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CheatedInOH's profile

New Member

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2 Messages

Monday, June 26th, 2023 2:49 AM

Mislead by AT&T phone rep when accepting "free phone" promotion

In March, 2023 I responded to an ad offering a free phone in exchange for staying with AT&T for 3 years and trading in an old phone. Deal was phone would be billed in 36 monthly increments, with a credit matching the billed amount. Result would be, after 36 months, phone would be free. What the rep DIDN'T mention was a requirement to upgrade to an Unlimited Plan. In fact, I specifically asked if I could retain my plan and the answer was "yes". I sent the old phone as instructed and it was acknowledged as received. Why not upgrade you ask? Because the Unlimited plan is about $70+ more than my existing plan. $70 x 36 months is over $2500 - what a deal for a "free" phone. 

Fast forward to May 2023 and I get a bill for over $229 (my old bill as $165). Apparently, they changed my plan (without permission or notification) to an Unlimited AND removed the monthly phone price credit. After 2 hours and 7 reps (and getting disconnected 3 times), I finally got to the Retention dept (or whatever it's called). The rep there supposedly checked the records and offered to restore my old account terms and a credit for the over billing. The credit arrived, but now in June, I have a bill for $289!!! This means that A) the initial sales rep lied and B) Retention rep lied about making things right, but also admitted that the sales rep was wrong, and credited my account for the previous two bills' overages. That is an admission of guilt. It's also recorded, unless of course, the recording mysteriously disappears.

Today, June 25, I spent 4 hrs 39 minutes, most of it on hold, waiting for a supervisor, who ultimately told me "tough luck, you should have read the terms and conditions more closely". Really? Your sales rep outright lied, misrepresenting the requirements, and you hide behind small print? And you change my plan with no notice or permission? And you are charging me full price for the phone on top of it? And the previous rep admitted the mistake and promised to restore my previous plan terms?

Time for a letter to the BBB, FCC, and state Atty General.

ACE - Expert

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24.2K Messages

10 months ago

The BBB and/or the FCC would be the better option because you've agreed to Binding Arbitration when you signed up. The BBB/FCC complaint will be forwarded to AT&T Corporate who will have someone from the Office of the President contact you and you can discuss the issue with them.

The "ad" could have been from an independent retailer and if so, some are notorious for not explaining clearly and completely the terms. They just make the sale (which they get credit for) and pass your information on to AT&T. That being said, the TOS conditions are clearly detailed on the AT&T website and it's always a good idea to check the official AT&T site before agreeing to anything.

ACE - Sage

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117.1K Messages

10 months ago

In March, 2023 I responded to an ad

Ad?  Where was the ad?  How delivered?

All of the phone promotions from all of the service providers have required an unlimited data plan for several years. I don't know how anyone could miss that particular requirement. And if you upgrade online you get messages telling you that your phone will not get bill credits unless you upgrade your plan to a qualified unlimited plan.

Everything on the sales page indicates an unlimited plan is required.

And if you don't upgrade at the time of purchase you get emails telling you that you have to upgrade to an unlimited plan within 30 days or you lose the promotion.

New Member

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2 Messages

10 months ago

The "ad" was on TV. If you recall, several carriers were competing by offering free phones. As I've had issues with conducting business through the website or in an ATT store, I decided to call and have a rep explain the terms, and more importantly, answer my questions (based on my suspicions). As I noted above, I specifically asked if I could retain my then existing plan and the answer was "yes". If you're saying that we can't trust any of the CS or Sales reps, then why do business with a dishonest company that plays "gotcha" with fine print?

ACE - Expert

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27.7K Messages

10 months ago

Was this for a Samsung? HERE is an ad that ran earlier this year.  Note that there is wording about the required plan ($75+).

ACE - Expert

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24.2K Messages

10 months ago

If you called a Retail Store there's no guarantee what you're going to be told just to make a sale. If you called AT&T proper that's a different matter. That being said, all terms and conditions are detailed on AT&T's website. As far as a "gotcha" ALL providers have the small print that the customer is expected to read and understand. It's their way to cover their backsides and meets the government's requirements for full disclosure.

File a BBB complaint as that will go to AT&T Corporate and someone from the Office of the President will contact you and you can discuss it with them.

ACE - Sage

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117.1K Messages

10 months ago

Or this ad?

https://youtu.be/nVvQ2JornBE

All these deals are well published online. The specific requirements are outlined in print.

1 Message

8 months ago

Does anyone have a copy of or know where I can find the "fine print" for the promotion that ran during this time frame? When I traded in my phone, I DID read the "fine print", but when we didn't receive our credit, we were told that we hadn't signed up for the unlimited plan so we switched our plan; the representative said all was fine and we should start receiving our credit as of the next month. Still no credit, now we are being told that the phone's trade in value needs to be $35 or more and that my trade in was only worth $5. The $35 trade in value IS on the current promotion but I'm 99% certain it was NOT in the promotion details during the March 2023 promotion. The phone I traded in was in good condition with the exception of the battery as it wasn’t holding a charge which was my reason for trading it in.

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