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8 Messages

Wed, Jan 15, 2020 12:05 PM

AT&T - Please reply...Wireless Plans are Deceptive and Confusing by Design to AT&T Benefit and Customer Detriment.

I have spent countless hours and multiple attempts on the phone and support chats with AT&T Customer Representatives, and have tried to get a plan that will save me money by switching to a lesser Wireless plan. After many, many hours and advice of AT&T Customer Support representatives and their supervisors, my latest attempt at switching to a lower tier plan saved me only $13 / month when the plan is actually $50 less for lesser service. The base plan is 175/month down from $225 / month which should save me $50 per month. In the end, my time, efforts and honestly, frustration have only resulted in a net -$13.00 reduction in my bill for a lesser wireless service. I'm suspecting this is confusing by design so customers like myself can't really lower their bill.

I'm going to pursue this with the NYS AG Office and wanted to post this so AT&T and customers have an opportunity to view and reply. I tried the Chat again, but it says not available so I came here. Tried to find an email address to send to, but it's not available.

Responses

New Member

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8 Messages

10 months ago

BTW, been an AT&T Customer for at least 10 years, maybe double that.

lizdance40

ACE - Sage

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79.4K Messages

What is the plan price for Unlimited Extra(SM)?

I assume you changed from unlimited and more premium to Unlimited extra. multi line prices below are based on phone lines.

AT&T UNLIMITED EXTRASM PLAN:  Avail. to consumers only. Monthly plan charge ($80) & monthly per-device access charges ($45 phone; $20 tablet, camera or Connected Car; $25 for Harman Spark; and $10 wearable) apply. AUTOPAY & PAPERLESS BILL DISCOUNT: Monthly discount off plan charge ($10 per phone line) when active & enrolled in both. Discount starts w/in 2 bill cycles. Pay full plan cost (up to $80/mo.) plus per device access charges until discount starts. PHONE LINE DISCOUNT: Monthly discount of $40 (1 phone line), $20 (2 phone lines), $35 (3 phone lines), $60 (4 phone lines), and $80 (5 or more phone lines) applied to your plan charge

1 line, 80+45-10-40 = $75

2 lines, 80+45+45-10-10-20 = $130

3 lines, 80+45+45+45-10-10-10-35 = $150

4 lines, 80+45+45+45+45-10-10-10-10-60 = $160

5 lines, 80+45+45+45+45+45 - 10-10-10-10-10-80 = $175.

Additional lines add $45-10 (auto pay)

🐾 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.

New Member

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2 Messages

What is the price breakdown like stated above for other plans like the 9MB? Thanks!

New Member

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4 Messages

@lizdance40 I love this break down, totally illustrative of the point of confusing billing!

1 line, 80+45-10-40 = $75

2 lines, 80+45+45-10-10-20 = $130

3 lines, 80+45+45+45-10-10-10-35 = $150

4 lines, 80+45+45+45+45-10-10-10-10-60 = $160

5 lines, 80+45+45+45+45+45 - 10-10-10-10-10-80 = $175

AT&T explaining the two phone plan: "Well, it's eight dollars to have the plan, but you have to pay forty-five dollars for every phone that you actually want to be able to use that plan. In this case there are two phones so that's forty-five dollars and another forty-five dollars (I know the ad says sixty-five, but hang with me, we'll get there...the journey's worth the destination). Where was I? Oh yeas, it sounds like a lot, but we'll take away ten dollars for this and then ten dollars for that. Oh, and then there's a twenty dollar discount on top of that! Can you believe all these discounts you are getting for just (pause to finish punching the calculator) one hundred and thirty dollars!?!"

What the customers want to hear: "The price for two phone with this plan is sixty-five dollars per line. Two times sixty five is one hundred and thirty. Any questions?"

sandblaster

ACE - Expert

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44.2K Messages

10 months ago

Without actual billing details to see why a plan that should be $50 less only nets $13 less, not much anyone can comment on. If you made the change during your bill cycle and have a bill with partial month charges from each plan, that could easily explain it. New plan advertised prices are also contingent on having autopay and getting the autopay discount. If you don’t have autopay or just started it and that discount hasn’t kicked in, that will also impact your expected savings. ATT’s billing with the strange way they apply multiline and autopay discounts is confusing, I agree but their advertised prices are not. Each plan shows what it costs for x lines after all discounts are applied. Nothing confusing about that, IMHO.

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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.

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8 Messages

Hi, thank you for the reply. I do understand details matter and have reviewed in detail with AT&T multiple times the costs associated with the prior and current plan and was assured by AT&T and even saw on the "estimated new bill" there should be at least a $50 reduction of the bill. Maybe the AT&T billing software is not accurate enough to predict the effect of a plan change. The changeover billing affect of switching the plan and the pro-ration, auto-bill, and discount have cycled through. The lower plan ($225 down to $175), discounts, and auto-pay, plus no other changes like taxes, fees, or addons, have resulted in a net savings of $13.00 per month. To counter the old saying...unfortunately, "this is rocket science."

