Att - After cancelling my account, sent me to collections

3797 of 4411 Att reviews

I'm going to post the letter detailing my complaint to AT&T's CEO. Enjoy.

Mr. Stephenson,

My wife and I were AT&T customers for a long time. Initially we were happy customers of Cingular, then became AT&T members when they bought out Cingular. We completed our contract time requirements in November of 2010, and decided to close our account on January 20, 2011. That was the last dealings either of us had with your company until April 26, 2011 at 8:53AM. At that time we received an automated email stating that we had a past due balance of $5.25 and since it had been past due for so long, it was going to be sent to a collection agency.

In a hurry, I called AT&T Customer Support number provided in the email (800-947-5096). I was connected to a technician named Tracy. After pulling up my account, she informed me that I had a balance of $5.25 and that it was for charges incurred in and around the end of December. I told her that I had cancelled my cell phone service on January 20, 2011, and she confirmed this date in referencing the record she was looking at.

I asked Tracy why I was notified of these charges some 4 months after they were incurred; why had I not been told about them when I cancelled my service at the end of January? It seems only fitting, to me, that when someone contacts an organization to cease all business practice with them, that one of the primary concerns of both parties would settling any debts. Especially debts that had been incurred nearly a month before the date of termination. I find it terribly difficult to believe that this $5.25 suddenly appeared in AT&T's records after January the 20th.

Tracy informed me that she couldn't credit my account the $5.25 because my account had been cancelled. When she told me this, I told her that I had no issue paying the balance. I had her look up the dates that the charges were made, and completely agree that any charges incurred before January 1 were undoubtedly mine. I told her I was completely willing to pay the balance but that my problem was that the email I received mentioned that my account was poised to be sent to a collections agency. My primary concern was the negative impact this would have on my credit score.

Tracy was kind enough to get someone in a manager position to speak with me. His name was Scott Cunningham, his direct supervisor, he said, was Gerald Lucas. After running through the short version of my issue at hand, Mr. Cunningham did some checking and told me that not only could the charges not be cancelled, they couldn't even be paid for through AT&T anymore because my contract was somehow locked out, and had already, as he put it, been "sold to a collection agency". I asked what my options were and he told me that I would have to deal with the collection agency directly to settle the debt. He then provided me with the agency's information, along with an account number (642581397) which he claimed would be the reference for my issue at the agency. Additionally, at my request, he gave me both his and his supervisor's full names along with a phone number (800-331-0500) he claimed would allow me to contact one of them. Finally, I asked him if our whole conversation had been recorded. When he confirmed that it was, I besought him to ensure it was not deleted, or otherwise misplaced.

The name of the agency he gave me was Alliance One Collection Agency, phone number, 1-800-279-3480. After calling them, I was transferred to a different agency which they claim handle all contracts from AT&T. This new Agency was called Professional Collection Consultants, phone number (800-632-4001). After speaking with Professional, they told me that neither my name, social security number, or the account number Mr. Cunningham provided, nor the other, different, account number referenced from an old billing statement (396441624), were anywhere in their databases. The credit agency suggested that I contact AT&T again to pay the bill.

Perhaps by this point, one can sense an individual's frustration. I called the number that Mr. Cunningham provided me. The number he insinuated was the best was to get in contact with either him or his supervisor. I was hoping not to have to explain my entire story to a new individual, but that's who I came to talk to, someone new. This man's name was Louis Rittenberry. Mr. Rittenberry is likely the only reason this information is coming to you in an upset letter instead of an irate phone call, or office visit. Mr. Rittenberry calmly listened to my predicament. I explained to him who I was trying to get in contact with, and he told me there were many offices around the country and he didn't know of any supervisors or senior supervisors with those names at the office I was now connected to.

Instead of transferring me, like I'm sure almost any of your other employees would have done, Mr. Rittenberry confidently said, he was going to investigate my issue and get a solution. Within 5 minutes, he had read the notes attached to my account, and worked whatever magic he could do and miraculously credited my account without issue. I even explained to him that I was completely willing to pay the full amount, immediately, over the phone, to which he replied that it was the least he could do to cancel it. He said how he could see that someone in my situation would have a "˜bad taste' in their mouth if they had the kind of experience I had and it was his job to make my customer experience was the best it could be. Before he hung up he apologized for any inconvenience and sent me an email statement showing that I was no long indebted to AT&T.

