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tseyf000's profile

6 Messages

Friday, March 1st, 2024 8:29 PM

Scammed by In-Home Expert. What to do next?

I am hoping to get some help resolving a bill that is way higher than promised by the in-home expert. She is not returning my calls or texts, and I have not been able to get a hold of her manager either. AT&T Support says they cannot help with the issue, as they cannot honor offers made by in-home experts. I am located in northern Nevada, if that helps.

Back in December 2023, I signed up to get AT&T fiber internet installed at my house. During the installation, an in-home expert showed up to sell us bundled TV or Wireless deals to go with our internet. We already had a plan for where we were taking our mobile service, but I told her if she could match that deal or get close to it then we would consider also switching our phones to AT&T.

She said that although she could not match our target price ($25 per line unlimited through Visible) she could get us a discounted price because my wife was a former teacher. I told her that my wife's teaching accreditation had lapsed, but the in-home expert said it would not be an issue as long as we had documentation that she held a teaching license at some point.

Here is the summary of the deal she offered:

  • Trade in both our existing Pixel phones to get two new Pixel 8 Pros for free (or rather, have them credited over 3 years)
  • $20/month discount to our Internet bill for bundling
  • $200 Visa gift card per line
  • Two lines unlimited data for $77.50 TOTAL. This is after applying the $20/month discount to internet, so really $97.50 total.

She wrote this down on a piece of notbook paper and left it with me:

We agreed to the Wireless service at that price and she uploaded copies of my wife's teaching license to start the process of getting the discount. She also returned the next day to drop off our new Pixel phones. A few days later, I saw on the AT&T account page that our bill was going to be much higher than the quoted $97.50 for two lines. The bill breakdown was:

(Activation fees and phone installments were waived)

 $75.00 for Unlimited Premium with AutoPay:

-$18.75 for teacher appreciation discount

Additional $6.70 for taxes and fees

x2 lines makes that nearly $130/month

...which is $50 more per month than we were promised. In addition, I started getting emails that the teacher documentation was rejected because the teacher certification was expired. When our in-home expert came to pick up our phones for trade-in, I verbally confirmed with her that the price she quoted was for BOTH LINES and, the teacher's discount would go through, and our bill should be a total of $77.50 for two lines. She said yes to all of the above and that some of the discounts just hadn't been applied yet, but they would be the time we received our bill. She would also resubmit the teacher discount so it would still apply.

Well, we received our bill and none of the above was resolved. Furthermore, we got an email saying that the teacher discount had been revoked because of an expired license, so our next bill is looking to be another $40 higher to about $170/month. 

I have tried calling and texting the in-home expert but she is screening my calls and not returning any of my texts. I called support and got the number for her manager, who is not answering my calls or returning any of my messages. I am at a loss for what to do - it's looking like we got completely scammed by the in-home expert team who saddled us with $1000 phones that we have to pay off by staying customers for three years. This is despicable, dishonest behavior and we're warning all of our neighbors not to switch to AT&T.

Is there anything else we can do to get the in-home expert to honor the offer they gave us?

Accepted Solution

6 Messages

1 month ago

One last update to give some advice to anyone having the same issue.

I filed both the FCC and BBB complaints - the FCC one got the faster response by far and does go to the same department, so I suggest doing only the FCC one. My category was "Billing" and I explained what had happened from my original post.

Despite what the responses say in this thread, the AT&T rep confirmed the following:

  • My first bill was way too high
  • The in-home expert signed me up for the wrong service that never could have met the quoted price
  • They should not have used the signature teacher program to justify the price as that would get kicked back no matter what 
  • Perhaps most importantly, they would honor the quoted price. He is doing this by changing my plan to a less expensive unlimited plan and then adding a monthly credit to my account to bring the price down to the quoted amount from the in-home expert.

So, if you get bait and switched by an in-home expert, skip these forums and go straight to the FCC complaint. YMMV but I have learned that the executive office at AT&T has the ability to reimburse previous bills and apply custom credits and discounts to honor the prices advertised by their sales reps. Oh, and don't trust in-home experts!

ACE - Sage

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116.9K Messages

1 month ago

Well I didn't have to read any further than former teacher.