New Member

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8 Messages

Ohh, minor additional nuisance. AT&T advertises that HBO is included with both plans, but was told ineligible. I have even read the fine print, but I'm not a (Edited per community guidelines), so maybe i just don't understand the "included" part.

(edited)

sandblaster

ACE - Expert

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44.2K Messages

So you are basing this on a bill with prorated charges from both plans? If so, wait until you have a bill with only the new plan. I had a similar issue when I changed plans a little over a year ago. My new plan was supposed to be a few dollars less. That first bill with prorated charges from old and new plan was higher. I went over that bill line by line and it was correct. It was higher due to the prorated charges and the way applied discounts to those charges. Once I got a bill with only the new plan charges, it was less as initially expected.

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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.

New Member

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8 Messages

No, prorated bill was a previous one. This is a clean and new cycle for the new plan and no (zero) other changes.

lizdance40

ACE - Sage

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79.4K Messages

And again as mentioned, if you have only just recently signed up for paperless billing and auto-pay, that is a $10 per line discount, which could easily account for a $50 discrepancy. Are you getting a $10 per line discount?


Expand all fields on your bill and read carefully. The charges maybe confusing on the bill but the end results for service is exactly what is advertised on the website.


Have you compared your service only price to what the website says? (subtract installments and taxes). If not what is the difference?

🐾 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.

New Member

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8 Messages

Hi,

What is the plan price for Unlimited Extra(SM)?

sandblaster

ACE - Expert

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44.2K Messages

@lizdance40 Just FYI, the autopay discount is not per line.

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lizdance40

ACE - Sage

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79.4K Messages

On tiered plan you mean.

The new unlimited plans, Starter, extra and elite, all do have a $10 per phone line credit for auto pay and paperless.

🐾 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.
lizdance40

ACE - Sage

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79.4K Messages

😖 Why cant the forum threads work in proper order!

I assume you changed from unlimited and more premium to Unlimited extra. multi line prices below are based on phone lines.

AT&T UNLIMITED EXTRASM PLAN: Avail. to consumers only. Monthly plan charge ($80) & monthly per-device access charges ($45 phone; $20 tablet, camera or Connected Car; $25 for Harman Spark; and $10 wearable) apply. AUTOPAY & PAPERLESS BILL DISCOUNT: Monthly discount off plan charge ($10 per phone line) when active & enrolled in both. Discount starts w/in 2 bill cycles. Pay full plan cost (up to $80/mo.) plus per device access charges until discount starts. PHONE LINE DISCOUNT: Monthly discount of $40 (1 phone line), $20 (2 phone lines), $35 (3 phone lines), $60 (4 phone lines), and $80 (5 or more phone lines) applied to your plan charge

1 line, 80+45-10-40 = $75

2 lines, 80+45+45-10-10-20 = $130

3 lines, 80+45+45+45-10-10-10-35 = $150

4 lines, 80+45+45+45+45-10-10-10-10-60 = $160

5 lines, 80+45+45+45+45+45 - 10-10-10-10-10-80 = $175.

Additional lines add $45-10 (auto pay)

(The following is included after all posts

🐾 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.

New Member

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8 Messages

Thank you for the details. So, the Unlimited Extra SM plan is $305 / month for 5 lines base cost?

lizdance40

ACE - Sage

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79.4K Messages

$305? no, its $175 unless you dont have the auto pay and paperless, then its $225.

If At&t would do simple math, its $45 x 5, less (10 x 5) auto oay and paperless discount

(edited)

🐾 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.
GLIMMERMAN76

ACE - Expert

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20.7K Messages

@mm0115 Before the 80 dollar discount that is automatic yeah if you look at it like that.

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New Member

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4 Messages

10 months ago

I'm not sure if this will reach AT&T, but I hope it does. I agree 100% with the first part of this forum title ("Wireless Plans are Deceptive and Confusing..."), but I can't comment on the second part ("...to AT&T Benefit and Customer Detriment"). I've been with AT&T for over a decade, most recently on a 5 phone plan with my parents, wife, and sister. My wife and I just pulled out and got on our own plan. We went with the AT&T Unlimited Extra...advertised at $65/line (for two lines). We are also paying on our phones monthly ($25 on one and $30 on the other, rounding for convenience). Given this, I expected to see a bill like this:

Line 1

$65...Cost for the plan

$30...Cost for the phone (payment 14 of 35)

$15...Some taxes and fees and such (numbers made up for convenience)

=========

$110...Total for Line 1

Line 2

$65...Cost for the plan

$25...Cost for the phone (payment 14 of 35)

$15..Some taxes and fees and such (numbers made up for convenience)

=========

$105...Total for Line 2

Summary

$215...TOTAL BILL

$-10...Discount for auto pay (or whatever else goes at the end)

=========

$205...PLEASE PAY THIS AMOUNT

WHY IS IT SO HARD TO MAKE A BILL LIKE THAT WE CAN UNDERSTAND????