What happened today? Instead of one technician either accepting payment for or canceling a debt, I was put on hold for multiple intervals of up to 10 minutes at a time. Then I was led astray, sent on some wild goose-chase by someone who claimed they were in managerial position of some capacity. This I have little doubt of, providing, of course, his duty sector is a mail room. Indeed, the only thing that has saved any graciousness of opinion for your customer service department was Mr. Rittenberry. His calmness and efficiency were paramount. Said efficiency, competency even, were sorely lacking with all of the other individuals I spoke with today.

It is my sincere hope that this experience is not had by any other customers, especially any with less patience than I. I heartily suggest reviewing the call log of my conversation today with Mr. Cunningham, if, in fact, he saved it per my request. It would be an excellent training aid for some type of company training seminar about how to not deal with customer complaints. Conversely the entirely of my conversation with Mr. Rittenberry was the pinnacle of well done. I forgot to ask him, but I hope that conversation was recorded and saved as well. It would be invaluable in that same seminar. Training is an important point of my letter. It became rapidly apparent that multiple members of your company are not educated to the same degree in either your company policies or computer database software.

I would greatly appreciate a note of receipt from you. It would mend a lot of bridges to hear that an investigation will be performed so that something like this does not happen to anyone else.

This review is a subjective opinion of a user.
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Anonymous

Jan 07 #1267384 Sacramento, California, United States

I am going through almost the exact same thing as you. With false promises from both management and employees at AT&T. I have been "transferred" to collections specialists and also have been given "direct numbers" in a total of 7 times now, each time having a wait time of over 10 minutes. Everytime I am transferred the line gets dropped. The different "direct numbers" i have been given just take me back through the normal AT&T recording and give me an AT&T agent who I then have to explain everything to again. I have spoken to 3 seperate managers, all of which have either transferred me or gave me a new "direct number"
I am beyond infuriated with AT&T and will never get any services from them again and will also inform family and friends of what I have been through and tell them DO NOT GET AT&T

0 0 Reply
Anonymous

Sep 21, 2016 #1216641

Need some suggestion here. At&t sent me my bill stating my due date is on Sep 27,2016, and today i got a mail from collection agency that at&t handed over my bill to them. Is there anything I can do about it?

0 0 Reply
yogi

Sep 16, 2016 #1213635 Chicago, Illinois, United States

this was some great information. It save me all the hardache you had to endure. I was able to get the account number and was directed to the collection agency with no problem.

0 0 Reply
Anonymous

Jun 15, 2016 #1173708

They did the same thing to me, but I was billed for MONTHS after I cancelled my service. I have been trying to get this resolved for 2 years but they transfer me over and over every time I call. I will never use ATT again, and I warn everyone against using ATT as they are awful.

0 0 Reply
Anonymous

Jun 06, 2016 #1169504

it is fraud what they are doing,

0 0 Reply
Anonymous

Apr 12, 2016 #1143661

Sir,
I just wanted to say, We'll Done!

0 0 Reply
Anonymous

Mar 15, 2016 #1127547

I was sent to two seperate collection companies 30 days apart. Ive been fighting this for 8 months and now both agencies have reported the amount as Bad Debt on my Credit Report. Whats makes this even more ***? Its for an account that has; the same number, service address, billing information; as my current account number. Duplicate billing. WTH.

0 0 Reply
Anonymous

Jan 13, 2016 #1093826

I have been sent to collections as well for a bill of over 1500.00. An amount I refuse to pay since ATT
billed me erroneously for years and I was due a credit on the account which was never processed in full. I canceled the account in Jan of 2105 and ATT kept billing me monthly thereafter. Upon calling them, I was informed it would take 30 to 90 days for them to cancel the accounts internally. So, due to their inability to cancel immediately, I then must pay for services I no longer am receiving. I think not. I will not. Collections has contacted me and I explained this to them, to date I have not received another notice. Summary - ATT SUCKS BIG TIME.

