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3 Messages

Tuesday, November 21st, 2023 9:02 PM

Very disappointed in AT&T

I am a woman in her late 60’s who has been a customer of AT&T for many, many years, which includes purchasing Iphone and Samsung cell phones for both me and my daughter.  I have also purchased at least 2 or 3 personal Ipads for myself and I have your internet service, and have had Direct TV in the past.  Overall, I have had a good experience with AT&T, and most times, I have had no major complaints.  However, when I recently found out that I have been charged for a data line service for my Ipad for over 6 years that was not needed, it made my head spin, and I was very upset.  Noting that I am a hard working woman, who just recently retired, but will need to go back to work soon, as I need the income in these trying times, this really hurt my heart. 

 

To try to summarize this issue, I worked in Marietta, Georgia from 2015 through 2020.    In May of 2017, I went to the AT&T store on Barrett Parkway, to buy another phone, and they had a promotion that if you buy a phone, you can get an Ipad 4th or 5th Generation for $99.   So I brought a Samsung phone, and I got the Ipad for $99.   However, the salesperson told me that I needed to buy a data line in order for me to be able to use my Ipad.   So, fast forwarding to last week, when my daughter was considering buying the new Iphone 15, I gave her access to my account, so she could look at the offers available by AT&T.  Once she looked into my account, she asked me why I had been paying for a data line for the Ipad, when 1) that Ipad was purchased in 2017 and paid off in 2019, even though it is still on my account, and 2), I have been paying for that line for over 6 years, and I have never used that Ipad as a phone, which was confirmed by “Mo and Bryan”, who I recently spoke with them when I called and asked why I was being charged for this service. After a 45 minute conversation, they confirmed everything that I said and were both very nice and understood my frustration, but could only offer me a $100 credit to my account.  I was hoping that they would at least credit me half of my monies back, but that didn't happen.  So, I was told that I should go into a AT&T store, and file a formal complaint, which I did today, only to be told that there was nothing that they could do now.  More runaround!!!

 

So for the past 70+ months, I have been paying an extra $20+ a month for a data line that I never needed or used, which totaled over $1500.  I was told that the salesperson was probably just working on his commission and, that I didn’t need a data line since f I only used my Ipad with my AT&T Wi-Fi service.  I was also advised that in the future, I should never go into a store to buy a phone, because some of the sales people are not always “truthful”, especially if you are a novice who does not know a lot about how these new high tech devices work.  What a terrible way for me to find this out, a senior female, who just wanted to buy a phone and Ipad, and has been a loyal customer for all these years.  

 

My daughter originally called AT&T and asked why this was allowed to be a part of my bill for all these years, and the person she talked to told her “it’s the responsibility of the customer to know what she is paying for, so it’s not our fault”.  WOW!!!

 

So, I am really considering leaving AT&T, because I feel that the $100 credit that they gave me was just a way to get me off of the phone.  My daughter is now helping me look at other options, but I wanted to at least let others know what I experienced, and for other “people of a particular age” to have a young or more tech savvy relative or person review your plan, so that you don’t end up out of a lot of money, for nothing.

 

Thanks for letting me vent.

Accepted Solution

ACE - Expert

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31.8K Messages

3 months ago

Agent miscommunicating, or flat out misleading you at time of sale is the fault of the sales agent.

Reviewing receipt and first bill, and other further research or questions, would have been suggested as that is your personal financial responsibility no matter what age you are.

The problem is like most companies, any billing concerns have to be brought to their attention in a reasonable time which is typically 60-90 days.

Now that you are about at 6 years, all this shows is you have been in essence telling AT&T your bill is correct and accepted over that time, so they weren't even obligated to offer you the $100 credit so that was just a courtesy.

Glad your daughter caught it as sounds like she is a bit more savvy when it comes to these devices and services. If she is not opposed, I would suggest seeking her input on any future electronic purchases or changes. And no matter what a sales agent 'promises' you, always verify.

ACE - Scholar

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941 Messages

3 months ago

I'm assuming that the line showed up on the bill during this time.  

The reason that ATT was able to sell the iPad at that low price was to make it up with the service plan.  Like when someone buys an iPhone for $5/month for 36 months with qualifying service.

I think that ATT normally only goes back 3 months for adjustments.

This is a reminder for everyone to check their bills occasionally and verify that everything looks kosher.  Make sure that there isn't unwanted insurance on it.  Or Next (if unwanted).  Or someone fraudulently bought a phone on your account. 

ACE - Expert

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27.5K Messages

3 months ago

When you don’t check your bill & subsequently pay that bill, AT&T assumes that the bill is correct…after all, you didn’t bring it to their attention nor dispute the bill for 6 years.

