Signed a 1-year contract and then AT&T raised price

Teacher

Signed a 1-year contract and then AT&T raised price

I was going to cancel my service in December last year, but when I called to cancel, AT&T offered U200 for a certain rate for 12 months in exchange for me signing a contract for one-year.  So I agreed to keep AT&T U-Verse for 1 year and pay that set price.

 

Subsequent to our agreement, AT&T raised the bill by ~$4 in February (yes, the notification was in the December bill but that bill was generated after I entered into the one-year contract).

 

I had an online chat with customer care and I was told that it is AT&T's policy to apply the rate increase even to customers who are under a contract.  I sent a private message this past weekend but I have yet to hear back.

 

It is absurd that AT&T thinks this is okay:

 

1) If I cancel the service before December this year, I have to pay a penalty.

2) Yet AT&T can raise the rate at any time without my consent.

3) If I don't like the rate increase, I can cancel the service but I still have to pay the penalty.

 

Is anyone else having this same issue (i.e., those who have to pay a penalty if they were to cancel within the contract period, similar to how cell phone contracts work)?  Please share your experience here.  Thanks.

Message 1 of 73 (43,326 Views)
Mentor

Re: Signed a 1-year contract and then AT&T raised price

[ Edited ]

The exact same thing happened to me. I thought about switching/canceling when my contract was up in December, but negotiated to get my total Uverse bill lower, including giving up HD TV. Then, the next bill, it was even higher than it was under my last year's contract because of the increase. ATT said that the "fine print" allowed them to raise the rates and that what I had negotiated were "discounts" which remained in place throughout the contract. However, my customer rep only talked about the total price without a breakdown in fees/discounts when I agreed to accept a new 1 year contract. I think it is wrong for consumers to be locked into a contract, with penalty, where the price can be increased.

 

[Legal discussions are not permitted per the Guidelines]

Message 2 of 73 (42,109 Views)
Highlighted
Teacher

Re: Signed a 1-year contract and then AT&T raised price

Same here.  The customer rep only talked about total price, not the discount amount.  Regardless, it defies common sense-- by their logic, AT&T can enter into an agreement w/a customer for a $20/month discount for one year, but then AT&T can raise the price right after the agreement by $20/month, wiping off the discount.

 

I don't know what "fine print" they are talking about -- I didn't sign any written agreement, and the only written thing I got from AT&T was an email (copy & pasted below) "informing" me of the terms and conditions one week after the verbal agreement (notice how they don't even clearly state how the early termination fee is calculated).

 

* * * 

 

Thank you for choosing AT&T U-verse®!

You recently accepted a 12-month promotion and we are writing to inform you of the following terms and conditions for that offer: 

  • AT&T is making this offer available to selected customers.
  • A credit will be applied to your monthly bill for 12 months.
  • The offer you selected requires a one-year term commitment to retain U-verse TV service. An early termination fee of up to $180 may apply if U-verse TV service is cancelled before the end of the term.

We sincerely hope you are enjoying your U-verse experience, and look forward to continuing to bring you the very best in entertainment services! 

 

Message 3 of 73 (42,102 Views)
Community Support
Solution
Accepted by ATTJulieCS (Community Support)
‎09-30-2015 1:39 AM

Re: Signed a 1-year contract and then AT&T raised price

Thanks for your post k2mp12345,

 

When entering into a contract with AT&T, though there may be introductory promotions, we reserve the right to make changes to the base rates.  You can access your Customer Service Summary by visiting My AT&T Customer Service Summary

 

Let us know if you have any questions or need further assistance. 

Did a post have a solution that worked for you? Help other people find solutions faster by marking posts that helped you as an "Accepted Solution". Learn about accepted solutions here.

Employee Contributor*
*I am an AT&T employee and the postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent AT&T's position, strategies or opinions.
Message 4 of 73 (41,967 Views)
Tutor

Re: Signed a 1-year contract and then AT&T raised price

Same experience for me. Just now seeing the increase on the uverse internet bill.

I was going to switch away from uverse in early Feb, though the nice rep gave a promotional 1/2 off discount on internet (though only on the next higher speed and with a 12 month commitment). I agreed to that. There was zero mention of an upcoming price increase. 30 days prior to an increase and the rep didn't think that part was important to disclose?

 

My prior two bills do not mention any upcoming price increase for ATT services under "news you can use". I just found the notice by searching on ATT site. The email confirmation I received upon committing to the new internet contract was generic (same three bullet points as yours).

 

I have been with ATT for 20+ years. It's not the $5 increase, but ATT's approach and perceived lack of value that they place on their loyal customers who make the commitment, though are not clearly informed during the decision making process.

