Danbury, Connecticut
Not resolved
8 comments

I was in Vietnam from July 6th-July 22nd. I arrived at the hotel and the last I saw of my phone was just after I arrived at the hotel. I remember putting it in my bag in the hotel room. I had no reason to look for the phone during my stay as I had no intention to use it. Instead I used Skype etc. for my calls.

On July 22nd, I was packing and noticed my phone was not there. I thought there could be a possibility it could be deep in the overpacked luggage so I decided to wait until the next day when I got home.

On the 23rd, I went to an Apple Store and purchased and iPhone and told them to cancel my previous phone. The clerk said there was no problem. Then I discovered that there were charges during the period my phone was missing. I tried to explain my circumstances to the agent. She was extremely rude and accusatory. She kept me and my friend on hold for over 30 minutes.

I recontacted AT&T several times. Finally I was called by Ms. Barbara G. in the payment disputes area. She said that the charge would be over $2000. She understood the problem and reviewed my entire account history: the phone bill was always exactly the same every month. I paid with auto-pay and was never late. I had never called with international roaming ever in the history of the account, which was previously singular except for last May when I had the international calling plan for that purpose. Aside from that, I made ZERO international calls, ZERO data transfers etc. when I was abroad. In fact, I had been explicitly told I could NOT call internationally until the international roaming had been activated from the US. Ms. G. worked for 3-4 hours on the problem.

She called and said that the issue had been taken care of, but that the bill had not come up yet, so the charges would appear but then be waved. I asked her if she was sure that the issue was resolved. She said, "I will pay it myself if it is not...I am that sure". She said that certain people "did not get it" - people were making claims like, "But he was using the phone July 23rd" - Yes, indeed I was, that was the period I restarted my phone and there was no dispute with that.

On August 7th(?) I called AT&T on the billing date to make sure everything was ok. The agent said that the regular charge of $108 had appeared but not the disputed charges. He said MS. G. had done everything right. He asked if I wanted to disable autopay to avoid the disputed charges from being debited if they should occur. I said that I'd wait and check the next month. Basically, I had no dispute with the charges to the time I left LAX on July 4th and after July 23rd when I got the new iPhone.

In the last days of August, I checked my account statement, it was now $3500. Again, my account has been pretty much exactly the same amount - previously $35 etc. every month. I called customer service. They acted like they were hearing all of this for the first time. When I referred to Ms. G., the new person said, "These notes are not that clear..." After being kept on hold 30+ minutes several times, I was told another high level review would occur.

I mentioned that Ms. G. had taken very extensive notes and assured me all was taken care of. They made me go through the whole issue again. Each time I call, the agent reads a different version of what was written - so the disputed period starts on July 6th? July 8th? All of the extensive notes taken by Ms. G. and all of the hours spent were wasted.

It took one week for them to call me back. I was told that the claim was denied. I asked why. First, the agent said because I did not report the phone missing. I explained to her that I did not know the phone was missing as I did not plan to use it in Vietnam, I had no reason to take it out. She then said that allegedly there was a phone charge made on July 11th which had been made on another statement. I went through the charges on that date point by point, she could not point out the disputed charge to me. Then she claimed there was a text message sent that was sent in previous months. I said I would check out what this was.

I asked the agent why the claim was denied without calling me. The agent said, "Well it was denied, maybe that's why..." The agent apologized and said the issue would be reviewed again. I paid the portion of my bill that was not disputed.

Several minutes later I checked out the issue of the text message. They were all of the series 101-010. These text messages are from AT&T itself and are sent when certain emails are received. I had several alerts set up so when the person in Vietnam began using my phone, this text message indeed came in. It was automated from my email account. This same text message also came in this month and almost every month. Thus, when the person who stole my phone started talking, a text message was sent to the phone. It was still automated and this same automated text message occurred that month and almost every month for that reason.

I called back AT&T and asked the agent to note this in my record. She kept me on hold for a very long time, said she didn't know what to do. I asked for a supervisor. He at least listened and wrote down my explanation regarding the incoming text message.

I was also told by Ms G. that I could contact her if there was a problem but assured me all was fine. But when I did call and asked for her, I was told by numerous people, "I can't contact her directly, I can only send an email..." Other agents have said, "I can't contact her.." So someone has been lying to me.

I am extremely upset about this issue because

1) Ms G. spent 3-4 hours on it and assured me in no uncertain terms the situation was ok and told me I could contact her if there were problems

2) I pointed out there was never any irregularity in my account ever. It was always exactly the same amount and paid by auto-pay every month. I never called internationally or had international roaming on the phone ever except for last May when I called from Mexico using the international calling plan.

3) I have to reexplain the whole case each time I call, everyone ignoring the previous comments made. The dates that I have disputed change each time, showing the sloppy state of their record keeping

4) The disputed charges did not appear in the next billing period but in the one after that

5) The person denied my claim on the flimsiest of reasons - a call that allegedly was made and appeared in other statements - they cannot tell me which call that is when I look at the online statement. The text messages that came in were from AT&T itself. But the person reviewing my case did not bother to take this into account

6) I have no certainty that the charges will not reappear at any time. I was assured once the problem would be resolved. The charges reappeared. I am unable to contact the people making the decision on the case, they contact me only when a decision has been made. Their record keeping is extremely sloppy and they make assumptions that should have been explained in the extensive notes taken by Ms. G.

The alleged charges are approx $3,040.00

Product or Service Mentioned: Att Phone Plan.

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Anonymous
#578022

THAT PRETTY MUCH SUMS UP AT&T WIRELESS ( THEY SUCK) I HAVE NOTHING BUT WITH THESE PEOPLE AS WELL I WILL NOT DO ANOTHER 2 YEARS WITH THEM.