AT&T has a 25% discount which is offered too military, veteran, nurses, doctors, physicians assistance, First responders like fire and police, and teachers.

In order to qualify every single one of those must:

1.  Be the account owner with the exception of active duty military

2.  Have proof of both licensing and employment.

    As a former teacher your wife did not qualify. If her teaching licenses also lapsed she really did not qualify.

If you're angry enough, pay off your phones, get them unlocked, and go back to visible.  

ACE - Sage

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116.9K Messages

1 month ago

https://www.att.com/verification/signaturehub/

AT&T's information is all published online and available for anyone to read. That includes their current prices, all of their promotional details on phone offers,  their internet prices.  

And does include how their signature discount program works. What plans qualify, and what the eligibility requirements are

6 Messages

1 month ago

@formerlyknownas thank you for the details on the signature program. I have read them many times over and am aware of what they say.

You're ignoring the rest of the issues above:

1. Even with the teacher discount, our monthly price is higher than she quoted by $50/month. 

2. The in-home expert said she could get our price to $97.50 using the teacher discount. She did not quote the entire verbiage of the signature program, she did not say "you will qualify IF...", she said we would qualify for it now, even with an expired license.

Am I supposed to just be fine with sales representatives lying outright to customers? Was I supposed to challenge the in-home expert saying that "no that's not your policy, you can't offer me that because it says here on this website"? She said when she quoted me that she was pulling strings in the offer specifically to take our business from their competitor in the area. If she is not able to do that, then she should not be offering them in the first place.

ACE - Sage

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116.9K Messages

1 month ago

Actually with the teachers discount she would have been spot on.

The starter plan ($60 each) less  25% discount, with autopay and paperless billing discount which is stackable would have been $90 for both lines.

The $200 a month credit which is $5.56 would have offset any taxes or fees.

And the credits on your phones kick in about 90 days after your purchase which should be in March.

So $97 was possible.

Unfortunately, you do not qualify for the teacher's discount.

So $120 Plus or minus a little depending on how much of that $5.56 a month credit ($200 each line total) offsets your taxes and fees.  

ACE - Sage

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116.9K Messages

1 month ago

By the way the $20 bundle discount comes off your internet price not your wireless. That offer is also published online.

So your internet cost is $35 with the $20 credit.

At least it will be $35 unless you cancel your wireless. Then it will be 55

Community Support

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231.2K Messages

1 month ago

Hey there @tseyf000,

 

This is definitely not the experience we wanted you to have, lets help and point you to the right direction.

 

The Community Forums are a public support option where other users, and AT&T, will try and assist with high level support needs. This means we won’t be able to look into account specific concerns. To get the help you need for your unique issue, please review our Contact us : https://www.att.com/support/contact-us/, and choose the best option to reach out to us. You can call, chat, or reach out via social media, and we can review your specific issue and provide you support. If you feel your issue isn’t account specific, and can be answered generally, please let us know, and we’ll be happy to help.

 

Thank you for visiting the AT&T Community Forums.

 

Ciara, Community Forums Specialist.

6 Messages

1 month ago

@formerlyknownas she didn't quote us on a particular service type. She signed us up for unlimited premium at the same time she quoted the $77.50 for "unlimited." 

The $200 a month credit? You mean the rewards visa card? That's not a "reward" if it's literally all going towards our phone bill. They're not advertised as rebates on taxes and fees; it's just advertised as cash back.

I did know the $20 going towards the Internet bill and not the Wireless bill, that's why I was looking to bring the phone bill down to $97.50.

@ATTHelp I have already called customer support - their response was that they could not honor any offers made by in-home experts and I should contact the expert directly. Is there something different I should have asked for in the support call?

(edited)

Former Employee

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2.6K Messages

1 month ago

They will honor what is published online. Period. Not some random piece of notebook paper and what someone may or may not have verbally told you. 

6 Messages

1 month ago

Gotcha, so sounds like in-home experts are just able to lie about anything they want to get us on contract, and we're all OK with that. Shame on the consumers for believing anything they say. We should have known that none of it was true and to only believe the website. What a scummy company - I can't believe the amount of victim blaming in the responses.

(edited)

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