What a Miserable AT&T Customer Service Experience

Author: keith
Category: Business Blog


On June 20th, at 10:22 am Central time I made a call to inquire if I could get a status on a rebate form that I had submitted after I moved my service from Verizon to ATT. The new ATT account number is 5X81XX120467. The person in customer service department diverted the scope of the call to bring my attention to the fact that I was not given a “FREE” tablet that I should have received. I explained that I was not told about a free tablet and that I was not that interested. She then said it was totally free, including shipping and activation and the ONLY expense would be $1.07 for the tax. I thought about it and agreed to take the tablet and pay only the tax  $1.07 and the $10 per month service fee. 

I gave the lady my American Express card and she tried to make the charge. During this call as she was trying to make the charge, American Express was attempting to call me and also sending texts. I figured that they may have noticed the small charge and might have thought that it was a fraudulent charge.When AMEX denied the charge for the $1.07 I gave the ATT representative my debit card. We processed the order and hung up after the transaction was finished. I was told I needed to go to a WEB site to check on my phone rebates.

When I hung up the phone I immediately called American Express after reading the text that they expected fraudulent charges in the amount of $445. American Express had indeed declined what they expected to be a fraudulent charge. With much concern, I then logged into my online banking account only to find that my checking account with First Commercial Bank in Birmingham, AL had been compromised for the amount of $445 by ATT. This left a balance of less than $3.14 in my primary checking account with check outstanding and drafts scheduled.

It is now 1:21 on June 21st and I have spent over 5 hours talking with ATT representatives trying to get this very serious problem resolved. Many have freely admitted the problem is with ATT and a few have denied that ATT had a way to resolve the issue.  I have recorded much of my conversations with over 13 people, just today during my repeated attempts to resolve this issue – my last attempt before filing this report with the BBB was 1 hour and 27 minutes in duration during which I spoke with 14 different people of various departments, with absolutely no success in my attempts to get my money back.
I consider this to absolutely be fraud and actually think that it is criminal activity. If I have returned checks then I will become a criminal. I did not in any way agree to a charge of $445 to any account of mine and ATT has handled the return of my money in the most unprofessional way imaginable. I have experienced the following:

•    Incompetent people
•    Repeated dropped calls
•    Been transferred to people that had no idea what to do about the problem
•    Been transferred to departments unrelated to my issue
•    Had to explain – from the beginning many times what the problem was. 
•    Been treated very nicely and very rudely
•    And still, there is no idea from anyone that I have talked with on how to get me my money back.

In my wildest imagination, I could not dream up a situation so exacerbating and senseless. I demand a resolution which should include an apology from upper level management and an immediate resolution and a call to discuss this and how to move forward. I am sick at my stomach and feel absolutely helpless to resolve this situation. Check will inevitably be returned today, I will be charged return fees on both ends of the transaction. In addition, drafts to at least one utility will be denied and my credit will be adversely affected. Please accept my complaint and file it as soon as possible. I can be reached at the number listed above practically any time. Please help me. PLEASE ! ! 

Update June 23rd, 2016 8:54 am.

I spent a lot of time on the 22nd attempting to get my problem resolved. I made calls and visited an ATT wireless store praying that something could be done. The Better Business Bureau has filed a claim. Here are some of the effects of this incident on my life.

On Wednesday, June 22nd I tried for another 3 hours and spoke with 6 more ATT customer service representatives, including 2 in an ATT Wireless Store. At this point the following effects on my life have occurred by this fraudulent debit of my bank account:

1.    My bank has filed  a fraudulent claim on the charge but ATT has the charge locked and I can not get access to the funds through the typical fraudulent charge rules at my bank.
2.    I am late on a credit card payment and my credit has been adversely affected.
3.    I have exactly $3.14 in my checking account which is run on a very strict budget.
4.    I have had to cancel an extremely important meeting due to the suspension of my credit privileges with my Chase charge card. I do not have the funds to pay for the space that has been reserved for several days at the Vestavia Hills Library. This issue is clearly documented in the administration office at the library in Vestavia Hills, AL and a report is being compiled to send to the Better Business Bureau. 

Canceling this meeting has done significant damage to my business.

5.    I now have had to use my American Express to its maximum and can’t buy gasoline for my car, medicines that I need, and groceries.
6.    I have had checks returned for non-payment
7.    I have a monthly debit from Alabama Power Company come due tomorrow.
8.    I have a monthly debit from The Birmingham Water Works on June 26th.
9.    I received absolutely no communication from ATT regarding this fraudulent order of an electronic device that I did not authorize or approve.

I have been contacted by an ATT representative by an email that states that he will try to contact me over the next few days. When you put the “next few days” timeline into context with the above list of negativity going on in my life this is ridiculous.

This is the most miserable experience I have ever had.