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Tutor

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6 Messages

Sat, Jul 19, 2014 4:02 PM

Disappointed Loyal Customer

First of all, I'm not angry, and this post shouldn't be read in that way.  

 

When changing my plan a few months back, I looked at the new unlimited talk/text plans offered on the website, and after seeing that my bill would only increase from about $130 a month to about $160 a month (before taxes & fees), I decided to call customer service and change.  I was assured by the representative (I asked him to clarify several times) that my I would be billed around $160 a month. Since that time, my bills have been $263.79, $262.02, $346.19, & $273.28.  I understand the current bill, and that I have an extra $35 per month for the iPhone 5s. I have, in the past, had mostly good experiences with AT&T Wireless, and the customer service provided.  In this instance, I feel that in the push to get people on these new plans, some deceptive practices were used.  I don't want to give my money to a company that tricks people into obligation.  My bill, based on what I was lead to believe, by what is clearly stated on your website, and by what your customer service employee assured me, my bill should be somewhere in the $205 range before taxes and fees.  I have already cancelled 2 of the lines, effective 08/14/2014, and unless $40 is adjusted from my monthly bill ($15 for the main line that I wasn’t told about, and is not clearly explained in any literature previous to being billed, and $25 for the secondary line that I also wasn’t told about, and is not clearly explained in any literature previous to being billed), going forward, then I will cancel all other lines and give my money to someone else. 

 

This isn't a threat of cancellation.  I understand that the requested adjustment is probably not going to happen.  I just want to illustrate and emphasize how incredibly disappointed and frustrated I am by this.  As a customer of such a large company, it's the only recourse I have, when I feel like I've been wronged in such an apparently egregious way.

 

Also, I’m not going to call back into customer service again, and have them read my bill to me, exactly as it is stated online, like that is somehow an explanation of the bill.  I can read.  Also, when I call, I’m essentially getting “We aren’t going to do anything for you”, and no explanation as to why the expectations of what my bill will be are not clearly explained anywhere, or any offer of real assistance, or any attempt to right a perceived wrong.  All I get is an attempt to placate, and patronizing responses.

 

I'm not interested in arguing these statements, but I would be happy to discuss the matter with any customer service supervisor, or higher authority, by email.

Responses

lizdance40

ACE - Sage

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78.1K Messages

6 years ago

I'm sorry you feel you were mislead. Perhaps Store employees should spend more time on what the actual bill will be rather than just cranking out the new gadgets and figuring the customer knows how it works (which you clearly didn't)

I am a recent Verizon Convert. I left because I didn't feel I should pay more for my phone line, if I paid for my phone out-right. Other cell carriers offer a lower line fee (AT&T is one of them).

I understand that my service is offered at a per line charge, and a charge for our pool of data. I understand that I must pay for the phones, one way or another, they are NOT FREE.

I choose to purchase most of my devices upfront, including "bringing my own phone" for one line. I did opt to finance 2 iPhones for my sons, knowing it would add $28 for each phone to my monthly bill.

I think it is worth letting cell carriers know that honest, forewarned pricing keeps customers happy - good for you. I hope the message gets through.
I also feel customers have an obligation to ask better questions, read before they sign and stop expecting FREE stuff. The good stuff is never free.

🐾 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.

Tutor

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6 Messages

6 years ago

I don't expect anything free, and gladly pay for the phone.  The pricing of the equipment is clearly explained.  In switching from my old rate plan, I spent time online looking at new plans, but chose to call in to customer service to complete the change.  Nowhere online did it clearly state anything about the main line having an extra access fee of $15, and nowhere online did it clearly mention that extra lines could be subject to anything higher than $15 for that particular plan.  Coming from the old rate plan, where all lines were a base $10 extra per line, I had no reason to believe that it would be any different.  To ensure that I understood it, I called in to customer service.  It was explained to me in that same way.

 

I've been happy with AT&T for a long time, and have given them a lot of money.  Asking for an adjustment doesn't work.  You call in, talk to an entry level employee with a small set of guidelines that isn't allowed to do anything for you.  If you ask for a supervisor, more than likely you'll just get a more senior representative that backs up what the original says.  After that, you might get a supervisor, but they will typically tell you that there's nothing they can do.  You can spend, hours, days, weeks, etc, working on it and, maybe you get some satifactory answer in the end, maybe you don't, but it's that kind of disregard for customers' time that leaves us with only one recourse (canellation)  to properly convey our frustration with the company.

