Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Thanks, AT&T!!!!

I'm not one to make myself out the be the victim of big business sticking it to the little guy, but I believe that one company does, indeed, do this regularly to customers because they can get away with it.

Quite some time ago I asked that my long distance service on my AT&T land line be turned off as I had no use for it. I make long distance calls on my cell phone. Now, it's my fault for not noticing, but they conveniently put it back on some time ago (thanks, AT&T!). So, I called them earlier in the month to have them take it off again. It's a little over $5.00 a month, but every penny counts when you're a single income family. They agreed to turn it off and credit my account for the times that I was charged (per my request--they didn't volunteer to give any of my money back to me). I knew that they wouldn't go all the way back to when they originally stuck it to me, but I was hopeful for at least something.

When I looked at my AT&T bill this month I noticed that they did take the long distance off of my bill. However, they only gave me a credit of $5.00 from the past year or so of being charged and then THEY CHARGED ME $9.15 IN FEES FOR HAVING MY LONG DISTANCE CHANGED/REMOVED!!!!!!!! (thanks, AT&T!) I got on the phone with them today and was able to get it somewhat resolved. The bottom line was that I got $50 credit--big whoop, but at least it's something. The lesson to be learned is that you have to go through every line of every bill and I have not been too good about that in the past. The other lesson to be learned is that big companies will take advantage of people if they can get away with it.

This all reminded me of one of my favorite video clips from The Colbert Report. I don't know if it's legal for me to post this or not, but I'll take a chance (I found it on YouTube). If you're my age, you probably remember that back in the day, AT&T was everything when it came to telephone service. They had taken over all of the other telephone related companies to have their own monopoly. Thankfully (please note my sarcasm here), the Federal Government stepped in and broke up the monopoly. AT&T was split into several different companies. This is also the time when companies like MCI and Sprint came along offering long distance alternatives. That's what was supposed to happen--companies competing against one another to get your business instead of one company having everything and thus the power to charge you whatever they want. So, you can understand the irony when you watch the following video...


Randy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Elephantschild said...

My husband and I have a "history" with AT&T that goes back 12 years - we were with both Ameritech and SBC and they both stunk on ice.

FIVE times, the various companies have majorly messed stuff up for us, all problems that took months to sort out. Some were minor, like your long-distance problem. Some were horrid, like SBC taking over 7 months to disconnect our DSL at our old house and stop billing us for it. Sigh.

The Colbert bit is funny because it's exactly true.

Uvulapie said...

Great... I cancelled my long distance last month so I guess I should expect to see it either not cancelled or a cancellation charge. They would charge my $3 or $4 per month even if I didn't make any long distance calls. PLUS have you noticed how the taxes have gone up around $8 in the last six months?

Mighty Morphin' Mama said...

Yikes! It is like that in Canada too, unfortunately. I hate the charges that creep back in there over and over again.

Mighty Morphin' Mama said...

Oh and Happy New Year to you and your lovely family!

Anonymous said...

Ha! I'm LOL over that video. We just switched from Comcast to ATT for all services (cable, internet, phone) and the service isn't that much better but it's cheaper. I figure if I'm gonna get crappy service then I might as well pay as little as possible. Anyway, you're right. You do have to read every line. I had my cc # stolen once and the theifs made minute little charges here and there, not big noticible charges. If I hadn't gone over every line of that bill I never would have noticed and it would have contiued indenfinitely. It's a lot of hassle sometimes, but can save big bucks in the longrun.

Happy New Year-hunnybeemay

Barb the Evil Genius said...

We canceled not only our DSL but our complete landline service several years back. We can only get CenturyTel in this county, and they're awful. We use our cell phones for everything; we have TMobile and they are really good to us as long-time customers.

penguinsandladybugs said...

And how many of us just pay the bill without looking so many times. Sneaky way to make more money, huh? I'll be looking a little closer at my bills for a while...I usually only look closer when the bill amount is more than usual! The sad part is, how much is your time worth? I am quite certain you were on the phone a while with them, because I've been on the phone with these types of folks before. AT LEAST 15 minutes, right? If your time is worth $100 an hour....that is another $25 you are out for making that phone call. Just another spin to add to the mix =0) Loved the video clip!

Randy said...


(This is a copy of what I originally wrote. Man, I need to double check my spelling from now on!)

That would be completely funny if it wasn't so true!

I've been on Sprint for ten years as my mobile carrier. (I know you were talking about landline.) But, in ten years I've had no problems with Sprint at all. But, it seems everyone I know is on Verizon! With Sprint's "everything" plan, it is exactly that.

If it's not broke don't fix it. I'm referring to Sprint. Now...ATT on the other hand, you need a "flow chart" to make it all out. Plus, you are right, companies will take advantage any time they can.


12/31/08 1:21 PM