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Anonymous

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25.7K Messages

Fri, Mar 9, 2018 11:54 PM

Being Billed for Service after Cancellation and After transfer to another carrier.

Until recently I had an AT&T cellular account and hotspot for two cell phones.

Reception in my building was poor for several years and i finally switched carriers.

I had no contract and owned my phones.

I ported the phones to the new carrier on Feb 1 and Feb 4 2018.  I began active use on those dates and have telephone records to show this.

I called Customer service and cancelled the Hotspot and accepted the fact I had to pay a $134 cancellation fee.

 

I understand that many utilities have a policy to advance bill.  AT&T does this.  They charge for the next months service in a current billing cycle so they effectively have a deposit on the services to be provided.

 

I was charged in the cycle ending Feb 4 for the Period from Feb 5-March 4.

 

But my service was transferred so I have been charged in advance for services AT&T cannot render.  So I should be refunded.

 

The Manager on the Customer Service line named Epigmenio tells me AT&T does not reimburse for these services that that are unable to provide.  Yet I paid far all of the services i received.  So essentially AT&T is swindling me and others by advance billing us and then not providing services.

 

[Edited to comply with Guidelines]

 

Thank you,

 

Bruce

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lizdance40

ACE - Sage

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78.5K Messages

3 years ago

Postpaid bills are produced 4 days after the bill cycle ends and are due 21 days after bill closes.

Prepaid refills 1-2 days before renewal date.  There is not cancelation fees.

Seems you had phones on prepaid and hotspots on postpaid, under contract.

 

🐾 I don’t work for AT&T or any carrier. Never have, never will. My replies are based on experience and reading content available on the website. If you posted personal information, please edit and remove.

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*I am not an AT&T employee, and the views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
MicCheck

ACE - Expert

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9.1K Messages

3 years ago

@Anonymous:

 

IF...and that’s a big if...your billing cycle started on February 5th AND your numbers were ported and all service cancelled by February 4, then you are correct that you should not have had a new bill on February 5. 

 

I suspect that one of those two conditions are not correct, most likely the port had not completed on AT&T’s end before the 5th. 

 

You should be able to call AT&T and simply ask what day they show your services ended to fix nd out for sure. 

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*I am not an AT&T employee, and the views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.

Tutor

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3 Messages

2 years ago

Like utilities, most major U.S. cell carriers bill for service one-month in advance.  That means your first months' bill issued near the date of activation (say, Jan 1) covers the period ~Jan 1-Jan 31.  That "advanced billing" continues throughout your life of service so upon cancellation, unless the date of cancellation is perfectly timed your carrier will likely owe you a pro-rated refund.  For example, say you chose to terminate service on Feb 15: on Feb 1, however, you'll have already been billed (and perhaps paid) the full month of Feb 1 - Feb 28.  If you indeed paid that bill, you're entitled to contact your carrier and request a partial month refund for the remaining period of Feb 16-28 - that represents the period during which your carrier billed you for service, but of course service that you did not use. 

MicCheck

ACE - Expert

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9.1K Messages

2 years ago


@Billcorrector wrote:

Like utilities, most major U.S. cell carriers bill for service one-month in advance.  That means your first months' bill issued near the date of activation (say, Jan 1) covers the period ~Jan 1-Jan 31.  That "advanced billing" continues throughout your life of service so upon cancellation, unless the date of cancellation is perfectly timed your carrier will likely owe you a pro-rated refund.  For example, say you chose to terminate service on Feb 15: on Feb 1, however, you'll have already been billed (and perhaps paid) the full month of Feb 1 - Feb 28.  If you indeed paid that bill, you're entitled to contact your carrier and request a partial month refund for the remaining period of Feb 16-28 - that represents the period during which your carrier billed you for service, but of course service that you did not use. 


That is not the case for cell phone service. Wireless providers do not prorate the final month of service. That is specifically mentioned in the Terms of Service. 

 

You are certainly "entitled to contact your carrier and request" a refund,  but your carrier is entitled to point you to the terms you agreed to and tell you "No."

