Claire was told the wrong thing by an AT&T Wireless rep regarding international long distance, but when she called back to sort things out, she came up against the Nurse Ratched of the AT&T call center—a woman who refused to give in, or offer any help at all. In fact, when Claire finally admitted defeat and said she’d accept the credit that had been offered to her, the supervisor refused. Apparently Claire only had one chance to accept that and since she said no, it was off the table.
Here’s Claire’s story:
Last week I had to call my friend in the UK and to do so had to call AT&T to activate my cellphone for international calls. The representative was very informative about what I was adding onto my plan but we obviously had a miscommunication because when I asked her whether the $1.39/minute to call the UK would just come out of my monthly minute allowance at a higher rate, she said yes. Having spent about 45 minutes on the phone with AT&T, I have discovered that this was obviously not their policy. I asked the representative point blank: “so I will not incur any extra charges until I’ve run out of my monthly minutes?” and she agreed. Well the latest bill says that I owe them $60 for that one phone call to the UK and I still have 843 roll over minutes.
When I called AT&T today the first agent I spoke to listened to what I had to say and offered to refund me 50% of the charge but I felt that this miscommunication should entitle me to a full refund- or just take the full amount out of my 800 odd minutes! He explained that a manager would not be able to offer me more but he would refund me 50% of the charge- anymore and he might get in trouble.
That’s when I asked to speak to someone who wouldn’t get in trouble for giving me the full refund. About 10 minutes later a woman came on the line and explained that these were “valid charges and are therefore final.” I tried explaining the miscommunication but she had nothing of it explaining that she could only base her decisions off the notes on my account. I ventured that if what I had been told was not their policy, the rep probably wouldn’t add that to the notes. We went back and forth for about 10 minutes but all the supervisor had to say was: “The rep informed you of these charges and they are valid charges. There is nothing more I can do for you.”
In a moment of clarity I asked for them to pull up the conversation I had—she could then hear where the confusion had stemmed from! The supervisor explained that the rep I had spoken to was not one of her agents so she could not pull up our conversation.
Sensing defeat and not wanting to spend any more time on this I said I would take the 50% off, but the supervisor explained that because I had said “no” to the agent before, she would not offer this to me again. So I’m basically being punished for not backing down. This threw me into a whirlwind. I simply cannot understand this schoolyard mentality.
In the end I asked if she couldn’t pull up the phone records, who would I need to speak to? She told me to go to the “contact us” portion of att.com where I could email them my complaint. Because I was so frusrated at this point, I didn’t bother to take anyone’s name and in retrospect I should have gone to the website with the supervisor still on the phone because I just visited their site to write an email and got this message:
You selected: Airtime charges/overages.
For faster service, we can best help you with this question over the phone.
Claire, we think you should take your argument up to higher levels at AT&T Mobility. Send them a letter explaining what happened, and ask them to provide the original 50% off compromise at the very least. You should also let them know specifically how this supervisor treated you. It’s unfortunate you didn’t get any names, but since this just happened you should be able to provide a very accurate timestamp of the call.
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