 

Times have changed. I can be o.k. with that, they write the rules. Though they need to remind themselves that this is a two way street and ultimately the customer will make the final determination. If ATT is o.k. with compromising that relationship, that's pretty risky.

 

I will move to another provider at the next opportunity that I can.

Message 5 of 73 (41,721 Views)
Mentor

Renewal contract still open to price increase

I agreed to renew ATT uverse for one year in December, based on a quote to me of a total price for services. Now ATT says it is fair to raise the rate one month into my contract, yet I am penalized if I break the contract. Shouldn't a contract obligate both sides to the agreement?

Message 6 of 73 (41,739 Views)
Mentor

Re: Signed a 1-year contract and then AT&T raised price

But I signed a contract based on a rate quoted to me. If ATT has the right to raise rates, I should have the right to break my contract without penalty.

Message 7 of 73 (41,717 Views)
ACE - Professor

Re: Renewal contract still open to price increase


Zaylyn wrote:

I agreed to renew ATT uverse for one year in December, based on a quote to me of a total price for services. Now ATT says it is fair to raise the rate one month into my contract, yet I am penalized if I break the contract. Shouldn't a contract obligate both sides to the agreement?


With rare exceptions, AT&T promotions are for a discount, not for a monthly price. In other words, you agreed to $X off for 12 months, not to pay $Y for 12 months.

*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.
Message 8 of 73 (41,704 Views)
Mentor

Re: Renewal contract still open to price increase

The ATT phone rep never mentioned that my agreement was for a discount. He only emphasized the total monthly cost I would be paying. If I am agreeing to a contract via a phone call, the rep is obligated to clearly state the terms of that contract, including the possibility of a price increase.

Message 9 of 73 (41,665 Views)
Employee

Re: Renewal contract still open to price increase

http://www.att.com/u-verse/explore/offer-details.jsp
Promotional pricing applies to service rates only and excludes taxes, equipment fees, and other charges including a $49 service activation fee, city video cost recovery fees, where applicable, and a Broadcast TV surcharge. Residential customers only. Credit restrictions may apply. Pricing, programming, and features subject to change at any time without notice.

Recent increases...
IP TV packages increased $3, your discount for promotion should also increase $3 to cover this till promotion expires
HSIA internet fees increased $5, your discount should increase by same to cover your promotiontill expiration.

Fees increases.... NOT part of promotion
RG lease fee increase $1 from $6 to $7
Receiver fee beyond included DVR increase $1 per receiver. $7 to $8
Broadcast fee (local TV access) increased $1 from $1.99 to $2.99

These increases were announced in both November, December billing as well as website.

If you have services you agreed to terms of services, when registered internet checked two boxes stating have read, understand and agree to the terms of service. http://www.att.com/u-verse/att-terms-of-service.jsp
If you have not done so, now may be a good time....

"
PLEASE READ THIS AGREEMENT CAREFULLY TO ENSURE THAT YOU UNDERSTAND EACH PROVISION....
You must accept these TOS as a condition of receiving the Services"

In part...
"Agreement to Pay. You agree to pay all fees and charges for the Services associated with your AT&T Account, including recurring and nonrecurring charges, taxes, fees, surcharges, and assessments applicable to the Services, associated equipment, installation and maintenance, and including all usage and other charges associated with your account. In order to provide you with the Services, AT&T may pay taxes, fees, and surcharges to municipalities and other governmental entities, which AT&T may pass on to you."

And...
" Changes to Fees and Charges. If you signed up for Services for a specified term, you agree that if you cancel your plan before the end of the term, you will pay any applicable early termination fee. At the conclusion of your term, AT&T will automatically begin charging the applicable month-to-month fee. If you purchased the Services as part of a bundled offering with one or more other products and are receiving a discount based upon that bundled offering, your discount may cease and you may be billed the standard monthly rate for the Services if you change or disconnect one or more of the services in the applicable bundle. AT&T may, upon notice required by applicable laws, at any time change the amount of or basis for determining any fee or charge or institute new fees or charges."

And...
" By enrolling in, activating,using, or paying for the services, you agree to the terms and conditions in these TOS, including but not limited to the prices, charges,and terms and conditions provided to you in marketing and informational materials associated with the Services and on the AT&T U-verse website, all of which are incorporated herein by reference. If you do not agree to all of the aforementioned terms and conditions, do not use the Services,and cancel the services immediately by calling AT&T at 1-800-288-2020."
Employee Contributor*
*I am an AT&T employee and the postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent AT&T's position, strategies or opinions.
Message 10 of 73 (41,663 Views)
Teacher

Re: Renewal contract still open to price increase

The point is not what the initial agreement said or did not say.

 

The problem with AT&T pointing to that language in the initial agreement (agreement #1) -- which did not involve keeping service for 12 months -- is that the language in Agreement #1 is superseded by Agreement #2 (i.e., the one where we said we'd keep the service for 12 months) that customers entered into.

