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Lies and the AT&T Liars Who Tell Them

Posted on Friday, January 8th, 2021

Dave!I got up early this morning to get some work done before feeding the cats and running into Tourist Town to do some grocery shopping. Early morning shopping is the best shopping because the store is so empty. But also? My cupboards and refrigerator are low on staples, so I was excited about having food in the house again.

The other big draw for my grocery shopping today was a coupon I had which gives me $11 off a total of $110 or more. That's 10% off... on top of the other coupons I have. I love it when opportunities like this comes along, because it's the one time I allow myself to buy stuff that's not on sale. But you have to be careful. One penny under $110 and no discount for you. I kept careful track in my head and got to $120 (actual total $116.88), so way to go, me.

Along with a shiny new iPhone, I changed my service plan with AT&T. My new phone can do 5G, my service plan didn't have 5G, and even though I probably won't see 5G any time sooon where I live, I'd like it available when I travel (assuming I travel again). AT&T had a deal where I could get my two lines for $65 a line (with auto-pay and paperless billing enabled), and I'd actually be saving money in the long run over what I had, so sign me up...

AT&T Plan for $65 per line via ATT.com.

Before (virtually) signing on the dotted line, I went over the details of what I would be charged very, very carefully with the phone rep. I wanted to be darn sure there weren't going to be any hidden fees above what I was already paying. After a very patient person went through everything with me... twice... I changed my plan to the new $65 per line.

My previous bill was a mess. I had no idea what was going on because AT&T jerks you around with pro-rated billing and activation fees and other stupid shit that I had no way of understanding. But then today my current bill with none of the extras arrives. And I looked it over very carefully. And, wouldn't you know it, only ONE of my lines was $65. The other was $75...

AT&T bill showing $75 one line and $65 the other line.

=sigh=

So I online-chat with AT&T and explain the problem. After pulling up my account, I'm told this:
I see that you have been charged for monthly service charge. That is why you got high in your bill.

I explain that my bill very clearly shows one of the lines was charged $75. Then I get this:
I see that you have been charged $65 for one account and $65 for another account. But this time they have added $8.33 for one account.

I then have to tell them that I am looking at my bill and it clearly shows one line is $75, so I don't know where they're seeing both are at $65. I don't care what the fees are showing, the amount per line I was quoted (and which is still showing on their website) is NOT being honored.

After a while of them "looking into it" I get this:
Yes you are right. Sorry for that. Let me go ahead a note to change that for you. So it will not reflect in your next billing cycle.

Look, I really want to give AT&T the benefit of doubt here, but I see this shit ALL THE TIME, so it's tough not to be cynical. I signed up for a new plan so I could get 5G at $65 a line (if I use auto-pay and paperless billing, which I do). but I'm charged $75 for one and $65 for the other. And the ENTIRE TIME I'm chatting with customer support, I think back to my grandmother and mother being easily confused by pages of bills that are designed to obscure how much YOU'RE ACTUALLY BEING BILLED FOR, and I know beyond any doubt that they would have just paid the overcharge month after month because they didn't know any better. And if they did call customer support, they undoubtedly would have believed the bullshit about "extra fees" and not pressed the issue any further.

This is rage inducing.

And I cannot help but ask... is AT&T doing this on purpose? Do they make their billing statements confusing and encourage auto-pay and paperless billing so they can rip you off and have less chance of being caught? I am seriously outraged right now. I'd dump these assholes in a second if other carriers were any better... but they're all the same, aren't they? So what good would it do?

If the Democrats in power want to make me happy after they're done sucking off the lobbyists lining up to pay them to betray US citizen interests... FIRST they can put us on permanent Daylight Saving Time so we're not dicking with the clocks twice a year. THEN they can pass an act which forces all these asshole companies to not hide all their charges when you sign up for shit. The price they advertise should be the price you pay... AND IT SHOULD INCLUDE ALL THE FUCKING FEES AND OTHER BULLSHIT THAT **NEVER** ALLOW YOU TO KNOW WHAT YOU'RE PAYING BEFORE YOU COMMIT TO A CONTRACT!

But you know what? AT&T probably shovels millions upon millions upon millions to politicians so they can just keep doing exactly what they're doing. Which means nothing is going to change any time soon. Our politicians won't do anything to threaten that sweet, sweet lobbyist payola now would they?

At least not in my State. Senator Patty Murray is OWNED by the medical lobby, and we all know how much they just LOVE to obscure costs in their billing. Major surgery results in pounds of never-ending bills that are intentionally confusing so you just shut up and pay. Which is exactly the kind of behavior our politicians crave... "I'll shut up just so long as you pay."

God bless America.

Comments

  1. Christopher J Stogdill says:

    I hated working with AT&T for years. When I got my 1st AT&T “smartphone” back in 2001 or so the phone was $150, but free if you signed up for a couple of years of service……pretty typical stuff then, and I think now.

    My first bill had a $150 charge for the phone, which wasn’t right. I didn’t pay that amount on the 1st bill, and contacted AT&T about the billing error. They told me it’d be fixed on the next bill, but it wasn’t. Since I had the money I went ahead and paid the bill in full anyway, figuring it’d just be applied to future bills. AT&T cashed my check, and three days later went ahead and cancelled my service even though my account was in good standing.

    Then they had the audacity to fine me $300 for “early termination”. They even tried sending to me to collection several times. I just sent the collection agencies copies of my bill, proof I had paid not only my proper charges, but their improper phone sale bill. This was a pain that lasted for quite a while.

    I went with another provider and eventually came back to AT&T only because my workplace started paying for both my phone lines. By then though I got to deal with one of their top salespeople in the US and that guy knew how everything behind the curtain worked. They wisely promoted him to management within a few years.

    • Dave2 says:

      I just think it’s sad that businesses are allowed to get away with this. The first thing they ALWAYS respond with is “Well, the taxes and fees are different everywhere, so we can’t project what those might be because everybody is different.” And I’m like… OH?!? WELL YOU SURE KNOW HOW TO PROJECT THE COST WHEN YOU BILL ME!! They even already ask for your ZIP code when they confirm what services are available, so they already KNOW and can easily tell you the ACTUAL cost. But they won’t. This is how they trick people, and it won’t stop until it’s illegal.

  2. Julia S Poole says:

    Dilbert

    • Dave2 says:

      And this is why most people… especially the elderly… just give up and pay whatever they’re told to. And that’s wrong. And it should be illegal.

  3. martymankins says:

    In the 12 years I’ve been with AT&T (first on a prepaid plan while I still stuck with Sprint until my contact ran out, then to a post paid plan I have with 6 lines), I’ve rarely had any billing issues and the few of them were resolved pretty quickly after a quick chat or a visit to the local store. But that frustrating time I was with Sprint (9 years), it was a monthly thing.

    As for your suggestion that they do this on purpose, I am in agreement with you. I think the hassle that some think about having to call them up, they bet on people just letting it go. Similar to that subscription plan and not cancelling it after the 2 month free trial. And all carriers do this, IMO (and experience)

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