Near the end of 2010 I saw an offer to get AT&T high speed internet service for a good price. I think the advertised prices were like $14.95 or $19.95 per month plus the modem free after rebate, but since I did not get the phone service or because I wanted the highest speed I finally had to settle for $24.95 per month. Anyway, the advertisement clearly was the modem would be free after the rebate if you kept the AT&T high speed internet service for 30 days. But as I was going through the sign-up process online I got a bit uneasy feeling as I noticed no more mention was made of the rebate.
Then I received my first bill, charging me $62.05 for the modem plus another $12.95 for shipping and absolutely no mention about the rebate or how to apply for it. I hoped, very slightly, that it would be automatically paid back to me on my second bill, which would be over the 30 day period. Yeah, right. After my second bill I e-mailed AT&T and received a polite response saying how eager they were to help me but basically only saying rebate info would be mailed after up to 6 weeks. Well a few more months went by, still no rebate info arriving, so I e-mailed them again. Another polite response assuring me they really want to help me but offering no actual help. Only a website address and a phone number were given. I hate talking on the phone, so first I went to the website. It asks for my account number… then tells me my account number is not in their system.
Funny, I keep on getting bills in spite of that. The site asks for my service activation date… still no record that I exist. Then it again asks for my internet account number, and/or my Direct TV account number. I again type in my internet service account number. Now it tells me the Direct TV account number is a required field. Well I DO NOT HAVE DIRECT TV. Dead end. So I call the phone number. The automated system puts me on hold. I wait patiently. I wait quite a while. Then a voice comes on and says “Sorry, we are experiencing high call volume today. Goodbye.” THE SYSTEM HANGS UP ON ME. They don’t even bother to disguise it as an accidental disconnect.
The amount of money involved is not actully that much. It just disappoints and irritates me so much that a huge established company like AT&T would make what amounts to a false offer to trick people into becoming customers. Clearly AT&T is, like the song says, “programmed to receive” as far as money is concerned. Everything is set up to encourage you to forget about your rebate, and to put up obstacles to your ever getting it. Perhaps I’m being charitable to even assume it is eventually possible to ever receive the rebate at all. As far as I can tell, they have no intention of ever paying it back.
I don’t even hope to get the shipping cost refunded, of course. But not to refund the modem cost as promised is just a bald-faced ripoff. AT&T mailout advertised DSL internet service for $14.95. I realized the flyer had been in the mailbox for a few months. I called anyway.was told that promotion was no longer good.The phone salesperson pitched me for a higher priced service and was in process of signing me up to have it installed even though I DID NOT state I was ready to do this. I stated that I was gathering info and would not be signing up until after I did some more checking around. The salesperson appeared ticked off and miffed to miss the sale. I had already given my telephone number and social security number to this individual. Coincidently??? shortly thereafter I have money taken from my prepaid telephone account by a “third party” according to Verizon who somehow took it under the pretense of a land phone answering service apparently through text messages.
I find this suspicous of the timing with the AT&T salesperson. I rarely use texting on this phone and didn’t know it was even possible to text to landlines.?? So, continuing with the saga,about a week or so after the contact with AT&T, I see a tv commercial advertising the same thing for $14.95. I call and am told about the $14.95 and the $100 refund of the modem price which will be in the form of a VISA debit card which was to arrive in 4-6 weeks after the start up date for service.I am told the service will start in aproximately 6 days and the modem will be sent UPS. All this proved true.The modem arrived promptly,the service was hooked up as stated. I also asked about any other charges or taxes.
I was told there were no other charges, the iternet is not taxed,no taxes.The shipping of the modem was not going to be charged either.And the $100 would be broken down into $10/month payments for the total of $24.95/mo. My service began on State April7,2011. I received my first bill the first week of May. The total due was $42.86 which for Internet service of $39.36 which was including $3.50 state tax under the title Plans and Services. Under the title Itemized Charges & Credits I have now showing a charge and credit of $49.95 for USB adapter $5 for purchase of USB adapt.(1 of 10 installments) and $34.36 for Direct Xtreme plan. The USB adaptor charge of $49.95 and credit of $49.95 which brings it to the billed amount of $42.86..After a 10 minute wait on automated 888-757-6500 tele.no showing on the bill,Ihang up.
I call again,same thing waiting on the line while “we are busy assisting other customers” This alone rings of arrogance. So the “other AT&T customers” are more important than the ones calling in? Why not get more phone lines and more service reps? to assist all “other customers”?? The convenience of not talking to customers works well to have as little customer contact as possible. So, then I call again and get a cocky young woman with an attitude who tells me the next bill will show the $14.95 but this bill is what it is. Obviously doesn’t know, doesn’t care and it’s all about getting the money. I then am transferred to Reward Dept. since apparently their two computer data bases are not communicating and sharing information ??
The young lady there is pleasant,and offers some suggestions as how to approach resolving the confusion?? She tells me that the previous dept would be who would have to correct any misunderstanding and to ask for a Supervisor and she will connect me.She also tells me that I don’t qualify for the $100 refund since I don’t have AT&T telephone service and this is only for phone customers.Basically passing the buck,but at least she seemed knowledgeable that the phone people taking the orders were not givng accurate information to the callers/and/or lying to get a sale.(this was inferred).
Ok,so I am connected back to the original number and ..you guessed it..the automated recording.. ”We are busy assisting other customers”… I hung up the phone . Needless to say there’s something rotten in Denmark. This is juggling and deception period. No excuses. They get away with this crap everyday. AT&T is too big for it’s britches. And..as a side note, no one seems to state just HOW this touted $100 debit card can be used. On the website info it states HOW it CAN’T be used. So is it just an elusive dream card??? SHARING means CARING. Happy to share with you, America.