 

That is because Agreement #2 was that customers would keep the service for 12 months for a set price. That is what the customer rep told me.  Not "set price subject to change at our own discretion."

 

I plan to write to the California Public Utilities Commission as well as the FTC.

 

Message 11 of 73 (41,654 Views)
Mentor

Re: Renewal contract still open to price increase

Sounds like one of those "You can keep your doctor" promises.

Message 12 of 73 (41,474 Views)

In contract and raising rates

[ Edited ]

I was going to leave att since my promo was up in august of 2013, but then was given the option for a one year fixed price contract, which the rep on the phone said i would be at a fixed price for one year, which was 106.93 per month. Well looking on here it looks like other people have run into this also, about a four or five dollar increase per month for equipment fee, surcharge, and whatever starting in january. Well i went into a chat session and was told that they will fix my acount and change it back to what I was previously paying and would not have to worry about it in the future. Here is the chat from february, edited for the sake of private info:

 

Thank you for choosing AT&T. A representative will be with you shortly. You are now chatting with John. John: Thank you for contacting AT&T. My name is "JOHN". How're you doing today?

Chris: fine

John: Good to know that.

Chris: im trying to find out why my bill has gone up when i am in a year contract for a fixed price John: I apologize for the inconvenience you have experienced.

John: I can help you with that!

John: Please allow me a moment, while I access your account.

John: In order to protect your private information, please provide the passcode on your U-verse account. This is a four-digit numeric passcode that you established for account security.

Chris: ****

John: Thank you.

John: I reviewed your account & as per your account records, your Current Account Balance is $112.42. John: I see you always receives a bill for $106.93

John: Yes , You account is under contract for 1 Year.

John: No to worry.

John: I am going to take care of your charges right now.

John: make sure you will not be billed again for any extra charges.

John: I am on your account.

Chris: ok

John: I am working for you.

John: I've applied the credit on your account for you and I'd like to inform you that I've personally taken care of your concern for you. I assure you, you do not have to contact us again for the same issue. I've documented the issue to your account to make sure that this is taken care in future as well.

John: You can check your updated account balance online while we are chatting.

John: Please logout & login again to your online account in order to view the updated account balance on your account.

Chris: ok thank you

 

Sorry for the long post. one month later bill is higher again. tried chatting again. told me it has been escalated, they asked for my phone number to call me. they called then asked me to log out of att.com, and then proceed to tell me to call the 1-800 number, and i could barely understand what she was saying to begin with. I will call when business are available, it is sunday right now. This really just ticks me off. Thoughts or suggestions?

Message 13 of 73 (41,293 Views)
Employee
Solution
Accepted by ATTJulieCS (Community Support)
‎09-30-2015 1:39 AM

Re: In contract and raising rates

http://www.att.com/u-verse/explore/offer-details.jsp
" Promotional pricing applies to service rates only and excludes taxes, equipment fees, and other charges including a $49 service activation fee, city video cost recovery fees, where applicable, and a Broadcast TV surcharge."

http://www.att.com/u-verse/att-terms-of-service.jsp
" Agreement to Pay. You agree to pay all fees and charges for the Services associated with your AT&T Account, including recurring and nonrecurring charges, taxes, fees, surcharges, and assessments applicable to the Services, associated equipment, installation and maintenance, and including all usage and other charges associated with your account. In order to provide you with the Services, AT&T may pay taxes, fees, and surcharges to municipalities and other governmental entities, which AT&T may pass on to you."

Based on rate notification back in November and December, plus website updates.
Effective January 26, 2014 certain FEES increased.
If have IP TV services each receiver FEE increased $1 from $7 to $8.
If have IP TV services, most markets the the local broadcast FEE increased $1 from $1.99 to $2.99 I
If have leased RG (non grandfathered) HSIA FEE increased $1 from $6 to $7.
If have leased RG (grandfathered) the HSIA FEE increased $2 from $2 to $4.
Employee Contributor*
*I am an AT&T employee and the postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent AT&T's position, strategies or opinions.
Message 14 of 73 (41,274 Views)
ACE - Expert

Re: In contract and raising rates

I have read here that since that price is determined by credit(s) after the regular price, any price increases (usually on the Feb bill sent out in Jan) will apply according to the Terms of Service.

 

Unluckily the phone/chat reps do not give the full info, buyer beware. Smiley Wink

 

Chris


Please NO SD stretch-o-vision or 480 SD HD Channels
Need Help? PM ATT Uverse Care (all service problems) or ATT Customer Care (all other problems)
Your Results May Vary, In My Humble Opinion
I Call It Like I See It, Simply a U-verse user, nothing more

*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.
Message 15 of 73 (41,270 Views)
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