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Saturday, June 10th, 2023 12:10 AM

PLS HELP! AT&T CS Rep Canceled My Account when asking about services for people with disabilities.

I have a problem that I have never encountered, nor expected from AT&T, after being a loyal customer of over 15 years. A little over a year ago, I was diagnosed with severe ADHD and written a prescription that was nothing short of being a total life changing experience. A few months later, I met the first woman I wanted to marry, after 37 years of searching for someone that was patient and compassionate enough to live with someone with a severe mental disorder. There was a good reason for that, she is diagnosed with standard ADD. We speak each others language in a way no fully healthy person could ever understand. 

About 2 months after we got married, we started having trouble finding our medications. We called between 8-12 pharmacies a month just to locate places that had them in stock. Then .. there were none that had them in stock. That same week, there was a televised announcement of a global shortage of the prescriptions we needed just to function normally. They are simulants, which you are not supposed to stop taking suddenly. We didn't have a choice and we both lost our jobs because we could not function without our prescriptions. After 7 weeks of riding this wave, the supply chain finally caught up to the demands and we were back on our feet again, literally. 

Of course, we had a pile of bills and no jobs to pay them with. So, my wife found a job immediately. It's not very much pay, but it feeds us. I'm still seeking a job, but that's very difficult to do without a phone. AT&T cut our service after 2 months of non-payment, but then sent me several emails offering to deduct up to 50% or $250 from the bill to help get our service re-started.

The bill was $634.01 when I finally had some funding to pay it. I didn't have $634.01. I only have $400 that I can spare for this bill. So, I called the number in the email to see about this $250 bill reduction offer and the person that answered the phone confirmed that it was a legit offer from them and that he would apply the credit to our account before the call ended.

So, while he was supposedly doing this, I proceeded to explain that I didn't understand why we were being required to pay for 3 months of service when our phones had been turned off for 37 days. He said it was a policy to charge you for the month that you missed, even if the service wasn't turned on. That it was part of the contract. I then informed him of the fact that I never signed a contract for a plan. I was grandfathered into the old iPhone unlimited plan for a decade and then switched to a no-contract plan, and then financed two phones separately from the plan. I never signed anything saying I was liable for services that I never received. He went on to repeat himself, as if I didn't say anything at all. 

I didn't really feel like arguing over it and just decided to ask if AT&T had any special provisions for customers with mental disorders or disabilities, that are struggling to pay their bills. He literally started laughing at me. He then asked me what disability I "SUPPOSEDLY" had. He even mocked me and acted as if I was just looking for a handout. I was furious, but I didn't want to fight with this ignorant, uninformed, bigot that AT&T thought would be a good fit as a CS agent. So, I asked him again why I was being charged for 37 days that I had no service on either line. He laughed again and said he already explained that it their policy and that I KNEW THAT ALREADY. This was the most arrogant, ignorant, and just plain evil person I've ever dealt with regarding mine or my wife's disabilities. 

I asked him what he was laughing at and he just ignored me. He said he was going to apply my $250 credit but that there was nothing he or anyone else could do about the 37 days because I had agreed to pay it in my contract. Except that, I never signed a contract. I didn't have a "plan". I didn't get a free phone in exchange for a contract. I had a pay as you go plan with two phones financed at full price. So, I still did not feel as though I should be required to pay for services that I never received. That seemed pretty unethical to me, even if I would have been on a contract. He just kept repeating the same lines over and over and I finally just told him to stop repeating himself, that I wasn't 6 years old, and that I didn't appreciate his disdain toward mentally disabled people. HE LAUGHED AGAIN. I told him to hurry up and apply the $250 credit because I was done talking to him. 

I was upset, I was getting loud, and throwing a few expletive words around while explaining that I couldn't afford to pay $384 right at this moment and he said "That's fine, we'll just cancel your account and you will never have service with us again, but you will still owe us for the 3 months and the remaining balance on our phones." I'm not going to lie, I told him he was a bully and where he should go shove it. He then proceeded to tell me that I had offended him and he was no longer obligated to help me and then hung up on me. 

He never applied the $250 credit like he said he would and never informed me that I had to pay for it that day, or he would push it forward to be canceled. I put $50 extra dollars in my bank account and called them back 2 days later (today) and they informed me that he put in a request to permanently cancel my plan and phone number. The lady I spoke to today was very polite and professional but apologized about 30 times because the account had been forwarded from him, to collections and that she simply didn't have the physical option to apply the credit I needed to pay my bill. She did ask for time stamps and assured me she would seek disciplinary action against the employee that caused all of this... but that doesn't really help me. 

I don't want a handout, or anything for free. My wife and I are good people and we want to make good on our account so we can enjoy the phones that are almost paid off and now locked because of a series of events that we had zero control over. I just don't know what to do. We can't afford to pay the full $634.01, the $250 credit was the only way we could have afforded it, since they refused to remove the charges for the 37 days of service that they never provided us. 

I just can't believe that corporations as successful as AT&T don't have accommodations, or at the very least, train their CS reps in how to deal with people with mental disorders and disabilities. If there's anyone that can help us, I still have the funds, but I need that $250 credit that they offered us, and was still valid when I was speaking to that bigot.

Please Help! 

ACE - Sage


116K Messages

9 months ago

There's no point in posting all that information.  It's not relevant.  There is no business or service provider that provides any discount or relief for any disability.

It does not matter if you were in an iron lung from polio from infancy,  if you enter into an agreement to pay for a service bill, you either pay or service is suspended and then canceled.  Doesn't matter why.  

  I'm sure you consider the person's response very inconsiderate, but I'm also sure that that person has heard every excuse in the book as to why they should not have to pay their full bill and they are tired of it.

AT&T like most phone service providers has service for those who are hearing impaired, (TTY).   And there are government provisions for those who qualify for government assistance which credit $30 a month toward cellular or home internet service.  Being temporarily unemployed does not qualify you for government assistance. Having a disability does not qualify you for any special prices on service or devices.  

It does not matter what your disability is, you entered into an agreement to pay a business for service and you were unable to meet those charges. The only way to get your service restored is to pay everything owed before cancelation.

If you're looking for assistance, you're looking in the wrong direction. Depending on the degree of your ADHD, or neuro- atypical  disability, it may have been illegal for your employer to terminate you. But that's another avenue for you to pursue that we can't help you with here.

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