Common Complaints Against AT&T

What complaints do people like you have against AT&T? And what can you do about them?

Do you open your AT&T bill wondering what this month is going to cost?  Were you promised one rate only to be charged another? Were you excited to get your new phone until you found it was no longer free?  Have you taken your problems to customer service with no success?

If you’re looking for a way to escalate your complaint with AT&T, you can file a complaint with their customer service team, the Better Business Bureau, or through our service. By filing your complaint through FairShake, you know that it will be heard and taken seriously. If negotiations fail, and you want to escalate your claim, we make it effortless to get a fair shake through an independent court system.

According to the BBB, there have been 48,482 total complaints against AT&T in the last 3 years, only 16,411 of which were closed in last 12 months, meaning only 16,411 of which were addressed/fixed.

These are common problems that AT&T customers report.  AT&T provides internet, wireless, television, and phone services to customers throughout the country.  They have had 50.119 grievances filed with the Better Business Bureau over the past three years.  Some of the most common customer complaints include:

  1. Billing issues
  2. Promotional cards not received
  3. Advertising and sales

Billing issues

Customers report a wide variety of problems with their monthly bills including:

  • Price increases without notification
  • Refusal to pro-rate fees when a customer cancels their service.  Customers that cancel in the middle of a billing period will be charged the full amount, even though they no longer had service
  • Higher rates were charged when customers were erroneously put on plans that they did not agree to
  • Automatic payments deducted from bank accounts a day early, causing customers to incur overdraft charges
  • Installation or activation fees were charged when customers were advised that there would be no cost
  • Additional fees included on a customer’s bill that were not explained or not authorized by the customer
  • Fees charged for equipment that was returned to AT&T

One customer noted:

“Today I receive an email with my bill amount. I called because I am still being charged the premium channels. Upon speaking with someone I was able to get logged in to my online account and access my bill. That is when I noticed that I am being OVERCHARGED. I was supposed to be getting $45.01 taken off for 12 months for TV, and $10.00 off with qualified bundle for months 2-12. I have now spoken to 4 managers who refuse to apply those credits. I also am still being charged for the Premium channels which on a monitored and recorded call on May 26th was advised I would no longer be charged.”

The BBB notes that nearly 40% of the complaints against AT&T have to do with billing problems.

Customers report that they can spend several minutes, even hours, on the phone with customer service to resolve billing issues. They are often frustrated with the lack of knowledge and assistance that they receive from AT&T when they have a problem.  Another common frustration occurs when the service agents advise the customer that they will be getting a credit on their account. The credit can be significantly delayed or, in some cases, never be posted to a customer’s account.

AT&T has been involved in a variety of lawsuits regarding their billing practices.  A California lawsuit alleges that AT&T charges customers an Administrative Fee that is nothing more than a way for the company to charge more.  The fee is characterized as a tax or government fee, giving customers the impression that it is a required fee when it is not.  The Florida School District brought suit against AT&T for overbilling its students and faculty by over $1 million.  A lawsuit from 2004 was brought against AT&T in connection with their merger with Cingular.  The suit claims that AT&T customers were charged an $18 transfer fee when moved to Cingular.  For those that chose not to stay with Cingular, they were charged a $175 early termination fee.

Promotional cards not received

In addition to special rates, AT&T may offer gift cards as an incentive for new customers to sign up or existing customers to upgrade their service.  These gift cards are typically sent three months after the customer has added or changed their service. Customers often report a significant delay in receiving their gift cards, even after calling customer service.  In other cases, they are never received. Debit cards are also used when refunding a billing error or overpayment on a customer’s account. Customers claim that they were not aware that they were receiving a debit card instead of a credit on their account.  They also mention significant delays in receiving these debit cards. In fact, the BBB notes that nearly 45% of the complaints against AT&T have to do with product and service problems like these.

Advertising and sales

A common promotion run by AT&T allows a customer to purchase one phone and get another phone for free.  However, when the customer receives their bill, they are surprised to find that they have been charged for both phones.  They are later advised by customer service that they did not qualify for the promotion and were ineligible for a free phone.  Since this can happen a few weeks after they purchased the phones, the customer is stuck with paying for a second one.

If you have tried unsuccessfully to resolve your billing issue or equipment problem without any luck, there is another course of action.   We work with customers who have exhausted all avenues to fix their dispute. Learn how FairShake can help you to file a claim.

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