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Just plain MAD at AT&T
Old 04-13-2017, 10:21 PM   #1
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Just plain MAD at AT&T

WOW.... I am very hot at AT&T right now...


I pay my mother's bills. I saw where the AT&T bill did not show a payment. I was thinking that it was the timing of the payment so did nothing. Well, a month later the bill showed TWO missed payments.....

So, I call AT&T to say that the payments were made. They said tough, we do not have records of these payments.... get in touch with your bank. SO, I go online with Chase and put in a request on proof of payments etc. Now, I notice that the address to send the payment had changed. So, I made a change to the payment system and make the current payment less the late fee since I was not late. I was thinking that things were going OK....

BUT, last week I get a letter saying that they were going to cut off her phone. I called and talked to a guy there and said I made a payment. He confirmed the payment but also told me that they had not received Nov or Dec payments. I said that I had tried to get the bank to show proof and thought they had. That I would get the proof and send it in. He said OK that he would note it and the line would not be cut. So I go online to get the 'proof' that these payments were made, but AT&T will only accept snail mail. I was going to send it in today but found out that they cut off my mother's service


SOOO, call today and am told that NO, it is not Nov and Dec that was not paid but Jan and Feb!!! That they cannot do anything until they get a payment and oh by the way we will charge you $5 to accept your payment over the phone.... If you do not want to pay that $5 you can either go online and pay OR use their automatic system to pay.

Now, I never set up an online account for my mom.... So I get online and start the process.... fill out the forms etc.... and guess what THEY SEND A CONFIRMATION NUMBER TO MY MOM'S PHONE!!!! Really, the phone that you CUT OFF?


So now I am really fuming as I have been told a number of things by a number of people and none seem to match.... but, to try and get moving on I decided to use the automated system and at least try and get the phone back to working.... Now, this is great... the total bill up to now is $300+, but I have paid about $180 of that and there are late fees included that should not be.... what does the automated system say "you need to pay $200.01 right now in order to get your phone service re-established AND you will be charged a fee to get your phone back online"



REALLY You do not apply my payments properly because you changed something on your end, tell me that I can send in proof and then do THIS....


And to top it off, I had not looked closely at the bill, but they started to charge $8.59 per month for long distance which we never ordered!!! I do not know how many months this charge has been there.... now, this is my fault for not noticing, but really.... change a bill just because?




Now, I do have a question after this... can I get my mom's phone number ported over if I still owe money to them? I am thinking of just going to Comcast and deal with them for awhile.



Edit to add.... I cannot talk to anybody as the office is closed!!! Have to wait... hopefully someone is there tomorrow...
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Old 04-13-2017, 10:33 PM   #2
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I used their Facebook page to complain. They don't like bad PR. Good luck.
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Old 04-14-2017, 01:06 AM   #3
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Yeah, things are really getting complicated out there.

Tried opening an account with an out of state bank online. Ran into problems. Used "instant chat" to talk to a CS rep about it. She told me the problem was Google Chrome, that they (the bank) could not accommodate it. Really? Since it was Sunday, I waited until Mon. to call the main office. That CSR checked with tech support and said Chrome was no problem. Then she took the time to find the real problem and helped me.

I guess the Sunday CSR just wanted to get back to her book, and gave me a flip answer. Frustrating.
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Old 04-14-2017, 04:59 AM   #4
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In addition to FB, they may have a Twitter customer service account. Short but sweet messages may work.

I would post the OP text for sure, to FB
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Old 04-14-2017, 07:28 AM   #5
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Just a guess, but I suspect that they might require that an account be paid to date before they port a number to another carrier... but you could always stiff them on the last bill (after the port is done).

I would port the number and be done with them. However, if you had her on autopay then much of the troubles that you are having wold not have happened since the address change would have been a non-event.
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Old 04-14-2017, 08:01 AM   #6
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Wow. That's plenty of red tape. Sounds a lot of one department not knowing what another department is doing. Or they following a "procedure" because that's just how it's done .
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Old 04-14-2017, 08:06 AM   #7
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I know it's a bad attitude but I often just pay these little "mistakes" when they happen. It's not often but once a year or two and it's usually a few bucks. It's just not worth the time and anguish it takes to try to sort it out to get things corrected. Plus, since these companies are so incompetent it doesn't always sort out even though it's clear what happened and where the mistake was.
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Old 04-14-2017, 08:10 AM   #8
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Sorry to hear of your issues. Especially difficult when you are trying to help an elderly relative.

I can say my old j*b at megacorp involved a b2b relationship with ATT. They have some silos, and we had a hard time working through them. Then again, my megacorp has silos too!

As for "Bill Pay", I can say this: I don't use it. Why? I'm on the opposite end of it for a non-profit I volunteer for. I get checks through this method. I do not like the way we get checks from bill pay processors. There is a lot of room for mis-routing. They provide very little information on the check.

My preference with phone companies is to use a credit card. That's what I did with my dad and ATT.
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Old 04-14-2017, 08:15 AM   #9
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Wow - deja vu. I had issues with AT&T residential phones when getting a line for DM in her new setting. There was no bill, then late fees, then a misapplied payment. Cancellations and reconnections. Getting through their automated interface was very difficult.

Their internal organization is a nightmare, and from a consumer perspective, dysfunctional. It appears to me as if their residential landline business has been segregated and is in full attrition mode, with the absolute minimum effort and cost needed to keep whatever business they still have.

Texas Proud, if a internet phone solution works for your mom, go for it now, while she is still technically a customer. Also file a complaint with the State Attorney General for the long distance fees and all the charges for late payment related incidents.
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Old 04-14-2017, 08:18 AM   #10
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Probably a different topic and don't want to veer too off from the original post.