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Tutor

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3 Messages

2 years ago

Seems a choice.  In my opinion, sure, carriers are entitled to say "no" to consumers' requests to refund services paid but not delivered - just as consumers are entitled to see some carriers' T&Cs as what may viewed as contracts of adhesion.  I suspect that most carriers would choose - if given a choice -  to err on the side of consumer goodwill & fairness and refund, rather than anchor on what may be viewed as unfair billing practices buried in the depths of potentially one-way contact languange.  An entitled choice indeed.

MicCheck

ACE - Expert

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9.1K Messages

2 years ago


@Billcorrector wrote:

Seems a choice.  In my opinion, sure, carriers are entitled to say "no" to consumers' requests to refund services paid but not delivered - just as consumers are entitled to see some carriers' T&Cs as what may viewed as contracts of adhesion.  I suspect that most carriers would choose - if given a choice -  to err on the side of consumer goodwill & fairness and refund, rather than anchor on what may be viewed as unfair billing practices buried in the depths of potentially one-way contact languange.  An entitled choice indeed.


The terms of service are not a contract, but they are very one-way .If customers do not like the terms, they can choose to go elsewhere. 

 

Experience says that your suspicion is incorrect. Carriers very rarely issue any sort of refund for the final month of service, as evidenced by the very existence of this thread. 

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Tutor

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4 Messages

2 years ago

I ported my cell to another carrier on June 3rd and they are charging me for June 3rd to July 02 because they said that I ported on the same day that cycle started. I asked to show me where does it say that in the Terms of Agreement, they told me to search Terms of Service but I do not find this explanation written anywhere. I just found that if you have a contract (which I don't) and owe money on a cell (which I don't) then you have to advise them 30 days before and you are subject to ETF. Can someone show me where it states that if I port my number on the same day my cycle starts that then I have to pay for that whole month even though I will be with another carrier. Thank you.

MicCheck

ACE - Expert

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9.1K Messages

2 years ago


@MiloMila wrote:

I ported my cell to another carrier on June 3rd and they are charging me for June 3rd to July 02 because they said that I ported on the same day that cycle started. I asked to show me where does it say that in the Terms of Agreement, they told me to search Terms of Service but I do not find this explanation written anywhere. I just found that if you have a contract (which I don't) and owe money on a cell (which I don't) then you have to advise them 30 days before and you are subject to ETF. Can someone show me where it states that if I port my number on the same day my cycle starts that then I have to pay for that whole month even though I will be with another carrier. Thank you.


Sure; section 1.5: https://www.att.com/legal/terms.wirelessCustomerAgreement.html#howDoesAttCalcMyBill

 

"Except as provided below, monthly Services and certain other charges are billed one month in advance, and there is no proration of such charges if Service is terminated on other than the last day of your billing cycle"

 

You didn't cancel on the last day of the billing cycle, so you owe for a full month.

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Tutor

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3 Messages

2 years ago

There tend to be covanents of fair dealing and good faith underlying most contracts, and terms of service may be incorporated by reference in wireless agreements between consumers and carriers.  That means "terms of service" may indeed be part of one-way carrier contracts, and given the industry's harmonized T&Cs regarding advanced month billing practices, it may be difficult to merely "go elsewhere" if paying for services not delivered matters to you.  Those who care to seek reimbursement in such instances may find it prudent to contact their (former) carrier and lay out their case. In my experience, arguments based upon unfair consumer billing practices can hold water, and there tends to be high probability of receiving nothing if one does not try - with monthly bills measured in the hundreds of dollars, such efforts may add up.

lizdance40

ACE - Sage

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78.5K Messages

2 years ago


@Billcorrector wrote:

There tend to be covanents of fair dealing and good faith underlying most contracts, and terms of service may be incorporated by reference in wireless agreements between consumers and carriers.  That means "terms of service" may indeed be part of one-way carrier contracts, and given the industry's harmonized T&Cs regarding advanced month billing practices, it may be difficult to merely "go elsewhere" if paying for services not delivered matters to you.  Those who care to seek reimbursement in such instances may find it prudent to contact their (former) carrier and lay out their case. In my experience, arguments based upon unfair consumer billing practices can hold water, and there tends to be high probability of receiving nothing if one does not try - with monthly bills measured in the hundreds of dollars, such efforts may add up.