Instead, I get...

Group 1 (???) = $80, but there's a $20 discount (???)

Line 1 = $45 for access (??? What? I'm on a $65/line plan, where does this $45 come from?)

Line 2 = $45 for access (??? huh? see above?)

And BTW, there's no line indicating the payments on the phone, what's left or anything.

Then there's a bunch of taxes and fees; ok, we all expect these nickle and dimes by now, no biggie. But (Edited per community guidelines)? I called and a rep tried to explain it (their computer showed something totally different than the paper bill, she assured me my phone payment was "in there"). I went to the store to have a rep explain it to me face-to-face. I appreciate the attempt. He said he has to try and explain that MULTIPLE TIMES EVERY DAY to customers!!!

In the end my bill is about what I expected. But why is one thing advertised and the bill say something else? Most importantly, why would AT&T put their sales reps in the position of trying to explain the unexplainable? That's bad management!

I go anywhere else to buy something (Wal-Mart, Starbucks, grocery store) and I get an itemized list of what I bought, and I UNDERSTAND IT! Why can't AT&T follow this proven method???

Side note: I'm still with AT&T because I think the cell coverage is great, reliable, and adequate for my needs. Overall, I'm happy. But this billing thing is beyond me!

(edited)

New Member

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8 Messages

Someone gets me! :-)

New Member

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2 Messages

YES! I TOTALLY AGREE!!
GLIMMERMAN76

ACE - Expert

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20.7K Messages

@uagrad98

This is how mine looks, Its pretty self explanatory

Monthly plan charges for Jan 09 - Feb 08

$21.25

Access for iPhone 4G LTE w/ VVM

$35.00

Discount for Military Appreciation

-$8.75

Discount for Unlimited &More

-$5.00

Surcharges & fees

$3.85

$0.06

Administrative Fee

$1.99

Federal Universal Service Charge

$0.34

IL Telecom Relay Service

$0.02

Regulatory Cost Recovery Charge

$1.50

Government taxes & fees

$2.14

$0.08

IL 911 Surcharge

$1.50

State/Municipal Telecommunications Tax

$0.64

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.

New Member

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4 Messages

@GLIMMERMAN76 I wish mine was that simple. Maybe it is easier to grasp with one phone?

My point was that I signed up for a $65 plan, yet "$65" is not found anywhere on my statement. And I know I'm paying for a phone (two of them) on installment. It's not itemized anywhere (how do I know when it's paid off?). There's an $80 charge for a the plan, and each of my two phones are charged $45 to access it. That's silly...why would I buy a plan except for my phones to access it?!?! That's like going out to eat, paying for your meal, and the restaurant charges you an "access" fee to eat it!

Again, my bill is about what I expected at the bottom line, but "the eaches" are nowhere in the ballpark, so I'm not sure if I'm being charged right or not.

GLIMMERMAN76

ACE - Expert

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20.7K Messages

@uagrad98

I have 6 phone lines and a tablet and they are all that way. Then I have the data plan part.

The data plan is always separated out for tax purposes.

The phones are itemized online and on the bill.

Monthly plan charges for Jan 09 - Feb 08

$33.75

Access for Smartphone 4G LTE w/ VVM

$35.00

Discount for Military Appreciation

-$8.75

Discount for Unlimited &More

-$5.00

International Long Distance - Standard

$0.00

SAMSUNG - Installment 5 of 24

$12.50

Manage your installment plan

Surcharges & fees

$3.85

Administrative Fee

$1.99

Federal Universal Service Charge

$0.34

IL Telecom Relay Service

$0.02

Regulatory Cost Recovery Charge

$1.50

Government taxes & fees

$2.14

IL 911 Surcharge

$1.50

State/Municipal Telecommunications Tax

$0.64

and the data plan portion looks like this.

Monthly plan charges for Jan 09 - Feb 08

$52.50

AT&T Unlimited &More(SM) Premium Multi Line

$100.00

Discount for 4+ Phones

-$30.00

Discount for Military Appreciation

-$17.50

Surcharges & fees

$0.20

$0.03

Federal Universal Service Charge

$0.20

Government taxes & fees

$0.39

$0.39

State/Municipal Telecommunications Tax

$0.39

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.

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4 Messages

@GLIMMERMAN76 You must be livin' right and rewarded with a fairly straightforward itemized bill. Mine's still totally confusing and nonsensical. I wish it weren't.

lizdance40

ACE - Sage

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79.4K Messages

I'm sorry but AT&T needs to get with it. I can't tell you how much easier it is to read my Verizon bill. It is very simple, prices are exactly what they should be.

If AT&T would just use the simple pricing that they present in their online tool, and carry those figures on to the bill, we would not see posts like this one where the customer is completely baffled by the crazy AT&T math.

I see people complain about common core math given to school kids. AT&T math is even worse.

🐾 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.

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