you not use them. But they will steal them from you anyways because you aren't spending enough money. It is shady business practice and if any other sector in society took something back that you paid good money for they would face litigation, not good ol' ma bell. Horrible business practice and horrible service.

Teacher

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14 Messages

6 y ago

[Please keep it courteous]. But since u asked the 10 cent plan has been closed to new customers for 3 or 4 years so either u are a fake user and have no skin in the 10 cent plan or you are a long time user who just now figured out that if u want to be sure that ATT doesn’t steal ur precious dime then u must use the monthly plan and cheap charlie your deposits. And don’t forget that you can transfer funds to other ATT accounts or make contributions to charities to make certain that ATT dosen’t make off with your precious dime. I just auto filled my account for $100 for a year so I don’t have to fool with it and I still had &25 in the pot. But that $75 used ($100 refill) was my phone bill for a year ($6 a month). At twice the price it is the lowest cost plan in the nation.

Contributor

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1 Message

6 y ago

Hay come on man!  The rules aren't that complicated.  If you would just stop being stubborn  and trying to make a point that just doesn't make sense, you should see that this is one super deal!!

If you really just can't understand the rules to this plan, why don't you get a phone from Consumers Cellular.  That plan is more like you are used to, you only pay for the minutes that you use but have a monthly service charge, and can probably understand.  When you get your monthly bill I think you may understand what a great deal att is.

Bill

ganto2014

Scholar

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312 Messages

6 y ago

the OP's AT&T plan is a much better deal than the consumers celluar's plan for 10.00 a month with no minutes and then there billed at .25 cents a min on top of the 10.00!! RIP off!!!

ACE - Sage

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90.5K Messages

6 y ago

@Charles Ray.   The 10 cent plan was replaced in January/February of this year, not 3-4 years ago.

 

@CrapCompany. All prepaid requires you pay to keep your account open and available.  

To your car analogy:  you pay a car loan, registration and insurance whether or not you drive you car every day - Just to have it available when you need it.  FYI gasoline can't be left in the tank forever, it evaporates and turns to sludge - use it or lose it.

 

Excess balance can be transferred or used for other things, like a case , apps or new Gophone if your balance is high enough.

 

If you did get in on the 10 cent plan, hold on to it!  All carriers went up.

 

 

ganto2014

Scholar

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312 Messages

6 y ago

it's all about revenue for the company no matter what company it is they have to make there quotta's to!!! would you let someone get a pre paid phone plan and let them fill it once and not give an experation date??? they have there bills to pay to.. companies are in the bussiness to make money and not loose money!!

Teacher

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14 Messages

6 y ago

Because if it empties ATT will terminate it (it is a loser to them, it is so cheap) and force me to open a new plan at $.20 per minute This plan is so cheap that my kids all laugh at my $8 monthly bill. {keep it courteous}.

ganto2014

Scholar

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312 Messages

6 y ago

you have 59 or 60 days to refill your account before att closes it and recycles your number!!! drop a 100 on your acct and it's good for a year!! i write mine off on my taxes!!!

Teacher

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14 Messages

6 y ago

As I recall the a refillable prepaid account is one that is not obsolete. The 10 cent /minute is an obsolete account and thus not refillable if it runs dry, it must be reactivatted as a new account
@ 20 cents per minute.
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