Let’s just put the “pay a month in advance” notion out if the way.   We do not unless on prepaid.  Prepaid uses do pay for service BEFORE use.   It is not refunded if they leave.  

Postpaid users do not.  

Service is still delivered for the full month paid for, but if a customer has removed their phones and numbers from a network, there is nothing to deliver service to.   That’s customer choice.  While it may “hold water” in your opinion, it seems unlikely ones former carrier is inclined to reimburse you for monies you agreed to pay.  

Were I to choose to leave AT&T, it would be by porting my numbers out on the 15/16th of the month, knowing I have one more bill for that month to pay.  

Since it is industry wide practice, and you are now aware, it needs no more discussion.  Feel free to pass it on.  

 

 

🐾 I don’t work for AT&T or any carrier. Never have, never will. My replies are based on experience and reading content available on the website. If you posted personal information, please edit and remove.

Award for Community Excellence 2020 Achiever*
*I am not an AT&T employee, and the views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
MicCheck

ACE - Expert

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9.1K Messages

2 years ago

 


@Billcorrector wrote:

Those who care to seek reimbursement in such instances may find it prudent to contact their (former) carrier and lay out their case. In my experience, arguments based upon unfair consumer billing practices can hold water...



Clearly that is not the case. If that were true, the original poster would have receive a refund and this thread would not exist!

 

You really should stop spreading misinformation: The Wireless Customer Agreement is not a contract. The final bill is not prorated. 

 

If customers are concerned about paying for the full month but not using it, they should end their service on the last day on the billing cycle. 

 

 

 

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*I am not an AT&T employee, and the views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.

Tutor

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4 Messages

2 years ago

Thanks for all your info. I have been an Att customer since the year 2000. I changed to Xfinity because I’ve been with a broken cell since October and the upgrade options Att was giving me were not affordable. I changed to Xfinity on an impulsive buy at the store on June 3rd. It turns out June 3rd is the beginning of my cycle. I thought that if you didn’t have a contract that you could disconnect with no penalties like they do with Att internet and landline (which I have disconnected before no problems).

I tried 3 different agents. The last one was a floor manager and he gave me the Loyalty teams phone number. I’m sure they are going to try to get me to switch back or try to sell me another service. One of the agents on chat showed me where it speaks of the no prorating but I really didn’t understand it clearly. They kind of just throw it in there.

What I didn’t like was that the first agent gave me a website for me to file a complaint and it’s really if you want to go to arbitration or court. So there is no complaints department. I have reported 3 companies to the Better Business Bureau and I have been refunded each time but it was for a lot more money. I don’t think it’s worth it in this case.

I’ll call their loyalty team and if they don’t comply then I’ll tell them they will never have my business again and if they don’t care, then it will be a bitter end to an 18 year relationship. Lol.
MicCheck

ACE - Expert

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9.1K Messages

2 years ago


@MiloMila wrote:
Thanks for all your info. I have been an Att customer since the year 2000. I changed to Xfinity because I’ve been with a broken cell since October and the upgrade options Att was giving me were not affordable. I changed to Xfinity on an impulsive buy at the store on June 3rd. It turns out June 3rd is the beginning of my cycle. I thought that if you didn’t have a contract that you could disconnect with no penalties like they do with Att internet and landline (which I have disconnected before no problems).



Well, when you make impulse decisions, you can't blame someone else for the results. There is no penalty for disconnecting. Paying your bill as agreed to is hardly a penalty. 

 

 

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*I am not an AT&T employee, and the views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.

Tutor

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4 Messages

2 years ago

Nothing seems to help. I just gave up. No AT&T for me ever again!

Tutor

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4 Messages

2 years ago

I am the original poster. I do have a legitimate case. I just got tired of going to the next step. I will NEVER be an AT&T customer again. I am happy that you are pleased with AT&T. Or are you an employee, continuing the battle in their favor.

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