I have been an AT&T wireless customer starting in 2005. In mid 2009 I added DSL service. AT&T called in early November of 2009, and told me I was being moved to combined billing (for my DSL and wireless service on my account).
From November of 2009 to February of 2010 I did not receive a bill. I tried on multiple occasions to call and make a payment and was told as I had a $0 balance on my account that they would not take a payment.
In March of 2010 AT&T called and told me that I owed $1654 immediately or my services would be cancelled (at which point I would owe over $1800). As I did not have that kind of money lying around I was unable to pay before the phone call ended. I went to the store on Airport road in Huntsville AL where I lived to try to see if they could do anything. Taking with me screenshots showing my account had a zero balance for each of the last 4 months. The store refused to do anything and told me to contact support over the phone.
After days of trying to have the issue corrected and having had my phone service off for that time I got service with another company. I ended up with a payment arrangement and paid off the balance between August 2010 to October 2012 (at a rate of $66.67) directly to AT&T. I received monthly statements from AT&T after the payments were complete, stating how much was left and showing that I had paid. These statements had my account number on them as well as my personal information.
In February of 2013 I tried to come back to AT&T Wireless. I placed an order online for 2 iPhones to surprise my wife for Valentines day. An hour after I placed the order I received an email stating that the order could not be processed due to an outstanding balance with AT&T.
I called AT&T and spent more than 3.5 hours on the phone with a very helpful woman who contacted and conferenced in multiple departments including Combined billing, DSL, U-verse, wireless, and home phone. All of these departments verified with both her and I on the line that the $1811.96 had been paid and that it was some kind of glitch that caused it to still show in the system.
Once she established that the balance had been paid, she attempted to process the order again and was successful. But, unfortunately, the delivery date for the phones would be after Valentine’s Day. Trying to be helpful, she suggested that I go to the store in Green Hills in Nashville TN. She even called the store and let them know of the issues that we had gone through and let them know I was coming.
When I arrived at the store they were very helpful and attempted to get it set up. Once again the issue of the $1811.96 came up, but they had already been made aware of the issue and that the amount had been paid. This time when they ran my credit yet again, instead of having no deposit as when it was run online and over the phone it showed that I had a $750 per line deposit. They called support again to verify that there was no deposit which was verified and the paper work to have the deposits waived were sent in.
After 3.5 hours on the phone and 7 more in the store I was finally able to get my phones. I then went home and setup my account online only to find that while the deposit was waived in store they had applied it as a charge to my account. I went back to the store and spoke with the manager who assured me that should not have happened.
After 20 more hours of being on the phone and visiting the store, I saw that issue resolved. I have had service since then with no issues with my service. I have added several lines of service to my wireless plan and every time have issues with the previously paid balance shows as still outstanding.
I have had service more than a year and a half. My account has remained in good standing the entire time. I genuinely like the service, the network is fantastic and the upgraded customer service that comes with having a FAN discount is actually great. Overall much better than the experiences I have had with other wireless providers.
Recently I received a flyer at my apartment advertising that speeds up to 36 MBps were now available there. I checked my address online and discovered I was only able to get 12 MBps at my apartment. I was excited as I was paying more than double the advertised price to Comcast for 25 MBps and was only receiving 8 MBps. I figured that paying less money for a speed that is guaranteed to be faster (based on how the technologies work) than I was getting would be a better deal.
I went to the AT&T store at Green Hills to get setup only to find out that it was showing I owed $1811.96. The staff there, knowing the situation due to the large amounts of time I have had to spend there over the last year and a half, attempted to discover the issue but were unable. I called support and discovered that they were now no longer showing the $1811.96 as paid and had sent the debt to a collections company called Enhanced Recovery even though the balance had been completely paid off by October of 2012.
I have since taken old bank statements up to the AT&T store to fax to several departments to try to resolve this issue. I am now being told by those departments that they need statements for all 28 months of payments I made to them as well as the statements from AT&T showing the decreasing balance on the old account. As my wife and I have moved several times since this whole ordeal began for things like work, needing more space for our new born son, etc. We have lost some of our records and do not have all of the documents that they want.
Over the last 4 years my credit has been destroyed because of a billing glitch on AT&T’s part. Now after paying and suffering for THEIR mistake and losing the phone number I had for years prior to that issue, I have invested more than 200 hours trying to get this issue resolved, taking valuable time away from my wife, my son, and my job. My credit is still actively being damaged, the issue is still not resolved; and I am being told that my only option is to pay an additional $1811.96 – money that I DO NOT OWE and do not have – just to be eligible to get U-verse internet services and make yet another attempt to recover my credit. I find this completely unacceptable. Numerous AT&T reps have stated they never would have paid it in the first place nor would they have come back as a customer to AT&T after all the issues that I have experienced.
At this point, this has become a very serious legal issue. It has been repeatedly mishandled and has now dragged on for so many years that it has caused more than just damage to my credit, interruption or refusal of services, inconvenience, stress and heartache ; but it has also resulted in time and pay lost addressing this issue with representatives during business hours, impacting my work and home life, affecting my health and ability to care for my family.
