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Swalton0_4's profile

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Friday, April 19th, 2024 12:56 AM

AT&T screws over Army service member

My name is Sara Walton and I am a member of the United States Army. I found out my unit was deploying and several people recommended AT&T for where we would be going. I went to the store and the lady working there assured me I could switch and upgrade my phone and as soon as I got there i could let them know and they would suspend my service and resume it once I got back in the states. This was so I could switch to a provider over here for guaranteed service. When I got here I tried to switch and was told my phone was locked. I called AT&T and the representative told me the lady in the store lied to me and I need to submit my orders then it should work. I submitted my orders and 4 days later got an email back saying I needed to submit my orders before deploying so they could not give me the military deal. I called AT&T from a friends phone once again asking what I was supposed to do and they told me I could get on a travel pass that would be $10 a day for 10 days and I would be paying $100 extra a month. I figured that was the best option so I agreed. What they didn’t tell me was that it doesn’t cap out at 10 days and it’s actually $10 a day every single day of the month. My wife called me and told me that our phone bill was $687 for the month so I called once again asking what on earth was going on. I was told that it doesn’t matter that I was lied to and given the wrong information and that the only options are to pay $687 a month for the next 9 months even though multiple details on my account are wrong and that in order to stop I need to pay off the remaining $870 on my phone. If I had been told the right information I would never have upgraded my phone and I would not have switched to AT&T. I asked if there could be an exception to policy due to the fact that I am now half way across the world on deployment and the travel pass barely even works and they said there’s nothing they can do and told me to just pay my $680 a month phone bill. I am extremely frustrated and baffled as to how it is my fault that I was lied to and given the wrong information and no one will work with me. My wife and I are now struggling to make ends meet between rent and utilities car payment and a $680 phone bill.

ACE - Expert

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35.5K Messages

1 month ago

1) Thank you for your service

2) It should cap at $10/day, so long as you have the International Day Plan active, and you're roaming on a carrier on the IDP.

3) Sounds like they've screwed things up big time, which is way too common. 

I don't have any suggestions for how you can get AT&T to fix where they messed up, but I'm hoping @formerlyknownas  has an idea or two.

ACE - Master

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10.7K Messages

1 month ago

The International Day plan, on post paid service, caps out at 10 days per billing cycles.  Make sure you aren’t on another international calling plan, which is for calling from inside the US to foreign numbers. Military cancellations of service is just that.  You cancel you service and all AT&T does is hold your number for you.  It’s not the same thing as porting your number to a different carrier, if that’s what was done.

ACE - Sage

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117.6K Messages

1 month ago

International day pass only caps on consumer plans. If the original poster was put on FirstNet there is no cap. 

@Swalton0_4 

Your friends gave you bad info ...

1.   The SCRA is honored by all US service providers. Whichever provider you were with before switching to AT&T would have provided you with the same option to suspend your service and unlock your phone.  And as long as your deployment orders are issued after you purchase a phone, they would also wave any installments or contract.  

2.  If your deployment orders are issued and you then purchase a new phone You do not qualify for SCRA... Not with AT&T and not with any other service provider.  

The military has a ton of information via MilitaryOnesource for people who are being deployed, including how to handle your bills and suspend services when you're leaving the United States for a long-term or permanent deployment. 

So my advice, turn off your AT&T SIM and service, an extra $300 a month is unsustainable.  Then, somehow, pay off your phone, unlock it, and then use it with local service wherever you are.   

   You can then file to have your AT&T service canceled with number held for 39 months. You will have to pay off the account.   

https://www.att.com/support/article/my-account/KM1046235/

https://www.militaryonesource.mil/resources/millife-guides/military-deployment-support/#:~:text=Military%20OneSource%20offers%20service%20members,they%20may%20face%20during%20deployment.

ACE - Expert

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32.3K Messages

1 month ago

You can reach out to Family Programs and see any guidance they can provide. One option that can give some breathing room is a small TSP loan, but be careful as can be a double edge sword since you payback yourself with interest but it can in the short term affect compound earnings. The Finance counselor that works with Family Programs should be able to give you clear direction on that or any other options available to you.

As for the horrible information you got when you already had your orders, I would consider a BBB complaint on that store (regardless if AT&T owned or 3rd party dealer). Key thing is those big protections like SCRA only apply to what has happened before you get your orders since that was unforeseen. Once orders are cut than it is expected you are responsible for any purchases or such you make knowing the risks.

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