Illinois AT&T Mess; Is This Why They Call It The Sucker State?

From the Chicago Tribune:

    Many customers who called AT&T Illinois to get cut-rate phone service deals advertised in their November phone bills are being told the plans don’t exist, leaving customers confused and AT&T embarrassed.

    “There were a number of human errors and glitches,” said Rob Biederman, an AT&T spokesman. “We’ve had everyone retrained–a second time–and we’re monitoring the situation closely. We’re committed to make this work.”

    The new low-cost phone service plans, which became available three weeks ago, are part of an agreement between AT&T and the Citizens Utility Board approved in August by the Illinois Commerce Commission.

    In return for establishing three cut-rate phone plans and restraining rate increases for other plans, AT&T was freed from most traditional state oversight of what it charges consumers for phone service in Illinois.

Oh that’s a great idea. The story goes on to explain that while this means that Illinoisans’ bills could rise as much as 50% in the next four years, savvy consumers can sign up for the cut-rate plans now—before the pillaging begins. The deals are not yet on AT&T’s website, but expect them “by the end of the year.”

“Kolata [CUB spokesperson] said customers who cannot get the new rates when they call AT&T can call CUB at 1-800-669-5556 for help.” Home, Sweet Home.—MEGHANN MARCO

No easy answer on AT&T service [Chicago Tribune]

Previously: Lower Your AT&T Bill, Illinois

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  1. angrybathysphere says:

    I never thought I’d see the day that CUB agreed with a plan that would raise rates for consumers, especially the slow, non-attention-paying ones.
    See what your creation hath wraught, Pat Quinn? Protection only for those savvy enough not to need protection!

  2. iameleveneight says:

    arg. thank god land lines are for neanderthals.

  3. scoobydoo says:

    iameleveneight; Neanderthals and people with kids who like the reliability of being able to call 911. I have VOIP here too but with an infant in the house there is no way I’d rely 100% on them for emergencies.

  4. I have a landline too because we a) don’t have e911 and b) I have to pay the damned $9 line fee ANYWAY to get DSL (which makes it STILL 35% cheaper than cable) so I might as well pay the extra 50 cents for the most basic phone service available.

    I’m a little confused by this whole CUB/AT&T thing. There’s been a lot of it in the news, too. But I got the allegedly “new” lowest rate plan two years ago, no problem, when I moved here. I just asked for the lowest possible plan. It was also easy to find online.

    Maybe it was only “new” to some parts of the state and the news reports aren’t being clear about it.

  5. Trai_Dep says:

    Wait, so are they saying that there’s a limited time that you can sign up for these low-cost plans? That is, 3 years from now, and once you’re paying 150% of what you paid previously, you can switch? (aka wise up).

    Creating a legacy class of customers that are immune from toll-raping 4ys from now seems to be baaaaad consumer policy.

    On the other hand, if there will exist 3 cheaper plans and the default is the Rape Me plan, then buyer beware (aka stupidity tax).