AT&T Wireless: Subtle double-billing, other scams

I don’t like posting about how a wireless phone service or similar entity has screwed up by bill. There are more important matters to concern one’s self with, but, at the same time, there was some clear-cut gouging of my bill going on, and if you’ve got AT&T Wireless, maybe you’ve been gouged, too.

First, I was double-billed for MediaNet, AT&T’s “unlimited” wireless service. Having heard that the price had been reduced from $19.99 to $15 a couple of months ago, I put in a request to have that changed. On my latest bill, I found both a charge for $15 for the period 12/4-1/3 and one for the period 1/4-2/3. Unfortunately, I had already previously paid $19.99 for the period 12/4-1/3.

Then, there was a reconnect fee of $36.00 that I was charged back in December after a frustrating experience in which AT&T “text-to-pay” service was clearly buggy, having sent me a confirmation message of a payment that AT&T could later not confirm. When they restored my service, I was assured I would see no such reconnect charge.

It was “no problem” for the customer service rep I spoke with tonight to reverse these $56 in superfluous charges. I made a lame attempt, knowing it would be ignored, to make the point that it was indeed a big problem that AT&T made such big mistakes with customer bills in the first place. Apparently, the stress of initially worrying, “WTF am I going to do about this” and the unnecessary interactions with customer service itself are not things I ought to make a big deal about. AT&T provided great customer service by straightening out my bill, after all!

What a mess. I dumped Sprint a year ago over similar customer service deficiencies. I’m stuck with AT&T for one more year. With both companies, I was not having day-to-day operational problems with their products and services, but when I needed to deal with their customer service, they were just awful.

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