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Wed, May 24, 2017 4:23 PM

Bait & Switch Sales Tactics in Live Chat

Hey all,

 

I have a question that I'm trying to gather information about. I recently added a line to my AT&T wireless and all was great, until we decided to also switch our internet to AT&T. The chat rep I spoke to about setting up Uverse internet quoted me a really low price ($30/month), which I agreed to. He then tried to upsell me on Unlimited Plus for two wireless lines at $132 a month.

 

We currently pay more for limited data, so I asked for terms and conditions, which he never did provide, but he then said we could actually get it for $102. Well, of course I agreed to that, given that it would save me about $15 a month and result in more data. I checked my bill after finishing our conversation, and see it's jumped to $156. There's no way I can figure out that it will become $102, so I immediately re-enter another chat. I proceed to talk to probably 10-15 reps who assure me there's nothing they can do because a $102/month plan does not exist, my employer discount doesn't apply to unlimited plans, and that's just what my bill costs now. I finally talked them into reducing it back down to something similar to my old plan (which actually costs $3 a month more now since I had a special plan before...if I wanted to be petty...) I filed an FCC complaint about this because all I got out of them was "Sorry, we aren't responsible for the prices our reps say". That seems like a sneaky way to go about false advertising - what if I hadn't checked my bill and switched back right away? (I understand that on the flip side, reps could offer their friends lower prices or whatever and AT&T would have to honor them, but then those reps would probably lose their jobs, so I don't think it's reasonable to just flat-out say the company is not responsible for their reps.)

 

Anyway, every rep I talked to from the first rep all the way up to the customer loyalty department had to listen to that long story and review my account. All of them noted my employee discount, but continued to tell me that the $30/month price on Uverse internet was accurate, and the discount that would be applied as soon as I combined accounts, but that couldn't do that until I had it installed. I called today to get the accounts combined, and now they say that it's not eligible for that discount and never has been, so it will be $40/month. (Apparently, the discount is not applicable to accounts with employee discounts on their wireless service.) So...it seems like bait & switch pricing, again? I lost my grandfathered-in pricing with with my old ISP to make the switch, so I insisted on getting in writing before I switched to prevent this exact situation. However, AT&T doesn't honor what their reps say, and each rep "only speaks for themselves". They say they can't do anything at all.

 

Has this happened to anyone else? I have the transcripts of all of my chats, and intend to file another FCC complaint in regard to the Internet service pricing, but I want to just get an idea of whether it's a common occurrence or a one-time thing before I proceed with trying to contact their legal department.

 

(For reference, all of the aforemention pricing excludes taxes + phone installment payments, since those are variables beyond AT&T's control.)

ACE - Sage

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92K Messages

5 y ago

All I can say is never use Chat.  Most of the time they aren't US based, they lie, they don't know the offers for your zip code.  

For wireless, you can see other plans right in the My APP app or online in your account page.  

Home services are notoriously mis quoted.  The complaints are so bad it's making the news.

 

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