In 2007, I survived a nearly fatal accident with brain injury. I made a miraculous recovery, but in recent months and years I have begun struggling with seizures once again that I had gone many years without. Stress definitely makes a major contribution to the conditions under which these seizures manifest. This places added stress on my wife and family.
I feel that AT&T has a legal obligation to finally and fully CORRECT this grievous error and should pay restitution to me for damaged credit, time lost from work, home and family in trying to resolve this perpetually mishandled issue, and real pain and suffering caused by the financial, mental and emotional strain this has caused me and my wife and young son over these last four years struggling to resolve this.
This has gone from a billing glitch to a serious a life-changing event adversely impacting my life, family and ability to earn a living (as employers also look at my damaged credit).
In addition to finally fully clearing this ALREADY PAID DEBT, returning my account to “current” status that it should have which I diligently maintained over all these years, something needs to be done to retroactively remove the negative reports from ALL 3 credit bureaus – clearing my credit history from back to February of 2010 to the present.
The $1811. debt has already been paid; and should immediately be taken out of collections and removed from both AT&T’s internal system and external reporting -completely.
Further, a credit should be applied to my account for that amount because the original billing error that caused the alleged debt was also entirely AT&T’s fault and failure to provide billing and correct financial accounting of my phone services.
The issue needs to be corrected, completely correctly documented and restitution and compensation are rightfully due to me for the extreme amount of time I have lost trying to clean up the mess caused by AT&T.
AT&T should additionally be responsible to recompense me for real physical damages and financial losses in the stress, frustration and mayhem caused to my family, my health, and my profession- multiplied by the fact that it has already taken more than 4 years dealing with this unnecessary mess which still isn’t resolved.
I have been told so far today by the people I have spoken to in combined billing and in DSL that they have no record of me ever having paid and that quote “If I did actually make payments they had to have been applied to another account”. I made the payments directly to AT&T and the statements I got back from AT&T showed the account number on the account in question as well as a decreasing amount remaining after every payment made.
I have spent far too much time on this and I am beyond fed up. I am tried of providing documentation over and over and being told none of it is good enough. I am out $1800.11 for something that was a billing issue on AT&T’s end, I am out 200+ hours of my life that I will never get back, and in return I am being told I have to pay another $1800.11 and being treated like I am an idiot and have no idea what I am talking about.
I want this resolved, I am tired of being told “we have to research it” or “we cant help you if we can’t find it”. At this point I am ready to get the news media and BBB involved in this if it is not resolved to my satisfaction in the next couple days. I know full well that the media coverage of something like this would have a fairly large negative impact on AT&T.
Oddly enough, even after everything I have been put through I do want to keep service with AT&T (and have been trying to get more services with AT&T, specifically UVerse) as other than the people who deal with the money the customer service is actually very good and the cellular service is great.
To date when I tell people about AT&T when they ask my opinion I always tell them that the services provided are fantastic and the support is good. I always leave out the massive billing issue and the time and headaches involved in trying to resolve it. I do this because I would like to believe (though I doubt at this point I am the only one that has had such a problem) that what I have experienced is an isolated incident.
I would like very much for this to be resolved to my satisfaction as I spend more than $340 a month ($4080 annually) on services with AT&T and if this is resolved would happily continue being a customer of AT&T for a very long time to come.
AT&T, what does it cost you to find a new customer, especially one paying $4k / year?
All I am asking is for AT&T to make it right. Even if from nothing more than a numbers perspective the income from my continued patronage over the years to come would substantially out way any costs you might incur to come to a satisfactory resolution as to date I have spent more than $6000 on services with AT&T in the last 2 years alone. Not to mention the friends and family who have become AT&T subscribers due to my reviews of AT&Ts services.
— 2 weeks later —
So here is where I sit with AT&T. After another 10-15 hours on the phone with the people at the executive office and faxing in the 4 bank statements that I can find for where I made the payments directly to AT&T. I am being told that they can’t find my payments. In addition since they can’t find them and apparently since bank statements aren’t enough proof for them, I have to pay the $1811.96 again.
They have told me that the “burden of proof” lies solely on me. Yet at every turn, when I have faxed them exactly what they have asked for as “proof”, they tell me that they need something else.
So I am left, out the $1811.96 I paid to AT&T, which they have now sent to collections 2 years after It was paid. My credit has been pretty much ruined over the course of the last 4 years, and I have lost 200+ hours of my time that I will never get back.
The only thing AT&T tells me to do is to “get with the collection agency and pay the balance you owe”.
I don’t owe a balance. For 4 months AT&T’s combined billing sent me a bill for $0.00 then decided after the fact I owed $1654. My services all worked and were active. If I had owed anything they would have turned me off. Anyone that has phone service with them will tell you, they will turn you off for being 4-6 days late, let alone 4 months. The people I spoke with at AT&T when this happened said that if they billed me nothing I didn’t owe anything and coming back and billing me for 4 months of service after the fact is very wrong.
Now my only option is to pay back a debt I never owed for a second time and hope they don’t screw up again. I do not care about having UVerse internet anymore, but I post this in hopes that others that have suffered similarly can know they are not alone.