AT&T UVerse - AT&T Uverse, billing, bait and switch

Posted on Wednesday, March 19th, 2014 at 11:59pm CDT by 2718226b

Product: Cable, internet, phone

Company: AT&T UVerse

Location: DALLAS, TX, US

Category: Telecommunications

Back in June of 2013, I renegotiated my AT&T UVerse service; they stated the pricing was good through 06/14. Specifically, the original price for the U300 service was supposed to be $89 base price with a $31 discount or $58 a month; plus, I received discounts for our internet and phone service. I first experienced a billing problem on the 01/14 to 02/14 statement; AT&T increased the U300 service to $92 with a $31 discount or $61 a month. Moreover, they increased the Broadcast TV surcharge from $1.99 per month to $2.99 a month. On 03/13/2014, I called AT&T about this problem, as well as several others (e.g. billed for movies that were supposed to be free), because they need to adjust the billing error. I spoke to a woman named Latrina, and she stated that AT&T increased their prices during this billing cycle. I explained to her that regardless of AT&T's price increase that my contract was negotiated through 06/14; therefore, AT&T should not have increased my bill until 06/14. But Latrina refused to adjust my bill, and she left me on hold for almost 10 minutes due to computer issues, so I hung up. Since I have experienced billing and technical problems with AT&T in the past, I just decided to file reports with the following agencies: 1) the BBB of Dallas (http://dallas.bbb.org/); 2) the FCC (http://www.fcc.gov/complaints); 3) the Attorney General of Texas (https://www.texasattorneygeneral.gov/consumer/complain.shtml); and 4) the FTC (https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/#crnt&panel1-1). A few days later, I received a callback from AT&T corporate office.

A woman named Pam left a message on my v-mail stating they were refusing to credit my bill. She stated that when AT&T quoted my rate back in June that they only quoted it with the $31 discount. This is not factual. Moreover, AT&T UVerse states they record all calls for quality assurance; therefore, it should be verifiable that I was quoted a specific rate?about $159 for U300, internet, and phone service?through June of 2014. In addition, it is readily apparent that AT&T quotes overall rates and not just ?discounts? on their website. More troubling, Pam failed to address why I was billed $12 in movie charges that should have been free, since AT&T had sent me vouchers with codes for free movies over the last several months. Finally, I received a message back from the BBB showing this response as well, but I failed to accept their response, because this billing problem is clearly bait and switch; if AT&T was going to increase my bill, they should have done it after the 06/14 billing cycle. So I decided to disconnect service with AT&T and to find another provider.

When I called to disconnect service, I told the representative about my problems. He apologized and offered me a $100 bill credit. To put it bluntly, corporate office should have taken care of this problem themselves rather than the disconnection department that acts as customer retention. In addition, I advised him that their service would actually be cheaper if we disconnected service in my name and reconnected in my boyfriend?s name, because this would make it a new account. He agreed, although I told him this makes no sense from a business perspective; it is cheaper to keep a current customer than to retain a new one (e.g. note gift card promotion). The new service would take our current service down to $119 a month; plus, we would qualify for $250 in gift cards. Moreover, the website states this rate is locked in for 24 months, so we?ll save almost $1000 over the 2 year period. So I disconnected service in my name, and we are reconnecting in my boyfriend? name on the same day. You?d think AT&T would be better off just renegotiating the service rate down to the $119 on the current account than to chuck out another $250 in gift cards for opening a new account, plus waiving the $49 activation charge. But this is really beside the point. My main complaint is that they are jacking up my pricing when the contract was clearly negotiated through 06/2014. Not smart business.

If you are having a similar problem with AT&T?s billing, please file your own complaint. The government agencies listed will eventually see a trend in their billing, and they'll have to take action.


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