As one senior to another, you are responsible to keep an eye on your bills & your business.  If you don’t do it who will?

ACE - Sage

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116K Messages

3 months ago

Another 60 something here...

Service providers do not sell Wi-Fi only tablets. And it's up to you to cancel the service on the tablet if you don't want to pay for it

Or buy a Wi-Fi only tablet from a store that will sell you a Wi-Fi only tablet. 

Apple will, so will Best buy.

But you cannot get a Wi-Fi only tablet from AT&T or Verizon or T-Mobile, or any other service provider. Their business is not iPads or iPhones, or Android tablets or phones. Their business is cellular service.

And as pointed out it's up to you to read your bill on a regular basis to make sure it's correct..  You have one cellular bill. Only you know what should and should not be on it. AT&T only knows that they have provided service and you haven't called them to say differently 

ACE - Expert

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23.8K Messages

3 months ago

I agree with @kevink . It's the customer's responsibility to check their accounts on at least a monthly basis to catch any charges that are suspicious or that don't belong there. That includes reviewing your accounts (cable, cellular, etc) to see what exactly you are paying for. A couple of months may be excusable but not 6 years. At the time of purchase, the receipt or summary should indicate what one is paying for so a close review at that time is very important. AT&T is in the business of selling cellular devices, so if you purchase a watch or iPad they are going to sell you a cellular capable one and add the necessary line for the cellular connection. You can always cancel the line but then you may lose the deal or promo. Or better yet, don't purchase those types of devices from a carrier and purchase exactly what you want directly from the mfr.

The fact that AT&T is offering you piddly credit is actually very nice of them them considering this is a 6-year old problem. That sounds harsh I know but that's the reality of it.

As far as going into a store, there are two types of AT&T Stores. Authorized AT&T Retail Stores (which are the same as the AT&T kiosks you see in Target, Costco, etc) and AT&T Corporate Stores. They both look exactly the same only the Retail Stores are not owned and operated by AT&T nor are they staffed with AT&T employees. They sell AT&T  goods and services on a commission and some will do and say anything (including not being totally upfront with the customer) just to make a sale.

The bottom line is to ALWAYS carefully read the receipt or summary of the sale before you leave the store and check your accounts on a monthly basis. This is especially true if you have AutoPay setup. Ideally you should also check your account online and review the detailed billing.

3 Messages

3 months ago

Thanks for all the input, but if you don’t know that you don’t need a data line to use your iPad, and you were told by a AT&T representative that you needed one, how would I know he was not being truthful? 

ACE - Expert

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23.8K Messages

3 months ago

If you did business with an AT&T Retail Store, it's not uncommon for them to mislead a customer just to make a sale, which is wrong.

However, as a consumer, it is your responsibility to check your accounts and billing for accuracy and to question anything that doesn't look correct regardless of what the store employee told you or didn't tell you. My guess is that the receipt they gave you listed the charges or the summary that should have been sent to you by AT&T listed the charges. If you were unclear of what your billing listed, then you could've called AT&T and asked for an explanation or gone back to the store and have it explained. But waiting 6 years to discover the issue is on you. I'm not a big fan of AT&T but the fact that they offered you a $100 credit was more than generous.

ACE - Sage

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116K Messages

3 months ago

Thanks for all the input, but if you don’t know that you don’t need a data line to use your iPad, and you were told by a AT&T representative that you needed one, how would I know he was not being truthful? 

When speaking to an AT&T representative, or a representative of Verizon, or T-Mobile, or any other service provider they are being truthful

They do not sell Wi-Fi only devices. And if you purchase a device from a cellular provider you/they are required to add cellular service.

And as I wrote previously if you want a Wi-Fi only device, go to Best buy and pay full price.   Best buy is not a cellular service provider.  They have both Wi-Fi and cellular devices, and are not required to add cellular service.

New Member

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93 Messages

3 months ago

“I have never used that Ipad as a phone”

That has nothing to do with it. If you ever used data on the iPad when you weren’t on WiFi, you used the plan.

But it doesn’t even matter. Even if you didn’t use it, you signed up for the plan. It’s your responsibility to cancel it, and to read your bills in a timely manner.

(edited)

ACE - Expert

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23.8K Messages

3 months ago

As we mentioned before, you purchased an iPad with cellular capabilities. AT&T is in the business of selling cellular devices. Another line is required to use the cellular capability of the iPad so that's why it was added. Period. If you didn't want that, then you should have carefully read your receipt to see what you just paid for and certainly checked your billing and account online.

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