CAN'T WAIT TILL MARCH 2013

BYE BYE AT&T

:p

Anonymous
#47230

1. Written by donna de, on 25-10-2008 14:36

they lie, they told me they would waive a termination fee because my 2 year had already expired with them, these huge corporations have helped to cause this credit disaster , no rules, no oversight, just plain robbery

........well i have to say that this makes absolutely no sense because if your contract is UP, then you do NOT have a fee...your a bit off there, my friend.

Anonymous
#45124

they lie, they told me they would waive a termination fee because my 2 year had already expired with them, these huge corporations have helped to cause this credit disaster , no rules, no oversight, just plain robbery

Anonymous
#42593

I am a collections agent for AT&T, publicly known as Recievables Management. I can tell you that I see many cases like this each day and most are resolved more or less fairly quickly.

However, the gentleman in question made a critical error.We will get to AT&T's error shortly.

His simple error was not reporting his phone lost or stolen immeadiately, but rather waiting. It is always better to assume that it has been stolen if you cannot find the phone and report it ASAP, rather than wait, because if you do not report it lost and stolen the moment you notice it gone, then you are responsible for all charges incurred because we have no way to prove that you did not make those calls yourself.

Secondly, ALL phones are fully capable of international roaming and in fact, ever account I have ever seen has the programming already there. You just need to have International Provisioning activate a plan to cover the charges, otherwise you are charged at full rates, which AT&T does not and cannot control because the countries own their towers and some countries do not even partner with AT&T, such as Iraq or Iran.

Those are his mistakes. However...after reviewing what he said the various agents did, I did spot some errors in their actions as well, far more greivious.

1.) You cannot contact AT&T agents directly. No matter WHO tells you that. The only Agents you can contact directly is the Agent's supervisor, who is the only one on the individual teams that has an outbound/inbound calling extension. If you are ever told that you can contact an agent directly, and unless they promise you a call back themselves, you should get their first and last name, and ask for their supervisors contact number and call it directly if the issue warrants an escalation and you have not yet gotten a call back.

2.) International charges are billed in arrears..meaning, they are one month behind everything else. You may not see some of them for 1-2 billing cycles and should always be told to expect that.

3.) You cannot contact internal research teams. It is not that we do not want you speaking with them, we do not even have contact numbers for them except for internal use.

4.) Mrs. G did the right thing. Her only failure was proper expectation setting. It does sound like she did her job properly, but the agents after that are what failed you.

5.) If you had gotten a hold of me, rather than some of these people, I would have made sure to press the issue with a CAF form (Credit Approval Form), by speaking with my supervisor who can credit up to 1000 dollars (we agents can only credit up to 250), OR, I would have gotten you to customer care for a plan rerate to lower that bill if we could not get the charges wiped out completely.

Your account, as you stated you were told, was on AutoPay, meaning you have perfect payment history, and your account in all likely hood, looks great. There should be no reason for us not to assist you if this is the case.

6.) Little mrs. priss there, mrs. kmh11 who left the comment that AT&T is the worst company to work for, she has lost her mind. AT&T is the BEST company to work for, though we do have our faults. They treat every employee with respect and curteousy, there is NO micromanagement, if you want to get up and use the bathroom, all you have to do is hit not ready, and go. if you want to leave, you can go. (you will get an attendence point unless its an emergency)....she is either lying through her teeth or she must have been fired or reprimanded for something she did wrong because not a word of what she says is true.

AT&T does care about customers...and as an agent, I am truely sorry that this has happened to you and hope that you are still persuing the issue and that things get resolved for you.

Anonymous
#38210

ok a lil of base but this person has a right to be mad but what i hate is how all of these companys have these termination of service fees like say i buy a phone service and cancel it next month ok yes i sighned the contract but boom i get nailed with 200 cancel fee well iknow i have to pay it but if the service was good i wouldnt cancel see ive learned over the years if they charge you to cancel there service then theres something shady y are they charging u to cancel y would someone cancel a service they liked unless (budget issues) but the number one reason we cancel services is because they suck

Anonymous
#35847

i was an att customer and they re service is awfull most of the time i had to use my home # 304 4250713 becuase i didnt have any service at all then i called them to complain and wanted my ss # of 234-11-3574 to cancel my bill is that all the really need?

Anonymous
#33932

I am thinking @ least she got someone who understood her (i.e. Spoke ENGLISH) Until recently EVERY Time I called I would SWEAR it was the SAME person in INDIA who would answer my call and tell me that "everything I said was EXACTLY correct, however.............." HOWEVER??

If what I said was EXACTLY correct HOW is there a HOWEVER??? My main issue lately has been with their customer service in the STORE. I lost (or it was stolen) my cell phone in NYC on my one and only trip there. in NYC they wanted to charge me $500 for a phone I paid $50 for????

so I said NO just disable the sim card I will take care of it when I get home. NOT ONE store wanted to help me. So I went to Radio Shack and got a phone that wa *** 2 months later I went BACK the store right next to where I work in the mall and bought one, I asked a LOT of questions and she assured me YES it DOES handle/take video (my sister sends me some of my nephew) Guess what it DIDN'T.

So I took it back I DO have to say they were AWESOME in replacing it I got a much better phone, better hands free set and kit to download my information (pictures etc) from my phone to my pc. AND a $100 Credit!!!

Anonymous
#32548

I work for AT&T Wireless and I totally feel your pain. They are the worst company I've ever worked for and they really do not give a *** about any of their customers.

All they care about is the $ sign.

Oh, and making sure all their employees are micromanaged to the point of feeling like children. May I please have a hall pass to use the restroom, which by the way is out of order more than you would ever imagine.

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