 

Other companies might have similar practices and policies, but what other option do I have?  Accept being "mistreated" by the current company, or stop giving them my money, and start giving to a company that has yet to.

 

In the end, I do believe AT&T is being deceptive in trying to get customers on this new style of rate plan either by purposefully hiding useful information, or by simply not being aware that it isn't easy to find.  The problem should be fixed, and all customers affected by it should be credited the difference, either retroactively, or at least going forward.

lizdance40

ACE - Sage

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78.1K Messages

6 years ago

If you looked online, you should have seen this calculator, which helps you add up the cost of the plan if you use the new family plan with pooled data?

http://www.att.com/shop/wireless/data-plans.html?tab=2&&WT.srch=1&wtPaidSearchTerm=at+t+wireless#fbid=Q1iDEgj1j4K

The only way you pay more than $15 per line is if your phone is subsidized on a 2 year plan, or you have a smaller than 10 GB data pool.

I must say this is a switch. Usually the complaint is about the cost of the phones.

I assume you understand you paid taxes and accessories as well as a fee to add lines and possibly a fee for any upgrading of phones - all upfront?

🐾 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.

Tutor

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6 Messages

6 years ago

Yes.  I understand that phones cost money.  I understand that the AT&T Next plan is an installment payment plan, added to your phone bill, and that there is typically an upgrade or activation fee of either $18 or $36 dollars.  Those things are clearly stated throughout the online purchasing process.

 

As far as the new plan goes, I used the "calculator" that they provide online when you select "Change My Rate Plan", to compare my current plan to new rate plans, at the time.  It is a simple side by side comparison, with the standard fees prominently displayed, and the standard small print annotated underneath that says:

 

"If you exceed your monthly data amount, overage packs will be applied based on your plan: $20 per 300MB for a 300MB plan, $20 per 500MB for a 1GB/$25 per month plan, $15 per 1GB for a 1GB/$45 per month plan, and $15 per 1GB for all other plans. Plan changes do not affect contract dates for devices on your plan.

† This amount reflects Mobile Share Value savings for eligible smartphones. Savings may be pro-rated. Go to att.com/mobilesharevalue for details."

 

So, to clarify what I believed to understand based on that information, I called customer service.  He assured me that the plan would be $160 + taxes and fees, per month, for the 10GB plan.  No other pricing was discussed, even after repeated questions.

 

I've made a few changes, and upgrades to my account since then, but I'm being billed $100 for the main line + $15 for the "access" on that line, and one of the 4 additional lines is being billed at $40, instead of $15 that I was told by the customer service agent, and the website.

 

Nowhere on the website, does it CLEARLY say (I am aware that it is available through some effort, but should be clearly written and explained) that you would pay any more than $100 + $15 add'l lines, and the employee at 611 just plain left out that information.

MicCheck

ACE - Expert

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9.1K Messages

6 years ago


@ZachWhite78 wrote:

Yes.  I understand that phones cost money.  I understand that the AT&T Next plan is an installment payment plan, added to your phone bill, and that there is typically an upgrade or activation fee of either $18 or $36 dollars.  Those things are clearly stated throughout the online purchasing process.

 

As far as the new plan goes, I used the "calculator" that they provide online when you select "Change My Rate Plan", to compare my current plan to new rate plans, at the time.  It is a simple side by side comparison, with the standard fees prominently displayed, and the standard small print annotated underneath that says:

 

"If you exceed your monthly data amount, overage packs will be applied based on your plan: $20 per 300MB for a 300MB plan, $20 per 500MB for a 1GB/$25 per month plan, $15 per 1GB for a 1GB/$45 per month plan, and $15 per 1GB for all other plans. Plan changes do not affect contract dates for devices on your plan.

† This amount reflects Mobile Share Value savings for eligible smartphones. Savings may be pro-rated. Go to att.com/mobilesharevalue for details."

 

So, to clarify what I believed to understand based on that information, I called customer service.  He assured me that the plan would be $160 + taxes and fees, per month, for the 10GB plan.  No other pricing was discussed, even after repeated questions.

 

I've made a few changes, and upgrades to my account since then, but I'm being billed $100 for the main line + $15 for the "access" on that line, and one of the 4 additional lines is being billed at $40, instead of $15 that I was told by the customer service agent, and the website.