But this got me thinking, "What makes you bail to walk away as a customer from one place to another?" My bet is probably not high prices but the feeling of being mistreated and/or unappreciated.

For me, was when I needed a new Tracfone and dealing with their customer service and either mislead and stalled or lied about working on getting a replacement phone and working out the issue. That was my final straw and I walked.
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Old 04-14-2017, 08:51 AM   #11
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I know AT&T of the past really well (very well in fact, and don't ask me how). Anyway, I had high hopes when they acquired Direct TV that their (Direct TV) customer services would improve. (Certainly could not have gotten much worse) Unfortunately it didn't. Now it seem AT&T has picked up on Direct TV's poor customer services. Suspect they are all part of United Airlines now, somewhere along this line.

Certainly not the AT&T I once knew.
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Old 04-14-2017, 08:53 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeWras View Post

My preference with phone companies is to use a credit card. That's what I did with my dad and ATT.
Agreed - alas, many utility companies still charge a processing fee for credit card payments, making that option unattractive. Plus, one risk is that if your cc gets compromised and you get a new card, you really have to make sure you change the payment info with the utility.
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Old 04-14-2017, 10:30 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Car-Guy View Post
I know AT&T of the past really well (very well in fact, and don't ask me how). Anyway, I had high hopes when they acquired Direct TV that their (Direct TV) customer services would improve. (Certainly could not have gotten much worse) Unfortunately it didn't. Now it seem AT&T has picked up on Direct TV's poor customer services. Suspect they are all part of United Airlines now, somewhere along this line.
Certainly not the AT&T I once knew.
When I call them, they are usually overseas. I raise a ruckus telling them I'm going to drop everything and get sent to someone in Kentucky. The people there are usually very good (retention). The Dallas crew is just so-so, but not too bad to deal with. The overseas crews are useless.

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Agreed - alas, many utility companies still charge a processing fee for credit card payments, making that option unattractive. Plus, one risk is that if your cc gets compromised and you get a new card, you really have to make sure you change the payment info with the utility.
Ah, GOOD point about credit card changes. Yes, this does take a lot of attention. It can cause issues if you don't update your info. This is a downside.
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Old 04-14-2017, 12:01 PM   #14
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Just a guess, but I suspect that they might require that an account be paid to date before they port a number to another carrier... but you could always stiff them on the last bill (after the port is done).

I would port the number and be done with them. However, if you had her on autopay then much of the troubles that you are having wold not have happened since the address change would have been a non-event.

I do not like auto pay where the vendor gets to go into my account.... there is no way to stop them and if they pull out money I do not owe I will not get it back...


I did pay them through the bank system which is electronic... that should have been sufficient...
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Old 04-14-2017, 12:32 PM   #15
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I have heard that some people have had problems with auto pay where the lender pulls it from your bank account, but I've never had problems and that is based on probably three to five years of experience.

I pay some bills with bank drafts as you've described, however the problem with that is it that it doesn't address the change-of-address issue as you found out.

I guess to me, in the end, the benefits of auto-pay exceed the risks.
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Old 04-14-2017, 12:37 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by CaliKid View Post
I know it's a bad attitude but I often just pay these little "mistakes" when they happen. It's not often but once a year or two and it's usually a few bucks. It's just not worth the time and anguish it takes to try to sort it out to get things corrected. Plus, since these companies are so incompetent it doesn't always sort out even though it's clear what happened and where the mistake was.
Well, since they said I did not pay $180 it is not a few bucks...


Now, I finally talked to a supervisor and got a number of fees waived, but he could not fix the $5 'convenience fee' charged by using a CC...
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Old 04-14-2017, 12:42 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by pb4uski View Post
I have heard that some people have had problems with auto pay where the lender pulls it from your bank account, but I've never had problems and that is based on probably three to five years of experience.

I pay some bills with bank drafts as you've described, however the problem with that is it that it doesn't address the change-of-address issue as you found out.

I guess to me, in the end, the benefits of auto-pay exceed the risks.

However, I do not think the change of address should have any effect on the payment... and AT&T said the same.... but it is funny that after me changing the address the next payment went to the proper place...


As for not being screwed with auto pay.... my mom did get screwed with an electricity company.... there was a $150 fee for moving your service... but we moved it properly but they took the fee... tried to get it back but they were a crooked company anyhow and just did not care...
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Old 04-14-2017, 12:46 PM   #18
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OK... and update...

I moved on to a supervisor this morning... and guess what It seems that they CAN accept emails with proof of payment.... just that none of the low level people will tell you... they either give you a fax number or a PO box...


The supervisor took some info and put it in to billing dispute. He then waived all the late fees and the reconnect fee. All I had to do was pay $8.50 (the long distance we did not order that I took off last bill). I also paid the current bill since it is due in a couple of days...


Now that I am getting 'up to date' I will look to see if there is an internet phone that I can use... maybe Comcast... however, that is going to be pushed off as there are other things I have to get done...
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Old 04-14-2017, 12:59 PM   #19
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I do not like auto pay where the vendor gets to go into my account.... there is no way to stop them and if they pull out money I do not owe I will not get it back...
I pay most bills on line but never by auto pay. (Except NetFlix but if they ever screw me I'll drop them like a hot rock)
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Old 04-14-2017, 01:06 PM   #20
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OK... spoke too soon!!!

The email came back...

SOOO, called and cannot find the guy I talked to... asked to be sent to a supervisor and was transferred to a black hole...

Decided to use Chat as all I need is an email address... but guess what You cannot chant with them unless you sign into your 'online' account!!! Well, my mom does not have one....


So it looks like another 10 or more minutes on the phone to try and get a simple email address that they should publish anyhow!!!
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