Wednesday, November 17, 2010

AT&T DSL Problems, False Advertising, and Frustration

As mentioned on one of my previous blogs, I recently signed up for AT&T DSL service.  So far, I have encountered so many problems, mostly related to service and billing.  You may have noticed them advertising a promotional rate of $14.95 a month for DSL internet.  Sounds pretty good right?  So I get my first bill and guess what, it is $35.00.  So of course I am like what?  I give them a call and they tell me that you have to pay the full price for 2 to 3 billing cycles before they credit your account and start giving you the promotional rate.  They say it is in the terms of service.  I read it carefully and this is what it says:

"Customers purchasing new AT&T High Speed Internet Direct Basic, Express or Pro will pay $14.95 per month for 12 months after application of bill credit. Bill credits will be applied between the 2nd and 3rd bill cycles after initiation of service."

This is not clear and it is in the fine print.  I would consider this dishonest advertising especially when they are saying clearly that "you can get DSL service for $14.95 for 12 months". They don't say, "pay full price for a few months" and then they we will give you the promotional rate.

A quick search revealed that hundreds of other customers are upset by this exact issue.  Here are a few links:
http://www.dslreports.com/forum/r24834245-First-bill-doesnt-have-the-promotional-rate
http://m.slickdeals.net/forums/showthread.php?sduid=0&t=2157474&page=118
http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/hot-deals/1020394/?start=720

Now I did write an email to AT&T expressing my annoyance with this billing and they called me back.  They explained that this is just how the system works and that I should be getting credited eventually so that it will bring the overall cost down to what it would be if I were paying the $14.95 right from the beginning.  I'm not holding my breath on that one. Customer complaints have already expressed that they kept getting billed for the full price even ever 2 to 3 billing cycles.  Something tells me I may have to contact customer service again in a couple months.

And the billing is not even the tip of the iceberg with problems I have been having with AT&T.  I wanted to opt out of their privacy sharing policy.  I tried to do it several times.  Guess what, I got an error every time.

I tried to log into my account online.  The only way you can get access is to have them send you a code by email.  Ok, so I request a code.  Guess what, they don't send it.  I tell this to the customer service guy and he tells me the system is broken and I will have to request it again.

In my email to AT&T I had a lot to say about all the issues I have been having.  Surely nothing can go wrong with that right?  Wrong!  Their email system doesn't even allow you to write more that 1000 characters.  That is like a couple paragraphs.  Do I need to send 3 separate emails just to include everything I need to say? 

3 comments:

  1. Connected IsolationMarch 3, 2011 at 4:41 PM

    Update: I continue to have problems with the AT&T billing. I did get a credit on the 2nd month but then the 3rd month they charged full price again. It seems they can't get this $14.95 per month thing right. Every month when I get my bill I have to call customer service to get it fixed.

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  2. I've had a similar experience. AT&T is running a crooked business and getting away with it. I'm planning to pay the contract rate of $19.95 for my last 6 months in the contract. I'm going to call customer service (once a month for 6 months at 1 hour each call). It's cheaper than the early termination fee. In the meantime, I've signed up for time warner cable Internet. What a waste.

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  3. Connected IsolationJanuary 23, 2012 at 4:30 PM

    Update: After the year promotion ended, I did end up getting the credits promised, but it sure was frustrating along the way. Now I want to downgrade my service and they won't let me so I'm stuck paying a high price per month. So overall I'm still not to happy about the cost.

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