 

Nowhere on the website, does it CLEARLY say (I am aware that it is available through some effort, but should be clearly written and explained) that you would pay any more than $100 + $15 add'l lines, and the employee at 611 just plain left out that information.


I would recommend you send a private message to AT&T Customer Care using the link below.

https://forums.att.com/t5/notes/privatenotespage/tab/compose/note-to-user-id/192773

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.

Tutor

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6 Messages

6 years ago

I'll try that link.  However, I've contacted customer service twice about this issue already.  As I stated above, they essentially read my bill to me, and tell me there's nothing they will do for me.

lizdance40

ACE - Sage

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78.1K Messages

6 years ago

I am beginning to understand ... Both your frustration and theirs...

I will try again.
You have two types of phones, the old basic phones with no need for data plans and newer smart phones with data plan required to function. Your old plan did not include these variables. The new plans are priced ala carte so that people have the option to choose as little or as much as they need.

You phone bill has 3 parts
1. Charges per line. ( $15, $25, $40 per month)
2. Data pool. ( for a 10 GB pool of data it is $100 per month)
3. Monthly payment plan for phone purchases. ( cost $24 - $35 per month, per phone being financed)

Why the difference in 1 ?
The difference is how you pay for the phone and or the data pool. If a phone is under the Next program, it is a phone you have purchased and paid for in full, or are paying in monthly installments on your current bill. A subsidized phone, NOT under the edge plan, has no monthly installment and was either cheap or free when acquired and must complete a 2 year contract.
Phones under the Edge plan share data pool. Pools over 10 Gb are $15 per line.
****YOU must have one phone on an old 2 year plan, therefore a $40 line charge. When is the 2 year term completed?

As you said, you understand all the parts, but your math is faulty. You have to add all three variables to get your total bill, you aren't doing that.
I think the data portion (the $100 that shows on the primary line) is the missing piece in your calculations which is why the bill is $100 more than you expected.

🐾 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.

Tutor

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6 Messages

6 years ago

Liz, you're doing the exact same thing customer service does.  I understand what is happening NOW.  I have the bill in front of me, and can read it.  I have no confusion as to WHAT the charges are for. It is clearly stated ON THE BILL.

 

My issue is with the tactic used to get people into the new plan.  My issue is that nowhere BEFORE SWITCHING does it tell you anything about varied costs of lines.

 

TO CLARIFY:  My issue is NOT a current misunderstanding of what I'm being charged for.  My issue is that when switching, it is not made clear as to ALL of the charges you MAY incur.  They DO NOT explain ANYTHING about some lines may be more if not done in a certain way.

 

The solution would be easy. Instead of listing the lines as $15, they should be listed as $15/$40,which will prompt the customer to inquire.  Instead, they want to give only the lowest price only, and not mention anything else unless specifically asked, which you wouldn't know to do.  That, to me, is a deceptive practice, and should be changed and customers that were affected by it should be compensated or credited the difference.  

 

I understand it won't happen, but it should.

 

I understand that other companies may operate in a similar fashion, but let me put it this way:  If you're dating someone that lies to you a lot, you leave that person, and try to find happiness somewhere else.  You know that other people may also lie, but they haven't yet, so you'd rather give them a shot, instead of the person you were with that proved to be a liar.  You don't stay in a bad relationship just because other people MIGHT do the same thing.

 

So, I'm not going to stay with a company that has, in my opinion, lied to get my money.  Not just a little bit, but $130 per month. I can't get my old rate plan back, and the newer ones are designed to cost more to encourage getting a bigger data plan.  I'll take my chances elsewhere.  I'll give my money to another company.

 

Thanks though.

lizdance40

ACE - Sage

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78.1K Messages

6 years ago

Gotcha.
If you Travel, consider Verizon. But be aware they charge more.
I will have to go back to them someday. Currently
I am waiting for the "Cell Wars" to stabilize.
My hope is Verizon will match AT&T prices. They are closer, but not there yet.

🐾 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.

Tutor

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6 Messages

6 years ago

Well, I still have 2 years on one contract, soooooooo...I'll be here a while.

lizdance40

ACE - Sage

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78.1K Messages

6 years ago

"Patience you must have...."

(Yoda)😆

🐾 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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