2 0 Reply
Anonymous

Apr 27, 2015 #977233

I am currently in the middle of my wild goose chase with at&t. except I was lied to, to my face, at the at&t store claiming "Will only pay $45 a month" and now I have nearly $150 monthly bill. I just want to be credited the $200 I should not have ever paid because of his incompetence.

2 0 Reply
Barbara Moore

Jun 28, 2014 #833403 Mesquite, Texas, United States

It took me a letter to the Better Business Bureau to get any relief from at&t and the collection agency. I cancelled my account and they never canceled it out but kept charging me. Luckily I had back up of the cancellation!!
AT&T is the worst co. ever

3 0 Reply
Melissa

Oct 26, 2012 #560803

I feel your pain, I cancelled my AT&T Wireless service in September and in October a collection showed up on my credit reports from an account that was discharged in my chapter 7 bankruptcy in 2007. Luckily I work in the DC area for a law office and one of the lawyers have decided to take my case to court we are asking for a huge settlement as this is the 5th time AT&T has sold the account even though it was discharged in bankruptcy, they SUCK I WILL NEVER order any of their products or services again and I HOPE THEY BELL UP and DIE AS A COMPANY AND SOON!!!!! :x :x :x :( :(

5 0 Reply
Dan Diamond

Jun 29, 2012 #504514

I lost most of my sourse of income, I had to quit ATT/Direct TV. Because it became way too expensive. My last Bill Was $365.65.
I told the operator, I could not pay it, but I would send $50. a month. she told me after I paid the first $50. To call again and make another promise to pay. This operator said.
"sorry- I cannot hold onto this, it will be going to a collection agency". I have no problem paying $50. a month. This is not good enough for AT&T. I am a Veteran, I am now pretty much retired, I been a customer of AT&T for Many years. My wife and I still have Wireless from them. If this is the way they treat their customers. I do not want any part of AT&T. Time to go to any company but AT&T.
Dan

4 0 Reply
Rich

Jun 09, 2012 #493545

ATT did the EXACT same thing to me. They sent me a bill, I paid it. They informed me 2 months later I owed more (some other account they said). I paid it. hey gave me confirmation of the bill being done and the account being closed, and then I found out 6 months later they had sent me to collections already for the amount they had told me I needed to pay! Tried to contact them but the account as closed. Dear ATT: HOW CAN YOU CLOSE AN ACCOUNT WITH A BALANCE DUE? Answer? You can't. CRIMINALS.

3 0 Reply
ATT2bscammed

Jun 17, 2014 #828282

In 2014 nothing has changed...We too, got taken, by AT&T. We have been customers for many, many years and they came up with a plan that was too good to be true and got us hooked. We signed a 2 year family plan contract and what they told us it would cost up kept rising every month with "hidden charges". We got to the point where we were getting behind as we had budgeted X amount of dollars for our phones per person and these charges were ridiculous. My daughter contacted them and told them we had many issues and the lady she spoke with told her to write a letter of complaint and they would probably adjust the bill. Next thing we knew they advised that they were cancelling our contact and we owed x amount of dollars. She contacted them again and they were apologetic about it; however, this past Saturday we received a Certified Letter that we had been turned over to collection. Like you said how can they close an account with a balance due...things have not changed with AT&T and as soon as they are paid - good Riddance...they are are bunch of Crooks and should be shut down for the aggrevation they cause especially long time customers who want to right a wrong...They will pay one day for the underhanded way they do business.

6 0 Reply
Anonymous

Jul 15, 2014 #841239

Yes they can it's called all the people that don't pay their bill and go to collections with a balance due!

1 2 Reply
jen   05-04-2011 01:48

May 04, 2011 #282195

if the above story were true, it would have been a gd. cop bd. act played by AT&T.

0 2 Reply
rey

Apr 30, 2011 #280815

totally kiss @@@@@,you properly either work for AT&T or again punch up bully ssss.AT&T is totally sucks

2 0 Reply
Anonymous

Jul 15, 2014 #841238

Rey what are you even saying? Can you make sense please? Of course they can close an account with a balance still due...what do you think they do with all the people that don't pay.....they close the account and send it to collections with a BALANCE DUE!

1 1 Reply
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