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Fencing with a Mega-Corp., En Guard, AT&T

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posted on Dec, 29 2009 @ 07:10 PM
Remember, you don't necessarily owe them what they say you owe them...but you can have fun at their expense.

Yesterday I received in the regular mail, a nasty-gram from AT&T regarding how they hadn't heard from me about some $8 I owe them on my old account, how they realize it's a very low amount, but didn't want to negatively effect my good credit standing, yadda yadda, “May they hear from me by Jan. 2?”

“That's strange”, I thought, since I've had my current “account”, a dry-loop DSL, for about 12 months now, and the bill is set up at my bank account to mail itself off on a monthly basis. 40 bucks, automatically, each month, but OK, I'll play along...

They gave a number to call if I had any questions.

Oh, I had a question all right, WTH! So I called...

The nice girl on the other side proceeded to inform me about how they changed my account number from some to such back in September, and credited me 32 dollars, but I still owe them $8 and blah blah, blah, her voice faded out as I began to recall some prior notice from AT&T about the account number switching, and having to change said number at my bank, so OK, it's plausible some weird billing overlap occurred.

I was grinning to myself as I informed her that since that's how they wanted to play, I wanted some reimbursement for a recent service outage I had that was AT&T's fault, my DSL was down for about 4 days, and I thought that perhaps what they owed me could cancel out what they think I owe them.

She proceeded to give me a $10 credit for the inconvenience, but informed me I still needed to pay the $8. OK, I said, no prob, and that's pretty much how we left it yesterday.

The more I thought about it though, the more it bugged me, because after subtracting $8 from the $10 she credited me, it only left me 2 bucks for the 4 days I was without service, and darn-it, they owe me at least FOUR bucks for that!!

So I just got home from work and dug out all my “paper” bills from them for the last 6 months or so, several of them had the old account number, the most recent one had the new account number, when lo-and behold!! Not a single mention of a credit, or a balance due, only $40 “balances due” and $40 “payments received” on every single consecutive bill. WTH? Where's the $32 credit they claim to have given me? Where's the $8 difference?

So I called again.

A different nice girl then proceeded to “Essplain” [sic] something to me when I questioned the charge. She mentioned the account number change, also mentioned a late charge, (huh? Late charge?) and when she finally finished, I told her I have all my bills right here in front of me, I see the old account number on some, the new account number on the most recent, they all show $40 balance dues and $40 credits for every single month, no “credits” no “balance forwards” , no “late fees” nothing!

The bill even states “Payment Received XX Date, Thank You!” I told her AT&T is going to have to do a much better job convincing me I truly owe them this money before I'm going to pay it, because according to all my paperwork, I pay every month, and AT&T receives payment every month!

She had me turn the recent bill over and asked “See the $32 credit?” No, all I see here is terms and conditions. “There in the left hand column on the front. Does it show the late fee?” Again, no, just Forties and Zeroes, the same as on every other bill.

She gave in at this point, and cleared the mysterious $8 balance due. Now I'm up 6 bucks and quite pleased!

Next, I'm thinking about calling them to complain that I never received the $32 credit they claimed was given to me, and I'll gladly take a check!

Please, AT&T, send me something ELSE in the mail! I DARE ya!!

Remember Kids, keep yer good eye on the bad guy!

[edit on 29-12-2009 by tjack]

posted on Dec, 29 2009 @ 07:27 PM
That's an awesome story. It is like that with most maJor corporations..And the IRS. People should be more assertive like you if something like this comes up. I know people who would gladly pay the 8$ to "avoid the hassle. What makes me angry is AT&T knows this which is why they pull it.

posted on Dec, 29 2009 @ 07:36 PM
reply to post by kingoftheworld

Insurance companies too. Big time. It's almost like it's written into their Corporate procedures to "try" this and that first, just to snag the folks who will simply pay without questioning.

posted on Dec, 29 2009 @ 08:20 PM
You came out lucky on that one. I had around an 8 dollar collect call charge from AT&T that they promptly deducted from my checking account.
The problem was,that I had never granted them access to my account in any form. I never got an explaination as to how they could legally access my account,just an apology.
I owed the bill no doubt. However the way they collected it was "Big Brother" in action.

posted on Dec, 29 2009 @ 11:03 PM

Originally posted by tjack
Oh, I had a question all right, WTH!

LMAO That made laugh out loud

Great story man, Im glad you done your homework and it all turned in your favor. My family have a few stories like that and a few other stories about paying back thousands of pounds (GBP) at £1 a month! I would probably be 109 years old by the time that gets paid off.

Thanks for sharing the story

Everyone should do the same to every company they are a customer of.

[edit on 29/12/2009 by the_denv]

posted on Dec, 30 2009 @ 08:21 AM
reply to post by the_denv

I have a friend here who had a bank error in his favor to the tune of several thousand, so he pulled all the money out of his account.

When the bank found out about it, they took him to court and won.

So he started paying them back... with envelopes that each had a dozen or so pennies scotch-taped inside.

Of course, being a bank, each time an envelope came in the bank teller had to take time to remove the pennies and register the payment. That is a lot of lost time.

Very shortly the bank came back with a much lower settlement offer and my friend came out ahead on the deal.

posted on Dec, 30 2009 @ 10:35 AM
reply to post by Symbiote

That is an excellent story, I love hearing people doing the banks over. Thanks for sharing your story, Im sure your friend nearly had a heart attack when he seen his bank balance for the first time

1 mile where I live an ATM machine at least twice a year either gives you double the money of what you asked for (and does not deduct it from your account), or it randomly spits the entire contents of it onto the street.

You wanna see the ques of people lining up when word breaks out that the ATM is playing up again. Excellent stuff

posted on Dec, 30 2009 @ 10:38 AM
wow and to think i know one of the AT&T Owners lol...

sure they would love to read this lol...


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